The Seventh Shofar and The Rapture (Part 1)

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Daniel Juster, Th. D. Restoration from Zion of Tikkun Global 

September 12th, 2018

Those who believe that the rapture of the saints and the resurrection of the righteous in Yeshua comes at the end of the tribulation (Post Tribulation), present two views of where to place the rapture.  One view, which I think is the more dominant, is that it comes at the seventh Shofar in Rev 11.  The other view is that it comes at the end of the season of the bowls of wrath (a brief season at the end of the tribulation), and is identified with the blowing of the shofar at the end of Yom Kippur.  This identification is connected to the I Cor. 15:51-52 text that says we will be transformed at the last shofar. 

In my book Passover, Key to the Book of Revelation, I argue for the seventh shofar as the shofar of the Rapture, our being caught up with the Lord that leads to our return with him.  I see a process of events in his return and do not see it as an all at once event.  I do understand that in such matters we see through a glass dimly and that all such views are somewhat speculative. 

My reasons for holding to this view: 

1.  The Last Shofar in I Cor. 15 could refer just to the last of the shofars that bring judgment and this seventh is the last one in the series and announces the final judgment, rapture and resurrection.  It is not the last to ever be blown.  There will be many more blown throughout the Millennial Age.   

2.  The Feast of Yom Teruah, or the Feast of the Blasting of the Trumpet, has no great fulfillment as do the other Feasts, which have obvious fulfillments in Yeshua.  But if Yom Teruah announces the coming of the Messiah, and effects the rapture, the resurrection and then his descent to earth, we would have that fitting fulfillment.  Other attempts do not identify a great fulfillment sufficient for the weightiness of a major feast.  The association of I Thes. 4:16-17 with Yom Teruah or Rosh Hoshana is a dominant view and commonly taught for good reason.

3.  The Book of Revelation provides a chronology that is progressive in the 7 Seals, the 7 Shofarot, and the Seven Bowls of Wrath.  The Seventh Seal opens up and includes the Seven Trumpets. The Seventh Trumpet opens up and includes the Seven Bowls of God’s wrath.  The book also includes parentheses narratives in the midst of this progression that are not necessarily in the progression.  It is significant that John puts his parentheses narratives where he does. 

Before the Seventh Shofar, John writes that the mystery of God has been completed when he is about to sound the seventh shofar (Rev. 10:7).  If this is the shofar of the rapture and resurrection, it would be a perfect fit.  The mystery is the completion of the numbers counted in the Bride of the Messiah (as Paul teaches in Ephesians 3 and is the fullness of the gentiles in Romans 11).  If the rapture and resurrection are after the seventh shofar, then the mystery would not be complete before it is blown as Rev. 10:7 states.  There would still be people being saved who can be part of the rapture after the blowing of the seventh shofar.  This does not fit the text in Rev. 10:7.   

4.  Revelation 11:3 states that at the end of 1,260 days (the time of the Great Tribulation) the two prophetic witnesses who are martyred are raised from the dead and ascend to heaven.  This is certainly a picture of the rapture and resurrection that I believe shortly follows.   Then there is a great earthquake and 7,000 die in the city called Sodom, which is identified as Jerusalem by noting that it is the city where our Lord was crucified.  It then indicates that Jerusalem turns to the Lord.  “The rest were terrified and gave glory to the God of heaven.”  (Rev. 11:14)

In every other case when judgments falls in the Book of Revelation, the people do not turn to God but rebel and curse all the more since they are under the deception of the Anti-Christ and the False Prophet.  This fits as the time when Israel/Jerusalem calls on Yeshua to save them (Matthew 23:39 ff.)

This fits Zech. 14 where the nations have surrounded Jerusalem, there is the earthquake and then the Lord goes forth to fight against the armies of those nations.  The turning of Jerusalem to Yeshua fits if it occurs between Zech. 2-3and then his feet touch down on the Mt. of Olives.  The saints return with Yeshua and the war is still ongoing, not the end of the war yet.  It is not yet the born-again experience for Israel, but seems it is a corporate turning of Jerusalem to Yeshua.  Only after this turning in Rev. 11:14 do we read that the angel sounds the Seventh shofar.  I believe that when Israel or Jerusalem call upon Yeshua it leads to the rapture, then the Kingdoms of this World have become the Kingdom of our Lord and of his Anointed One. (Rev. 11:15). (Click to Source)

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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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PROPHECY WATCH: Battle of Gog and Magog On The Horizon?

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BY BRITT GILLETTE / ENDTIMESBIBLEPROPHECY JULY 24, 2018

Recently, I was listening to a nationally syndicated radio program, and the host made an astonishing observation. She described a recent trip she took to Israel. She talked about looking over the border into Syria. Then she dropped a line that grabbed my attention. She said, “When you look over the border today, you’re not looking at Syria anymore. You’re looking at Russia, Iran, and Turkey.”
This wasn’t a religious broadcast. It was a secular, political talk show. Maybe I’m wrong, but I don’t think the host realized the true significance of her observation. I don’t think she spoke from a perspective of Bible prophecy, and it made her statement even more powerful. Because any objective observer has to agree with her.

 

The nation of Syria no longer exists. It may exist in name, but that’s it. What used to be Syria has been carved up and divided by any number of groups. And the three biggest are Russia, Iran, and Turkey. Why is this so significant? It’s significant because it sets the stage for an event the Bible prophesied over 2,000 years ago.
The Gog of Magog War
Twenty-six centuries ago, Ezekiel described a last days alliance that will invade Israel from the north. The Bible says a man named Gog will lead this massive invasion force (Ezekiel 38:2-6). Here are the nations who will join Gog, followed by their modern day names:
Rosh = Russia
Magog = Kazakhstan, Uzbekistan, Turkmenistan, Kyrgyzstan, Tajikistan, and Afghanistan
Persia = Iran
Cush = Sudan
Put = Libya

Meshech, Tubal, Gomer, and Beth-togarmah = Turkey

Notice anything? That’s right. Of all those nations, the three most powerful – Russia, Iran, and Turkey – now reside in Syria. They have military forces camped on Israel’s border. And not just any border – Israel’s northern border. Remember, Ezekiel said the Gog of Magog invasion force will come from the north (Ezekiel 38:15; Ezekiel 39:2). So now we have three of the nations in Gog’s invading force perched on Israel’s northern border. Mere coincidence? I don’t think so.
The Bible foretold this exact scenario in Ezekiel 38-39. Never before have the military forces of these three nations been on Israel’s northern border at the same time. And never in the history of the world, have the three formed an alliance. At least that is, until now…
In the past two decades, Russia and Iran have become close allies. In 1995, the Russian Ministry for Atomic Energy signed an agreement with Iran to finish the Bushehr nuclear power plant. This work had stopped following the 1979 Islamic revolution. Since then, the two nations continue to strengthen their economic and military ties.
Russia is one of the few world powers that consistently defended the existence of Iran’s nuclear program. Today, both nations freely work together to prop up Bashar Assad’s regime and suppress any opposing factions in Syria. They’ve coordinated military operations in Syria and carved the nation into spheres of influence. Despite thousands of years of recorded history in which there’s no record of such Russian-Iranian cooperation, today we see it.
And what about Turkey? For years, those who study bible prophecy have wondered how Turkey fits into this alliance. After all, Turkey is a longtime ally of Israel. As a founding member of NATO, the idea of Turkey joining a Russian invasion of Israel has been hard for many to imagine. After all, NATO exists to combat Russian aggression. As recently as 2014, I noted in my book Signs of the Second Coming:
“Turkey is another interesting member of this military alliance. Since the restoration of Israel in 1948, those who understand bible prophecy have struggled to figure out how Turkey fits in. Why? Because in 1949, Turkey became the first Muslim majority country to officially recognize the state of Israel.
Turkey and Israel have a long history of diplomatic, economic, and military cooperation. Turkey is also a member of NATO. And what is the purpose of NATO? Its purpose is to defend member nations against Russian aggression. So why would Turkey join a Russian alliance to invade another country?
While it hasn’t made sense in recent years, that idea doesn’t seem so far-fetched today. In May 2010, Turkey and Russia signed a series of agreements enhancing their energy ties, including an agreement to build Turkey’s first nuclear power plant. And in recent years, Turkey’s domestic politics – historically secular in nature – have been heavily influenced by Islam. And that gives Turkey more than enough motive to join the Gog of Magog Alliance.”

 

And here we are. The Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan has consolidated power in Turkey. Ataturk’s Turkish Republic is dead. Its secular government is gone. In its place, Erdogan is building an Islamic Republic aligned against Israel. The relationship between Vladimir Putin and Erdogan is strong and growing. All that’s left to take place is a clear break between Turkey and NATO, permanently moving Turkey into Russia’s sphere of influence.
What It All Means
So what does all this mean? It means the stage is now set for the fulfillment of Ezekiel 38-39. And it means more events will begin to align with Ezekiel’s account. Expect this alliance to get closer. Expect Israel to become isolated. And expect more nations to join Russia, Iran, and Turkey. As these events take place, it means the world draws closer and closer to witnessing the Gog of Magog war.
This means Russia, Iran, Turkey, and the other nations in the Gog of Magog alliance will send an overwhelming invasion force against Israel (Ezekiel 38:8-9). No other nation will come to Israel’s defense (Ezekiel 38:15-16). But God will. This means He’ll put His full power on display for the people of this world when He supernaturally destroys Israel’s invaders (Ezekiel 38:18-23).
Most of all, it means we’re in the last days (Ezekiel 38:8; Ezekiel 39:25-29), the Second Coming is near, and the rapture of the church is even closer!
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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

christandhisbride

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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Fiddler On the Roof Wedding Part I

 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 unto the marriage supper of the Lamb. And he saith unto me, These are the true sayings of God. (Revelaton 19:7-9King James Version (KJV) Public Domain

 

 

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PROPHETIC UPDATE: Longest Blood Moon In A Century!

Jul 2, 2018

DISCLAIMER REGARDING MY ARTICLES:  The views and opinions expressed in the articles contained in this blog are not necessarily those of the author of The Blogging Hounds. My attempt is to bring you fair and balanced information so that you can make up your own mind.

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In this special “Prophetic Update”, We will discuss the recent increase of volcanic activity around the World and the timing of the upcoming Blood Moon that has been deemed to be the longest in over a century! For more information watch the video below:


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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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