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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Gimme Shelter

“Ooh, a storm is threatnin’
My very life today
If I don’t get some shelter
Oh yeah, I’m gonna fade away
War, children
It’s just a shot away, it’s just a shot away
War, children
It’s just a shot away, it’s just a shot away…”
In an interview on NPR’s All Things Considered, Mick Jagger was asked to choose one standout song during the band’s illustrious 50-year career. The Rolling Stone’s frontman singled-out “Gimme Shelter” from the band’s album Let It Bleed (1969).
He commented:

It was a very moody piece about the world closing in on you a bit…[w]hen it was recorded, early ’69 or something, it was a time of war and tension, so that’s reflected in this tune. It’s still wheeled out when big storms happen…”

And in a prior Rolling Stone magazine interview, Jagger said:

That’s a kind of end-of-the-world song, really. It’s apocalypse; the whole record’s like that.”

Well, Mick. It’s time to wheel out the song again. Once more, an encore, and this time with a little more feeling. In the headlines of today, I see the tremors of a greater Tribulation tomorrow. Where can we go to hide from it all? Is there a shelter from the coming storm?

You might be able to escape the flood, but the fire will find you. You might be able to escape the flames, but then war is just shot away. Regarding the true apocalypse, the red rider of the second seal is just a shout away (Rev. 6:3-4). So then, where can we go to escape and find shelter from the coming storm?

I have asked one thing from the LORD; it is what I desire: to dwell in the house of the LORD all the days of my life, gazing on the beauty of the LORD and seeking Him in His temple. For He will conceal me in His shelter in the day of adversity; He will hide me under the cover of His tent [tabernacle]; He will set me high on a rock” (Ps. 27:4-5, HCSB).

Yes! If I had one thing to ask for in this post-9/23 season, it would be to tabernacle with the LORD in His temple on high. The pillars of God’s temple will never be shaken (Rev. 3:12), and there is true peace and security within the confines of the Father’s house (Isa. 26:20Jn. 14:1-31 Thess. 5:3-59).

All we’ve got is right now. Every minute, every breath, a gift from God. Even so, we should continue to watch expectantly for the Master to return any day now. The last verse of Psalm 27 cited above exhorts us “to be strong and courageous,” and this is book-ended by “wait for the LORD.”

And so we wait…

Just Build the Third Temple…Is It Really That Simple?

During this waiting period until our sudden rescue, redemption, and transfer to God’s heavenly temple, I finally ordered a copy of Arnold Fruchtenbaum’s systematic treatment of end-time events entitled The Footsteps of the Messiah (revised edition, 2004)I had been meaning to read his work for a while now, but there were always other pressing matters at hand.

Fresh out of the packaging, I immediately turned to the “Scripture Index” in the back of the book to find all citations of Isaiah 66. Much to my delight, not only does Fruchtenbaum associate Isa. 66:7 with Rev. 12:5(Appendix XI, “Old Testament References in the Book of Revelation,” pg. 796), he also includes some perceptive insight about Isa. 66:1-6 that I had never considered before.

Coming from a messianic-Jewish perspective, Fruchtenbaum offers the Gentile-dominant body of Christ a unique perspective on this crucial eschatological passage. In a section of the book on the Third Temple, he provides a verse-by-verse commentary and analysis of Isaiah 66:1-6. This adds to our overall understanding of the prophetic sequence of events during the Tribulation period, including the birth of the male-child of Isa. 66:7-8 before Israel’s hour of trial.

Fruchtenbaum’s summary of Isaiah 66:1-6:

Isaiah speaks of a house or temple being built for God which He does not sanction [in the sense of “approve” or “authorize”]. It cannot refer to Solomon’s Temple or the Temple built by Zerubbabel, because God did sanction both of them. Nor can it refer to the Millennial Temple. That one will be built by Messiah, and God will certainly sanction it. Therefore, the only temple that this could refer to is the Tribulation Temple. So Isaiah the Prophet foresees the building of a temple that God will not sanction. What God wants Israel to do at this time is to return to Him in faith, not merely to build Him a house” (pg. 136, emphasis mine).

Fruchtenbaum’s verse-by-verse rundown of Isaiah 66:1-6:

This passage begins with a protest from God, Who makes it clear that no temple built by Israel at this time will be acceptable, for God will not come and reside in this one (v. 1) as He did in the first temple. What God will require at this time is not a new temple, but faith (v. 2). He will not accept these re-instituted Levitical sacrifices any more than He would accept human sacrifices, swine, or idolatry in the Old Testament (v. 3). The very fact that they will build this temple shows their failure to listen to God’s word (v. 4) and come to God by faith in Jesus the Messiah. Then Isaiah has a word of encouragement to those faithful Jews who will not participate in the rebuilding of the Temple (v. 5), but are seeking to do God’s will. So there will be a faithful remnant who will not participate in the rebuilding of the Jewish Temple for the Tribulation. Finally, Isaiah states that this new Temple will only end in judgment (v. 6) and not in forgiveness of sin or acceptable worship” (pgs. 136–37, emphasis mine).

If you were wondering what the LORD thinks about the current push for a Third Temple in Jerusalem, there’s your answer. After Israel achieves the “mother of all deals” with the help of her Gentile neighbors, one aspect of the self-assured cry of “peace and security” (1 Thess. 5:3) involves constructing the temple and re-instituting the Mosaic sacrifices.

Fruchtenbaum also notes the difference between the Tribulation temple and Messiah’s Millennial Temple. They are not the same, and the location + dimensions will be radically different as well. Check out John Schmitt’s full-scale model of the Millennial Temple as seen by the prophet Ezekiel (here).

When Israel begins construction of the Third Temple, there will be one major element missing from their blueprints:

…the LORD God said: ‘Look, I have laid a stone in Zion, a tested stone, a precious cornerstone, a sure foundation; the one who believes will be unshakable” (Isa. 28:16, HCSB).

And the apostle Peter agrees:

“This Jesus is the stone that was rejected by you, the builders [the people of Israel – v. 10], which has become the cornerstone…and ‘a stone of stumbling, and a rock of offense.’ They [Israel] stumble because they disobey the word, as they were destined to do” (Acts 4:11 + 1 Peter 2:8, ESV).

Isaiah’s implicit depiction of a hardened Israel’s choice to build the Third Temple aligns with Paul’s words in 1 Thess. 5:3. The unbelievers rejoice “Let the LORD be glorified…,” and as a result of their zeal without knowledge (Rom. 10:2-3), they persecute their faithful brethren for choosing not to participate in temple activities (Isa. 66:5). It’s the first century all over again, and faithful Jews must heed the words long written down:

“For it is impossible for the blood of bulls and goats to take away sins…[f]or by one offering He [Jesus] has perfected forever those who are sanctified” (Heb. 10:414, HCSB).

Paul writes, “When they say ‘peace and security,’ then sudden destruction comes…,” and Isaiah recorded the LORD’s own words, “…I will bring on them what they dread…” (Isa. 66:4). What they dread: The Gentile armies are going to lay siege to Jerusalem once again until the Times of the Gentiles are complete (Lk. 21:24).

Israel’s deal with Death (Isa. 28:14-15) and the covenant of Dan. 9:27 provokes the LORD to wrath and begins the 70th week—it is the proverbial straw that breaks the camel’s back. The Lion roars from His temple in heaven, not from Jerusalem on earth (Isa. 66:6). The LORD will stay silent no longer (Isa. 65:6).

However, there is good news for the Church, the body of Christ, and the “foolish nation” saved by His grace. At the LORD’s call, we answered (Isa. 65:1; contrary to those of Isa. 66:4). At the sound of the LORD’s voice, there is both judgment and deliverance, because 66:6 turns into 66:7:

Before she was in labor, she gave birth; before her pain came, she delivered a male child” (NKJV).

So, brothers and sisters in Christ, take heart. Last time I checked, the Tribulation hadn’t started yet. Yes, Revelation 12:1-2, the “great sign” of the end has been fulfilled. But the actual events that it signifies has yet to occur, including the pre-Tribulation Resurrection and Rapture of the Church (Rev. 12:5).

Keep waiting for Him. Waiting for the shout. Waiting to take shelter in His heavenly temple.

Amen! (Click to Site)

Another End-Times Sign Occurring: Revelation 12 In The Skies Above Us (Revised 3/15/2017)


By Jesse Wanskasmith

Revelation 12:1 Then I witnessed in heaven an event of great significance. I saw a woman clothed with the sun, with the moon beneath her feet, and a crown of twelve stars on her head. 2 She was pregnant, and she cried out because of her labor pains and the agony of giving birth.
3 Then I witnessed in heaven another significant event. I saw a large red dragon with seven heads and ten horns, with seven crowns on his heads. 4 His tail swept away one-third of the stars in the sky, and he threw them to the earth. He stood in front of the woman as she was about to give birth, ready to devour her baby as soon as it was born.
5 She gave birth to a son who was to rule all nations with an iron rod. And her child was snatched away from the dragon and was caught up to God and to his throne. 6 And the woman fled into the wilderness, where God had prepared a place to care for her for 1,260 days.

February 1st, 2017, Revised March 15th, 2017

This 2nd Edition article will recap the first printing of the Revelation 12 sign for readers who missed it. It is important to revisit this as it appears this sign bears serious consideration as a ‘Sign of the Times.’

The prophetic circles have been talking recently about the latest sign of the times – Revelation 12. While in Patmos, John received a vision which he documented in Rev 12. He described a sign in the heavens that correlated with several end-times prophetic events including: the rise of a ruler immediately prior to the Tribulation period, a time when Israel will stand on its own, an astronomical phenomenon that brings widespread destruction, the birth of a man-child who will rule the Earth with an iron rod and a time when God’s children are ‘caught-up unto God’ (Rev 12:5).

One interpretation of the sign of Revelation 12 verse 1 to 2 is that the sign is currently occurring. From November 20th, 2016 to September 9, 2017. The king planet, Jupiter, will remain the womb of the constellation Virgo for 42 weeks, the standard term of a pregnancy. This coming fall, the heavenly sign of the woman (Virgo) will give birth to Jupiter while the woman will be “clothed with the sun” above her, a “crown of twelve stars on her head” will form by a 3-planetary alignment with the 9 stars of Leo, and lastly, the moon will be new signifying the end of the Jewish year 5777 – “with the moon beneath her feet” on the 23rd of September 2017 completing the sign.

Doesn’t this sign appear regularly in the heavens?

All of the below astronomical criteria must be met in order for this sign to appear:

  • The moon is at the feet of Virgo once every 19 years and will be at its apex of the cycle.
  • Jupiter passes through Virgo once every 12 years and once every 83 years goes into retrograde in the womb of Virgo. This culmination began on December 25th, 2016 and completes on August 8th, 2017.
  • The sun moves through Virgo once a year.
  • The planet Venus is aligned to Regulus, the king star, and Leo, forming a bright conjunction Star which also formed around 3BC. This forms the 12-star crown above the head.

This is the only occurrence of this sign since August 5th, 3915 BC, about the time of Adam.

(Updated 2/20/2017: Prinsloo, “And there Appeared a Great Wonder” 2015; Watch for the Day, “The Great Sign of Revelation 12 occurs in 2017;” Pastor Cioccolanti, Discover Ministries, Glen Waverley VIC, Australia; Steven Sewell, Heavenly Sign 2017.com with validated data; [Editor’s Note: Identify the sign yourself using the Stellarium software setting your date to -3914 BC and location as Israel.])

Why would an astronomical phenomenon be in the bible?

In Genesis 1:14, God defines that the lights in the heavens “divide the day from night,” are for “signs” and are for “seasons.” Jaco Prinsloo, who has studied prophesy for more than 25 years wrote “And there Appeared a Great Wonder” an ebook on the Revelation 12 sign and his most recent work, “God’s Roadmap to the End,” both help explain why we should pay attention to heavenly signs. Prinsloo points out, “The primary purpose assigned to the celestial bodies is to act as God’s timepiece in signaling and marking God’s appointed times…”

Gen 1:14 (Interlinear) And God said, Let there be lights in the firmament of the heaven to divide the day from the night; and let them be for signs [‘owth, Strongs #226, sign, signal, a distinguishing mark, banner, remembrance, miraculous sign, omen, warning], and for seasons, and for days, and years:

So there is a sign, what does it mean?

Rev 12:4 talks about something we need to take note of. The Great Red Dragon, “…stood before the woman which was ready to be delivered…” This describes a Near Earth Object (NEO) that many are attributing to Planet X or Nibiru as it is more commonly called. A consideration here is that: In 2015, there was a flurry of reports about Planet X on the Main Stream Media, when The Astronomical Journal published data about a 9th planet potential. Although their data doesn’t correspond to a 2017 arrival, it points out that we haven’t reached a totality in our knowledge of our own solar system. Three points of argument should be presented here to help understanding why this should be considered a viable manifestation of Gods plan.

1- A NEO is the most likely explanation of Revelation 12 and Revelation 8’s effects on Earth from a planetary perspective. There are many correlations to a NEO approaching Earth, and Prinsloo proposed that for Revelation 12 to be accurate, the NEO would have to block the visible sign between September 8th, 2017, and September 23rd, 2017. Rev 12:4 goes on, “His tail swept away one-third of the stars in the sky, and he threw them to the earth.” Coincidently, this prophesy corresponds to Rev 8:7, the 1st Trumpet of the 7th Seal.

Rev 8:7 The first angel blew his trumpet, and hail and fire mixed with blood were thrown down on the earth. One-third of the earth was set on fire, one-third of the trees were burned, and all the green grass was burned.

2- Nibiru has been publically acknowledged, as first reported by the Washington Post in 1983, but that acknowledgement was quickly hidden. A media blackout on any further reporting has occurred since then, except in an attempt to discredit the possibility. Some attribute the recent visits by several global figures to the South pole in the last year for the purpose of observation of this object at the location best suited for infrared telescopes. (Click to Article)

Rapture Forensics: Proofs That the Martyrs Tell – Part II


We continue with the proofs that the martyrs of the Tribulation period tell us. In Part I we stated that ALL who become Christians during the Tribulation will die. It is a key view. Why? It critically affects the Rapture debate. As such, for Rapture naysayers, this view is problematic. Understandably, others may be puzzled as it is a complex and potentially confusing topic (especially so for such a short article series as we present here).

Were it proven that ALL who become Christians in the Tribulation become martyrs, it makes a serious dent in the case for a Rapture occurring any other time than before the Tribulation. For example, were there no Christians alive on earth as of the early stages of the second half of the Tribulation, there could be no mid- or –end-tribulational Rapture. It wouldn’t be logical. The Great Multitude (see Revelation 7:9, these all martyrs) are shown to be already in front of the heavenly altar at the time of the 5th and 6th seals.

If ALL Christians have been martyred who would be left to be raptured? As the case may be, Tribulational martyrs are expressly promised to participate in the First Resurrection … in their case, this occurring at the beginning of the Millennium. For a Rapture to occur at any other time than before the Tribulation would not align with Scripture; nor the proofs of the Tribulational martyrs; nor the character of God. (Click to Article)