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

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Major Prophetic Milestones

end-of-tunnel

We are living in the final days, weeks, months, and years of the age.  There is simply no doubt.  If you can’t believe with your heart, then at least believe what your own eyes see.  Everything has converged to this climactic moment.  This article is a review of just some of the key moments that have led us to the precipice on which we now stand.

– – –

 

Milestones

 

-1517-

The Reformation sets in motion the last great surge of missionary activity leading up to the end of the age and the fulfillment of Christ’s prophecy that the gospel would first be a witness to all nations before the end comes (Mt. 24:14Mk. 13:10).  In the final quarter of the two millennia since Christ, the gospel has reached every nation on earth and hundreds upon hundreds of millions have come to a saving knowledge of the truth.  In fact, Christianity is now more African and Asian than European and American.  Also in 1517, the Ottoman Empire takes control of Jerusalem and the Holy Land.

 

-1791-

The worldwide emancipation of the Jews begins.

 

-1880-

The ancient Hebrew language is revived, becoming the first truly dead language to ever be spoken again, and the only remaining language from ancient Canaan.

 

-1882-

The First Aliyah (mass migration of Jews) to Israel begins.

 

-1897-

The world’s Jewish leadership commits to establishing a homeland in the Middle East and the modern Zionist movement is born.

 

-1917-

At the Battle of Jerusalem the Ottoman Empire loses control of Israel, with the Holy Land falling back into the hands of Christendom for the first time since the Crusades.  Just weeks before, the Balfour Declaration declares British intention to establish a Jewish homeland.  And World War I, the first global war in human history, leads to the disintegration of the last Islamic caliphate.

 

-1923-

The British Mandate for Palestine comes into effect on September 29, 1923, allowing the Jews to begin widespread settlement and mass immigration to their ancient homeland.  The Fourth Aliyah begins.

 

-1945-

At the close of World War II, world leaders establish the first proto-global government in the form of the United Nations.

 

-1947-

The United Nations passes Resolution 181, which was an international partition plan requiring the division of the Holy Land between a Jewish state and the “Palestinians.”  A civil war broke out the very next day between the Jews and Arabs and the plan was never implemented (i.e. the land was not divided).

 

-1948-

Israel unilaterally declares independence on May 14, 1948, and the State of Israel is born (there had not been a nation called Israel since 722 BC); the War of Independence begins.

 

-1949-

Israel secures victory in the War of Independence, thus the fledgling country is now firmly rooted having also secured recognition from numerous nations.

 

-1967-

The Jews take control of Jerusalem and the Temple Mount for the first time since the Hasmonean Kingdom in 63 BC—some 60 years before Christ.  This may have also been the prophetic fulfillment of Psalm 83.

 

-1973-

Israel wins a hard-fought victory during the Yom Kippur War, which was the country’s last major war against a coalition of Arab enemies.  The tiny nation of Israel emerges as the Middle East’s sole superpower.

 

-1990-

The unveiling and dedication of the first cornerstone for the Third Temple.  More have subsequently been built.

 

-1997-

A genetic test is successfully developed that accurately identifies the Kohanim (descendants of Moses’ brother Aaron).

Geneticists unveil their discovery

 

-1999-

The Golden Lampstand rebuilt (now on display in the Jewish Quarter of the Old City until it can be moved to the Third Temple).  It is covered in 100 pounds of pure gold.

 

-2004-

The ancient Sanhedrin is reconstituted.

 

-2005-

Ancient Israeli palm seeds from the time of Christ are successfully germinated.  The Methuselah Tree continues to grow in Israel and now there are more such palms growing.

Also, the robe, turban, and exquisite garments for the high priest are completed and unveiled.

 

-2008-

Production begins on the linen garments of the Aaronic priests.  120 have since been completed—all that are necessary for service in the Third Temple.

 

-2014-

The Temple Institute begins crowdfunding to finance the blueprints for the Third Temple.  The money is secured and development begins shortly after.  The following year, the blueprints are revealed.

 

-2015-

The armies of two of the five modern nations involved in the prophecy of Ezekiel 38 enter into the biblical boundary of northern Israel (southern Syria)—Russia and Iran; the final blood moons in the 2014–15 Blood Moon Tetrad occur on Passover and Tabernacles.

While technology likely to be used for the Mark of the Beast has long been in development, precursor technology for the Mark finally made it into the mainstream in 2015 as thousands of Swedes received a microchip implant in their hand.  The technology has since spread to other countries, including the United States, demonstrating that there is now little societal resistance to something clearly condemned in Scripture (Rev. 13:16–17).

 

-2016-

Baruch Kahane is appointed as the first high priest of Israel since Phannias ben Samuel in 70 AD.

Kahane is seen ascending a wooden replica of the Altar of Burnt Offering

 

Jacob’s Sheep—the ancient breed of sheep from Israel—return to their ancient homeland.

The Temple Institute begins a registry of Aaronic priests utilizing the 1997 genetic discovery.

A school for Third Temple service opens in Jerusalem.

-2017-

The once-in-history sign of Revelation 12:1–2 appears on September 23–24, 2017, alongside dozens of other strange occurrences with a message indicating that the removal of the Church is near and the Time of Jacob’s Trouble is at hand (e.g. hereherehereherehere, and here).

-2018-

The biblical identity of Israel as a Jewish State with Jerusalem as its capital is restored, along with national recognition of the Sabbath, biblical festivals, and the country’s prophetic purpose to ingather the exiles.

Turkish forces enter Syria, now bringing three of the five modern countries named in Ezekiel 38, that come against Israel, into the country immediately north (the direction from which the attack is prophesied to occur).  These are Russia, Iran, and Turkey.  By some interpretations, all that remain are Libya and Sudan.

A possible fulfillment of the sign of Revelation 12:3–4 occurs on October 8, 2018 as the Draconids meteor shower unexpectedly produces shooting stars roughly equivalent to one-third the number of visible stars in the sky, all along the path of the dragon.

The silver half-shekel, which was a required offering to the LORD from every Israelite (Ex. 30:11–16), was reintroduced, featuring President Trump superimposed over Cyrus on the front, and the Third Temple on the back.

The main altar of the Third Temple (Altar of Burnt Offering) is dedicated.

-2019-

A sign in the sun, moon, and stars occurs (January 1st, 20th, and 22nd, respectively), replaying the birth narrative, and pointing again to the nearness of the rapture.

– – –
What’s Next?

This may come as a surprise, but Israel has never actually been divided by external forces (the nations/Gentiles).  Ancient Israel was divided from within when the Ephraimite Jeroboam rebelled against Solomon’s son Rehoboam in the late 10th century BC.  Eventually Assyria took the Northern Kingdom, and the whole of both northern and southern kingdoms fell into the hands of the Babylonians, Persians, Greeks, Ptolemies, Seleucids, Romans, and eventually Islamic and crusader states.

There had not been a united Israel since the middle of the 10th century BC… that is, until 1948.  While still not at its fullest, biblical extent, the modern country encompasses territory from both the ancient northern and southern kingdoms.  And as for its people, though the word “Jew” is an anglicization of “Judea” and thus “Judah”, the people we call Jews are actually a mixture of all twelve of the ancient tribes of Israel.  Are there more ethnic Israelites still to return to the land?  Perhaps, but it would be inaccurate to say that only Judahites have returned.

Israel and ethnic Israelites are back in the Promised Land, and as just mentioned, the nations have never themselves divided Israel, though they came close in 1947.  This brings the following prophecy from Joel into major focus, because it’s the fulfillment of this prophecy that triggers God’s judgment on all nations (aka the Day of the LORD):

I will gather all the nations and bring them down to the Valley of Jehoshaphat.  And I will enter into judgment with them there, on behalf of my people and my heritage Israel, because they have scattered them among the nations and have divided up my land

We learn several important things about the Tribulation from this passage:

1. First, the immediate context is the onset of the Day of the LORD, which begins contemporaneous with, or shortly after, the removal of the Church from the earth, which is presently restraining the spirit of lawlessness from global domination (2 Thess. 2).

Joel 2:28–32 describes events that unfold during the Church Age leading up to the Day of the LORD (c.f. Acts 2:17–21Rom. 10:13; see also this article).

Then, in the latter days, when God finally “restore[s] the fortunes of Judah and Jerusalem” (Jl. 3:1), which is in our lifetime, God will initiate the second global judgment.  Remember, a century or so after Joel delivered his prophecy Israel was conquered by the Assyrians and then over a century after that, the Jews lost control of Jerusalem.  The fortunes of Judah and Jerusalem would not be restored until 1948 and 1967 AD, respectively.  This prophecy is pointing to those of us alive now—in the 21st century.

2. This final judgment of the nations will occur in the Valley of Jehoshaphat, which is generally thought to be the Kidron Valley that separates the Temple Mount in Jerusalem from the Mount of Olives.  No doubt this is the area where Christ, who returns to the Mount of Olives (Zech. 14:2–4Acts 1:9–12), will tread the winepress of God’s wrath, squashing the gathered armies of the nations into a river of blood at the end of the Great Tribulation.

3. This judgment will occur because the nations have scattered the Jews (something that has been ongoing over the course of the past 2,740+ years) and divided God’s land (something that hasn’t yet happened, but is about to).

Joel has helped us answered the “whens” and “for what reasons,” but why?  Why is God going to judge all nations for dividing Israel?

Because God made an everlasting covenant with the patriarch Abraham, endowing him and his descendants through Isaac with the Holy Land.  God’s covenants cannot be broken and an everlasting covenant does not pass away.  Thus, when the nations themselves divide Israel and Jerusalem, God, who cannot sin or break a promise, must judge the nations to vindicate His Name.  This is why so many natural disasters have befallen the nations that have trifled with Israel these past 70 years.  They weren’t judgments, they were warnings.  When the actual judgment befalls those who sign on to the agreement that divides the land, there will be no mistaking it.  Those nations will be destroyed.

This is why students of Bible prophecy are always so focused on the ongoing efforts towards a comprehensive Middle East peace plan.  All of the proposed plans involve dividing both Israel and Jerusalem and creating a new nation called “Palestine,” within the land covenanted to Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob.  The very nature of the push for a “two-state solution” screams prophecy:

1. It would divide Israel and create “Palestine.”  Palestine is not presently a nation and neither has there ever been a country called Palestine, thus Israel is not presently divided (as evidenced by settlements all over Judea and Samaria and Israeli control of the West Bank).

2. It would be an agreement, which in ancient times would be called a covenant.  This covenant would involve the “many”—all of the world’s nations, something that has never happened before.  This instantly makes a final “peace” agreement the prime candidate for the seven year covenant confirmed by the antichrist in Daniel 9:27.

3. It would violate the everlasting covenant made with Abraham, thus requiring God’s intervention against all the perpetrators, which in this instance would be all the nations of the world (a truly global cataclysm, not just individual judgments against specific nations as in times past like Assyria and Babylon).

Now, we’ve discussed the division of the land and the everlasting covenant, but there is another covenant that seems to play a role as a catalyst for the Tribulation: the Mosaic covenant.  This covenant was established at Mt. Sinai in order to condemn the whole world under sin until the Seed promised to Abraham was revealed (Christ).  Now that the promised Seed has come, the whole world, condemned under sin, is faced with a single choice: to accept Christ or reject Him (Jn. 3:18).

The laws of the Mosaic covenant are unforgiving.  A single violation makes one guilty of breaking the entirety of the covenant, thus it is a curse and condemns everyone under it, because no one can keep it (except Christ who kept it for us).  This Law is holy and righteous and good (Rom. 7:12) and its standard still stands for those under it (Rom. 3:31), but those who accept God’s Messiah—who fulfilled the Law on their behalf—are not under it (Rom. 6:14).  The Law has not been abolished, but fulfilled through Jesus Christ, and those who have faith in Him recognize that He has met all of its requirements for them.

Yet we see in the Tribulation that Israel has returned to the Mosaic covenant in its fullness, complete with Temple and daily sacrifices.  Just a month and a half ago, the Aaronic priesthood dedicated the main altar for the Third Temple, for crying out loud.  By rebuilding the Temple and reinstituting sacrifices, the nation is formally rejecting Christ and placing itself under a curse.  And the curse of breaking the covenant is severeTribulation (Lev. 26:14–46).  God is opposed to these efforts to bring people under the Law, whether it be in the form of the Hebrew Roots Movement within Christianity (Gal. 2:215:4Rev. 2:9), or whether it be Israel rebuilding the Temple (Isa. 66:1–6).  Both will bring a curse, and judgment.

Thus, the problem that Israel is about to face is twofold: it will have signed on to break the everlasting covenant with Abraham (dividing the land), but will simultaneously curse itself by bringing the whole nation under the Mosaic Law, which is itself a rejection of the second part of God’s everlasting covenant with Abraham: a Seed promised to redeem all of those who trust in the LORD (aka Christ via the gospel).

This twofold rejection of God’s promises precipitates the Day of the LORD, otherwise known as the Tribulation, or the Time of Jacob’s Trouble.  These are the labor pains variously described in Scripture (Isa. 66:7–9Jer. 30:1–7Mt. 241 Thess. 5:3) and Israel is the woman in labor.

Yet God does something miraculous to save Israel.  He causes a nation to be born from her before her labor begins (Isa. 66:7–9).  This heavenly nation is removed from the earth before trouble (Isa. 26:19–21Rev. 3:1012:3–5).  This nation, foolish in the eyes of Israel, is none other than the Church (Deut. 32:20–22; c.f. Rom. 10:19), which is snatched up to Heaven.  When we’re gone, Israel will become jealous, which will ultimately lead them to finally recognize that their Messiah is none other than Yeshua—the One who fulfilled the Law for them.  And when they finally have faith in Him, all the spiritual curses are removed and He intercedes to save them from their enemies.

So what’s next?

The rapture, the seven-year covenant, and rebuilding the Temple.  As far as I can tell, every piece I’ve been looking for for many years is in place and we’re about to leave.  I can no longer see anything on the horizon that might buy the world more time, except that our loving Creator is patient and slow to anger.  He knows all of those who are His and there are apparently a few more stragglers who need to board the ark.

We live in an intriguing, exciting, but also unsettling time.  It’s like when John ate the scroll and it was sweet in his mouth, but bitter in his stomach.  We see the triumph that is so incredibly close for those of us who believe, but we are also being tormented in a world increasingly filled with unspeakable violence and sin.  And we cry out for those we love who are far from God, desperately wishing that they could finally see.

There is once again an Israel with Israelites and the greatest heavenly sign for both the Church and the Jews has transpired.  We truly live at the crossing of the dispensations, but how expansive is that crossing?  It seems that nothing more needs to happen between now and the day we see His face.

When O LORD?  We can’t yet see Your face, but have come to the end of the tunnel and see the light’s rays breathing in.  Light for us, but greater darkness for those who refuse to believe. (Click to Source)

~ MARANATHA ~
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A Sign In The Sun, Moon, And Stars!

sun_moon_stars_earth

In Luke 21, the Lord Jesus told His disciples that there would be “great signs” in the heavens (Lk. 21:11) and further stated:

There will be signs in the sun, moon and stars.  On the earth, nations will be in anguish and perplexity at the roaring and tossing of the sea.

There are only two signs in the entire Bible called “great signs” (σημεῖα μεγάλα in the Greek) and these are found in Revelation 12:1–2 and Revelation 15:1.  The former has been a centerpiece of discussion here since 2012 because the astronomical alignment on September 23–24, 2017 perfectly matched the description given in John’s vision.  That’s truly phenomenal.  Furthermore, Jesus said there would be signs in the sun, moon, and stars and the vision of an astronomical sign in Revelation 12:1–2 is the only sign in the entire Bible that simultaneously contains all three.  That’s also phenomenal.  More pastors, teachers, and students of Bible prophecy should be engaged and aware of what’s happening, because it’s happening whether or not it fits within your dogma.  It is what it is.

I’m reminded of the resurgence of Christian scholarship in the 19th century which began to recognize the literal truth of Bible prophecy—dispensationalism was the natural result of a literal interpretation of Scripture.  When Jesus came the first time, He fulfilled well over one hundred prophecies literally.  Yet, when it comes to events surrounding His return, for which there are a far greater number of prophecies, Christianity has typically applied allegorism to virtually all but the most essential predictions.  That’s faulty on its face.  There is certainly such a thing as apocalyptic literature and apocalyptic literature certainly contains symbols, but these symbols are often—if not always—defined in the text.  When symbols are not used, we are in the wrong for allegorizing what was intended to be a clear, literal message of warning to the world.  Have no doubt about it: the remaining prophecies will be fulfilled just as they were written.

When those 19th century scholars began accepting God’s word at face value, they came to the inevitable conclusion that the Church, composed of Jews and Gentiles believing in Jesus in this present age, had not replaced the nation of Israel.  There were still numerous promises yet to be fulfilled, which were made to the Israelite nation.  Yet that meant that the Jewish people would necessarily return to the Holy Land and the nation would be reconstituted.

When these dispensationalists predicted that the long-lost nation would return, they were mocked and ridiculed for believing in something so apparently absurd.  Yet they were right… because they believed God’s word.  And here we are nearly two centuries later and Israel is firmly planted in their ancient homeland, Jerusalem is in the hands of the Jews, and even the country’s biblical-legal identity has been restored.

Now another major biblical prophecy has transpired—namely, the “great sign” in the sun, moon, and stars of Revelation 12—and the media and the world have simply laughed it off.  And many Christian leaders have trumpeted out tired, old canards to dismiss what so clearly happened just over one year ago.  Underlying every dismissal was a plain disregard for the literal truth of what was prophesied to happen and the implication for what’s coming ever-nearer (the harpazó of the Church described in Rev. 12:5).

To the allegorist, this prophecy has nothing to do with the sun, moon, and stars, and everything to do with a look back into the past when Christ was born to Mary and ascended into Heaven.  Yet John described a “great sign” in the sky—involving sun, moon, and stars—and John’s visions, recorded years after Jerusalem’s downfall in 70 AD, were prophetic (Rev. 1:1194:17:1419–22), not unnecessary jaunts through times past.

ChristMaryHerod, and the Ascension, definitely formed the template upon which Revelation 12:1–5 is based, but the actual prophecy has nothing to do with any of those.

The woman represents earthly Israel (c.f. Gen. 37:9–10Hos. 2:19; c.f. Isa. 26:17–2166:7–9), as well as Heavenly Zion, the barren woman longing to give birth to her children (Gal. 4:26–31; c.f. Isa. 54).

The dragon represents satan and his dominion (Rev. 12:913:1–2).

And the male child represents the Church, which is snatched (harpazó’d) to Heaven to escape the coming dragon (Rev. 12:5).  Jesus was never snatched out of harm’s way.  He rose again victoriously and ascended (anabainó) with no threat posed against His power whatsoever, but only after His resurrection.

Furthermore, John explicitly connects the male child of Revelation 12 to the male child of Isaiah 66 by using the abnormal grammatical term huion arsen—the exact same term used in Isaiah 66 (LXX) to describe a corporate entity, a nation, born to Israel.  This entity is born before Israel goes into labor and Israel’s labor isthe Tribulation (c.f. Isa. 66:7–9Jer. 30:6–7Mt. 24:81 Thess. 5:3).

But the most obvious discrepancy in the narrative, if Jesus is in view, is that satan actually did get Jesus when he possessed Judas (Lk. 22:3) who betrayed Jesus over to the Jewish authorities to be crucified.  The male child of Revelation 12 escapes altogether.

I wish other pastors, teachers, and leaders would look up, as Jesus commanded (Lk. 21:28), and see that these things are quickly coming to pass.  You have an obligation to tell your flocks.  Don’t shrink back!

– – –

 

A Sign in the Sun, Moon, and Stars: Part II

This now brings us to certain heavenly happenings that have transpired just this month.  A few weeks ago I wrote about this past Sunday’s blood moon, which is the last total lunar eclipse until 2021, and its immediate proximity to the Jupiter-Venus conjunction two days ago.  I would encourage you to read that here.

Two additional details were just discovered that make these things even more startling, but first, please recall Jesus’ prophecy: “There will be signs [plural] in the sun, moon, and stars…”  Revelation 12 was the big one, and the only one explicitly mentioned in Scripture involving all three.  The alignment symbolized Heavenly Jerusalem giving birth to the Church before labor pains (the Tribulation) come upon Israel.  But verses 1–2 are just the labor process.  The baby hasn’t yet been born, which happens sometime later in verse 5.

What happens next in the labor process?  The baby flips, moving into the anterior position with its head near the birth canal:

For nearly all of New Year’s Day earlier this month the face of the sun was covered with this unusual arrangement, as captured by NASA’s Solar Dynamics Observatory:

There is something like a womb (the black) and inside is an image uncannily resembling a baby ready to be born, complete with curled legs, an arm bent at the elbow and folded into the chest, a face with eyes, ears, and nose, and even—dare I say—something upon the baby’s head resembling a crown.

Then the baby is born… Birth involves blood and liquid.  On January 20th a total eclipse of the moon could be seen by anyone in North and South America, and most of Africa and Europe.  Total lunar eclipses turn the moon red.  But there’s more!  During the very first minute of totality a meteorite struck the moon and the explosion was visible via telescope.  This was the first time in history that a meteorite was observed striking the moon during an eclipse.  This was reported by numerous media outlets including The New York Times and National Geographic.

This was the seventh and final blood moon in the series of blood moons surrounding the Revelation 12 Sign and there will not be another for two and a half years.

What’s next in this birthing story?  The newly born child is snatched up to God’s throne, escaping the dragon’s bite (Rev. 12:5).  Jupiter has been below the seven heads of Serpens for quite some time now and two days after the eclipse (on the 46th anniversary of Roe v. Wade!), Venus, representing Christ (Rev. 22:16), conjuncted with Jupiter, which was a beautiful picture of both Christ meeting His Church in the air (1 Thess. 4:16–17), but also the child being snatched out of harm’s way.  There was a lot more to this conjunction that you can read about here.

Not only were there possible signs in the sun, moon, and stars this month, but they actually transpired in the order Christ described and in the order of the Revelation 12 narrative.

Is this going overboard?  A chasing after the wind?  I would argue that God is continually speaking to us through the heavens (Gen. 1:14Ps. 19), if we would only but listen.  All of creation is under His command and all of it—the whole of it—is delivering His intended message.  In a universe created and governed by YHWH, nothing is arbitrary.  Nothing is coincidence.

The heavens declare the glory of God;
the skies proclaim the work of his hands.
Day after day they pour forth speech;
night after night they reveal knowledge.
They have no speech, they use no words;
no sound is heard from them.
Yet their voice goes out into all the earth,
their words to the ends of the world.

Please tell me what is unclear about the God who created the sun, moon, and stars for signs (Gen. 1:14) using them to speak to us day after day and night after night?  September 23rd was the climactic sign in the heavens, but it was only a single day.  There is a lot more being said and it’s all saying the same thing: Give God the glory, His Son Jesus is the only Way, the Church is going, and judgment is coming.  And not only the heavens, but things on earth, as well:

And some of the Pharisees in the crowd said to him, ‘Teacher, rebuke your disciples.’  He answered, ‘I tell you, if these were silent, the very stones would cry out.’

 

~ MARANATHA ~
TELEMEDICINE 2

2018: The Year In Review

2018

Greetings,

To the churches of God that are in the United States, Israel, the severed province of Judea and Samaria, and the uttermost parts of the earth; to those sanctified in Christ Jesus, called to be saints together with all those who in every place call upon the Name of our Lord Jesus Christ, both their Lord and ours: Grace to you and peace from God our Father and the Lord Jesus Christ.

For the commandments, ‘You shall not commit adultery, You shall not murder, You shall not steal, You shall not covet,’ and any other commandment, are summed up in this word: ‘You shall love your neighbor as yourself.’ Love does no wrong to a neighbor; therefore love is the fulfilling of the law. And do this, understanding the present time: The hour has already come for you to wake up from your slumber, because our salvation is nearer now than when we first believed.

2018 is past and 2019 lies ahead. In light of the fact that it has been given to us by God to see the next year here on earth and to further testify to the world of the grace we have received, I wanted to write to you all to remind you of what we’ve already seen and I also wanted to write to you straight from the heart on several topics that have burdened me deeply. The days are very, very few.

– – –

 

2018 in Review

We lived this past year with heightened expectation given all that happened in 2017—especially the literal, astronomical fulfillment of Revelation 12:1–2 on September 23rd—and the fact that Israel celebrated its 70th anniversary in May. In retrospect, many significant prophetic events occurred showing that even more was destined to happen in the lead up to the Church’s departure. Here is a brief rundown from 2018:

January: 

Other countries follow suit to move their embassies to Jerusalem

42 Jews prayed and worshipped openly on the Temple Mount

Turkish forces finally enter Syria (now three of the five modern countries in Ezekiel 38 that come against Israel are in Syria) and this happened on a day of particular prophetic significance

The “Humanity Star” was launched

The Super-Blue-Blood Moon

February: 

Dow crashes 666 points and then three days later U.S. markets suffer their worst single day crash in U.S. history

Israel launches largest airstrikes in Syria since 1982

Billy Graham passes away at the age of 99 (many people have had dreams of the rapture happening not long after his passing)

The Sanhedrin begins minting Third Temple coins, which bear the image of Trump as a modern-day Cyrus

March: 

The Jewish State Bill finally passed a key Knesset committee vote

Aaronic priests carry out a Passover sacrifice at the foot of the Temple Mount

April: 

U.S. launches mass air strikes on Damascus following a chemical attack that left 78 dead

The Israeli flag flies on the Temple Mount for the first time in 50 years, and it was raised by Chinese Christians, signaling that the gospel has now gone around the world

Israel hosts a 70-hour long celebration of its 70th anniversary (on the Hebrew calendar) along a 70-mile long stretch of Israel’s coast, in what was likely the largest celebration in the country’s history

May: 

Iran launches missile attacks against Israel leading to two massive waves of airstrikes in retaliation

The U.S. embassy opens in Jerusalem on the 70th anniversary of Israel’s reestablishment as thousands storm the Gaza border

June: 

President Erdogan of Turkey becomes dictator

Anthony Kennedy retires from SCOTUS (the deciding vote on social issues)

July: 

The Jewish State Bill becomes permanent law, signaling the restoration of Israel’s covenanted identity

The world witnesses the longest blood moon of the 21st century

August: 

A plausible explanation for the next piece of the Revelation 12 Sign revealed

September: 

Russia announces move of S-300 batteries to Damascus

October: 

A very literal astronomical fulfillment of Revelation 12:3–4 occurs

Conservative evangelical Bolsonaro wins election in Brazil promising to move the Brazilian embassy to Jerusalem

November: 

Prosperity “prophets” proven wrong as Democrats sweep to power in Congress in historic U.S. midterms

Emmanuel Macron’s 10-nation military alliance in Europe goes online

December: 

The Yellow-Vest Movement explodes in Europe as Macron goes into hiding

Aaronic priests, in conjunction with the Sanhedrin, dedicate the main Third Temple altar and offer the daily oblation upon it (per Exodus 29), but the altar and menorah fires kept mysteriously going out!

Finally, Trump announces a sudden and unexpected removal of all U.S. forces from Syria, leaving Russia, Turkey, and Iran; not only does this leave three of the five bad actors in Ezekiel 38 to their own devices, but can you see any prophetic hint in this news? You know, like a “trump” signaling a sudden and unexpected removal of the good guys from the battlefield, leaving Israel’s enemies free to attack?

– – –

 

Theoretical Timelines in Light of the Revelation 12 Sign

With 2018 behind us it feels like we’re entering the red zone, a period of roughly 2.5 years within which our Blessed Hope may come if all things are to be fulfilled (including Christ’s second coming) by Israel’s 80th birthday (2028; see Ps. 90:10). That may be far more than speculative conjecture if a solid biblical case can be made that the fig tree, is, in fact, a symbol of national Israel as I argue here. We should also keep in mind that there is scant biblical evidence one way or the other if a gap in time occurs between the rapture and the onset of Daniel’s 70th Week. We should always live with the expectation and understanding that the Tribulation is “Christmas” and the rapture is “Thanksgiving”. Since we’re already seeing so many Christmas decorations pointing to the nearness of the Tribulation, how much closer must we be to Thanksgiving?

There are now only six Tribulation timelines that make any sense to me in light of dispensationalism, the Revelation 12 Sign, the reestablishment of Israel, and all the myriad of signs we’ve seen in the past several years. And since I know God’s word is literal truth, there’s little doubt in my mind that all this longing and expectation and all these God-given signs are proof-positive that we will see Christ with our own eyes very soon. These are the last several years. You will see it. Your children will see it. The apostles and earliest Christians longed to see these days and we are the ones to see it. As we wait these final days, weeks, and months, I’m reminded that Peter, Paul, Priscilla and Aquila, Timothy and Titus, James and John, Lydia, Mary, Martha, and many others have waited a far longer time.

And in terms of prophetic years of 360-days each (a counting of time used in Genesis, Daniel, and Revelation) all of these timelines occur more than 2,000 years after the beginning of the Church Age circa 33 AD.

Here are what I consider to be the final timelines with a few reasons given for each. These are separated into “red zone” and “terminal zone”. We are now in the red zone and I believe the rapture will happen in this zone. That being said, if my understanding of “all these things fulfilled” or the length of a generation is off, then I would fully expect the rapture to occur in the terminal zone and no later.

RED ZONE 

2019–2026

  • The Revelation 12 Sign was a two-year warning (about the length of time of the Bethlehem Star events in 3–2 BC).
  • There is little or no gap between the rapture and the 70th Week.
  • The Trump-Kushner peace plan is intricately connected with the final confirmation of the covenant in Daniel 9:27 (which must be strengthened for seven years after we’re gone).
  • Revelation 12:1–2 in 2017; Revelation 12:3–4 in 2018; Revelation 12:5 in 2019? One year between each?
  • The culmination of the Revelation 12:3–4 Sign in 2018 marked the roughly one-year warning rather than the Sign of the Woman.

2020–2027

  • A very nice and even range on the Gregorian calendar used by virtually all Gentiles.
  • Christ’s return would be in the 80th year of the Mandate on Palestine.

2021–2028

  • A possible seven years of plenty and seven years of famine template with 2014 marking the beginning phase (the first Blood Moon and global reemergence from the Great Recession).
  • The Revelation 12 Sign thus occurs in the middle of the seven years of plenty and the heavenly signs occur roughly 3.5 years before their actual fulfillment.
  • Christ returns in Israel’s 80th year, which might also be exactly 2,000 years from Christ’s declaration of Jubilee at the beginning of His ministry circa 28 AD.
  • 2028 is the last possible year for “all things” to be fulfilled within one biblically-defined generation of the fig tree branch becoming tender (the reemergence of national Israel).

TERMINAL ZONE 

2023–2030 

  • All of the events in Revelation 12 and the labor pains described in the Olivet Discourse would be fulfilled within 80 years of Israel’s reestablishment, but not the second coming.
  • The Tribulation would begin around Israel’s 75th anniversary, an “average” generation between 70 and 80 years, and the age at which Abraham was when he departed from Haran to Canaan.
  • While I don’t personally find the evidence compelling, some have argued that 30 AD was a plausible year for the crucifixion, thus 2030 would be exactly 2,000 solar years later.

2024–2031

  • The second seven years of plenty and seven years of famine template. 2017 and the Revelation 12Sign would have then demarcated the beginning of the seven years of plenty and served as a seven year warning.
  • The Great American Eclipse: Part II, which traverses the entire country again from the opposite angle. The two historic eclipses across the head Gentile nation highlight both the seven years of plenty, but also the subsequent judgment on all nations.
  • Trump/Pence (“Trumpets”) was inaugurated in January 2017, who brings God-given reprieve to the Church and world economy for a time (thus another reason 2017 could have been the beginning of seven years of plenty).
  • 31 AD is seen by some as the date of the crucifixion.

2025/26–2032/33 “The Terminal Timeline” 

  • The last possible range in my view (now only six or seven years away!)
  • 32 and 33 AD were the likeliest years of the crucifixion (33 if you favor a Friday crucifixion or 32 a Wednesday or Thursday). Thus one of those years will likely be the true 2,000 year delineator of the Church Age.
  • It will begin when Israel is 77 or 78 years old (within a biblical generation) and conclude when Israel is 84 or 85.
  • The Revelation 12 Sign may have been a seven-year warning of the rapture if there is a one or two year gap between the rapture and the Tribulation; or perhaps a more general mega-sign that the Day of the LORD is at hand and we’re truly living in the final few years.

 

– – –

 

Rightly Dividing (Again)

I wanted to do a full follow-up on Stephanie’s excellent article on “Rightly Dividing,” but as the time came to write it I instead felt a different conviction: not just to argue a side, but to discuss the Christian community’s need to exemplify brotherly love and faithful devotion.

Is this topic important? Yes, if the gospel itself is called into question, but No, if all sides can properly define the gospel. For the most part (outside of the Hebrew Roots Movement within the prophecy community) both sides seem to be in agreement:

1. Christ died for our sins.

2. He rose again.

3. If we have genuine faith in Him, even without works, we will be saved.

We need, above all else, to love one another and extend fellowship even when views don’t perfectly align.  If we can’t do that then what good is our faith?  How will the world know who we are?

By this everyone will know that you are my disciples, if you love one another.

No one is converted by wise words, perfect doctrine, or persuasive speech.  People are moved to faith when they see Christians living lovingly and authentically, testifying openly of their brokenness, and pursuing the lost with humility.

But on the topic at hand, I do want to express a few thoughts and concerns I have with some of those who have sided with Mid- or Post-Acts dispensationalism with militancy against their brothers and sisters in Christ who disagree:

1. Both sides desire to “rightly divide,” which is why labels can do more harm than good. It isn’t that those who disagree with E.W. Bullinger’s unique views on dispensationalism want to muddy the waters and not rightly divide. Rather, we believe he wrongly divided in some particular ways, so we believe “rightly dividing” necessarily leads to traditional or classical dispensationalism. And a key division we make that differs from ultra-dispensationalism is that the Church began on Pentecost, not Mid- or Post-Acts.

2. Works were never the basis for salvation in a previous dispensation nor will they be the basis in the future. This is a major point I want to raise. You can argue both ways until you are blue in the face, but sola fide is a central theme found in Genesis all the way through Revelation. From Abraham whose faith was counted as righteousness, to David who broke the Law and did not pay its due penalty (death)—the multiple death-deserving lawbreaker whom God established an everlasting covenant with!; from righteous Abel who brought an acceptable blood sacrifice, to the High Priest Joshua whom God clothed in His own righteousness in Zechariah 3; and from the prostitute Rahab and the Gentile Namaan to the Prophet Habakkuk whose declaration “the just shall live by his faith” formed the very basis of Paul’s explanation of salvation through faith alone in Romans.

Why was the Law given and why the focus on works in the Old Testament and the gospels? Here is the answer:

Now we know that whatever the law says, it says to those who are under the law, so that every mouth may be silenced and the whole world held accountable to God. Therefore no one will be declared righteous in God’s sight by the works of the law; rather, through the law we become conscious of our sin.

 

  • The Law only speaks to those under it.  It is holy and good and true, but we are not under it (Rom. 3:316:14).
  • It makes the whole world accountable to God, because its stringent requirements are such that not even one person will be declared righteous by obeying it.
  • The Law makes us conscious of our sin.

To say that works are the basis of salvation in a previous dispensation or in a future dispensation is in effect to state that only Church Age Christians will be saved, because the Bible is repeatedly and emphatically clear that no one has or ever will be justified by works.  All are fallen.  None are good.  No one does right.  No one seeks God.

To say that those in the Old Testament (or those in the Tribulation or in the Millennial Kingdom) will be saved by works is to say that their situation is entirely, completely, unalterably hopeless.  It’s shutting the door of salvation in their face.  No!  Salvation has only ever been on the basis of grace via the atoning sacrifice of God’s Son.  See the gospel in Genesis 3–4 and Isaiah 53 in particular.

The gospel was declared to Adam and Eve beforehand in Genesis 3:15–16.  A blood sacrifice—the first death in creation—provided a sufficient covering for our first parents (Gen. 3:21).  This was the declaration of the Lamb slain from the foundation of the world:

And all that dwell upon the earth shall worship him, whose names are not written in the book of life of the Lamb slain from the foundation of the world.

Why does Christ appear as a Lamb-as-if-slain in Revelation?  Because He was the Lamb slain in Genesis.  And in Genesis Adam and Eve lost their access to the Tree of Life, but in Revelation 22 we regain it.  And right in the middle of this Genesis to Revelation story is the incarnate Christ on the cross, who bore all of our sins in His body on the tree (1 Pt. 2:24; there’s a little Peter for you, fyi!).

I’m saved because Christ died and rose again.

You’re saved because Christ died and rose again.

And Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob; Rahab and Namaan; King Darius and King Nebuchadnezzar; all of these, if any, will be saved only because Christ died and rose again.

Again, why was the Law given?

We all, like sheep, have gone astray, each of us has turned to our own way; and the Lord has laid on him the iniquity of us all.

After the Fall in the Garden, no one would seek God.  No one would listen.  Everyone turned to his own way and in the end, our ways can only ever lead to death.  So the Law was given to condemn us.  Yes, you heard that correctly.  It finally made us realize that we are each accountable to God for our thoughts and behaviors and if we approach Him with labor He will accept nothing less than perfection.  It finally made us see that we need Him and this life and what our eyes see are not all there is.  We must turn back, repent (metanoia; which means to change your mindconvert), and place our faith in Him.  And only then can imperfect creatures such as we are become acceptable to a perfect God.

So regarding the Law: believe it, obey it, teach it.  It’s true.  But do not, under any circumstances, look to it as the path to salvation.  That’s not what it is and that’s not why it was given.

Side note: I’ve touched on this many times before, but for those who argue that Acts 2 was not the initiation of the Church because of Peter’s call to repentance, I would say that you misunderstand what repentance is.  The biblical word behind “repent” is contextual-based and has nothing to do with turning from sin or stopping sin.  God can repent (as the LXX Old Testament repeatedly shows us!).  Repentance and faith are two sides of the same coin.  To repent is simply to change your mind.  In other words, convert from unbelief to belief.  And when you repent unto Christ your sins are forgiven.  See here.

3. One of the consequences of Bullingerism for some is that it closes their eyes to the fact that the Old Testament is Messianic in nature (i.e. Christ-centric) and even prophetic of Christ’s body, the Church, in places.  It also closes us off from many of the key points Christ made in the gospels and the lessons of grace in the synoptics and John.

Part of the problem is in how some ultra-dispensationalists understand musterion, that is, the mysteries of God.  For Paul declares both the gospel and the rapture to be newly-revealed mysteries, but that does not mean they were absent from God’s word only until Paul wrote his epistles.  To the contrary, a musterion is a secret, mystic, or hidden thing, akin to something from a vision that is fleshed out or fully revealed later—to first century ears, “secret knowledge” that those with special spiritual insight could grasp.  Paul shows that mysteries first described in the Scriptures he used (i.e. the Old Testament) were now fully revealed in Christ.

For instance, you may have heard that because 1 Corinthians 15 reveals the rapture as a mystery, that it must necessarily have never been written about before.  That means no rapture in Isaiah 26 or 66 or Zephaniah 2.  No rapture anywhere in the gospels, etc.  But that couldn’t be further from the truth.

Paul used the word musterion 21 times in his epistles and many of these usages refer to Christ, the gospel, salvation for the Gentiles, etc.  Each of these things were clearly referred to in the Old Testament.  The prophecies were clear.  Yet without the Holy Spirit to illuminate hearts and minds, men and women could never see the forest for the trees.

The Ethiopian eunuch was a perfect example.  He was reading Isaiah 53 for crying out loud, but it was a total mystery to him.  That is until Holy Spirit-indwelt Philip shows up to tell him what just went down in Jerusalem: “The Man you’re reading about there in Isaiah, yeah, well, He just died and rose again not too long ago and I know a bunch of His buddies.  That’s what Isaiah was talking about.”

Yes, Christ and the gospel and the Church and the rapture were all mysteries at the onset of the Church Age, but they were mysteries previously described.  The prophets spoke of them.  But now that Christ has sent the Holy Spirit, these mysteries are fully revealed and we can understand them and more readily see in the Old Testament (and the gospels) where God was speaking about them.

I highly recommend this article on the topic of Jesus’ message of sola fide found in the gospels, especially under the subsection “The Gospel According To Jesus.”

4. Another major issue with Bullingerism is that it inevitably leads to a two-gospel view, in which the gospel to the Jews (“the gospel of the Kingdom”) was a different path to salvation than the gospel of salvation or “the gospel of grace” that we know today.  I could write a whole article on this issue alone, but Stephanie addressed it well.  I simply want to point out that sometimes we attach meaning to a word that isn’t there.  “Gospel,” which comes from the Greek euangélion, is derived from Old English, and a more accurate modern translation would be akin to “good message” or “good news.”  It is a generic term that can apply to many things, so there is no basis to assume that every “gospel” in Scripture is a different path to salvation.  Far be it from God.  Our gracious God never changes.

If I told you I had good news to share with you, would you automatically assume I was about to tell you how to make it to Heaven?  If not, why do many people assume a first century Greek-speaking audience would be any different?  The Bible mentions many “gospels” and only one of those gospels pertains to salvation: thegospel.  The good news of Christ’s atoning sacrifice and resurrection.

It was gospel when Moses delivered a message to the Israelites that God had heard their cry.  It was gospel when King Hezekiah heard that God would deliver Jerusalem from the hand of Sennacherib.  It was gospel when the sick were told the Son of David was healing their countrymen in Galilee.  And it is gospel that God’s Kingdom is to be imminently established on earth.  Glory to God!  But none of those gospels are the gospel—the good news of eternal salvation for sinners made possible by Christ’s atoning death and resurrection.

The good news of the Kingdom isn’t a different path to salvation.  It’s simply the good news that God’s Kingdom is coming to earth.  But the good news of salvation is that God is saving sinners from their sins through faith in Yeshua.  And this gospel of salvation that Paul preached, though it was prophesied in the Old Testament, was concealed for ages.  Yet though it was concealed, God’s saving power through it applies to every believer in every age.  The good news is for us Gentiles, but also for the Jews.  There is no distinction.

5. Dispensationalism is true in the sense that God has operated in different administrative capacities in different eons and His focuses have changed (from our perspective) from age to age.  It is also true in the sense that the Church—which is composed of Jews and Gentiles (even today), not just Gentiles—has not and will not replace ethnic and national Israel.  But dispensationalism goes too far (and becomes what some call ultra- or hyper-dispensationalism) when it begins to teach that the underlying basis of salvation (Christ’s atoning sacrifice and resurrection) changes with each age or that the Church is an exclusively Gentile entity.  Scripture is properly divided/handled in terms of dispensationalism when we recognize it is a theory that helps us understand God’s seemingly different motives and administrative focuses from one age to the next; but Scripture is wrongly divided when dispensationalism teaches that God Himself changes from one age to the next.  God never changes.  And that’s great news for everyone from Adam on.  Yahweh Himself is salvation!  Trust in Him and you can be saved!

Furthermore, dispensationalism is also true in that it teaches that the Church is a unique entity that will serve a unique eternal purpose.  It will be the first group of those who partake of the first resurrection to experience total redemption.  Jeff has an excellent series on this called Church of the Firstborn (read Part IPart II, and Part III).

6. We all (myself included) need to be weary of intellectual legalism.  For all of my writing on the gospel and opposition to works-righteousness (behavior legalism, if you will), God has humbled me in regard to the gospel.

We all know exactly what the gospel is according to 1 Corinthians 15:

Christ died
For our sins
Was buried
Rose again
Appeared to many

The gospel is the gospel.  It happened.  And it’s the actual means through which God saves (regardless of the dispensation).  But there can be a sense in which, because of the full revelation of the gospel to the Church, we pride ourselves in our knowledge and ability to perfectly recite it.  And then we demand of others the same.  Sometimes we even add demands to it: A formal declaration of allegiance to sola fide, OSAS, TULIP, etc.  Each of those teachings are true (though I might differ slightly with the ‘L’ in TULIP), but to demand of others a perfect belief in everything pertaining to the gospel is to miss the point—the gospel is about what God has already done, not what we need to do.  God has been saving men and women through faith via Christ’s atoning sacrifice and resurrection long before Luther and Calvin and will continue long after their works are forgotten.

Biblical faith is something of substance and conviction.  It’s in the heart as much as the mind.  It isn’t just something recited or memorized, but is rather something deeply believed that changes your outlook and values.  If you have that convicting faith, then even without any works you will be saved.  And there will be some like that (1 Cor. 3Rom. 4:5).  But a convicting faith normatively shows some form of evidence, however paltry or hidden, thus James 2.

Let’s never forget the simplicity of the gospel.  It’s so simple a toddler can understand and believe it (my three year old son does!), yet so profound that it confounds the wisdom of those who are wise in their own eyes.  And this most simple of truths, that God loves us and has saved us, is a saving message to all who truly believe.

And this then is a segway into my final point…

7. While salvation has always been and will always be because of what our Lord Jesus did on the cross, we need to realize that some of the dispensational mechanics do change:

  • The Church is uniquely gifted with the permanent indwelling of the Holy Spirit via the invisible spiritual baptism we undergo when we believe.
  • This gift was not given before Pentecost in the previous eons and doesn’t appear to be given during the Tribulation.
  • For this reason, Tribulation Saints will only be saved by the blood of the Lamb (Rev. 7:14), but their faith in His blood cannot be maintained by the indwelling Spirit.  Their faith must endure.  This is why two apparent works are added to faith in Revelation for those living through the Tribulation: 1. you must not worship the beast or its image, or 2. take its mark.  Will the mark of the beast be a form of mind control or DNA alteration that prevents faith?  Who knows, but one thing is clear, no one who takes the mark will repent (Rev. 9:2016:911), which is why the principle of sola fide is not broken here.  Those who take the mark or worship the beast will not have faith (and if they think they do it certainly will not be the kind of convictional faith that saves).
  • In previous dispensations when the gospel wasn’t yet fully revealed, God demanded genuine faith in Him, but not a perfect articulation of what the Church now understands.  What saves was still very much what Christ did on the cross, but faith in that cross could not yet be realized.  So circumstances changed (Abraham believed in God’s promise of offspring – Gen. 15:6; Job believed God would send a redeemer for him – Job 19:25–27; Rahab believed in the God of Israel – Josh. 2:8–11; David believed in God’s forgiveness of sins – Ps. 32).  Thus those in the Old Testament with genuine faith were ultimately saved regardless of their trespasses of the Law, but all of those with unbelief were cut off and their sins were counted.

What then of those judged by deeds in Revelation 21?  This is the whole point.  Don’t be judged by deeds because your ways only lead to death.  If it were even possible, you could only pass that final judgment without faith if you kept all of God’s laws perfectly and perpetually.  Aside from our Lord Jesus Christ, exactly zero people qualify.  The first resurrection is good and the second, bad.  The first is unto life and the second unto death.  The first occurs before the second, obviously, but happens in stages (Christ, then the Church, then Old Testament and Tribulation Saints, and then, presumably Millennial Saints at some point during the Millennial Kingdom; see here).

– – –

 

Imminence

This topic continues to come up and I’m sure it will until the very end.  Can we know the day of the rapture or is it completely unknowable?  More importantly, is Christ’s appearing truly imminent?

I don’t have much to say on this that hasn’t already been said, but I will say this: I’ve seen extensive, systematic studies on this topic and the truth is that Scripture seems to support both sides.  There is a tension for a reason.  Why?  Perhaps because God, in His foreknowledge, knew that for 1,900+ years of the Church Age, generations of Christians would not live to see the rapture.  Yet the rapture is always imminent in a certain sense to every Christian, because even those who died in the first century were gathered to the LORD immediately—that is, their souls (perhaps in a similar fashion to the souls of the 5th Seal Martyrs who are gathered under the heavenly altar).  Thus the rapture is imminent to all of us.  The distance between us and Christ is only ever as long as our life in these fleshly bodies.  Scripture routinely speaks about the nearness of Christ’s parousia and our being gathered to Him.  We are to eagerly anticipate this quickly approaching, but mysterious day.

But there is another theme in Scripture that is equally present: we are to watch and know the times.  How much can we know?  Well, we can see the Day approaching (Heb. 10:25); we will not be caught by surprise, because it will not be like a thief in the night to us (1 Thess. 5:1–4); and we are advised not to be like the one who does not know the day or hour (Mt. 24:48–51; Rev. 3:3).

Three things are clear: 1. No one has yet been able to pinpoint the dates of the rapture or second coming (as far as I know), 2. Those dates are fast approaching in our generation, even within the next several years, and 3. Those who hold to the doctrine of imminency as if it means Christ will literally come at a completely random/unknown time are mistaken.

Let me explain that third point a bit more.  I do not have a problem with the doctrine of imminency if it is properly reconciled with other Scriptures.  Certainly Christ’s coming is imminent for all Christians in every generation from a human and earthly perspective.  But that’s as far as the doctrine can go in terms of biblical support.

Some proponents take the doctrine further saying Jesus still doesn’t know and that literally nothing else needs to happen between now and the rapture.  Both of those beliefs are plainly false.  Our glorified Savior most certainly knows now and He also knows exactly what events will transpire on earth between now and our being gathered to Him.  Here are two sorts of things that must happen between now and the rapture:

1. Anyone who was predestined to be part of the Body of Christ must come to a saving knowledge of the truth.

2. Any geopolitical, economic, religious, or societal changes necessary to bring about post-rapture conditions on earth as described in biblical prophecy must happen.  In other words, the stage must be set.  And this has been a big focus of Unsealed, to trumpet these things as they happen.  100 years ago, who would have foreseen the Revelation 12 Sign, RFID, the war in Syria, the Jewish State Law, or the dedication of the Third Temple altar?  Yet all of these things were destined to happen before Christ takes us home.

Further reading on this topic: 

The LORD is Punctual

No One Knows the Day or Hour

The Day of the LORD

– – –
Mt. Sinai
This is something that I was already distantly aware of, but a documentary was recently shared with me that seals the deal and I would strongly encourage you to watch it and share it with your friends.  This discovery is to me as exciting as Rick Larson’s Bethlehem Star in 2007 or the Revelation 12 Sign’s discovery in 2008–2011.  Jabal Maqla in Saudi Arabia seems undoubtedly to be the true Mt. Sinai.  After all, Paul himself said it was in Arabia (Gal. 4:25).  You can learn more here or watch the video below:

– – –

 

Concluding Thoughts

You are all dearly loved and in my thoughts and prayers. Please be in constant prayer with me for the building up of the Church into perfect maturity.  2019 is going to be an even more wild ride—hopefully a ride up to Heaven in a chariot of fire!  We’re only getting closer day by day and God is working His works marvelously. (Click to Source)

 

TELEMEDICINE 1

Revolution In Europe?

gilets-jaunes

It feels like we’re standing on the precipice, so buckle up.  The burgeoning Yellow Vest Movement in France seems to be morphing into popular resistance.  Macron remains AWOL and hasn’t made any appearances in the last few days.

On top of that, according to the Associated Press, the movement has spread to the Netherlands and Belgium (the European Union’s seat of power).  Riots are also spontaneously developing in Greece.

With Germany’s Angela Merkel stepping down, Emmanuel Macron remains the only prominent globalist still standing.  Nationalist leaders have risen in North America (Trump), South America (Bolsonaro), Russia, China, India, Italy, Austria, Hungary, and elsewhere.

When creatures are backed into a corner they can suddenly do very dangerous things.  Surely the leaders of the U.N./E.U./globalist enterprise feel they are backed into a truly precarious corner in which they will not survive if they don’t come out swinging.

Perhaps with clever subterfuge Macron will gather power in the E.U. countries still driven by diehard continental federalists (maybe that’s what he’s doing as I write this, which might explain his present absence).  Merkel and others have been all-to-eager to support Marcon’s 10-nation alliance and his other endeavors.  On the other hand, what if he really doesn’t survive this?  We could be looking at an even bigger tumult among Europe’s despondent citizens, one that spreads across the whole continent.  It will be the perfect storm into which the man of lawlessness will arise.  A certain supernatural event will grow that storm into a typhoon.

Intriguingly, Jaco Prinsloo noticed that The Economist’s 2017 edition displayed cards on its cover reminiscent of the 1982 Illuminati Card Game.  One of those cards called “The Hermit” shows a massive protest march against globalism and the E.U.  The marchers are yellow, perhaps wearing yellow vests.  And the specific alignment of stars closely resembles the constellation Leo with a crescent moon at its tail.  The stellar alignment conceivably occurred last weekend just as the Yellow Vest Movement was exploding.

 

– – –

In other news:

  • Stocks continue to plummet and the Dow is within two or three hundred points of correction.  It closed down 558 points just yesterday, which was the 77th anniversary of the attack on Pearl Harbor.  It also happened to be the first anniversary in which no survivor of the U.S.S. Arizona was present.  What a striking sign in our own country that this final generation is nearing the end of the age.
  • The Mueller Probe is nearing its end, and though I may disagree with the investigation’s conclusions (manufactured evidence, anyone?), it is not looking good for the President, his son, and a number of his close associates.
  • In Israel, despite Israeli police recommending an indictment against Netanyahu for a third time, he is actually growing stronger politically.  With Avigdor Lieberman’s resignation, Netanyahu has assumed his role, meaning he is both Prime Minister and Defense Minister.  And though Lieberman’s departure means that Netanyahu’s coalition has the bare number of seats in the Knesset to hold onto power, it looks as though Bibi will win a fifth election, making him the longest serving Prime Minister in Israeli history (that’s incredible in light of the fact that Israel’s original founding father, David Ben-Gurion, was the longest-serving up to this point, meaning Netanyahu is a bookend in the history of modern Israel).
  • Multiple news sources reported that the I.S.S. live feed was cut after a very large blue orb appeared behind the space station.  It was caught on camera for all the world to see.
  • Forbes just reported that 2019 will witness the emergence of avatars or images of a person that will in essence be their AI counterpart.  It is the clearest explanation for Revelation 13:14-15 that I can conceivably think of.
  • The Sanhedrin will be holding a special ceremony on the last day of Hanukkah (starts tomorrow and ends Monday) in which they will dedicate the Third Temple Altar and light the Golden Lampstand.  They have invited representatives of 70 nations to attend.

– – –

I’m beginning to think this concept of seven years of plenty followed by seven years of the Tribulation (famine) may hold real water.  [Speculating here: the 2014 to 2021 range would be the “plenty” and 2021 to 2028 would be the Trib.  The Trib would end precisely in the year of Israel’s 80th anniversary (max length of a generation), which also happens to be the 2,000th anniversary of the beginning of Christ’s earthly ministry, in which He declared the Jubilee.  Our Blessed Hope may transpire anytime between now and 2021 and the heavenly signs may have been 3.5 year warnings.  There is a whole lot more that could be unpacked on this, but time doesn’t permit me.  Stay tuned!] (Click to Source)

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Election Aftermath, Dominionism, And The Coming Covenant With Death

malibu_-california-woolsey_fire-getty-h_2018

November 6, 2018: the first midterm election since the inauguration of President Trump occurred and the results were somewhat of a mixed bag.  There was indeed a “blue wave”, but there was a counter-wave of enthused Republican voters to meet it—many of whom were frustrated by the smear job against Brett Kavanaugh.  When all was said and done Democrats made major gains in the House and netted seven governor seats.  And Republicans expanded their Senate majority from 51 to 53 (supposing the outcome of a Florida recount remains the same for Rick Scott).

I didn’t know which way the elections would go, but I kept predictions from pseudo-Dominionist “prophets” Kim Clement and Mark Taylor close in mind.  According to these prophets Trump was set to score big in the midterms and then a massive wave of indictments against corrupt politicians would be unleashed.  Globalists would be swept from power and a Christian revival would commence throughout the United States and perhaps even the western world.

It’s hard not to want that.  I burn for righteousness to be restored.  I long for the country and post-Christian world to repent of its secular slide and for people to flock back to churches as they very briefly did in the aftermath of 9/11.

But that’s not what’s happening, nor is it what the Bible predicted would happen.

Democrats retook the House, ensuring complete gridlock for the next two years, and preparing the way for a slew of subpoenas and investigations that will cripple the government.  The country is more divided than ever.

These prophets were wrong.

My hand will be against the prophets who see false visions and who give lying divinations.  They shall not be in the council of my people, nor be enrolled in the register of the house of Israel, nor shall they enter the land of Israel.  And you shall know that I am the Lord GOD.  Precisely because they have misled my people, saying, ‘Peace,’ when there is no peace, and because, when the people build a wall, these prophets smear it with whitewash.

What we see happening in the world is not a mass revival, but a further dividing.  Those who love truth love it more than ever before.  Those who hate truth hate it more than ever before.

Here is what the Bible says about what life will be like in the last days before Christ’s return:

But understand this, that in the last days there will come times of difficulty.  For people will be lovers of self, lovers of money, proud, arrogant, abusive, disobedient to their parents, ungrateful, unholy, heartless, unappeasable, slanderous, without self-control, brutal, not loving good, treacherous, reckless, swollen with conceit, lovers of pleasure rather than lovers of God, having the appearance of godliness, but denying its power. Avoid such people.  For among them are those who creep into households and capture weak women, burdened with sins and led astray by various passions, always learning and never able to arrive at a knowledge of the truth.  Just as Jannes and Jambres opposed Moses, so these men also oppose the truth, men corrupted in mind and disqualified regarding the faith.  But they will not get very far, for their folly will be plain to all, as was that of those two men.

 

Knowing this first of all, that scoffers will come in the last days with scoffing, following their own sinful desires.  They will say, ‘Where is the promise of his coming?  For ever since the fathers fell asleep, all things are continuing as they were from the beginning of creation.’  For they deliberately overlook this fact, that the heavens existed long ago, and the earth was formed out of water and through water by the word of God, and that by means of these the world that then existed was deluged with water and perished.  But by the same word the heavens and earth that now exist are stored up for fire, being kept until the day of judgment and destruction of the ungodly.

 

Just as it was in the days of Noah, so will it be in the days of the Son of Man.  They were eating and drinking and marrying and being given in marriage, until the day when Noah entered the ark, and the flood came and destroyed them all.  Likewise, just as it was in the days of Lot—they were eating and drinking, buying and selling, planting and building, but on the day when Lot went out from Sodom, fire and sulfur rained from heaven and destroyed them all—so will it be on the day when the Son of Man is revealed.

Tens of thousands of people are still coming to faith in Jesus Christ right now and this will continue right up until the point the door to the Ark is closed and the Church, the restrainer, is removed from the earth.

Only after that happens will revival come.  Millions, tens of millions, perhaps even hundreds of millions will come to a saving knowledge of the truth and will in turn be martyred for their faith.  These are the 5th Seal Martyrs, popularly known as “Tribulation Saints” (see here and here).

Many of these will be those who never proclaimed the Name of Christ.  But many will be those who proclaimed the Name of Christ, but never had a saving knowledge of the Truth—they neither accepted nor believed in the Gospel.  They trusted in themselves or their “Torah keeping” or their denominational affiliation or their good citizenship.  Others lived lawlessly because they believed Christ was just one of many ways to Heaven, and, in the end, “everyone will make it.”

It will take nothing less than the Great Tribulation for these to realize who Christ is and what He accomplished on the Cross, and even then, we are told that they are not cleansed by their works, but by the Lamb’s blood:

Then one of the elders addressed me, saying, ‘Who are these, clothed in white robes, and from where have they come?’  I said to him, ‘Sir, you know.’  And he said to me, ‘These are the ones coming out of the great tribulation.  They have washed their robes and made them white in the blood of the Lamb.’

Yet, in addition to possessing a genuine, saving faith, there is one thing they all must do: they must, under no circumstances, receive the mark of the beast or worship the beast and its image (Rev. 14:9–11).

For those of you who by grace still have breath in your lungs in this present eon, remember the narrow pathGrace AloneFaith AloneChrist Alone.

And for those still struggling with how to reconcile the Law, it’s so simple and it pains me without end that it took me so long for the veil to be lifted from my own eyes:

1. Christ did not come to abolish the Law (Mt. 5:17).  He raised the bar of the Law.

2. Christ then perfectly fulfilled the Law on your behalf because it is absolutely impossible for you, or anyone, to keep the Law.

3. The Law brought condemnation to us, showing our need for God.  We had all, like sheep, gone astray, each to our own way.  And God used the Law to direct us back (Gal. 3:24–25Rom. 10:4).

4. Christ died as the atoning sacrifice for all lawbreakers who would look to Him alone for forgiveness of sins and salvation (Jn. 3:14–186:28–291 Pt. 2:24).

5. In the present dispensation we uphold the Law (Rom. 3:31).  In other words, we acknowledge that the Law’s righteous requirements still stand, and we acknowledge that we’ve failed to meet those righteous requirements.  But, by faith, we trust that Christ died, on our behalf, for our sins, and rose again, so that our failure to keep the Law would be “righted” by His shed blood.

6. Through that faith, the righteousness of Christ is imputed to us (2 Cor. 5:21) as an undeserved gift (Rom. 5:166:23Eph. 2:8) and we are baptized in the Holy Spirit (1 Cor. 12:13)—an irrevocable seal that guarantees our soon physical redemption via the rapture.

7. Though the Law still stands we are free from it because of the atoning sacrifice of God’s Son.  We are no longer under the Law (Rom. 6:14).  Those who place themselves back under the Law in lieu of Christ’s atoning sacrifice have fallen from grace (Gal. 5:4) and are in serious danger of judgment since Christ’s sacrifice is the only available sacrifice for sins (Heb. 10:26–29).

– – –

God is shaking the earth, calling people to repent while there is still time.  Just two days after the election, wildfires broke out near Paradise, California.  Think Paradise Lost.  Now get this: the author of Paradise Lost, John Milton, happened to die on the exact same day that this fire started (November 8th) some 344 years ago.  The fire is now the deadliest and most destructive in California history.  29 people have been killed.  6,500 homes have been destroyed.

On the same day, another fire struck near Malibu, which is A-list celebrity central.  The ‘gods’ that many Americans worship were forced to flee and many of their homes were completely destroyed.  Here are just a few of those affected:

Kim Kardashian
Caitlyn Jenner (who popularized the transgender movement)
Mark Hamill
Julia Roberts
Mel Gibson
Cher
Patrick Dempsey
Gerard Butler
Orlando Bloom
Lady Gaga
Guillermo Del Toro
Miley Cyrus
Neil Young
Alyssa Milano (a central figure in the #MeToo movement)
Rainn Wilson
Khloe Kardashian
…And many others.

Matt Drudge had prominently emblazoned his own Balaamic Prophecy at the top of Drudge as the fires spread—”Apocalypse”, “stars flee” (yes, both are about to happen):

Keep in mind that the largest wildfire in state history also occurred this year—the Mendocino Complex Fire, which burned nearly half a million acres.

– – –

Today, on the other side of the world, over 300 rockets were fired at Israel from Gaza as the situation continues to spiral.  Only about one-third were shot down, with approximately 200 hitting the southern part of the country.  Israel has launched a wave of airstrikes in retaliation.

Things are quickly heating up as we draw ever closer to the revealing of the Trump-Kushner peace plan, which may be the basis/foundation of the future, post-rapture seven-year covenant mentioned in Daniel 9:27.  Globalist/European federalist Emmanuel Macron is pushing Trump hard to reveal the plan as soon as possible.

It seems the world is rushing to do the very thing that will trigger the Day of the LORD: divide the land of Israel.

The Revelation 12 Sign is passed.
 
Israel’s 70th anniversary is passed.
 
The Jewish State Bill is law.
 
The sign of the dragon is passed.
 
The door to the Ark is closing.

With the door still barely cracked open, I implore you to squeeze in through the narrow way.  “Now is the favorable time, today is the day of salvation.” (2 Cor. 6:2).

The Ultimate Sign

expulsed

There will be signs in the sun and moon and stars, and on the earth dismay among the nations, bewildered by the roaring of the sea and the surging of the waves.

In my estimation, the greatest sign in the heavens that the LORD has ever given to the inhabitants of the earth has now completed or is near its conclusion.  Jesus predicted such things would happen before He returned and He wasn’t being facetious.

The Revelation 12 Sign, which undoubtedly occurred on September 23–24 of last year was the culmination of it, but was only one piece in a larger story.

– – –

The walls rose high and you did not see;
The nation was restored and you did not hear;
The people returned and you did not take notice;
The city was repossessed and you did not draw near.

The LORD will appear a second time to deliver recompense to His enemies and to deliver those anxiously waiting for Him.

– – –

 

A Prelude: The Dragon Roars

For months secular experts had said that this year’s Draconids meteor shower would be a dud, likely producing no more than 15 shooting stars per hour at peak.  Indeed, this particular shower is usually one of the year’s least eventful.  On an average year you might witness 2–5 meteors per hour at zenith.

They were wrong.

Along the East Coast of the United States and Canada, in spots across the Midwest, and across large swaths of Europe—where clouds and city lights did not obscure—thousands observed upwards of 200 shooting stars per hour.  And viewing conditions were exceptional because the shower coincided with a new moon.

It started with radio observers who detected a significant “outburst”—radio echoes from meteoroids pinging through the atmosphere.

Then reports started coming in all over social media from Massachusetts, Virginia, Kentucky, Ohio, Ontario, and many places in Europe: France, Belgium, Poland, and elsewhere.

An astronomer from Belgium named Michel gave the following account:

The activity remained long time stable and modest until suddenly activity started to pick up; a period when about one per minute appeared.  The outburst had materialized well in advance of the predicted observing window.  However it did not remain with just short pulses.  The activity increased further out of nothing, multiple meteors were seen per minute, even two or three at the same instance!  Yes this was going hard: probably getting at a ZHR of about 100, certainly taking into account the low position of the radiant!  Everywhere nice long meteor trails at the sky thanks to the decreasing radiant position.  Not only faint stuff, but sometimes very nice meteors up to -2, even one small fireball!

Another observer from Slovenia saw numerous falling stars even with some cloud cover causing obscurity:

Observed 22:40-00:44 UT under mediocre conditions, LM about 6.5 and variable cloud cover (0-40%).  Peak seemed to be around 23:00-23:20 UT.  Rates were probably greater than 100/h, even with the radiant below 30 degrees.  Will be surprised if peak ZHR is not around several hundred.  Possible secondary peak around 00:00 UT.

Twitter lit up, too, with experts confirming the outburst:

YE Quanzhi@Yeqzids

Looks like the Draconid meteor shower is under outburst right now, with zenith hourly rate reaching ~130, consistent with earlier prediction. Data from Hirofumi Sugimoto’s analysis: http://www5f.biglobe.ne.jp/~hro/Flash/2018/OCT/index.htm 

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The most exciting reports came from many people who didn’t even know what was going on:

mah-res@sister_cath

Serra and I just saw 21 shooting stars in the span of 30 minutes. God’s handiwork is 10/10.

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Scott Hixon@KC8ITN

Just came in from outside. Looking up for about 10 minutes, I seen 15 meteors crossing the skies! #ShootingStars #meteors

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Amazed astronomers have been posting composite time-lapse images.  This is one from Switzerland:

Here is a shorter time-lapse image from Eastern France:

In any given year only the Geminids and Perseids are noteworthy and neither are along the immediate path of the dragon.  The Draconids are usually among the most faint and sparse, with only occasional years of outbursts (e.g. 1933, 1946, 1985, 2011).  But this year was exceptional because God has been telling a story…

– – –

 

Setting the Stage: The Bethlehem Star Returns

When Christ appeared the first time, magi (“wise men”) from the east followed a star to Jerusalem and ultimately to Bethlehem.  It is now widely thought that this “star” was none other than Jupiter in the years 3–2 BC, which had an unusually close conjunction with Venus.  You can read more about that here.

We’ve seen a similar repeat in the past few years.  It started in 2008 with an observation by Mark Biltz that a series of four Total Lunar Eclipses (Blood Moons) would fall on four consecutive Passovers and Tabernacles over a two-year period (2014–2015).  Like the magi of old, Christians everywhere began searching the skies for more clues.  It was soon discovered that an alignment in 2017 seemed to fit what the Apostle John saw in Revelation 12:1–2.

Then an incredible astronomical event occurred just three months before the final Blood Moon in the tetrad: a close conjunction of Jupiter and Venus occurred in the same constellation (Leo) and on the same day of the year, as the Bethlehem Star of 3 BC.  God was trying to get our attention.

A year later, in August 2016, another close Jupiter-Venus conjunction occurred.  It was the closest conjunction of the two planets in over 350 years.

Finally, another year later, an incredible Total Solar Eclipse passed over the entire length of the contiguous United States.  The shadow of the sun covered Casper, Wyoming (Casper is Chaldean for “wise man”) and passed over seven different towns called Salem—the shortened form of Jerusalem.

– – –

Revelation 12

With the discovery of the upcoming Revelation 12 Sign, ancient Scriptures from the Old and New Testament were brought to light, which described the rapture of the Church and Tribulation in terms of a woman in labor with a corporate male child (e.g. Gen. 3:15–16Isa. 26:17–2166:7–9Jer. 30Mic. 5:3Gal. 4:261 Thess. 5:3–4).  The historical protestant understanding of the male child of Revelation 12 as the Church, which had been hidden for decades, was unearthed, as well (see here).
For those with eyes to see, it was more concretely recognized that the Book of Revelation is filled with literal truth and when John said He saw a sign in the heavens he wasn’t speaking in mere allegory.
We were able to piece together how these themes stretched across the entire length of the Bible and had parallel meanings:

– – –

A Cosmic Conception

A few months after the last 2016 Jupiter-Venus conjunction, a once-in-history comet denoted “Borisov”, appeared to enter the womb of the constellation Virgo after leaving the loins of Leo the Lion.  This coincided with the planet Jupiter entering Virgo’s belly, as well.  It was the perfect depiction of a virginal insemination and after this go-round the comet will never be seen again.
Around the same time, a tragic fire in Gatlinburg, Tennessee, scorched almost everything in sight—save a page from Joel declaring “the day of the LORD is at hand.”  And in New York, the nations of the world voted to divide Jerusalem after the U.S. backed away from Israel’s defense.  On the other side of the world, record wildfires ravaged Israel.

– – –

 

The Great Sign: September 23–24, 2017

Fast forward 9–10 months (the length of a human pregnancy) and the Revelation 12 Sign was upon us.  It was 33 days after the Great American Eclipse, which itself might have been the first part of another prophecy preceding the Day of the LORD.  An astronomical alignment of the sun, moon, and stars occurred that perfectly fit the description given in the first two verses of Revelation Chapter 12:

A great sign appeared in heaven: a woman clothed with the sun, with the moon under her feet and a crown of twelve stars on her head.  She was pregnant and cried out in pain as she was about to give birth.

 

The sign was widely publicized and scrutinized, but, in the words of Greg over at A Little Strength:

Because that’s just about what the first sign was.  It was thunderingly clear and compelling…there was just no getting around it.  I mean, even the most ambitious efforts to debunk it just bounced off it like Nerf balls off the USS Nimitz.  Every critic who attacked it ended up looking like a misinformed clown—and there were hordes of them, content to keep tossing out the same tired old canards, not one of which held a thimbleful of water.  It was almost comical.  Even some reputable ministers and celebrity authors jumped on the bandwagon and made themselves look like complete fools in the run-up to 9/23/17.

Brother Paul, who many know as “Zeus Mossbender” released an excellent dissection of the ignorance on display as people futilely attempted to debunk God’s sign:

As incredible as it was that an astronomical alignment in our lifetime perfectly matched what the Apostle John recorded in 90 AD, it simply is what it is.  It has already proven its merit.  Now, one can certainly argue that it wasn’t the fulfillment of Revelation 12:1–2, but no one can argue that it doesn’t match the description.  It matched it perfectly and was a once-in-history event.

But to make this startlingly clear picture even clearer, God, in His infinite wisdom, decided to send two hurricanes our way, which would complete the picture of second nativity.  Luke wrote that there would be “signs in the sun, moon, and stars,” and that people would be perplexed by the “roaring and tossing of the sea.”  September 2017 was both, together.  The only sign in the Bible featuring sun, moon, and stars at the same time (Rev. 12:1–2) occurred simultaneously with two hurricanes called Mary and Joseph.

Hurricane Maria (Spanish for “Mary”) formed on September 16th and struck the Caribbean islands, becoming the third-costliest tropical cyclone in the entire world.  Ever.  Nearly $100 billion in damages.  Over 3,000 killed.  Puerto Rico is still recovering.

Hurricane José (Spanish for “Joseph”) formed on September 5th and dissipated two days after the Revelation 12 Sign, so both Hurricane Maria and José were simultaneously tearing through the Atlantic during the The Great Sign and the world was quite literally perplexed, frightened, and overwhelmed by the roaring and tossing of the sea.

 

– – –
The Birth and Rapture Depicted
On October 13, 2017—Shemini Atzeret—which is the very last festival on the biblical calendar, Jupiter appeared to leave Virgo’s belly.  It was 42 weeks to the day from the United Nations’ vote to divide Israel on December 23, 2016—the length of a perfect pregnancy.
Then one month later, on November 13th, the planet Jesus Himself identifies with (Venus; see Rev. 22:162:28), came into close conjunction with Jupiter just outside of Virgo.  It was the perfect depiction of the LORD meeting His Church in the air:
Now many of us, myself included, had been so excited to see the LORD it was difficult to patiently watch the whole story play out, but in retrospect, so much more was revealed.  The story continued.
When the rapture really happens, what happens after we meet the LORD in the air?  We are presented before God’s Throne and undergo the Bema Seat Judgment.
On Christmas Day 2017, Jupiter entered Libra:
Some depictions of Libra resemble a throne, but it most often represents either the scales of justice (judgment) or an altar.  According to Revelation 8:3 the heavenly altar is immediately in front of God’s Throne.  No astronomical picture could more perfectly show the Church in Heaven while simultaneously undergoing the Bema Seat Judgment.
– – –

 

A Building Crescendo

Over the course of the next year the world witnessed many more significant events all pointing to the nearness of Christ’s appearing:

1. The world again voting to divide Israel.

2. Turkey invading Syria (one of the several nations specifically involved in Ezekiel 38).

3. A once-in-150-year “Super-Blue-Blood Moon”.

4. The passing of Billy Graham at 99, as well as Chuck Missler.

5. The 70th anniversary of Israel, embassies opening in Jerusalem, and Third Temple coins minted.

6. The first Passover sacrifice near the Temple Mount since 68 AD.

7. Massive Israeli air raids in Syria following an Iranian attack.

8. The Israeli flag flying on the Temple Mount for the first time in 50 years (a Jubilee).

9. Talk of a 10-nation military confederation in Europe (perhaps a type or shadow of the 10 horns to come).

11. The end of the Iran deal.

12. President Erdogan of Turkey finally gaining dictatorial power.

13. The passage of the Jewish Nation-State Bill—an event of prophetic significance on par with 1948 and 1967.

14. The longest Blood Moon of the century, visible over Israel, which, when coupled with the Great American Eclipse a year earlier, may have formed the second fulfillment of a prophecy from Joel.

15. A game-changing deployment of S-300 air and missile defense interceptors to Syria in just the past week.

– – –

 

Enter the Dragon

In Revelation 12, two separate astronomical signs are depicted.  The first, as we now know, was fulfilled last September.  The second, called “another sign” by John, may have just occurred, complete with a “great” red dragon ready to strike the male child and a tail sweeping down one-third of the stars in the sky.  I explain this in much more detail here, but in summary, the dragon has always been up in the sky waiting to devour the child (composed of Hydra, Lynx, Draco, the serpents in Hercules and Ophiuchus, the heads of Serpens, and the crowns of Corona Borealis).

But this arrangement was not sufficient in itself to fulfill the second sign of Revelation 12 until now.  For one, the first two verses of Revelation 12 were not fulfilled until last year, and chronologically-speaking, the dragon sign occurs afterwards.  Second, after the rapture of the Church we shall never again be separated from Christ.  Venus is (as of right now) right back where it was last year when it conjuncted with Jupiter.  Jupiter itself is about to leave Libra, which for all intents and purposes ends all of the astronomical depictions in Revelation 12.

With the depiction of the Church’s rapture, judgment, and glorification complete, the dragon and his angels are cast down to the earth.  That sign may have been exactly what the world witnessed last night as hundreds of “stars” appeared to fall from Heaven to the earth from Draco (remember that Serpens constitutes the seven heads, thus Draco is part of the body or tail of the dragon).  Small showers from the Aurigids, Orionids, and Sextantids were happening simultaneously along the dragon’s tail.

A Japanese astronomer measured last night’s large (and rare) Draconids outburst and found the peak rate of shooting stars to hit about 175 per hour.  Between the 195 and 196 markers below represents a 24-hour period.  The sharp rise in red between the two represents the main outburst that people all over the East Coast and Europe witnessed yesterday evening.  “ZHR” on the left is a measure of the number of meteoroids detected by radio per hour.  What you see below is roughly 1,000 total meteors—”stars” falling to earth—over the course of the past day.

 

Given that under absolutely perfect conditions (no clouds, city lights, or obstructions on the horizon) an observer on the earth can never see more that 4,548 stars from any given vantage point, the total number of falling “stars”, when factoring in the entire Draconid period (October 6–10) and the simultaneous Aurigids, Orionids, and Sextantids, may very well be approximately one-third that number.  Thus, we see an actual depiction of one-third of the stars of Heaven falling to earth.

This is where it gets interesting.  The outburst was large and unusual, but several years over the past century have exceeded it (1933, 1946, 1985, and 2011, being examples).  Does that make this year’s outburst less significant?  To the contrary.  Scripture is precise and perfect.  Some of those other years’ showers, for example, likely had a ZHR exceeding 1,000.  That means that over the course of those outbursts, more shooting stars appeared to fall to earth than there are visible stars in the sky.  That would not fit with the prophecy given in Revelation 12.  The meteor shower this year seems to have been just significant enough to match the prophecy.

Most observers though will only ever see one or two thousand stars at a time, because viewing conditions are rarely ever perfect.  For many who witnessed the stars falling last night, they could very well have been seeing the fulfillment of Revelation 12:3–4 without realizing.

But God has apparently desired to further confirm this story.  Revelation 12:7–9 tells us that the Archangel Michael, at the helm of God’s angelic army, is the one who casts satan and his hordes out of Heaven.

Daniel 12:1 says:

At that time Michael, the great prince who protects your people, will arise.  There will be a time of distress such as has not happened from the beginning of nations until then…

Is it then any wonder that yesterday, the very day of the Draconid meteor storm, Hurricane Michael formed as it churned through the Gulf of Mexico towards the United States?  Meteorologists expect it to hit the southeast United States as a Category 4.  This hurricane “stood up” on the very day that one-third of the stars appeared to fall.

 

– – –

 

What Happens Now?

As I mentioned above, Jupiter will leave Libra in the next day or two and the picture will be complete.  Venus then appears to reverse course, undergoing retrograde motion, and returns to Virgo (Israel).  This fits perfectly with the prophecies that show that Christ doesn’t return His focus to Israel until after God has taken a people to Himself out of the Gentiles (Acts 15:14–18Rom. 11Mic. 5:3).

The picture is almost complete.

The heavenly signs preceding the Day of the LORD have reached or are nearing their very end.  What follows is the actual fulfillment of what these signs represent: the rapture of the Church into Heaven (Rev. 12:51 Thess. 4:16–18Isa. 26:19–21), the casting out of satan and his angels (Rev. 12:7–9), and the onset of the Day of the LORD.

Will there be a gap between the end of these signs and the actual prophetic fulfillments of what they represent?  No one knows the day or hour, but I pray that we will all in unison obey the words of Our LORD Jesus Christ:

When these things begin to take place, stand up and lift up your heads, because your redemption is drawing near.

If you are not right with the LORD, get right with Him now.  That includes all of you who would be justified by the Law because you have fallen from grace.  You have been given plenty of time to turn back and all of creation is groaning in labor pains for the children of God to be revealed.  The LORD loves you and wants you to be His, but He will not force your conversion.  His plan marches forward and time is all but up.

All of us have made a terrible mess of our lives and God has offered to clean up the mess, but the lawless and legalists, alike, either don’t recognize their need for cleaning or have too much pride to come to the LORD to be cleaned.

Come and be cleaned. (Click to Source)
~ MARANATHA ~
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A Prophetic Review

magi

Are you following what God is revealing to the churches, or scoffing from the sidelines?

The one-year anniversary of the Revelation 12 Sign will occur in just three short days and a plausible explanation for the Sign of the Dragon may be happening in just a few weeks.  Excitement is building for the first day of Tabernacles, Shemini Atzeret, and a possibly delayed Feast of Trumpets to occur in October.  I’ve been reminiscing lately about all the incredible revelation God has given to the Church over the course of these past few years, largely because of these heavenly signs.  Indeed, based on the way I divide Luke’s account of the Olivet Discourse in Luke 21, the first major sign(s) indicating that the Day of the LORD is at hand are “signs in the sun, moon, and stars” (Lk. 21:25).  Only one sign in the entire Bible explicitly includes both sun, moon, and stars, and that is the sign recorded in the first two verses of Revelation 12.

– – –
In light of all that God has graciously revealed to us over these past few years, I wanted to once again provide a chronological recap of key articles that will provide our newer readers with a solid overview of properly divided biblical prophecy:

Prophecy Principles and Rules for Interpretation:

WHY THE CHURCH IS DIVIDED (Under the section “When to Unite”)

GOD AND HIS FIG TREE

UNDERSTANDING THE OLIVET DISCOURSE

NO ONE KNOWS THE DAY OR HOUR

WHAT’S THE HUBBUB ALL ABOUT?


Revelation 2–3 and The Church Age:


THE LETTERS TO THE SEVEN CHURCHES

THE CALLED OUT ONES


Signs of the Nearness of the Rapture and Second Coming:

10 REASONS JESUS WILL COME BACK IN OUR LIFETIME


TOP 20 SIGNS OF THE RAPTURE AND SECOND COMING OF CHRIST

THE PARABLE OF THE FIG TREE

AS IT WAS IN THE DAYS OF NOAH

KEY EVENTS PRECEDING THE DAY OF THE LORD


Revelation 12 Sign (Sign of the Woman in Labor):


THE REVELATION 12 SIGN COMPENDIUM

WHY THE REVELATION 12 SIGN CAN’T BE DEBUNKED

THE CELESTIAL C-SECTION

ESCAPE TO A PLACE PREPARED

WHO IS THE MALE CHILD OF REVELATION 12?

CONSERVATIVE SCHOLARS AGREE


Sign of the Dragon:

WHERE IS THE DRAGON?

THE RED DRAGON: THE REVELATION 12 SIGN (PART II)


Rapture:

WILL THERE BE A RAPTURE?

WHEN DOES THE RAPTURE HAPPEN?

WHY THE PRE-TRIB RAPTURE IS SOLID BIBLICAL TRUTH

WHO WILL BE RAPTURED?

THE PARABLE OF THE TEN VIRGINS

THE BLESSED HOPE

THE ANTICHRIST, THE RESTRAINER, AND THE REMNANT

CHURCH OF THE FIRSTBORN (PART I)

CHURCH OF THE FIRSTBORN (PART II)

CHURCH OF THE FIRSTBORN (PART III)

THE THREE FINAL GATHERINGS (PART I)

THE THREE FINAL GATHERINGS (PART II)

THE ROOT, SHOOT, AND FRUIT OF JESSE (PART I)

THE ROOT, SHOOT, AND FRUIT OF JESSE (PART II)

PASSING THE TORCH

A PROMISING PRE-TRIB PROPHECY HIDDEN IN PLAIN SIGHT

THE FINAL PRAYER OF THE CHURCH


Revelation 4–5:

WHO ARE THE 24 ELDERS?


Revelation 6–19:

THE DAY OF THE LORD

AN OVERVIEW OF THINGS TO COME


Distinguishing between the resurrections:

THE FIRST AND SECOND RESURRECTIONS


Revelation 20:

WHAT DOES THE BIBLE SAY ABOUT HELL?



Revelation 21–22 and Heaven:


WHAT IS HEAVEN?

– – –
I’ve also been overwhelmed with joy because of the incredible brotherhood that has developed in the Body because of these things.  It feels as if we’re 21st century magi joined together for one, unifying purpose: to find the One born King of the Jews—but this time not a baby in a manger—instead, a glorious King in the clouds.  I want to take a minute and thank each of you for all that you’ve shown me and done for me.  I’ve lost some family and friends because of all this, but have truly received one hundredfold just as Christ said would happen in Mark 10:29–30.  When I stop to think about it, I often feel even closer to many of you than I do to some of my own flesh and blood, because brothers and sisters in Christ are of an entirely greater and more permanent family.

To our readers who so faithfully journey with us and encourage us when we’ve been down, discouraged, or under attack.  God has used your love, new insights, and gracious comments to keep us going and to write with new inspiration.  There’s so many of you that have blessed us, I couldn’t name every one, but thank you, thank you, thank you.  You’re the reason Unsealed exists, so I can’t help but mention you first.

To those of you who have graciously supported the mission financially, thank you!  I can give you statistics for just some of what God has done with what you have given (hint, hint: hundreds of thousands of people around the world have heard the Gospel!), but I don’t think any of us will understand the full weight of what God has done through you until we soon see Heaven.

My dad (whom you all know as “Greg”).  You’re a constant friend and encouragement.  I’ve been blessed to be discipled under you.  Two things you’ve taught me: 1. Trust Christ and God’s Word above all else, and 2. Don’t get stuck in traditions; follow Scripture wherever it leads.

Jeff, our friendship started because of the Revelation 12 Sign.  We were watching the sky together and God used that to develop a close friendship that will continue into the age to come.  Your friendship and wisdom are a priceless blessing.

Bryan, you also have become a close friend, fellow coffee (and sushi) connoisseur, and personal Barnabas.  You have encouraged each one of us with your godly wisdom and motivation to press on.

Brad, if only you lived down south!  You have been a great friend and fellow watchman.  Many encouraging phone calls and teamwork over the past two years.  We have the same mission and will not stop until we accomplish it (by God’s grace).

Hillary, you have become a pivotal part of our team and a great source of grace and focus for all of us.  Your message is a constant reminder of God’s grace and the importance of never wavering on what really counts: the Gospel.  Of late you seem to have more motivation than all of us combined.

Stephanie, though we haven’t met yet, your ministry on Facebook has been so important to the mission that we’re all a part of.  You are graciously leading and rightly dividing the Word for thousands upon thousands to see.

Mike, I want to send a special thanks to you, brother.  On your own initiative you have become a real leader on our growing online community (nearing 600 people!).  There is so much going on across our ministries that it’s become kind of overwhelming.  Knowing that we have a humble, godly leader who rightly divides the Word and knows the Gospel, leading our community, is a huge blessing.

Our other forum leaders: @Natalie, @KJS, @Yardstick, and @Barbiosheepgirl.  When we were first trying to build out the leadership, we went through many names.  You rose to the top for the right reasons.  Godly, faithful, humble, and wise.  Thank you.

Dan, I think I can honestly say we are all thankful for your unbelievable diligence and friendship.  How in the world do you get all of that research done?!  It’s a blessing to all of us and helps keep us going.

Jim, you were a light on the forum and are now a real encourager on our Watchmen on the Wall group.  You remind us to take these things very seriously, as well as to remind us that spiritual warfare is all too real.

Greg L., you know I’ve tried to convince you to come to Unsealed, but have been unable!  Irregardless, many of us have found great wisdom and inspiration from your articles, so it seems God has placed you right where He wants you.  You have the best exegesis on the 24 elders, the Millennial Temple, and the nature of signs that I’ve ever read.  Keep going, brother, our “exit” is not far ahead.

Barry, I’ve also tried to convince you to meet up with us the next time you’re in town, and though we haven’t talked, I can’t help but think of you as a friend.  You’re a very personal encouragement to all of us and your stalwart defense of the Gospel has opened thousands of eyes as you expose the lawlessness of the law-keepers.

There are many others I want to write a whole thank you to, but time is not yet permitting.  Just a few of you: Adam, Scottie, Matt M., Paul D., Matt P. (Daily Crow!!!), Jaco, Darren, Paul S. (Zeus!!!), and on and on.  Each of you is greatly appreciated.  We are all on the same team and have the same goal, “pressing on toward the prize of the upward call of God in Christ Jesus.” (Phil. 3:14).

– – –
We all have a mission to do and there is precious little time left to do it (months, weeks, days?).  Let’s keep going!  Encourage, exhort, and (lovingly) admonish one another.  Share what God is showing you.  Don’t put your light under a bushel.  Put it out for all to see.  Your faith and hope and the wisdom of God will soon be proven true.

For the Lord himself will come down from heaven, with a loud command, with the voice of the archangel and with the trumpet call of God, and the dead in Christ will rise first.  After that, we who are still alive and are left will be caught up together with them in the clouds to meet the Lord in the air.  And so we will be with the Lord forever.  Therefore encourage one another with these words.

– 1 Thessalonians 4:16–18

I am 362 months old this month.  Strong’s 362 is “I await (one whose coming is expected)”.  The word is used only one time in Scripture:

And to wait for his Son from heaven, whom he raised from the dead, Jesus who delivers us from the wrath to come.

~ MARANATHA ~

(Click to Source)

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Church Of The Firstborn (Part III): Raised Up, Seated With Christ, And Ready To Rule

saints

And from Jesus Christ, the faithful witness, the firstborn of the dead, and the ruler of the kings of the earth. To him who loves us and freed us from our sins by his blood, and made us to be a kingdom, priests serving his God and Father, to him be glory and dominion forever and ever. Amen. Look! He is coming with the clouds…(Rev. 1:5-7, NRSV).

In this third and final installment of the Church of the Firstborn series (see Parts I and II), I will be diving into another messianic mystery tucked away in the OT. There is a fascinating text in Psalm 110 that contributes to our understanding of the NT revelation of Christ and the Church. This particular verse has a confusing textual issue, as we’ll soon discover. However, with some biblical sleuthing and the right interpretative framework, you might be surprised by the picture that surfaces once we piece together the available evidence.

As Christ’s body we are graced with titles and privileges ascribed to the Savior himself, and we can find a few of these associations in the passage of Revelation 1:5-7. John’s summary of prior biblical revelation sets the stage for this study in Psalm 110:

Jesus is uniquely the firstborn of the dead (Rev. 1:5; cf. Col. 1:18)
Jesus is uniquely the Priest-King forever (Rev. 1:6; cf. Heb. 4:145:5-6Zech. 6:13)
Jesus is uniquely the Son of Man who returns with the clouds (Rev. 1:7Matt. 26:64Dan. 7:13)

And while Jesus, the eternal Son of the Father, is the preeminent Firstborn, Priest-King, and Son of Man flanked by the clouds of heaven, the same descriptors can also be applied secondarily to the Church by virtue of being one in Christ (Gal. 3:28-29Eph. 4:15-16Col. 3:11):

The Church is also identified as the firstborn (Heb. 12:23Rev. 2:28Rev. 12:5Isa. 66:7-8)
The Church is a royal priesthood, a.k.a. priest-kings (Rev. 1:65:101 Pet. 2:9)
The Church is among the Son of Man’s cloud army (1 Thess. 4:17Heb. 12:1Rev. 1:73:44:419:7-814)

All three of these elements—(1) Firstborn (2) Priest-King (3) Cloud Army—can be found in Psalm 110. However, you won’t see all of them by simply reading one particular English version, nor can you see the full picture by an uncritical acceptance of the Masoretic Text either. It’s gonna take a little excavating, but there is some hidden treasure in this hill.

Raised Up and Seated with Christ

Psalm 110 has the most citations, quotations, and allusions in the New Testament of all the psalms. Along with Psalm 2, it is highly messianic and finds fulfillment in Jesus, the Christ, the Son of God. The book of Hebrews reveals the immense implications of Jesus’ superior priesthood and ties Psalms 2 and 110 together twice: (1) They are the first and last OT quotations which bookend the opening argument (Heb. 1:513), and (2) They are linked again in Heb. 5:5-6, where the Father is the One to appoint Jesus to His exalted position.

To reiterate something I touched on in Part II, it is important to grasp when the Father officially declared Jesus “a priest forever in the order of Melchizedek” and said the words “today I have begotten you.” Historically, the Father’s declaration of these two OT prophetic statements (Psalm 2:7 and Psalm 110:4) was made official only after Jesus had been raised from the dead and taken up to heaven. Acts 13:33-34 crystallizes this point.

So why is this a big deal? Well, for the purpose of our study, the timing of the Father’s words is essential in order to define and clarify the oft-used and oft-misunderstood term “begotten.” The Greek term gennao in the context of Psalm 2:7 and its numerous NT citations is best understood in the sense of the new creation. In other words, the Father’s “begetting the Son” means that Jesus became the “firstborn” of a new creation at the time of His bodily resurrection and, ultimately, His triumphant return back into heaven to be at the Father’s right hand. And like Jesus, the head of the body (Eph. 5:23Col. 1:18), the Church will also experience a second “birth”, a supernatural “begetting” by the power of the Spirit and the will of the Father.

Perhaps this creative use of language is why some are stuck when it comes to Revelation 12:5 and cannot fathom how this text could refer to anyone else other than Jesus. Sadly, many are short-sighted in their interpretation and are only thinking about a historical birth in the sense of Mary and a baby in swaddling clothes. In context, the “begetting” and “birth” of this male-child in Rev. 12:5 is the corporate Christ (Jesus and His body), and it’s not a natural/physical birth being depicted—it’s a supernatural/spiritual birth (i.e. the resurrection/rapture of the Church).

At times I wonder if some Christians feel they aren’t worthy enough to be identified with Christ in such an exalted manner. It’s as if they understand that Jesus is both an eternal King and Savior, but they fail to grasp the significance of texts such as Revelation 2:26-28. Is it low self-worth, doubt, guilt, fear, or even pride? Some folks, I guess, are still waiting on their pastor to get to this text in Revelation in order to explain it…and they keep waiting…and waiting…

Well, my fellow heir and co-ruler with Christ, I often tell others not to read themselves into certain texts, but I’m going to go ahead and give the green light to any born-again believer in Christ to read yourself into this one:

He [the Father] also raised us up with him [Jesus] and seated us with him in the heavensin Christ Jesus, so that in the coming ages He might display the immeasurable riches of His grace through His kindness to us in Christ Jesus” (Eph. 2:6-7, CSB).

We really struggle to grasp the weighty truth of this passage, because we are currently in a stage of tension, the already-but-not-yet. Nevertheless, the apostle Paul isn’t playing games with words and neither is God. We really will be raised up and seated with Christ in the future—as a complete and glorified body in heaven!

Do we find such a scene in Scripture where the entire body of Christ is raised up and seated with Christ in heaven? Yes, and here’s an on-point quote from Greg Lauer:

Paul comes right out and says that Christ will raise us up and make us sit with Him in the heavenly places. How do you allegorize this away? How do you make this mean something different? If this is not being fulfilled right here in Revelation 4, then by all means—please indulge me and show me where it is fulfilled” (“The Gang’s All Here,” article #5, 2015, emphasis his).

And so, even though there is an already-but-not-yet fulfillment (positional sanctification, as it’s called), Ephesians 2:6 finds ultimate fulfillment in Revelation chapter 4. There in God’s throne room in heaven, we see the complete and glorified Church: the firstborn, the priest-kings, and the white-robed “clouds” who sit with the Lamb right before He stands up, takes the scroll, and begins to judge the earth. Gary’s written on this too, so if you missed it, check out “Who are the 24 Elders?

Again, I will often tell brothers and sisters in Christ under the New Covenant not to read themselves back into the “Old Testament” era. But if you are my brother or sister in Christ, then go ahead and read yourself into this next one too.

But first, we gotta do some detective work in order to clear up some confusion and uncover the mystery hidden in a 3,000-year-old psalm…

A Prophecy of Christ and His Church in Psalm 110

Before I go any further, I owe a debt of gratitude to one of my seminary professors, Dr. Larry Waters (now with the Lord), who introduced me to a highly influential and stimulating book called The Messianic Hope by Michael Rydelnik. I have cited Rydelnik in previous articles, and I am compelled to share his thoughts once again in this piece.

Rydelnik provides an outline of Psalm 110 that will help us to establish the proper context. He includes a chart that illustrates how Psalm 110 thematically unifies Psalms 107 through 113 (pg. 171):

107
108       “Pleas for Deliverance”
109

110       “The Messianic Deliverer”

111
112       “Praise for Deliverance”
113

You can read through these other psalms in order to see the connection for yourself. The placement of Psalm 110 as an answer to pleas and prayers of deliverance goes to show that the collection and arrangement of each and every psalm was a careful, deliberate, and Holy Spirit-guided process. For a brief example, Psalm 109:31 flows quite seamlessly into the next psalm (see Psalm 110:1)!

Next, Rydelnik adapts an outline of Psalm 110 from Derek Kidner’s commentary (pg. 171). The psalm has three units of thought that each depict some aspect of the ultimate Messiah, the Son of David (cf. 2 Sam. 7:11-131 Chron. 17:11-14):

(1) 110:1-3 – The Messiah is a Divine King

(2) 110:4 – The Messiah is an Eternal Priest

(3) 110:5-7 – The Messiah is a Righteous Judge/Victorious Warrior

When you read through this psalm and study the flow of thought, you’ll discover that the book of Revelation is a thorough expansion of this ancient prophecy. There is a sure and steady move of the Messiah from His exalted position in heaven, at the right hand of God (YHWH, the LORD), back down to earth in order to wage a righteous war against His enemies (cf. Rev. 19:11-16).

And, as you know, the Messiah isn’t alone—He has a “body” with Him. Remember, Christ returns at the end of the Tribulation “with the clouds” (Matt. 26:64Rev. 1:7; cf. Dan. 7:13). Well, just as you might expect, “the clouds” can be seen in Psalm 110:3 and linked closely with David’s “Lord” and King (cf. Matt. 22:41-46).

However, it’s at this juncture where the Hebrew and Greek versions differ drastically, especially in the second line of verse three (Psalm 110:3b). First, here is an English translation of verse three that more or less adheres to the Masoretic Text (Hebrew):

Your people will volunteer freely in the day of Your power; In holy array, from the womb of the dawn, Your youth are to You as the dew” (NASB).

Second, here is an English translation of the same verse from the LXX (Greek):

With you is authority in the day of your might, with the splendor of the holy ones. From the womb, before the morning, I begat you” (The Lexham English Septuaguint).

As you can see there are major differences, and it’s no small task to try and piece this textual puzzle together. At first blush, I find it intriguing that verse three has the most difficult textual problem of all the places in this psalm. There is something monumental going on this verse, and if the original text is some kind of combination of both the Hebrew and Greek versions, then parallel passages containing “resurrection/raised-up-to-rule” imagery abound in Scripture and the implications for the Church are immense.

Here is what Rydelnik says about this significant verse:

David M. Hay correctly notes that the last phrase of 110:3 is ‘virtually unintelligible.’ The MT reads ‘from the womb of the dawn, your youth [yalduteyka] are to you as dew’…leading to a variety of strained and unlikely interpretations since these words make virtually no sense. Booj describes the phrase as ‘especially problematic and indeed…meaningless.’ He concludes that ‘some deformation must have crept in.’ Although a canon of textual criticism is that the harder reading is to be preferred, there is a difference between a harder reading and an incoherent, impossible one. For this reason, Sigmund Mowinckel and other scholars prefer the LXX, which reads, ‘from the womb of the dawn, I have begotten you,’ a translation based on the same Hebrew consonants but with different vowel pointings [yelidtika]. Additionally, Bentzen has suggested that the corruption of the MT resulted from deliberate scribal efforts to obfuscate the meaning and its plain allusion to Ps. 2:7. Since the LXX reading is preferable, it leads to a strongly messianic interpretation, describing in Hay’s words, ‘the birth of a divine child’ as King” (Messianic Hope, pg. 174-175, bolded emphasis mine).

Now, I don’t want anyone to become disheartened or overly suspicious every time there is a difference between English translations that highlight an underlying disagreement between the Masoretic Text and any other version, especially the Greek (LXX). The MT is a solid and reliable transmission of the entire Hebrew Bible, but you do need to be aware that the MT is dated around AD 1000 whereas the LXX manuscripts go as far back as 2-1 BC.

What does this mean? It means that the Masoretes, who were Hebrew scribes (i.e. non-Christians) and gatekeepers of a text transmitted down through the centuries post Pentecost AD 33, would certainly want to avoid any association with Jesus as the Messiah and “begotten Son” of YHWH (cf. John 1:143:16).

Therefore, it is entirely plausible to suggest that the surviving Hebrew text (MT) contains a deliberate attempt to disassociate and avoid the clear link between Psalm 110:3 and Psalm 2:7. Chalk it up as just another “conspiracy theory,” if you wish, but Rydelnik’s explanation accounts for the confusion and incoherence between the Greek and Hebrew versions. Additionally, there is evidence from other ancient Hebrew manuscripts and the Syriac version that support and uphold the Greek inclusion of the Father’s words “I have begotten you” in Psalm 110:3 (Messianic Hope, pg. 175, footnote 42).

In summary, neither the Hebrew or the Greek versions have the original text, and we need both of them in order to reconstruct what was lost in transmission. William Brown, a scholar at Union Theological Seminary, agrees and honors both Masoretic and non-Masoretic witnesses. Here is his suggested rendering of the original text of Psalm 110:3b:

In holy splendor, out of the womb, towards the dawn go forth! Like dew, I have begotten you” (“Critical Notes: A Royal Performance” from Journal of Biblical Literature, vol. 117.1, year: 1998, pg. 96).

Wisely and conservatively, Brown incorporates the reference to “dew” found in the MT but omitted by the LXX. He also includes in a footnote his suggestion that the “womb” refers to Zion, which is frequently associated with maternal imagery. For evidence he cites Isaiah 66:7-9 and Psalm 87:4-6!

So, putting the pieces all together now, Psalm 110:3 looks something like this (based loosely on the ESV + the scholarship cited above):

Your people will offer themselves freely on the day of your power dressed in holy splendor/garments; from the womb [and] before the dawn, like [the] dew I have begotten you.”

Next, take a look at the verses that come before and after verse three:

The LORD sends forth from Zion your mighty scepter. Rule in the midst of your enemies!…[t]he LORD has sworn and will not change his mind, ‘You are a priest forever after the order of Melchizedek” (Psalm 110:24, ESV).

And, voilà! Now we have all three of our messianic associations listed in Revelation 1:5-7: (1) Firstborn, (2) Priest-King, and (3) Cloud Army. Here are the thematic elements along with verse quotations from 110:2-4:

(1) Firstborn – “…from the womb before the dawn, like [the] dew I have begotten you” (110:3b)

(2) Priest-King – “…You are a priest forever after the order of Melchizedek” (110:4b), and “Rule in the midst of your enemies!” (110:2b)

(3) Cloud Army – “Your people will offer themselves freely on the day of your power dressed in holy splendor/garments” (110:3a)

The Begotten, Not Forgotten Ones

One day, and one day soon, the LORD will “remember” His covenant promise to the Church. The Head of the body has already gone before us as a forerunner, the prototype of what is to come. One day, and one day soon, the earth will not be able to contain the dead any longer and will bring forth (give “birth”) to the new creation (Rom. 8:22-23). One day when the fullness of Gentiles has come in (Rom. 11:25), the Father will say to us too, “Today, I have begotten you.”

Thus, as we have discovered in this study, a key prophetic text in Psalm 110:3 helps to complete the mystery of Messiah and His body. There are elements in this text that align beautifully with other passages that depict the “birth” (resurrection/glorification) of the Church.

For example:

Isaiah 26:1921 – The earth gives birth to the dead in Christ, “Your dead will live…” And here we find the presence of “dew” imagery again. Dew is symbolic of renewal and blessing—especially an early blessing such as the pre-dawn (Day of the LORD) resurrection and rapture before the earth is judged.

Isaiah 66:7-9 – The “birth” before Zion’s “labor” is the “begetting” of the Church, the male (Grk. arsen). Christ was begotten first, but His body is not far behind. The male (arsen) who is born from the earth is a collective, a nation of priest-kings resurrected and glorified in one day. Check out 2 Esdras 4:40-42 for a thought-provoking backdrop to these texts in Isaiah about the coming earth-birth of God’s children.

Revelation 12:5 – This one, solitary verse is pregnant (pun intended) and full of hope for the one who knows the backstory. It should come as no surprise, but we find Psalms 2 and 110 synced up again in this verse. The Firstborn (Church) is given authority to Rule (Ps. 2:7-9Ps. 110:2) and taken up to God’s throne…just…like…Jesus, the preeminent Priest-King (Ps. 110:1Eph. 2:6)!

Feel free to search for more Psalm 110:3 alignments, ’cause I’m sure there are many other passages that affirm the reconfiguration shown in this study. Hopefully, this will suffice for now, and I pray that I accomplished my aim in the Church of the Firstborn series: The Church goes first! We will be raised up, seated with Christ in heaven, and then return with Him to rule and co-shepherd the sheep nations with an iron rod.

Keep watching and waiting, brothers and sisters. Our “Begotten Day” will be here soon. Come, Lord Jesus! (Click to Source)

 

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