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.

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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.

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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…

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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.

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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:

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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.

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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.

 

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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.
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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.

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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.

 

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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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DAMASCUS COUNTDOWN: Major Escalation In Syria

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It started with the downing of a Russian Il-20 spy plane on the eve of Yom Kippur.  15 Russian military personnel were killed.  Israeli warplanes, as they were performing raids along the Syrian coast, were targeted by the Syrian government’s air defenses, but instead of shooting down Israeli jets, they inadvertently downed the large Russian spy plane.

Long story short, Israel denies responsibility, but the Russian military believes—or wants the world to believe—that the Israeli warplanes were using the Il-20 as cover, which confused Syrian radar and surface-to-air missiles.  Using the downing as a pretext, the Russian government has finally ordered the deadly S-300VM air and missile defense system to Syria.  The move is a fundamental game-changer and immediately backs Israel into a corner from which its military leaders may feel they have no other option but direct military confrontation with Russia.

For decades Israel has been able to launch air raids in Syria with relative ease.  The antiquated Syrian air defenses have been entirely incapable of defending against Israeli jets.  And in the last few years as Iran and Hezbollah have gained a large foothold in the country just north of Israel, the Israeli government has felt seriously threatened—Iran, is, after all, Israel’s supreme geopolitical archenemy and is openly calling for the complete annihilation of the Jewish State.

The decades-long situation has just changed and this picture shows you exactly why:

Russia’s international state media outlet (RT) is reporting the missiles will be delivered to Damascus proper, meaning that they will be given into the hands of the Syrian government, outside of the immediate control of the Russians.  The Syrians have long sought this missile system and now they will be getting their wish.  All of Northern Israel will be in range, and possibly all of Jerusalem depending upon the specific variant of S-300 missile.

If you see in that map what I see, then the city of Damascus itself is now Israel’s top threat in its immediate vicinity and is threatening about one-third of Israeli airspace, as well as blocking future Israeli air raids against Iran and Iranian proxies north.

But there’s more.  Russia is also sending sophisticated radar and satellite and radar jamming systems that will significantly cripple and thwart Israeli and western air forces over Syria.

While the world’s attention was drawn away to the 73rd session of the United Nations General Assembly and the back-and-forth between Brett Kavanaugh and his politically-motivated accuser, the Middle East just stepped into its own Cuban Missile Crisis—one that will very likely lead to Isaiah 17, and, ultimately, Ezekiel 38–39.  Those long-prophesied Tribulation events are like Christmas and the rapture is like Thanksgiving.

When you see the Christmas decorations going up, you know that Thanksgiving is right around the corner.

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On a different subject, we are trying to get the gospel into as many hands as possible.  For that reason, we’re offering our book 500 Years for free on Kindle for a limited time.  This will only be for a few days, so don’t miss the opportunity.  Download it here and please consider sharing with your friends and family or leaving a positive review.  That would really bless us.  Every dime of profit from book sales is going straight into ministry. (Click to Source)

~ MARANATA ~
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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.

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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?

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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).

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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 ~

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

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

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

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

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

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

Truth and comfort

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

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

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

Not a salvation issue

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

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

So with that, I want to define terms.

1. Tribulation 

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

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

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

2. Rapture

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

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

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

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

 

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

Paul wrote to Timothy,

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


And then we have this magnificent verse: 

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

This is stunning. Paul mentions judgment:

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

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

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

 

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

 

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

4. Church 

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

5. Israel 

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

6. 2nd Coming

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

The rapture: a mystery revealed to Paul 

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

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

 

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

 

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Paul echoed these words when he wrote:

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

Paul went on to say,

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

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

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

 

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

 

Notice a similar message in these two verses:

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

 

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

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

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

Look at Isaiah:

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

 



Reconciliation, Wrath & Destruction

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

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

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

 

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

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

You are harpazo’d. Snatched out quickly.

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

Look what Jesus says to the faithful church:

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

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

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

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

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

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

 

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

Wait. Remnant?

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

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

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

Final thoughts on the post-tribulation rapture theory

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

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

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

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

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

 

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

 

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

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

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

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

One last-last thought.

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

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

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

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

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

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



For discussion:

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

National Solar Observatory Cover-Up: What We Know So Far

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Several people have been emailing and messaging me about the apparent closure of the National Solar Observatory in Sunspot, New Mexico, so I thought this would be a good opportunity to address the situation.  These sorts of stories come out from time to time and I usually steer clear because they turn out to be unsubstantiated rumors.

This one is not.  However, although it is really happening, we would do well not to jump to any conclusions without knowing more.  The public is in the dark.

Here is what we know:

  • Last Thursday, September 6th, the National Solar Observatory in Sunspot, New Mexico, was evacuated and closed, with the only reason given being “security concerns.”
  • The Association of Universities for Research in Astronomy (AURA) claims to have ordered the evacuation.
  • The local sheriff’s office in Otero County (in which Sunspot is located) is claiming that the FBI was involved in the sudden closure.  Sheriff Benny House was quoted in the local news saying “the FBI is refusing to tell us what’s going on.”
  • The observatory entrance is currently marked off with crime scene tape and Sheriff House has further said, “There was a Blackhawk helicopter, a bunch of people around antennas and work crews on towers, but nobody would tell us anything.”
  • Multiple reports suggest the local post office was also evacuated.
  • There are rumors that other solar observatories and/or webcams have been shutdown, including:
    • – AXIS 232D Network Dome Camera located in Sydney Australia
    • – Webcams located at SOAR Observatory – The Southern Astrophysical Research Telescope located in Chile
    • – BRT Tenerife Telescope Webcam located in Spain
    • – Webcam located at Mauna Kea observatory at the University of Hawaii
    • – Hilo Webcam from the Canada-France-Hawaii Telescope observatory in Hawaii
    • – Webcam at JAT Observatory in Fairless Hills, Pennsylvania

I haven’t yet been able to substantiate the rumor that those other observatories and webcams were closed, but all of the other points above have been confirmed by numerous media reports.

Some of the less conspiratorial explanations include the possibility that Chinese or Russian hackers were using the observatory’s antennae to spy on nearby White Sands Missile Range or that government officials wanted to prevent photography of top secret aircraft or missile testing.

But, again, the public is still in the dark.  At this point it’s all just speculation.

We know that there have been an unusually large number of near-earth objects in the past 2–3 weeks and the Revelation 12 “Sign of the Dragon” may be occurring in about three weeks.  Could this be related?

There is also speculation that the sun may have launched an unusually powerful solar flare towards the earth, and there is, for whatever reason, some attempt to cover it up.  There was in fact news stories a few days ago about a large coronal hole facing the earth and a G2 geomagnetic storm occurred on September 11th, just a few short days ago.

From the prophetic side of things, many of us have wondered what might bring the Church into immediate danger precipitating our miraculous deliverance to Heaven (Rev. 12:5).  Might there be a threat to the earth?

If you have any further information, please share below or email us at tips@unsealed.org. (Click to Source)

~ MARANATHA ~
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The Lawless Law-Keepers

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Something eternally significant happened about 2,000 years ago.  Few people acknowledge it.  Even most of those who do acknowledge it with their lips, corrupt the truth and malign what happened by what they teach and how they live…

Christthe Messiahthe Son of God paid the penalty for all human sin and then rose again.

The LORD Jesus Christ fulfilled the mission of the long-awaited Redeemer who had been purposed from before the creation of the world (1 Pt. 1:202 Tim. 1:9Rev. 13:8), promised to Adam and Eve (Gen. 3:15–16), prophesied of by Moses (Deut. 18:18Acts 3:22), desired by Job (Job 19:25), and proclaimed by King David (Ps. 2:1–1216:9–1122:1–31).  He became the atoning sacrifice for all who have ever walked the earth—the propitiation for everyone with genuine faith in YHWH.  It was of this eternal Redeemer that the Prophet Isaiah spoke thus, some 700 years before He came:

Who has believed our message [THE GOSPEL]
and to whom has the arm of the Lord been revealed?
He grew up before him like a tender shoot,
and like a root out of dry ground.
He had no beauty or majesty to attract us to him,
nothing in his appearance that we should desire him.
He was despised and rejected by mankind,
a man of suffering, and familiar with pain.
Like one from whom people hide their faces
he was despised, and we held him in low esteem.

Surely he took up our pain
and bore our suffering,
yet we considered him punished by God,
stricken by him, and afflicted.
But he was pierced for our transgressions,
he was crushed for our iniquities;
the punishment that brought us peace was on him,
and by his wounds we are healed.
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.

He was oppressed and afflicted,
yet he did not open his mouth;
he was led like a lamb to the slaughter,
and as a sheep before its shearers is silent,
so he did not open his mouth.
By oppression and judgment he was taken away.
Yet who of his generation protested?
For he was cut off from the land of the living;
for the transgression of my people he was punished. [THE ATONEMENT]
He was assigned a grave with the wicked,
and with the rich in his death, [THE TOMB OF JOSEPH OF ARIMATHEA]
though he had done no violence,
nor was any deceit in his mouth. [HE WAS A SINLESS SACRIFICE]

Yet it was the Lord’s will to crush him and cause him to suffer,
and though the Lord makes his life an offering for sin,
he will see his offspring and prolong his days,
and the will of the Lord will prosper in his hand.
After he has suffered,
he will see the light of life and be satisfied; [THE RESURRECTION]
by his knowledge my righteous servant will justify many,
and he will bear their iniquities.
Therefore I will give him a portion among the great[GLORIFICATION]
and he will divide the spoils with the strong,
because he poured out his life unto death,
and was numbered with the transgressors.
For he bore the sin of many,
and made intercession for the transgressors.

– Isaiah 53

Since Adam and Eve sinned in the Garden, three things have stood against humanity, bringing death to all of us: 1. Sin (evil, ungodly conduct), 2. Iniquity (evil thoughts and desires), and 3. Transgressions (breaking faith with the LORD).  The LORD Jesus Christ took all three to the Cross.  Every problem we have is answered by His death and resurrection.

And what’s more, He is the only answer (Jn. 3:1814:6Acts 4:12) because there is no other sacrifice for sin (Heb. 10:26–31) and all of us are totallycompletely, and hopelessly lost in our depravity without God.

May the self-righteous among you learn the Word of the LORD:

The LORD saw how great the wickedness of the human race had become on the earth, and that every inclination of the thoughts of the human heart was only evil all the time.

…They are corrupt; their acts are vile. There is no one who does good.

Do not bring Your servant into judgment, for no one alive is righteous before You.

All of us have become like one who is unclean, and all our righteous acts are like filthy rags; we all shrivel up like a leaf, and like the wind our sins sweep us away.

No one is good—except God alone.

As it is written: ‘There is no one righteous, not even one; There is no one who understands, no one who seeks God.’

For all have sinned, and come short of the glory of God.

If we say we have no sin, we deceive ourselves, and the truth is not in us.

The Roman Catholic Church (and many legalistic Protestants) teach that mortal sin causes one to fall from grace.  To the contrary, the Scriptures say trying to be justified by something other than Christ and Him crucified is what really causes one to fall from grace:

You who are trying to be justified by the law have been alienated from Christ; you have fallen away from grace.

I do not set aside the grace of God, for if righteousness could be gained through the law, Christ died for nothing!

But the Law is good and from God.  Isn’t this message of “easy believism” denigrating the Law?  No, we are upholding the Law in its fullness (Rom. 3:31).  But how?  Because we believe in God’s Law whereas the legalists and hypocrites do not.  In their pride they think that somehow they will please God by keeping the Law, but not one of them has ever kept the Law.  This is what the Scriptures say about keeping the Law:

For whoever keeps the whole law and yet stumbles at just one point is guilty of breaking all of it.

We all stumble in many ways. If anyone is never at fault in what he says, he is a perfect man, able to control his whole body.

Again I testify to every man who gets himself circumcised that he is obligated to obey the whole Law.

Despite how they flatter God with their words, the legalists belittle, malign, and denigrate God’s Law.  God’s Law is perfect and so holy as to be unobtainable.  Yet they think they can obtain what only Christ could.  They think they can please God with their flesh or maintain their salvation by their futile efforts.  They exalt their own righteousness after they tear down the Law.

Here’s an example: You’ve probably heard many Pharisees whip out these words of Jesus when confronted with the Gospel:

If your hand or your foot causes you to stumble, cut it off and throw it away.  It is better for you to enter life maimed or crippled than to have two hands or two feet and be thrown into eternal fire.  And if your eye causes you to stumble, gouge it out and throw it away. It is better for you to enter life with one eye than to have two eyes and be thrown into the fire of hell.

“Yes, I believe in the Gospel, but if you want to be saved you must fight and struggle against sin.”  “You don’t have to gouge out your eyes, but you better take sin very seriously.  Don’t get caught red-handed.”

No.  Jesus’ words are clear.  He took the impossible-to-completely-keep 600+ laws in the Torah and raised the bar even higher.  He meant what He said.  If you want to avoid hellfire by keeping the Law then you better gouge out your eyes and cut off your hands.  Jesus wasn’t being facetious.

Do you see?  The legalists claim to be taking the Law seriously, but they actually reduce Jesus’ words so that they, in their self-righteousness, can uphold themselves while condemning you.

Likewise, many legalists think they are more right with God because they use Hebrew names only, keep the Sabbath, or avoid pork—or attend Church regularly, read the Bible daily, and avoid alcohol.  They are not any better off.  They’re in the same dangerous place every pagan is.  Their hearts are uncircumcised.  Not because they do good and obey the Law, but because they do it for the wrong reason.  They do it to justify themselves whereas it is God alone who justifies.  Salvation belongs entirely to the LORD and we have no part in it except to believe (Ex. 14:14Ps. 3:862:1Jn. 6:28–29).

Jesus repeatedly raised the Law’s bar:

You have heard that it was said to the people long ago, ‘You shall not murder, and anyone who murders will be subject to judgment.’  But I tell you that anyone who is angry with a brother or sister will be subject to judgment.

You have heard that it was said, ‘You shall not commit adultery.’ But I tell you that anyone who looks at a woman lustfully has already committed adultery with her in his heart.

Legalists break these commandments of Jesus all the time and couldn’t even confess to God all of the times they’ve sinned even if they tried.  Again, Jesus wasn’t being facetious.  He was restoring the Law to its proper, glorious, high and lofty place.  Like the Pharisees, they lower the Law’s standard until they think they can meet it, all the while condemning others, but they don’t even meet their own standard (Mt. 23:1–15Jn. 7:19).

Instead of listening to the “Law Preachers,” listen to the Apostles.  They believed Jesus’ words about gouging out eyes and cutting off hands, but notice that not one of them obeyed that commandment.  Not Peter, not Paul, not James.  None of them.  Why?

…Because after Christ’s death and resurrection and the giving of the Holy Spirit on Pentecost, they realized that the purpose of the Law, which was made for man (Mk. 2:27), was to lead us to grace (Rom. 10:4Gal. 3:24–25).

So the legalists who proclaim that the Law has not been done away with our correct.  The Law still stands, but Jesus fulfilled it Himself, so that we, who cannot keep the Law, can have another means of justification before God—the atoning death and resurrection of the LORD Jesus Christ.

At the very first Church-wide council, the Apostles made it abundantly clear:

Certain people came down from Judea to Antioch and were teaching the believers: ‘Unless you are circumcised, according to the custom taught by Moses, you cannot be saved.’  This brought Paul and Barnabas into sharp dispute and debate with them.  So Paul and Barnabas were appointed, along with some other believers, to go up to Jerusalem to see the apostles and elders about this question.  The church sent them on their way, and as they traveled through Phoenicia and Samaria, they told how the Gentiles had been converted. This news made all the believers very glad.  When they came to Jerusalem, they were welcomed by the church and the apostles and elders, to whom they reported everything God had done through them.

Then some of the believers who belonged to the party of the Pharisees stood up and said, ‘The Gentiles must be circumcised and required to keep the law of Moses.’

The apostles and elders met to consider this question.  After much discussion, Peter got up and addressed them: ‘Brothers, you know that some time ago God made a choice among you that the Gentiles might hear from my lips the message of the gospel and believe.  God, who knows the heart, showed that he accepted them by giving the Holy Spirit to them, just as he did to us.  He did not discriminate between us and them, for he purified their hearts by faith.  Now then, why do you try to test God by putting on the necks of Gentiles a yoke that neither we nor our ancestors have been able to bear?  No! We believe it is through the grace of our Lord Jesus that we are saved, just as they are.’

I know I have harped on the legalists in our midst very hard, but they need to repent and believe the Gospelwhile there is still time, so that they too can receive the Holy Spirit and be saved.  I don’t think every legalist is unsaved—some genuinely believe the Gospel and have the Holy Spirit, but are confused about how to rightly divide certain passages of Scripture.  On the other hand, many have never truly understood the message and haven’t personally trusted in Christ for salvation.  The right time to believe is now.  Today is the day of salvation.  Believe on the LORD Jesus Christ and receive the Holy Spirit.

Despite the precarious theological position of the legalists, they do bring up an important point: how can those who claim to believe in God’s grace live like unsaved pagans?

There are some who are saved who do live like pagans (1 Cor. 3:11–155:1–5), but most of those who claim to be saved yet live lawlessly actually live lawlessly because they don’t understand the Gospel.  They claim to be Christians, but believe in universalism or that Christ is not the only way.  Or they do not regard their sin as something that needs to be atoned for (e.g. churches that promote the LGBT lifestyle).

You see, there are two sides of the unbelieving coin.  Two lanes on the broad road to Gehenna.  One side is populated by legalists who trust in themselves.  They are thieves and robbers who try to sneak into Heaven rather than going through the gate, which is Christ (Jn. 10:1).  The other side is filled with atheists and the grace-twisting lawless, alike.  Unbelievers from the lawless side of the road reject the truth of the resurrection, but many from both sides of the road, who claim to be religious and even “Christian,” reject the Gospel by rejecting the atoning aspect of it.  They claim to believe Jesus died and rose again, but they don’t understand or believe that His death is their only propitiation.

In truth, the lawless and legalists, alike, are really both lawless.  Legalism is just faux-religion.  Neither group acknowledges God’s standard.  While I love to proclaim the truth of God’s prophetic word, it is this message that I believe is the highest purpose of the ministry that God has given me, to call out satan’s deceit through both groups and thus magnify the Gospel and glorify Christ.

Salvation has always been by grace alone through faith alone in YHWH (Gen. 15:6Hab. 2:4Heb 3:7–4:11).  Many, like David and Job, looked forward in hope, longing for the Redeemer to come.  They were saved by faith.  In the Old Testament we see numerous examples of law-breakers killed for a single violation of the Law.  For example, in Numbers 15:32–36 a man is executed for merely gathering sticks on the Sabbath.  Yet King David broke the Law on numerous occasions (2 Sam. 11–12Mt. 12:3–4) and said of himself that his sins were as numerous as the hairs on his head (Ps. 40:12–13), but he was not killed.  He was saved because of his faith in the grace of God (Ps. 32:1–2).

Yet we, in this age of grace, look back and in faith remember the Redeemer who has already come, and in faith “press on toward the goal to win the prize for which God has called [us] heavenward in Christ Jesus.” (Phil. 3:14).  We await the appearance of our Great God and Savior, Jesus Christ, who is soon to be revealed from Heaven, who will change our lowly bodies and take us with Him to His Father’s house.  (Click to Source)

– – –
– – –

Further Reading:

THE GOSPEL: PART 1

THE GOSPEL: PART 2

THE GOSPEL: PART 3

THE GOSPEL: PART 4

THE GOSPEL: PART 5

WHICH JESUS DO YOU FOLLOW?

WHAT IS REPENTANCE?

WHAT IS THE GOSPEL?

WHY IS THE CHURCH DIVIDED?

ATONEMENT: THE DIVIDING LINE

CREATED FOR GOOD WORKS

THE TIGHTROPE OF FAITH

A CLOSER LOOK AT GENESIS 3-4

STAY ON THE NARROW WAY

ALL ABOUT BAPTISM

THE CALLED OUT ONES

VRM LOGO

 

An Overview Of Things To Come

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

spinning-top-inception

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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


The Path Diverges

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

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

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

Prophesied Wars

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

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

The 7-Year Tribulation Begins

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

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

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

A New World Order

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

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

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

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

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

The First Half – God’s Witnesses

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

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

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

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

The Second Half – Antichrist’s Rule

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

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



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

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

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

The Ending is Decreed, It Will Come to Pass

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

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

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

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

The Millennial Kingdom and Eternity

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

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

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

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

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

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

 

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

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Everywhere A Sign

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The signs are clear, ‘X’ marks the spot

Last year a Great Sign described in the Bible occurred on 9/23.  That same year, an all-time record number of Jews ascended the Temple Mount: 1,293.  The Great Sign pictured a woman in labor and a soon-to-be-born child.  Israel is the woman.  The child is the Body of Christ, the Church.  Exactly 300 days after the Great Sign, the world witnessed the biggest prophetic development in a half-century as Israel, the woman, enacted the historic nation-state law on July 19th at right about 3:00 am Israeli time.  The media likened the law’s unexpected significance and late night passage to “a thief in the night.”  This was 43 weeksto the day, from the Feast of Trumpets in 2017—an exact number of weeks within the human gestational range.

Two days later was this past Saturday, July 21st, the 9th of Av, the darkest day in Jewish history when both ancient Temples were destroyed and Jews were expelled from various countries in Europe.  On this day a new all-time record number of Jews ascended the Temple Mount: 1,440.  When the Tribulation begins, 1,440 x 100Israelites will be sealed (Rev. 7:1–8); these 144,000 later appear on top of a mountain (Rev. 14:1).  This calls to mind the Gatlinburg Fire at the end of 2016 that coincided with the beginning of the Great Sign as Jupiter entered Virgo’s womb.  The fire began on top of a mountain whose height is 1,440 meters (144,000 centimeters).  Among the wreckage from the fire was a single page from a burnt Bible showing a passage from Joel that declared that the Day of the LORD is near:

The climactic moment of the Great Sign was on September 23–24, 2017, when the alignment perfectly matched the description given in Revelation 12:1–2, however, the sign itself began forming 9–10 months before then and continued on until Christmas Day, 2017.  It was a multi-factor mega sign—the greatest heavenly sign in history—and confirmed by tens of thousands of witnesses who were able to read the Bible and trust what was written.  In turn, it was mocked by false accusers and even by supposed watchmen within the Church.

The Great Sign is pointing to the nearness of many major prophetic events: the rapture of the Church of the Firstborn, the commencement of the Day of the LORD, and the completion of The Parable of the Fig Tree.  One thing it is definitely not pointing to is the end of the world (despite what cheesy British tabloids might say).  Yet, God is still using those tabloids to educate unbelievers about the truth of His word because God can even use a donkey to speak.

Moving back to present events, on Sunday, the day after the 9th of Av, a 220 pound boulder dislodged from the Western Wall of the Temple Mount and almost killed a praying Israeli woman, but she survived the calamity just as the woman, Israel, will survive the Tribulation soon to come.  A piece of the wall this size hasn’t fallen in decades, which is suddenly making Jerusalem’s civil engineers and archaeologists nervous about the integrity of the rest of the wall and also the Islamic Dome of the Rock.  When things begin shaking on the Temple Mount, you can be sure the construction of the Third Temple won’t be far behind.  Speaking of 220 pound boulders, Strong’s Greek 220 is “arooster.”  When a rooster crows you awaken from your slumber.

This boulder crashed down just days after an unusual string of earthquakes shook Israel’s north, the same area through which the armies of Gog will march in fulfillment of Ezekiel 38.  On the heels of these earthquakes, Israel’s comptroller released a study estimating that the next major earthquake to strike the country will kill 7,000 people.  Lo and behold, a divinely-inspired book of prophecy that the nation of Israel rejects, which was written 2,000 years ago, says the same thing:

At that very hour there was a severe earthquake and a tenth of the city collapsed. Seven thousand people were killed in the earthquake, and the survivors were terrified and gave glory to the God of heaven.

79 year old Daniella Goldberg stands next to the boulder that almost crushed her

Now we are only three days away from the longest eclipse of any kind for over one hundred years (until 2123).  The entire nation of Israel and almost all of the Middle East will witness the nearly 2-hour long Blood Moon this Friday.  Totality for the “bullseye” Blood Moon will last for 103 minutes in Israel.  Strong’s Hebrew 103 is “to gather.”  God is about to gather His Church and then He will gather the remainder of Israel.  Because of it’s unique significance this century, it is arguably the tail end of the second fulfillment of a prophecy from Joel 2.  Totality will end shortly after midnight on Saturday (in Jerusalem).

But there’s something else that makes this historic Blood Moon even more significant: it’s occurring on Tu B’Av and will appear in close proximity with and directly over an unusually bright Mars—temporarily brighter than the King Planet Jupiter.  In all ancient cultures Mars represented war.  Daily Crow made an astute observation:

Fiery Mars will add to the spectacle as it appears directly below the blood moon at close to its maximum brightness. 5 reasons why this week’s lunar eclipse is going to be a rare celestial delight. Aside from being the longest eclipse of the century, totality will focus on the Middle East. The Mars (War) factor shines light on the geographic location that happens to be embroiled in the greatest conflict. What is equally as interesting is how so few countries (seen below in white) don’t witness any of it. More specifically, the only countries that are not “touched” by either the partial or total eclipse are The United States, Canada, Mexico, Belize, Guatemala, Costa Rica, Panama, Cuba and Greenland.

Remember the 1,440 Jews who ascended the Temple Mount this past weekend?  A series of Jupiter-Venus conjunctions that many have called the reappearance of the Star of Bethlehem began on August 18, 2014.  Exactly 1,440 days later is this Friday’s historic Blood Moon over Israel (source).

Following the 9th of Av, historic wildfires have ravaged Greece, the ancient cradle of Christianity.  The Bible often likens the coming Day of the LORD to a raging inferno or consuming fire.  So far at least 74 people have been tragically killed by the fire in what the Greek government is calling “a biblical disaster.”  People who were near the inferno, but survived, escaped by running into the sea just as the ancient Israelites escaped the Egyptian army:

Likewise, the Bible likens the Day of the LORD to a furnace and in recent days heat records have been broken in many different countries and across the United States.  As a matter of fact, the highest temperature ever recorded in Africa was just measured in Algeria.

– – –

With the Nation-State Law now in force, it seems God will return His focus to Israel in fulfillment of Acts 15and Romans 11.  But make note that the previous dispensational change wasn’t immediate.  Daniel’s prophesied 69th week ended at Jesus’ Triumphal Entry.  After that, Messiah was “cut off.”  Then there was a sort of intermediate state for 50 days until the Holy Spirit was given on Pentecost and the Church was conceived in Israel’s womb—Jerusalem.

I would argue that we might be living in just such an intermediate state since we are now living in the aftermath of the Great Sign and the restoration of Israel’s biblical identity via the Nation-State Law.  Just think about that for a moment.  Just like the disciples, who, after the resurrection, were patiently waiting for Christ to fulfill His promise to send the Holy Spirit, so we have seen God’s great, final sign to the Church, and are now patiently waiting for the fulfillment of His promise to change us, glorify us, and take us to His Throne.  We can now say the rapture is imminent in a way that no other generation of Christians could say.  We don’t know the day or hour, but we’re living in the season, and each of the major signs last year lines up perfectly with major biblical festivals this year.

Furthermore, don’t forget about the possible dual fulfillment of Daniel 9:25 I wrote about in May:

This ancient prophecy tells us that a period of 69 weeks of years would begin when a decree is given to “restore and rebuild Jerusalem.” The period would end with the arrival of the Messiah (Jesus Christ). It is already well understood that Daniel’s prophecy pinpointed the exact day of Jesus’ Triumphal Entry (Jesus’ first arrival) in either 32 or 33 AD (with the decree being given by Artaxerxes in 445 or 444 BC for Nehemiah to rebuild Jerusalem’s walls).

Consider the fact that the Bible predicts two arrivals by Jesus and Daniel’s prophecy does not specify who gives the decree initiating the 69 weeks of years. For that reason, it is at least plausible to entertain the possibility that this prophecy could be pointing to both of Messiah’s arrivals.

So here’s the kicker: There was a second decree to restore and rebuild Jerusalem in 1535 AD when Sultan Suleiman the Magnificent, emperor of the Ottoman Empire, ordered that the walls of Jerusalem be rebuilt. His walls still stand today—the Old City’s current walls were built because of this command. 69 weeks of years is a period of 483 years (69 x 7). 1535 AD + 483 years = 2018.

There’s more. For some unknown reason, the Angel Gabriel expressed this period of 69 weeks of years as two parts: “62 weeks” and “7 weeks.” 7 weeks of years is 49 years. If this division was at least partially given to explain the Messiah’s second arrival (or appearance) there is an interesting fit: during the Six-Day War in June 1967 the Old City had sustained significant damage, so in 1969 a third decree was given to restore and rebuild Jerusalem. Not much is known about this decree aside from what can be found in a few newspaper clippings, but 1969 + 49 = 2018.

– – –

If you are not ready for what’s about to go down I would implore you to be ready.  Being ready isn’t work, it’s a choice.  Choose you this day whom you will serve and get on board the ark.

Keep oil in your lamps my friends, and…
~ MARANATHA ~
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BREAKING: Jewish Nation-State Bill Becomes Law, Biggest Prophetic Development In 50 Years

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An ancient mosaic depicting the 12 tribes of Israel

The final draft of the Jewish Nation-State Basic Law was approved Wednesday by an 8 to 7 committee vote after government officials and Knesset members wrangled over key details in the text.  The bill then went to a final vote very early Thursday morning (Israeli time) and passed it’s second and third readings in the full Knesset with a vote of 62 to 55.  The third reading is final and because of this successful vote, the bill now becomes law.  As an Israeli Basic Law, it has constitutional weight and supersedes regular statutory legislation.  Even more, this is Israel’s twelfth Basic Law, so the nation of 12 tribes and 12 apostles is now governed by 12 major laws (source)*.

In my estimation, July 19, 2018 will go down in history as one of the most significant dates in Israel’s prophetic history—right up there with May 14, 1948 and June 7, 1967.  1948 was the restoration of the nation-state itself, 1967 the restoration of the nation’s capital, and 2018 the restoration of the nation’s biblical identity.

The Knesset’s final vote on the Nation-State Basic Law very early on July 19, 2018
Arab MKs tore copies of the new Basic Law in protest after the conclusion of the vote and there has been a firestorm of negative media targeting Israel because of the bill.  Western and Arab media alike are falsely accusing Israel of becoming a “fascist” apartheid state.  No doubt Israel’s enemies will see the bill’s passage as an excuse for further attacks.

Thousands have gathered in Tel Aviv to protest the legislation:

I’ve been following the progression of this law through the Knesset since March, recognizing that if it were to pass this year it would undoubtedly make 2018 as prophetically significant as 1948 and 1967.  Well, it passed.  It happened.  And it happened 70 years since the nation was established—the length of a biblical generation according to Psalm 90:10.  Israel’s biblical and Jewish identity has now been restored, along with its prophetic purpose to in-gather the exiles and possess the Holy Land.  Even more amazing, it was exactly one year ago this week that Israel temporarily regained control of the Temple Mount and Jewish prayers were first offered openly on the ancient Temple platform.  Counting inclusively, it has also been exactly 43 weeks, to the day, since the Feast of Trumpets in 2017 and exactly 300 days since the Revelation 12 Sign.  In other words, in an exact number of weeks and days within a human gestational period since the Great Sign last year, a major prophetic event pertaining to Israel has occurred.

The new Jewish Nation-State Basic Law makes official that:
  • The land of Israel belongs to the Jewish people only (as God’s covenant to Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob stipulates); from 1948 to 2018 it was the land of both Jews and Arabs
  • The Israelites’ ancient language, Hebrew, is now the official language of the land
  • The biblical calendar is now the official calendar of Israel
  • Keeping the biblical Sabbath is now a nationwide requirement
  • The biblical festivals and holidays are now officially recognized by the state and must be kept nationwide
  • The Israeli government must work to complete ingathering the exiles—a prophetic term pertaining to the end of the age when the dispersed Israelites would return to the land; furthermore, the law makes official Israel’s connection to the Diaspora
  • Jerusalem is the undivided capital of Israel
  • Jewish settlement of the Holy Land is now a “national value” and will be officially encouraged by the government—further bringing Israel back on track for God’s prophetic program of the Israelites possessing the land
  • The state shall act in official capacity to preserve the Jewish religion around the world
  • The Star of David is the official flag, the Second Temple’s Menorah is the official state symbol, and Hatikvah, a poem which formalizes the Israelites’ prophetic desire to return to Zion, is the official national anthem
  • Interestingly, it seems that the bill changes the official name of Israel from the “State of Israel” to just “Israel”
1948: THE NATION OF ISRAEL REBORN* →

1967: JERUSALEM RETAKEN →
 
2018: THE LAND’S BIBLICAL IDENTITY RESTORED

A major dispensational change is now imminent when God will return His focus to the restoration of Israel:

When they finished, James spoke up. ‘Brothers,’ he said, ‘listen to me.  Simon has described to us how God first intervened to choose a people for his name from the Gentiles.  The words of the prophets are in agreement with this, as it is written:

‘After this I will return
and rebuild David’s fallen tent.
Its ruins I will rebuild,
and I will restore it,
that the rest of mankind may seek the Lord,
even all the Gentiles who bear my name,
says the Lord, who does these things—
things known from long ago.’

– – –

The final text of the new law is as follows:

Basic Law: Israel as the Nation State of the Jewish People

1 — Basic principles 

A. The land of Israel is the historical homeland of the Jewish people, in which the State of Israel was established.

B. The State of Israel is the national home of the Jewish people, in which it fulfills its natural, cultural, religious and historical right to self-determination.

C. The right to exercise national self-determination in the State of Israel is unique to the Jewish people.

2 — The symbols of the state 

A. The name of the state is “Israel.”

B. The state flag is white with two blue stripes near the edges and a blue Star of David in the center.

C. The state emblem is a seven-branched menorah with olive leaves on both sides and the word “Israel” beneath it.

D. The state anthem is “Hatikvah.”

E. Details regarding state symbols will be determined by the law.

3 — The capital of the state 

Jerusalem, complete and united, is the capital of Israel.

4 — Language 

A. The state’s language is Hebrew.

B. The Arabic language has a special status in the state; Regulating the use of Arabic in state institutions or by them will be set in law.

C. This clause does not harm the status given to the Arabic language before this law came into effect.

5 — Ingathering of the exiles 

The state will be open for Jewish immigration and the ingathering of exiles.

6 — Connection to the Jewish people 

A. The state will strive to ensure the safety of the members of the Jewish people in trouble or in captivity due to the fact of their Jewishness or their citizenship.

B. The state shall act within the Diaspora to strengthen the affinity between the state and members of the Jewish people.

C. The state shall act to preserve the cultural, historical and religious heritage of the Jewish people among Jews in the Diaspora.

7 — Jewish settlement 

A. The state views the development of Jewish settlement as a national value and will act to encourage and promote its establishment and consolidation.

8 — Official calendar 

The Hebrew calendar is the official calendar of the state and alongside it the Gregorian calendar will be used as an official calendar. Use of the Hebrew calendar and the Gregorian calendar will be determined by law.

9 — Independence Day and memorial days 

A. Independence Day is the official national holiday of the state.

B. Memorial Day for the Fallen in Israel’s Wars and Holocaust and Heroism Remembrance Day are official memorial days of the State.

10 — Days of rest and sabbath 

The Sabbath and the festivals of Israel are the established days of rest in the state; Non-Jews have a right to maintain days of rest on their Sabbaths and festivals; Details of this issue will be determined by law.

11 — Immutability 

This Basic Law shall not be amended, unless by another Basic Law passed by a majority of Knesset members.

– – –

Further Reading:

Learn The Parable Of The Fig Tree

God And His Fig Tree

The Day Of The LORD

The Three Final Gatherings (Part I)

The Three Final Gatherings (Part II)

Passing The Torch

Get On Board The Ark

The Final Prayer Of The Church

– – –

*Note on Israel’s Basic LawsThe Knesset had previously established 14 Basic Laws, but three of the 14 were later repealed by subsequent Basic Laws, thus the Jewish Nation-State Law is now the twelfth.

*Note on Israel’s rebirth: The nation-state was “reborn” or “reestablished” in 1948, but the people themselves will not be reborn until they place their faith in their Messiah, the LORD Jesus Christ.  Sadly, prophecy tells us that this will not happen until well into the Tribulation. (Click to Source)

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