Will People Awaken when it is “High Time”?

 

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“And do this, knowing the time, that now it is high time to awake out of sleep; for now our salvation is nearer than when we first believed.” – Romans 13:11

The Greek word for “high time” is hōra, which means; a definite time or season, the twelfth hour or end of the day immediately before darkness. Of course, it is an unnatural response to awaken when darkness comes, but rather to sleep. However, in the spiritual sense, when darkness according to eschatology arrives, we must be awake.

“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.” – 1 Thessalonians 5:4-8

Therefore, let us consider what is occurring today with our eyes open and minds alert. A recent Barna poll discovered that 90% of political liberals have never read the Bible. Is it any surprise that that sector cannot discern between good and evil? I say to every true Christian, stop appealing to the sense of justice in liberal politicians and other godless influential people in our nation. They have no concept of justice. Instead, they believe justice is persecuting individuals that are just. Stop appealing to their common sense. They discarded that as a hindrance to political “correctness” long ago.

Cease attempting to embarrass liberals concerning their imbecilic and moronic statements. They are “unembarassable,” having no sense of propriety by which shame can be provoked. Why attempt to make them consider reason and logic when they embrace unreasonable and illogical as twin strengths of their “integrity?”

There is no purpose in appealing to their sense of fairness since they insist that their evil works are righteous. Thus, they howl as if egregiously wronged when exposed by the law or standard of common decency. They believe that outrage is proper against expressions of goodness, godliness, and common decency. But when people are outraged at child molestation, infanticide, gender perversion, or other scurrilous behavior, they screech that such outrage is hatred that should be punishable by every means possible.

Don’t appeal to their integrity; they dissolved it to retrofit the mind of Satan. Nothing from the kingdom of God appeals to or makes sense to them. Appealing to them about the great damage they are causing only makes them indignant and angry. The legacy of their wicked political leadership is as a massive pile of rubble, but they see it as a great mountain of hope.

So it is time to face the truth about what has a lion’s mouth grip on the throat of America. We (Christians) are under an aggressive attack by the secular realm with our demise as the intended result. Their plan is the total annihilation of truth and godly conscience by the Saul Alinsky method to achieve the Hegelian Dialectic. It is an implosion of the United States society so that a godless and brutal gulag can be established on the grave of our Republic. The United States will be joined to the godless Global government.

Furthermore and essential to understanding the whole picture, one must recognize the great apostasy of Christianity as a parallel great work of wickedness. It will completely destroy and/or subdue godliness and replace it with delusional wickedness, all under the false titles of peace and unity. It is actually peace with Satan and unity with unrighteousness. That fact is easily identified by the fruit.

The big picture is that the great wickedness professing Christians see occurring in the world system is occurring on an equal scale in Christianity. However, many Christians are very politically aware of the bizarre wickedness in the World System but completely refuse to recognize the same degree of wickedness in Christianity.

The two sectors are on parallel paths that are now speeding toward conversion. We know that is occurring when we witness complete abandonment of love for truth by an abundance of evil leaders in each sector.

So professing Christians are politically involved and believe they have a political Savior in the President. They completely ignore the spiritual destruction at work with equal force in Christianity. If they would only pray and take off the blinders, they would understand the danger. But they will not and they refuse to hear the watchman or join the Remnant. Here is what is likely to occur.

The whitewashed wall weak professing Christians are trusting in that provides their false hope will come down in an instant. They will turn back to trust in Christianity only to discover that it too has collapsed. Bewildered and fearful, they will accept the first way out, which will be the offer of peace and security by Antichrist and the False Prophet. They will be too weak to resist, too spiritually blind to recognize evil, and too dependent on comfort, security, and escapism, to endure to the end.

I pray daily that they will turn their focus back on God and away from the satanic sideshow. I hope and pray that they will open their minds to what God wishes them to see and prepare accordingly. One day their cries of, “Too late! It’s too late!” will echo off the shut door. (Matthew 25) (Click to Source)

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What does the Bible say about the bride and the marriage of the Lamb?

The marriage of the Lamb is one of the greatest events in the Bible. But who is Jesus’ bride?

 Brian Janz

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The marriage of the Lamb (Jesus) is one of the greatest events prophesied in the Bible. But who is Jesus’ bride?

“Let us be glad and rejoice and give Him glory, for the marriage of the Lamb has come, and His wife has made herself ready.” Revelation 19:7.

Who will be in Jesus’ bride?

The bride is the church.Many people use the word to denote the entire body of Christians, and others to describe a certain denomination or group or even the physical building that Christians gather in. The Bible makes it clear that the true church of Christ is made up of all those who deny themselves, take up their cross, and follow Him. (Ephesians 2:19-22; Matthew… More of Christ.

The church is made up of everyone who is on the way to becoming completely free from all sin, as Jesus is. It is those who have started down the path that will lead them to divine nature. (2 Peter 1:4) Some people may be farther along this way than others. Some people may have just begun. But everybody who walks this way is a member of the body of Christ.The body of Christ is made up of all of those who give their lives to serve God in order to come to the fullness of Christ. They work in the ministry that He has appointed them, which differs from person to person, for the edification of themselves and others to bring all to unity. It is made up of… More. They are preparing themselves to be the bride of Christ. The bride of Christ are all those who have purified themselves as He is pure and have been conformed to His image. (Romans 8:29) They cleanse and purify themselves of all sin and are true followers of Christ. The Bride is another term for the church of Christ…. More. They are making themselves ready.

They are the ones who love Jesus. They are His followers. They are those who ache with longing to be with their Lord and Master. They are those who have made a decision to serve Jesus with all of their heart, all of their soul, all of their being. They are the ones whom Jesus cleanses and purifies; they will be a glorious church without spot or wrinkle. In a word, holy. (Ephesians 5:25-27)

A bride is somebody comparable to her bridegroom. This is why it is written in 1 Peter 1:15“But as He who called you is holy, you also be holy in all your conduct.” The bride of Christ are those who will shine with a brightness and a purity and a holiness just as He who called her is holy.

“And to her it was granted to be arrayed in fine linen, clean and bright, for the fine linen is the righteous acts of the saints.” Revelation 19:8. The bride of Christ makes herself ready for Him. Every second she has on this earth is used to prepare herself for her bridegroom. Her fine linen is not something given to her during the marriage feast but it is something she has made herself during her time on earth by walking in righteousness.

“Many are called, but few are chosen.” Matthew 22:14. The bride is the same as the church, but there are not many who are truly counted among this number. Many invitations are sent out, but not many choose to answer.

Make yourself ready

Rightly understood, the bride is not an elite cadre of special Christians that only a few get to be a part of. The bride will be few in number, but this is not because only a few invitations were sent out. It is because few people choose to answer. To be a part of the bride you need to answer that call, and start following Jesus on the way He Himself has gone.

This time on earth is a time of engagement for Jesus and His bride. They have an intense love for one another, and long to be reunited. The bride wants to be near Jesus, her heavenly bridegroom. She will do everything and anything, she will pay whatever it costs, in order to be worthy of Him and be with Him.

Jesus will fetch His bride as soon as she is ready. Time is short, but there is still a time of grace for the bride to prepare herself, and it’s still possible to heed the call. (Read more about the rapture here)

Answering the call to be in the bride is the first step. It’s as simple as deciding, “I want to serve God with all my heart.” The way to go after this is described in Colossians 3:1-17. The bride sets her mind on things above. The bride is patient, humble, longsuffering, and does everything in the name of the Lord Jesus. The only thing she wants is to hasten the day of His return. (2 Peter 3:12)

The bride is so in love that she would pay any price to put off all sin, everything that is not Christ-like. She denies all such thoughts and puts them to death. (Colossians 3:5) And in this way the life of Christ can show forth in her. In this way she becomes a helper comparable to Him. With all of her very being she aches to be with Christ and knows that the way to do that is to become like Him. To become purified and cleansed as He is pure, and be transformed into divine nature like His. (1 John 3:2-3) Nothing less than perfection is acceptable. Any thought, any temptation that is not pleasing to Christ is immediately put to deathIs to overcome the temptations to sin that arise when our lusts and desires draw us to react in ways we know to be evil (i.e. pride, hatred, evil-speaking, envy etc.) It is the act of denying those thoughts and refusing to agree with them. The lust to sin is not only suppressed, but it actually dies. (Romans 8:13; Colossians… More! Sin is not an option for her! She wants to be with her bridegroom.

So she becomes holy as He is holy. These are the righteous acts of the saints as described in Revelation 19:8.

The marriage of the Lamb

Finally, when the bride is ready to meet the bridegroom, Jesus will return to fetch His beloved. After so many years of tribulation, Tribulations or trials refer to any event or situation that comes your way that tempts you to sin; that gives opportunity for sinful thoughts and temptations to rise up in you. The tribulation or trial arises when your mind to serve God struggles against your lusts to sin. It also often refers to difficult situations that test your ability to… More they can finally be united! All the heavens will rejoice in celebration of this event and there will be a tremendous marriage feast! (Revelation 19:7-8)

Now the bride can be with the bridegroom. The long night is over. Now she has been perfected. She is perfectly united with Jesus in will, in purpose, in nature. Never to be parted for all of eternity. (1 Corinthians 6:17)

They are standing there in heaven; a throng of warriors and heroes dressed in pure white – an army that has paid the price and given everything to be cleansed and purified and transformed into Christ’s image. They are shining brighter than the sun, shining with a purity equal to Christ Himself. They are holy. They are His.

The heroes of the Old Testament and the martyrs of the great tribulation, amongst others, are of course servants of God and have fellowship with Christ. But the bride of Christ has a very special calling. She is seated beside Him; she is equal with Him. She has suffered the same sufferings as He has on earth and now she has her reward. It is a reward far greater than any given to anybody else in heaven or on earth. She is set above angels, above cherubim, above all of God’s creation, to be a partner and a helper to God’s very Son Himself.

The bride’s job in eternity will always be beside the bridegroom. “And the Spirit and the bride say, ‘Come!’ And let him who hears say, ‘Come!’ And let him who thirsts come. Whoever desires, let him take the water of life freely.” Revelation 22:17. She is there beside Christ, drying tears, and erasing sorrows.

There is no greater reward than this. And there is no greater use of our time on earth than to prepare for the day of His coming, in earnest expectation. To be so in love with Jesus Christ that the lives we live here on earth are worthy of the bride He wants to marry. (Click to Source)
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The Growing Denial of the Rapture!

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It’s absolutely amazing to reflect upon the growing denial that the rapture of the Church is imminent. Somehow, it is becoming more and more fashionable to reject the most amazing and encouraging promise in all Scripture. Yet the promise is there, and clearly presented: At some time approaching the beginning of the seven-year tribulation, the Church – the Body of Christ, living and dead – will be instantly borne aloft, to be forever home with the Lord. Then will come the “wrath of the Lamb” (Rev. 6:16).

John, recording one of the most intimate scenes to be found in Scripture, recalls how Jesus told His disciples that He was leaving them for a little while, and that they couldn’t follow Him.

We all know the story. Peter argued that if allowed, he would accompany his Lord wherever He went, and would lay down his life for Him. Jesus’ answer is classic. He told the overly-enthusiastic Peter that before the cock crowed the next morning, he would stoutly deny that he was even one of the Lord’s disciples.

And then, Jesus responded by making a marvelous statement for the ages … to Peter and by extension, to all of us:

2 In my Father’s house are many mansions: if it were not so, I would have told you. I go to prepare a place for you. 3 And if I go and prepare a place for you, I will come again, and receive you unto myself; that where I am, there ye may be also” (Jn. 14:2,3).

The Apostle John faithfully recorded these words. Today, we read them with the emotion that was felt when they were initially uttered. This amazing promise began with the disciples, then spread through the infant Church: The one thing Jesus made very clear is that He will return at some point to take His followers home.

Later, other Apostles (chiefly Paul) were progressively given more and more details about this process and the timing of its conclusion. From the first century until the moment that one reads these words, His promise to return for His own is the central feature of the Church.

And speaking of the Church, there is the marvelous opening of the Book of Revelation. It begins by laying out the future pathway of the Church, illustrating its future history in the Letters to the Seven Churches. A very special promise is made to the Philadelphian Church:

“10 Because thou hast kept the word of my patience, I also will keep thee from the hour of temptation, which shall come upon all the world, to try them that dwell upon the earth. 11 Behold, I come quickly: hold that fast which thou hast, that no man take thy crown” (Rev. 3:10-11).

The “hour of temptation” mentioned above can be translated “hour of testing” or “hour of trial.” Theologians down through the ages have taught that this is a metaphor for the Tribulation, which will be the period of ultimate testing for Israel, not the Church.

“1 Behold, the day of the LORD cometh, and thy spoil shall be divided in the midst of thee. 2 For I will gather all nations against Jerusalem to battle;” (Zech 14:1,2).

Jerusalem is the center of the Tribulation’s battles, not the Church. Notice that Zechariah speaks of “all nations.” The Tribulation is global. Israel is the target. The Church is to be kept from the horrors of judgment, or to put it biblically, “I will come again and receive you unto myself.” What a promise!  (Click to Source)

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A MESSAGE OF HOPE FROM DR. JACK VAN IMPE – THE TIME OF JACOB’S TROUBLE

THE TIME OF JACOB’S TROUBLE

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For nearly two thousand years we have been living in a parenthesis, a prophetic interval, a time “in between.” Daniel’s prophecy in the vision of the seventy weeks called for a period of 490 years when God would deal especially with Israel. When Christ offered Himself as the Prince of Israel, 483 years, or 69 weeks of years, had been fulfilled. When He was rejected and crucified the prophetic clock stopped, not to begin again until the Jews were back in their land and the parenthetical period had ended. During this prophetic interval, sometimes known as the Church Age, both Jews and Gentiles who are born again through faith in Christ become part of the body of Christ or the bride of Christ. The signal that the “in between” time has ended will be the removal of the church (the bride of Christ) from the earth. This great event is described in a number of Bible portions. One of the clearest is 1 Thessalonians 4:13 –18:

But I would not have you to be ignorant, brethren, concerning them which are asleep, that ye sorrow not, even as others which have no hope. For if we believe that Jesus died and rose again, even so them also which sleep in Jesus will God bring with him. For this we say unto you by the word of the Lord, that we which are alive and remain unto the coming of the Lord shall not prevent them which are asleep. For the Lord himself shall descend from heaven with a shout, with the voice of the archangel, and with the trump of God: and the dead in Christ shall rise first: Then we which are alive and remain shall be caught up together with them in the clouds, to meet the Lord in the air: and so shall we ever be with the Lord. Wherefore comfort one another with these words

The event then that ends the Church Age and ushers in the seventieth week of Daniel’s prophecy is the return of Christ for His church. This coming of Christ in the air is known as the Rapture of the church; it involves the resurrection of the Christian dead as well as the exit from earth of all believers living at that time.

With the removal of the church, earth plunges into its most awful hour. Of this time Jesus said, “For then shall be great tribulation, such as was not since the beginning of the world to this time, no, nor ever shall be” (Matthew 24:21). He was speaking of the seven-year period known as the Tribulation, or the Time of Jacob’s Trouble, so named because of Jeremiah’s prophecy: “Alas! for that day is great, so that none is like it: it is even the time of Jacob’s trouble…” (Jeremiah 30:7).

Some believe the church will remain on earth for the Tribulation. There are a number of reasons for rejecting this conclusion.

The return of Christ for His church is a sign less and always imminent event. Even the New Testament writers expected the Lord’s return at any moment: “For our conversation [citizenship] is in heaven; from whence also we look for the Saviour, the Lord Jesus Christ” (Philippians 3:20).

All signs of the Lord’s return have to do with the coming of Christ to set up His Kingdom. They are only indicators of the approaching Rapture because that event precedes the establishment of Christ’s kingdom by seven years. The moment the Tribulation begins, however, a timetable will be evident. Date-setting will be conclusive. During the Tribulation, Christ’s return will no longer be imminent. Therefore, the Rapture of the church must precede the Time of Jacob’s Trouble.

The Tribulation will be a time of wrath: “For the great day of his wrath is come; and who shall be able to stand?” (Revelation 6:17). And the church is not to be the recipient of wrath. In assuring the Thessalonian Christians that they would not go through the Tribulation, Paul explained: “For God hath not appointed us to wrath, but to obtain salvation by our Lord Jesus Christ” (1 Thessalonians. 5:9).

Wicked as it is, the world is not quite ready for the Tribulation and the Antichrist. The church is not all it ought to be, but the world is better because the church is here. Sin is rampant, but it would be far worse without the presence of the church and its hindering influence to evil: “For the mystery of iniquity doth already work: only he who now letteth will let [hinder], until he be taken out of the way. And then shall that Wicked be revealed…” (2 Thessalonians 2:7,8).

The Holy Spirit, working through Christians, holds back the tide of evil sweeping the world. When His influence in this manner is removed at the Rapture, the world will be ready for the Antichrist and the Tribulation.

The church has three heavenly appointments during the earthly Tribulation.

First, Christians cannot be on earth during the Tribulation because they have important business elsewhere. When the Lord returns for His church, it will be time for the judgment seat of Christ: “And behold, I come quickly; and my reward is with me, to give every man according as his work shall be” (Revelation 22:12).

Second, Christians who are living at the time of Christ’s return must have time in the mansions prepared by Jesus as described in John 14:1 — 3. The only time available for the fulfillment of this promise before the Millennium is during the Tribulation.

Third, the marriage supper of the Lamb will take place in heaven during the end of the Tribulation period, according to Revelation 19:9, and the bride of Christ must attend. Following this joyful occasion, those who belong to Christ will return with Him as He comes to set up His kingdom. Since believers must come from heaven to earth at the end of the Tribulation, it is clear that the Rapture must precede that time of trouble.

Finally, it must be remembered that the Tribulation is especially related to Israel. Once this truth is established, all confusion about the time of the Rapture disappears. The return of Christ for His church marks the end of the Church Age, the parenthetical period, and begins the Time of Jacob’s Trouble.

What is the Time of Jacob’s Trouble? Let Daniel describe it: “…there shall be a time of trouble, such as never was since there was a nation even to that same time…” (Daniel 12:1).

This unprecedented period of tribulation is not to be confused with daily tribulations which all of God’s people pass through. Jesus said: “…In the world ye shall have tribulation: but be of good cheer; I have overcome the world” (John 16:33).

Paul had learned to glory in tribulations: “…we glory in tribulations also: knowing that tribulation worketh patience” (Romans 5:3).

These heartaches, problems, and tribulations are different from the Tribulation. This seven-year period is one of immense suffering for the entire world. It is an era of unthinkable trouble. Nothing in history can be compared to it, nor will there ever be anything equal to it in the future. Chapters 6, 8, 9, 15, and 16 of Revelation describe the Time of Jacob’s Trouble under the headings of seven seals, seven trumpets, and seven vials. Next week we will look at the panorama of human pain that will be experienced by the inhabitants of the earth during the Tribulation.

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Messiah’s Lament

As for me, I will behold thy face in righteousness:
I shall be satisfied, when I awake with thy likeness. —Psalm 17:15

This morning a dove landed on the railing outside. I heard her voice first and then I saw her, less than ten feet away, finding shelter in the weathered edges of my home.

A year ago, two maybe? The words came with soft urgency and deep love: Winter is past, the holy one said, and I wept in the dark. That spring the doves came and nestled outside my bedroom window with lullabies that went up like prayers—

My beloved spoke, and said to me: “Rise up, my love, my fair one, and come away. For lo, the winter is past, the rain is over and gone. The flowers appear on the earth; the time of singing has come, and the voice of the turtledove is heard in our land. The fig tree puts forth her green figs, and the vines with the tender grapes give a good smell. Rise up, my love, my fair one, and come away!”—Song of Solomon 2:10-13

Winter. A season of scarcity and want. A season of silence and cold. A season of foraging for food, for warmth, for love.

The prophetic urgency of the past several months has felt unsustainable at times, if I’m honest. (Can I be?) I’m not a good occupier. (Working on this.) I’m whole-heart-in, don’t-look-back, face-to-the-sky, come-Lord-Jesus. Behind the intensity, though, is a river of tenderness that keeps the tears flowing: Come, thou long expected. The Spirit and the bride say Come.

There is much work to be done. I celebrate every newly born believer while also aching in that liminal paradox of—Lord, so many remain unsaved! But I can’t bear another moment not seeing Your face! How do we ever find peace with this? The same way we always do, and I circle back around to it seventy times seven times a day: trust. 

But I don’t want to miss a thing.

Trust anyway.

I didn’t feel so peaceful or trusting today, though. I scrubbed my dishpans with more vigor than I needed to, but I held a come to Jesus meeting with myself and my kitchen got real clean. So did my soul. After the polished neatness of September 23rd, with everyone hoping for a nice & predictable Rosh Hashanah rapture, the watchmen community at large feels a bit scrambly. New rapture dates, caveats, theories, timelines, and what my friend Rohit calls “gospel shops” pop up by the hour on YouTube. It’s enough to drown in. It’s enough to spend the rest of my lifetime in, and I’ve got to draw a line somewhere. How much energy and precious time can I devote to the newest and latest revelation?

It’s easy to catch what the kids call FOMO, even for middle-aged, matronly folks like me.

So I’m cleaning house these days, inside and out. I crave simplicity and the sweetness of longing. A return to what I know so I can trust, anyway, when I don’t know. From here I stretch out my arms like tree limbs to the sky, with wholesome curiosity and childlike faith. I’m kneeling in the dirt, smoothing out trampled footprints, and beginning again.

What do I really know?

Less than I knew yesterday, and [disappointingly] this seems to be a pattern.

But right now I want to share 3 simple and irrefutable back-to-basics prophetic truths that you can hold close as you go about your Father’s business.

1. We are in the last days.

It is undeniably a season of transition. At least one phase of birth is complete and the remnant is returning (Micah 5:3). The time of the Gentiles is being fulfilled (Rom. 11:25). The age of the dispensation of grace is drawing to a close.

The transition of an age reminds me of that time between day and night, twilight. And of dawn, the soft space between night and morning. We are in the twilight of a generation who has seen the budding of the fig tree spoken of by Jesus (Matt. 24:32-34). We are at the twilight (or dawn) of Jacob’s Trouble, or Daniel’s 70th week. We who believe are children of the Day. We are not of night nor of darkness, and this Day will not overtake us as a thief. (1 Thess. 5:3-5)

Interestingly, Jupiter, which recently completed a 42-week retrograde in the womb of Virgo, is in transition right now!

Jupiter’s conjunction with the sun—when it is more or less directly behind the sun from Earth—comes on October 26. That event will mark Jupiter’s transition out of the evening sky and into the morning sky.—EarthSky

You are all sons of light, sons of the Day…

Could it be that Jupiter’s path into the morning sky, into Day, might help fulfill Rev. 12:5?

“And she brought forth a man child, who was to rule all nations with a rod of iron: and her child was caught up unto God, and to his throne.”

“His seed shall endure for ever, and his throne as the sun before me. It shall be established for ever as the moon, and as a faithful witness in heaven. Selah.” (Ps. 89:36-37)

“Through the tender mercy of our God; whereby the dayspring from on high hath visited us.” (Luke 1:78)


Dayspring: G395, anatolé—rising of the sun; sunrise.

Their line is gone out through all the earth, and their words to the end of the world. In them hath he set a tabernacle for the sun, which is as a bridegroom coming out of his chamber… (Ps. 19:4-5)

We may not know exactly when Jesus will descend from heaven with a shout (1 Thess. 4:15-17), but we know these are the last days. (Luke 21:282 Tim. 3:1-51 Tim. 4:1-2Heb. 1:1-2) They are also beautiful days that the Lord hath made, and let us be glad and rejoice in them.Come on, everyone, rejoice! We woke up this morning to the gracious gift of a new day. What will you do with today? Find moments to live in. Reach out with tenderness. Look for the beauty. Bless the body. There is so much around to notice, to give thanks for, to love.

2. Jesus is coming SOON. We have promises in Scripture that point to Jesus and our Blessed Hope.

We can be encouraged by the powerful typologies in Scripture for our soon catching-away and God’s mercy for His people. He has not forgotten us, and He WILL come! Consider these examples:

Enoch, a type of Church; Noah, a type of Israel protected through judgment

Enoch pleased God and was taken by Him (Gen. 5:24Heb. 11:5) before the flood. His great-grandson Noah faithfully obeyed God, built an ark, and was kept safely through the water. (Heb. 11:7) The unrighteous perished.

Lot, a type of the Church; Sodom & Gomorrah, the unrighteous 

The angels could not do anything until Lot was taken out of Sodom & Gomorrah. They literally took them by the hand and led them out of the city when Lot & his family weren’t moving fast enough! (Gen. 19:12-2429) God destroyed Sodom & Gomorrah with brimstone and fire. Lot’s wife looked behind and became a pillar of salt. (Gen. 19:262 Peter 2:6-9)

The Rapture vs. the 2nd Coming
The Rapture vs. the 2nd Coming. Click to enlarge.

Joseph (a type of Christ), his Hebrew brothers, and his Egyptian wife

Rejected by his brothers (Jews), Joseph rose to power outside of Israel and took a Gentile bride (Gen. 41:45) before the 7-year famine. From then on, his wife was “hidden”—she is not seen or mentioned after this, presumably safe & protected as royalty in the palace. It is the famine that brought Joseph’s brothers to him. They did not recognize him at first and when Joseph revealed himself, they were greatly troubled. (See also Zech. 12:10.) He said to them, “God sent me before you to preserve you a posterity in the earth, and to save your lives by a great deliverance.” (Gen. 45) “But as for you, ye thought evil against me; but God meant it unto good, to bring to pass, as it is this day, to save much people alive. Now therefore fear ye not: I will nourish you, and your little ones. And he comforted them, and spake kindly unto them.” (Gen. 50:20-21) Joseph kept his Jewish brothers through the famine.

Daniel, a type of Church; Shadrach, Meshach & Abed-Nego a type of Israel; Nebuchadnezzar a type of antichrist. (See Daniel 3)

Daniel, originally a Hebrew captive, became ruler of the whole province of Babylon. King Nebuchadnezzar made him chief of the governors and set him over all the wise men. However, this highly esteemed ruler was hidden, absent and unmentioned, in the day of Nebuchadnezzar’s golden image. (Dan. 2:48Dan. 3) Shadrach, Meshach & Abed-Nego refused to “take the mark” (so to speak; compare Rev. 13:14-15) by refusing to worship the image. (Dan. 3) Nebuchadnezzar cast them into the fire, which was made seven times hotter than before. They were saved and protected, kept through the fire by the One who is “like the Son of God.”

Flood, famine, and fire

Enoch, Lot, Daniel, and Joseph’s bride were kept from disaster, persecution and judgment. Noah’s family, Daniel’s friends, and Joseph’s brothers were all kept through it. We know that in this world we will have tribulation, but Jesus has overcome the world (John 16:33). We as the body of Christ are more than conquerors through Him who loved us (Rom. 8:31-39), and we are not appointed to wrath (1 Thess. 5:9) but to deliverance (2 Peter 2:9).

For whatsoever is born of God overcometh the world: and this is the victory that overcometh the world, even our faith. (1 John 5:4)

And they overcame him by the blood of the Lamb, and by the word of their testimony; and they loved not their lives unto the death. (Rev. 12:11)

We who believe and have placed our trust in the Messiah for salvation & righteousness have the assurance of His promise, which begins with loving comfort:

Let not your heart be troubled: ye believe in God, believe also in me. In my Father’s house are many mansions: if it were not so, I would have told you. I go to prepare a place for you. And if I go and prepare a place for you, I will come again, and receive you unto myself; that where I am, there ye may be also. And whither I go ye know, and the way ye know. Thomas saith unto him, Lord, we know not whither thou goest; and how can we know the way? Jesus saith unto him, I am the way, the truth, and the life: no man cometh unto the Father, but by me. (John 14:1-6)

…adorn the doctrine of God our Saviour in all things. For the grace of God that bringeth salvation hath appeared to all men, teaching us that, denying ungodliness and worldly lusts, we should live soberly, righteously, and godly, in this present world; looking for that blessed hope, and the glorious appearing of the great God and our Saviour Jesus Christ; who gave himself for us, that he might redeem us from all iniquity, and purify unto himself a peculiar people, zealous of good works. (Titus 2:10-14)

3. Israel is thriving.

In the new and surprising economic world order, Israel could gain a degree of wealth not seen since the days of King Solomon.—Brian Schrauger, Jerusalem Post

The rise and renewal of Israel is astonishing to watch. “Today, approaching its 70th anniversary since the state of Israel was created by a vote of the United Nations in November 1947, Israel has become a strong power in many areas. Its military is rated #8 in the world, its High Tech stands in the top 5 in the world and its water desalinization stands by some accounts #1. Its military is the strongest in the Middle East reinforced by 100 atomic bombs, 700 airplanes and strong intelligence services (Mossad, Shin Bet). The population of Israel has soared from 800,000 in 1948 to 8.4 million today.”—Dr. Jonathan Adelman, Huffington Post

This is the country of which the Lord said through the prophet Jeremiah—

“Surely, as a wife treacherously departs from her husband,
So have you dealt treacherously with Me,
O house of Israel,” says the Lord.
A voice was heard on the desolate heights,
Weeping and supplications of the children of Israel.
For they have perverted their way;
They have forgotten the Lord their God. (Jer. 3:20-21)

And through the prophet Ezekiel,

For I will lay the land most desolate, and the pomp of her strength shall cease; and the mountains of Israel shall be desolate, that none shall pass through. Then shall they know that I am the LORD, when I have laid the land most desolate because of all their abominations which they have committed. (Eze. 33:28-29)

In his book Innocents Abroad, author Mark Twain described his visit to Israel in 1867, saying that it was “…a desolate country whose soil is rich enough, but is given over wholly to weeds… a silent mournful expanse… a desolation… we never saw a human being on the whole route… hardly a tree or shrub anywhere. Even the olive tree and the cactus, those fast friends of a worthless soil, had almost deserted the country.” Of Jerusalem he wrote, “A fast walker could go outside the walls of Jerusalem and walk entirely around the city in an hour. I do not know how else to make one understand how small it is.”

You and I exist in a time when Israel is no longer desolate. 

In fact, Travel + Leisure magazine added Jerusalem to its list of 50 Best Places to Travel in 2017. Yes, this Jerusalem…

“O Jerusalem, Jerusalem, thou that killest the prophets, and stonest them which are sent unto thee, how often would I have gathered thy children together, even as a hen gathereth her chickens under her wings, and ye would not! Behold, your house is left unto you desolate. For I say unto you, Ye shall not see me henceforth, till ye shall say, Blessed is he that cometh in the name of the Lord.” Matt. 23:37-39

I call this Messiah’s lament. It is gut-wrenching and revealing. In it we feel the raw and weary agony of one who loves and longs to be received by His own. 

We also have a prophetic timestamp. You will not see me until you say, blessed is he who comes in the name of the Lord. Oh, let Israel now say! Around forty years after Jesus spoke these words—40 is the number for trial and testing—Jerusalem & the temple were destroyed and the Jews scattered, captured, and killed. Until 1948, the Jewish people did not consistently dwell in Israel which became known for a long time as “no-man’s land.”

Desolation.

One day, like Joseph’s brothers, the eyes of Jerusalem will be opened and they will be troubled when they realize truth. In the book of Zechariah we read:

And I will pour on the house of David and on the inhabitants of Jerusalem the Spirit of grace and supplication; then they will look on Me whom they pierced. Yes, they will mourn for Him as one mourns for his only son, and grieve for Him as one grieves for a firstborn. (Zech. 12:10)

“…Ye shall not see me henceforth, till ye shall say, Blessed is he that cometh in the name of the Lord.”

The Messiah quoted Psalm 118 when he offered these words. There is an interesting theory that Psalm 118could apply to the year 2018, which happens to be the 70th anniversary of the year Israel became a state.

Let Israel now say, that his mercy endureth for ever.
Let the house of Aaron now say, that his mercy endureth for ever.
Let them now that fear the Lord say, that his mercy endureth for ever.
[…] The stone which the builders refused is become the head stone of the corner. This is the Lord’s doing; it is marvellous in our eyes. This is the day which the Lord hath made; we will rejoice and be glad in it. Save now, I beseech thee, O Lord: O Lord, I beseech thee, send now prosperity. Blessed be he that cometh in the name of the Lord: we have blessed you out of the house of the Lord. (Excerpts from Ps. 118)

This generation
Scripture tells us that a generation is between 70 and 80 years. (Psalm 90:10) The state of Israel was established in 1948, but a Gentile assembly voted for statehood on November 29, 1947. Doing the math, this makes 2017 a 70th anniversary.Psalm 117 holds an interesting message for the Gentiles. All of two verses, it reads—

Praise the Lord, all you Gentiles! Laud Him, all you peoples! For His merciful kindness is great toward us, And the truth of the Lord endures forever. Praise the Lord! (Ps. 117)

So this is where I return to the arena of trust. Do I know for sure that these Psalms hold prophetic meaning for 2017/18? I do not. Do I know for sure that all of the seemingly infinite reasons why 2017 is a great year for the harpazo are more than just impressive facts? Well, I do not believe in coincidence. Do I know what event comes next upon the global and eschatological stage? I suspect so, but I can’t say for sure.

But I do know to watch, to be faithful, to keep on loving and tending that which is given to me, to be humble as I ask the questions, observe current events, and pray without ceasing.

In the meantime, God’s figs will keep on ripening. 

“Now learn a parable of the fig tree; when his branch is yet tender, and putteth forth leaves, ye know that summer is nigh: So likewise ye, when ye shall see all these things, know that it is near, even at the doors. Verily I say unto you, this generation shall not pass, till all these things be fulfilled.” (Matt. 24:32-34)

“The fig tree puts forth her green figs, and the vines with the tender grapes give a good smell. Rise up, my love, my fair one, and come away!”—Song of Solomon 2:13

When the leaves of the fig tree are tender, summer is near.

When the fig tree puts forth her green figs, the Beloved calls to His love (Song of Solomon 2:10-13) and the stars of heaven fall to earth (Rev. 6:13).

What happens when figs are fully ripe?

“Thus hath the Lord God shewed unto me: and behold a basket of summer fruit. And he said, Amos, what seest thou? And I said, A basket of summer fruit. Then said the Lord unto me, The end is come upon my people of Israel; I will not again pass by them any more.” Amos 8:1-2

An interesting fact about Amos. Before he was a prophet, he was a keeper of figs. 

“Then answered Amos, and said to Amaziah, I was no prophet, neither was I a prophet’s son; but I was an herdman, and a gatherer of sycomore fruit: And the Lord took me as I followed the flock, and the Lord said unto me, Go, prophesy unto my people Israel.” (Amos 7:14-15)

“Amos was a poet as well. Probably, because of the fig’s summer picking season, another name for figs found in the Bible is “summer fruit” or kaytz. This Hebrew word, kaytz, also means “summer” and shares the same root and sounds very similar to the Hebrew word for “the end” (ketz). Like all the biblical prophets, Amos often utilized poetry and alliteration for his prophetic delivery.”—Gary Alley, Jerusalem Cornerstone Foundation

Sycomore figs

{Says the Beloved…}
You who dwell in the gardens,
the companions listen for your voice—
Let me hear it!

{Says the Loved…}
Make haste, my beloved,
And be like a gazelle
Or a young stag
On the mountains of spices.
Song of Solomon 8:13-14


Make haste, my beloved.

Here is an encouraging message from a sweet sister in Christ who picked up on some interesting comments about Jupiter being caught up, and brought the EarthSky article to my attention: Rapture Soon?

As we offer a collective cry to the One we long for, how are you choosing to dwell in your life? How are you balancing the watching,the working, and the waiting?

And the King shall answer and say unto them, Verily I say unto you, inasmuch as ye have done it unto one of the least of these my brethren, ye have done it unto me. (Matt. 25:40)

He which testifieth these things saith, Surely I come quickly. Amen. Even so, come, Lord Jesus. (Rev. 22:20) (Click to Source)

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Appointed To Hope: The Bridegroom Has Not Tarried

…this I know,
That in my flesh I shall see God,
Whom I shall see for myself,
And my eyes shall behold, and not another.
How my heart yearns within me!
Job 19:25-27

While I’ve been aware of these last days at other points in my life,  this degree of high-alert is new to me. I’ve never felt so urgent. I’m jumping at everything sort-of-trumpety. I ache with lovesick longing. And as we move deeper into autumn with one significant high-watch season left for 2017, truth be told: I’m also a little tired. But this is a good thing. My sister, a brand new mom, tells me that when you’re exhausted and think you can’t go on, that’s when the baby comes.

Come, thou long expected. 


As we continue to watch, wait and occupy, how do we stay vigilant? How do we continue to endure? How do we protect our joy?

I want to share a study that I hope encourages you as we watch for our Lord’s appearing. Grab a fresh cup of coffee…this is long, but covers a lot of important ground.

Rightly dividing the word of truth

While all of Scripture is written for us (2 Tim. 3:16-17), not all is written to us. And to be workmen that need not be ashamed before God, we must rightly divide it. (2 Tim. 2:14-16)

However, passages can hold more than one meaning or application, and there are shadows & typologies all throughout Scripture. We need to examine them in context and determine who is speaking, who they are speaking to, when, for what, and more in order to glean the fruit of them. I don’t always get this right & am not ashamed to say I’m still learning! And I love God for His kindness, patience & faithfulness.

So I share this with humility as I feel like my “right dividing” is a little messy at times and my edges aren’t perfect.  


I believe that everything Jesus said as He answered His disciples’ questions about “the sign of thy coming, and of the end of the world” (Matt. 24:3) was about His 2nd Coming. We can learn so much about Jesus and the end times by studying His parables and the passages about the end of the age, but it’s important to remember that Jesus was a Jew speaking to Jews who did not know about the harpazo. The catching-away of the body was a mystery kept hidden from the foundation of the world until God revealed it to Paul, which means the disciples would not have known to ask about a rapture, and Jesus did not reveal it to them.

However, because His 2nd Coming occurs only seven years or so after the catching away, we watchmen can see and apply many things He said because it’s still a short period of time. (And they also help to illuminate other prophetic Scriptures, such as the book of Daniel.)

Take, for example, the parable of the ten virgins. Scholars have discussed the meaning of it for years. I believe it has various applications, but I want to say softly that this parable was not given directly to the body of Christ, nor is it about us. Jesus, sent only to the lost sheep of the house of Israel, spoke it to the Jews when they asked about His 2nd coming and the end of the world.


It’s about the Kingdom of Heaven. 

“Then shall the kingdom of heaven be likened unto ten virgins, which took their lamps, and went forth to meet the bridegroom.” (Matt. 25:1)

The word “then” suggests a chronological & ongoing conversation about unfolding events. Looking back, we see the immediate context and learn the message of the parable.

“Watch therefore: for ye know not what hour your Lord doth come. But know this, that if the goodman of the house had known in what watch the thief would come, he would have watched, and would not have suffered his house to be broken up. Therefore be ye also ready: for in such an hour as ye think not the Son of man cometh. Who then is a faithful and wise servant, whom his lord hath made ruler over his household, to give them meat in due season? Blessed is that servant, whom his lord when he cometh shall find so doing. Verily I say unto you, That he shall make him ruler over all his goods. But and if that evil servant shall say in his heart [note: what is said in the heart is what one believes, rightly or wrongly], My lord delayeth his coming; And shall begin to smite his fellowservants, and to eat and drink with the drunken; The lord of that servant shall come in a day when he looketh not for him, and in an hour that he is not aware of, And shall cut him asunder, and appoint him his portion with the hypocrites: there shall be weeping and gnashing of teeth. Then shall the kingdom of heaven be likened unto ten virgins, which took their lamps, and went forth to meet the bridegroom.” (Matt. 24:42Matt. 25:1)

The faithful and evil servants are not part of the body of Christ. The wise & foolish virgins are not part of the body of Christ. They are a picture of the Kingdom of Heaven, which could have been established if Israel had received the One who stood in the synagogue to read from the prophet Isaiah:

“The Spirit of the Lord is upon me, because he hath anointed me to preach the gospel to the poor; he hath sent me to heal the brokenhearted, to preach deliverance to the captives, and recovering of sight to the blind, to set at liberty them that are bruised, to preach the acceptable year of the Lord. And he closed the book, and he gave it again to the minister, and sat down. And the eyes of all them that were in the synagogue were fastened on him. And he began to say unto them, This day is this scripture fulfilled in your ears.” (Luke 4:18-21)

Likewise Matthew tells us,

“The people which sat in darkness saw great light; and to them which sat in the region and shadow of death light is sprung up. From that time Jesus began to preach, and to say, Repent: for the kingdom of heaven is at hand.” (Matt. 4:16-17)


The kingdom of heaven is at hand … remember, Jesus spoke only to the ones he was sent to: the lost sheep of the house of Israel. God sent John the Baptist to prepare the way, and this is what the Lord said of him:

“Verily I say unto you, among them that are born of women there hath not risen a greater than John the Baptist: notwithstanding he that is least in the kingdom of heaven is greater than he.” (Matt. 11:11)

And finally, John said of himself:

“He that hath the bride is the bridegroom: but the friend of the bridegroom, which standeth and heareth him, rejoiceth greatly because of the bridegroom’s voice: this my joy therefore is fulfilled.” (John 3:29)

John the Baptist, friend of the bridegroom and of the kingdom of heaven, is not the bride of Christ. 

The body of Christ is of the kingdom of God. This is an important distinction which helps us to rightly divide and discern, so let’s look at a brief overview of the two kingdoms.


 
The kingdom of God

Preacher Robert Breaker teaches that the kingdom of God is a spiritual kingdom for believing Jews and Gentiles (the Church). It is righteousness, peace, and joy in the Holy Spirit (Rom. 14:17). It does not come with observation; it is within (Luke 17:20-21). To enter, one must be born of the Spirit (John 3:35-6). The gospel of the grace of God is the gospel of the kingdom of God (Acts 20:24-25) and those who practice the works of the flesh will not inherit the kingdom of God (Gal. 5:21-22). We are to seek first the kingdom of God and His righteousness (Matt. 6:33), which we know is found in Christ.

The kingdom of heaven

Breaker goes on to teach that the kingdom of heaven is a physical kingdom for the Jews. Rejected the first time, the Messiah will restore it in the millennium. He told his disciples not to go to the Gentiles, but to the lost sheep of the house of Israel (Matt. 10:5-7). As Jew to Jew they preached “repent, for the kingdom of heaven is at hand.” (Matt. 3:2Matt. 4:17) The Jewish kingdom-mindset revealed itself when they hailed Jesus as the king of Israel in John 12:13Mark 11:9-10 talks about the kingdom of David (or the Millennial Kingdom). To enter the kingdom of heaven, one’s righteousness by keeping the commandments & works of the law must exceed the righteousness of the Pharisees (Matt. 5:17-20).

This kingdom was put on hold because Israel rejected God in three ways: they rejected God the Father (Matt. 21:23-33), God the Son (Mark 15:11-15) and God the Holy Spirit (Acts 7:51-60). (See also Matt. 23:1337-39.)

 “Jesus saith unto them, did ye never read in the scriptures, the stone which the builders rejected, the same is become the head of the corner: this is the Lord’s doing, and it is marvellous in our eyes? Therefore say I unto you, the kingdom of God shall be taken from you, and given to a nation bringing forth the fruits thereof.” (Matt. 21:42-43)

The great mystery: Christ and the church

Even when Jesus returned to the Father & sat down on His throne, Israel still had a chance for the kingdom of Heaven to begin. The Messiah could have come back right then (see Luke 13:7-9). But after Stephen’s testimony and death (Acts 7:51-60) God gave them up (Micah 5:3 / Romans 9-11) and revealed his secret to Paul: that the Gentiles would also be partakers of the inheritance (Rom. 16:25-261 Cor. 2:6-8Eph. 3:1-3, et al.). 
“This is a great mystery,” he wrote, “but I speak concerning Christ and the church.” (Eph. 5:32)

As the body of Christ, we the Church belong to the Kingdom of God. We are the future New Jerusalem. The parables about the kingdom of heaven can inspire, encourage and inform us, but they are not specifically to us. So when we read the parable of the ten virgins, which Jesus said the kingdom of heaven shall be likened unto, we can begin piecing together an even bigger story. Let’s take a look.

The secret message of the ten virgins

The setting is the 2nd Coming and the “end of the age.” We know this occurs at least seven years after the body of Christ is caught up to be with the Lord (1 Thess. 4:15-17), so these passages do not specifically apply to us. The audience are the Jewish disciples of Jesus. In this parable, ten virgins are waiting for the Bridegroom. “He that hath the bride is the Bridegroom.” The ten virgins are not the bride; without the bride there would be no wedding at all! The virgins are guests.

“While the bridegroom tarried, they all slumbered and slept.”

Notice that none of the virgins were watching. At this point, they all were asleep. On the outside they all looked the same, which parallels another kingdom-of-heaven story:

Another parable He put forth to them, saying: “The kingdom of heaven is like a man who sowed good seed in his field; but while men slept, his enemy came and sowed tares among the wheat and went his way. But when the grain had sprouted and produced a crop, then the tares also appeared.” (Matt. 13:24-26)

Tares are weeds that look like wheat, but do not actually produce fruit. Only in the appointed season are they made manifest. In the parable, like the wise and foolish virgins, they continued together until the end when truth was revealed. The tares were gathered and burned. Not all of the virgins were ready. For even though they all slumbered and slept, we know there was a crucial difference between them: the wise had enough oil for their lamps. The foolish did not.

“And while they went to buy, the bridegroom came; and they that were ready went in with him to the marriage: and the door was shut. Afterward came also the other virgins, saying, Lord, Lord, open to us. But he answered and said, Verily I say unto you, I know you not.” (Matt. 25:10-12)

Lord, Lord 

In this parable, Jesus is reminding the disciples of an earlier warning:

“Not every one that saith unto me, Lord, Lord, shall enter into the kingdom of heaven; but he that doeth the will of my Father which is in heaven. Many will say to me in that day, Lord, Lord, have we not prophesied in thy name? and in thy name have cast out devils? and in thy name done many wonderful works? And then will I profess unto them, I never knew you: depart from me, ye that work iniquity.” Matt. 7:21-23

Those who protested with their “wonderful works” were declared workers of iniquity by the Lord. Why iniquity? Because they put their faith in their own ability to enter the kingdom, receive eternal life and enter the rest of God. They relied on their own righteousness. They trusted in their works to buy entrance to the kingdom, rather than trusting in what was already purchased for them by the blood of Jesus. They didn’t have enough oil. But those who do have enough oil, the ones who do the will of the Father, are the ones the Lord knows and allows to enter in.

What is the will of the Father?

“Then said they unto him, What shall we do, that we might work the works of God? Jesus answered and said unto them, This is the work of God, that ye believe on him whom he hath sent.” (John 6:28-29)

It is about faith.

“Thy word is a lamp unto my feet, and a light unto my path.” (Ps. 119:105)

“Therefore, since a promise remains of entering His rest, let us fear lest any of you seem to have come short of it. For indeed the gospel was preached to us as well as to them; but the word which they heard did not profit them, not being mixed with faith in those who heard it. For we who have believed do enter that rest…” (Heb. 4:1-3)

So while the parable of the ten virgins is about the kingdom of heaven, we can reap a powerful application because readiness, for us, is about one thing and one thing alone: putting our faith in Jesus Christ.

He already did all the work.

Do you believe? If so, you are ready. If you believe, you are sealed with the Holy Spirit and He knows you. He will never turn you away! If you have yet to trust in the blood of Jesus which takes away your sins and grants you eternal life, I implore you to do so today! The gospel is found in 1 Cor. 15:1-4 and is so simple and free. It is truly free to you.

As you see the Day approaching

So now let’s bring this home. We are not the ten virgins. The wife of the Lamb is not found in Matthew 25. The virgins are waiting to go to the wedding feast, where many are called, but few are chosen. We see that they are of Israel, or are Gentiles who become tribulation saints during Jacob’s trouble.

This means our bridegroom has not delayed!

As we, the future New Jerusalem, watch and long for our Lord’s appearing, gather together, share Scripture and end-time theories and videos and encouragement, I know that many of us, including me, are feeling weary. But take heart! I want you to remember this: our beloved is not delayed. He is not tarrying. In fact, Scripture says He will not tarry:

“For ye have need of patience, that, after ye have done the will of God, ye might receive the promise. For yet a little while, and he that shall come will come, and will not tarry.” (Heb. 10:36-37)

Dispensationally this refers to the 2nd Coming, so we are at least 7 years closer than even this. He is right on {appointed} time, and yet a little while, He will come. I believe He is longing and eager to gather us. Paul says that the Lord Himself will descend for us, while at the end of the age, He sends His angels! (Matt. 13:37-43Matt. 24:30-31) But He is coming. And while God turns back to Israel during Daniel’s 70th week, we will be hidden in the bridal chamber that the Lord has lovingly created for us (John 14:1-3Is. 26:20). Afterwards, Christ will return to earth and reign for a thousand years.

This time will begin with joy!  

“Let us be glad and rejoice, and give honour to him: for the marriage of the Lamb is come, and his wife hath made herself ready. And to her was granted that she should be arrayed in fine linen, clean and white: for the fine linen is the righteousness of saints. And he saith unto me, Write, Blessed are they which are called [see also Matt. 22:1-14] unto the marriage supper of the Lamb. And he saith unto me, These are the true sayings of God.” (Rev. 19:7-9)

We’ll know in a few more days if our Father chooses to send His Son for us during this season, or if we are to wait and continue watching for The Blessed Hope. In the meantime, let’s talk about hope.

Hope is the medicine for disappointment (Rom. 5:5). It keeps our inner fire alive as we eagerly wait for our beloved. We can only hope for what we do not yet have (Rom. 8:23-25), and we who watch are blessed! Think of it…you and I were chosen by God to be alive now as He fulfills all He declared from the foundation of the world. We get to witness things that prophets longed to see. We could have been born at anytime in the last six thousand years, but the Most High chose us to be the ones who are alive and remain.

We are so blessed!

And so now, as we eagerly wait with perseverance, let’s continue to hope and to encourage one another to walk in the Spirit and do the work that He has given to us with joy, knowing our redemption draws nigh.

We may not know everything we want to, and we may not always get our eschatology right. But as we speculate, circle days on the calendar, study the moedims, fervently pray, and jump every time the school band practices their brass on the football field,  know this: right now, every one of us is appointed to hope.

This is our appointed time: hope.

And we can never go wrong with hope.

 


Protect your joy

It feels like we are on our collective toes here, on the edge of our seats with the expectancy of this season. How are you holding up? How are you choosing to occupy until He comes? How are you holding fast to joy?

Let’s discuss!

Due to Paul’s use of simile, some do not believe the body of Christ is the same as the bride. I have studied this out and respect those who hold a different view, but what I gather from Scripture is that the church (made of believing Jews & Gentiles who were caught up before Daniel’s 70th week) is the New Jerusalem, the wife of the Lamb. God was married to Israel, to whom He gave a certificate of divorce but will restore. Thoughts? (Click to Site)

O Come, O Come, Emmanuel!

immanuel_1_1110_624

We have another reader contribution to share with you.  This one is from SilentKnight (thank you, brother!).  I have to say that I find this Scripturally/exegetically convincing for a number of reasons, but time does not permit me to unpack that all myself.  In short, I think that Isaiah 7:14, like Revelation 12:5, speaks both of Christ and His Church.  Both are necessary parts in the fulfillment of these prophecies.

O Come, O Come, Emmanuel! – Part 1

In light of Revelation 12 and the upcoming sign on September 23, 2017, there have been many discussions about the woman and the man-child that is to be born. We have spoken about her without a name, though sometimes we call her Israel. We have spoken of the child without a name, though many call him Jesus. Some of the divide between groups of believers is tied to the identity of this unnamed child. For months now, as I have watched the debate about who the child is, I have resisted the urge to shout out his name. But I do believe the time has come to share his name.

The woman is Zion, the child is Emmanuel.

Before you dismiss this too quickly, allow me to take you on a short biblical journey. A journey that will possibly leave you with a new appreciation for what is about to take place and what the sign means for Christ’s Body. You may also chuckle a little with God as He reveals hidden truth out of error!

I know! We’ve all been taught that Emmanuel is Jesus. Amy Grant even sings about it. We sing about Emmanuel at Christmas. Because of the baby. You know, the one that is Jesus.

But where do we get that from? Why do we believe that Jesus is Emmanuel? Would you believe it all comes from just one verse in Matthew? Let’s take a closer look at the first chapter of Matthew and see what might be hidden there.  (Click to Site)