|This ministry has a distinct kingdom, Messianic vision, identifying with God’s call and plan for the Jewish people and the church. My position is pre-trib! Personally: I was saved in 1976 while working as a war correspondent, journalist, photographer, artist and environmentalist. My calling is to share these great end-time dramas, to stand as a watchman and above all, to glorify my God.|
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Shabbat (Sabbath) begins on Fridays at 6pm and ends on Saturdays at 6pm. The purpose is to help the church and Israel become reconciled in Messiah and to identify the rift, and the needed restoration. There is much in the church that needs to change before it can be fully reconciled with the Jew. Likewise, changes in Jewish thinking are also needed.
Edition 190. January 13th 2014
The Rapture demystified and clarified:
The Rapture demystified and clarified:
There are dozens of verses relating to watching for the Lord’s coming and the signs of the times as well as many on preparedness. So, in this edition I present to you some remarkable facts and verses.
The gathering together to meet the Lord in the air (rapture) will be a monumental event for the participants and all those left behind. It will be the instant realisation of tremendous joy for some and great regret for many. The event will close the church age or dispensation and see an instant return to the ways and workings of God as in the Old Covenant bringing it to completion.
All hell will break loose on the world for the final seven year tribulation period. As you will see, the true Church cannot be here during this time. Many millions of Jews and Gentiles will be saved during the tribulation, but they will become the company called the tribulation saints, who are not the born-again Church.
2 Chronicles 20:20 “Hear me O Judah and you inhabitants of Jerusalem: Believe in the Lord your God and you shall be established; believe His prophets and you shall prosper.
Before we go any further, let me stress that all the pieces of the puzzle must be in place before we can see the whole picture. It’s no use having only a few prophecies or events occurring and then trying to come up with a complete picture or timeline.
Let me also stress right up front (again) that “watching” is not date setting. The latter involves setting a specific date for the rapture and saying that the Lord has told me this. “Watching” on the other hand, is a command of God and involves searching, knowing the scriptures and using logic to come up with probabilities.
What are the fundamental causes and reasons for the seven-year tribulation?
There are numerous reasons all dove-tailing together.
The big reason is the world’s desire for peace in the Middle East and between Israel and the Palestinians. In the past this was called the “roadmap to peace,” but it’s now being called the “two state solution.” The dividing of the land and the city bring war and not peace.
The world’s cup of iniquity is just about full and when it is – watch out! The sin of the world is intensifying at break-neck speed. We could all sit here and list them, but all we need to know is that the cup is almost full!
Yes the world’s cup of iniquity is just about full. When it is, it will instantly become the “cup of trembling”!
Isaiah 51:17-22 “Awake, awake! Stand up O Jerusalem, you who have drunk at the hand of the Lord, the cup of His fury; you have drunk the dregs of the cup of trembling and drained it. There is no one to guide her among all the sons she has brought forth; nor is there any that takes her by the hand...See I have taken out of your hand the cup of trembling, you shall no longer drink it. But I will put it into the hand of those who afflict you, who have said to you, lie down that we may walk over you.”
The trigger bringing the “Wrath of the Lamb” and the “Wrath of God” is the “peace covenant with many.” (Daniel 9:27)
The “Wrath of God” is mentioned 13 times in the Revelation and refers mainly to the second half of the tribulation, but the first half is called the “Wrath of the Lamb.” The four riders of the apocalypse ride throughout the seven year period.
It is a misunderstanding to believe that only the last half of the tribulation will be really bad...both halves will.
Let’s have a look at the pre-tribulation rapture:
●There are many editions dealing with this but this is mostly material I have not shared before.
The law of harvests:
Exodus 23:19-20 “The first of the firstfruits of your land you shall bring into the house of the Lord your God. Behold I send an angel before you to keep you in the way and to bring you into the place which I have prepared.”
The firstfruits of the harvest were holy and set apart for the Lord. The firstfruits offering was not the whole field but selected ripe and ready fruits to be presented to the Lord.
There are two groups of firstfuits mentioned. The first is from the barley harvest and the second from the wheat harvest. One applies to the pre-tribulation rapture and the other to the tribulation saints and the 144,000. (The Jewishish remnant of Revelation 7).
But beware world, beware the grapes of wrath! This harvest is the gathering of the wicked and unbelievers of the tribulation period in the fury of the winepress of God. You don’t want to be at this harvest gathering! Unfortunately many will. (Revelation 14:18-19)
Psalm 18:7 “Then the earth shook and trembled; the foundation of the hills quaked and were shaken, because of His anger.”
Psalm 78:21 “The Lord heard this and was furious; so a fire was kindled against Jacob and His anger against Israel, because they did not believe in God and did not trust in His salvation.”
The 144,000 in heaven:
The 144,000 are spoken of in both Revelation 7:4-9 and Revelation 14:3-4. At first we see them on earth performing their duty. Secondly we see them caught up to heaven with the two witnesses.
So, here they are in heaven well before the close of the tribulation period!
If the 144,000 and the two witnesses appear in heaven before the end of the tribulation, why would it be so difficult for the Church to be in heaven before the end? The post- trib rapture believers say that all believers (including those of the tribulation) are raptured at the Second Coming. How come these two groups are in heaven before the end of the tribulation?
The 144,000 are all single male Jews, as are the two witnesses. These people being seen in heaven before the end of the tribulation speak of another rapture sometime before the end of the tribulation involving these groups.
So, although the 144,000 do not speak to the pre-tribulation rapture directly, they do damage the post- tribulation rapture viewpoint.
The “known day” and “unknown day” dilemma:
The tribulation period concludes at the Second Coming. It is seven Hebrew years in length. Quite simply, once the tribulation has started, anyone who wants to can know the exact day of the Second Coming by just countingf the days.
So if we are to have a post-tribulation rapture where or how does the “unknown day” fit in?
Zechariah 14:7 “It shall be a day which is known to the Lord, neither day nor night but at evening time it shall happen. Verse 4 speaks of this day when our Lord returns and stands on the Mount of Olives. The entire context of this chapter is the Second Coming.
The tense of the unknown day in the original means that it is unknown now, but not necessarily in the future.
We must understand that there are often secret gems hidden in original words used. “No one knows the day or hour”, is very familiar to us all. But the word, “know” means now, in the present tense. This does not rule out a future knowing. It is quite conceivable that the “know” now tense was used only while our Lord was here on earth and that after the resurrection He does know the day and hour. If this “no one knows” refers to the Second Coming it contradicts the numbered days of the tribulation period.
So, is it possible for us in this late hour to know the day and hour? I wouldn’t put my neck on it, but here is what I think: As we approach the time, our Lord will begin to reveal more and more about the time to His servants and prophets. This may or may not be the day and hour, but could also be the year and month!
I hope you already know of the other application of this verse to the unknown day and hour of the start of the Feast of Trumpets, which we won’t get into now.
The days of Noah and Lot:
In days of Noah obedience to God’s warning saved 8 people and ended the world! Interesting thought: While Noah preached to the world, God in His foreknowledge knew who would be saved, and the cabin of the ark was just big enough to house eight people.
Did Noah and his family know when the flood was coming? Yes they did. They knew and they watched! The unbelievers of Noah’s day “knew not until the flood swept them away.” (Matthew 24:37-42.)
In the days of Lot, he was warned by God of the judgement to come and got out in time, because he knew fire was coming! And of course we all know the reason for that enormous judgement.
Have you noticed that more and more men of God are warning of soon-coming judgment now?
In the parable of the wise and foolish virgins we see something important: The five wise virgins are not the church. The church is the bride! So who are the wise virgins? They would be the tribulation saints and the foolish virgins the unbelievers.
At the end of the tribulatio, the unbelievers, represented as “tares”, are gathered first for destruction, while the tribulation saints (wheat) are gathered second for the Millenium. This is the opposite of the gathering at the rapture. This implies that there can’t be a post tribulation rapture.
Luke 17:34-37 “One is taken and one is left” is not the rapture. Those who are taken end up as corpses and vulture- food. Those who are left are the tribulation saints who are left to repopulate the earth in the Millennium. This is the opposite of the rapture.
Revelation 3:10 “I will keep you from the hour of trial that will come upon the whole world to test them.” The words “Keep from” mean clean out away from. It does NOT say or mean “keep in” or "protect through.” The original word means a “clean cut removal, out away from.”The promise is for those who have been tested and passed. It doesn’t make sense for the tested ones to now be tested again with the tribulation.
This verse alone is a strong proponent of the pre-tribulation rapture.
Rewards, weddings and garments:
Revelation 19:7-8 “...The marriage of the Lamb has come, and His wife has made herself ready 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.”
The wife is ready for the marriage before the Second Advent! She is arrayed in fine linen, clean and white in heaven before the end of the tribulation on earth! During this time, Satan’s bride, the “harlot” (the false interfaith church) is also getting ready for their new age marriage, which will be new alright, but in hell and with Satan as the groom!
In the very early days of the tribulation we see the 24 elders in heaven already rewarded with crowns and in fine raiment. (Revelation 4:4).
Some argue that these are angels. The word “elder” always refers to saints and never angels. Crowns are never given to angles and are only given to overcoming believers. These rewarded elders are the very first thing John sees as he is told to “come up here”, which is right after the final words to the church in the preceding chapters, just as the tribulation begins.
The elders are associated with the true Church and are clearly seen in heaven at the start of the tribulation.
Chronologically, the messages to the seven churches are the last time the Church is seen on the earth until the very close of the tribulation where she is seen returning from heaven with our Lord. This implies that the Church is not here during the tribulation.
●So now we see rewarded saints in heaven right at the start of the tribulation, and wedding-feasted saints in heaven before the close of the tribulation. What does that say to you?
►►►The grand return from the wedding:
Luke 12:36 “And you, be like men who wait for their master, when he will return from the wedding, that when he comes and knocks, they may open to him immediately.”
If the wedding occurred before this return then the rapture had to have taken place before this return as well.
This parable deals with our Messiah returning to earth at the end of the tribulation, which is when tribulation saints will be awaiting Him, but He is returning from a wedding! What wedding?
Post- tribbers use the argument that the wedding occurs at the Second Coming. We go up, are married, do a U-turn and come right back down. But hang on a minute. Who is it then that are “waiting for the Lord’s return from the wedding”? If there is a post- tribulation rapture, all believers will be gone. Who is waiting? Come now, post -tribber please answer me!
“Return from the wedding” is an incredible statement. In four simple words it shatters the post-trib view!
The tribulation period is called, “The time of Jacobs trouble”, (Jeremiah 30:4-6)” It is not called the time of trouble for the Church! “Jacob” is always a reference to Israel or the Jews. Not once is the Church called “Jacob” in the Bible – ever!
Pentecost marked the beginning of the Church era or dispensation, and the putting on hold of the Old Covenant, which will be completed by the seven year tribulation period. The prophecy of Daniel’s 70 weeks (Daniel 9:20-22) is exclusively for the Old Covenant. All 70 weeks relate to the Jews and Israel. The 70th week (of years) is separated from the 69 weeks of years because there is a 2000 year gap between them, but it is still part of the 70.
Daniel did not see the 2000-year Church era or gap in the 70 years, because the Bible calls it a “mystery” only revealed in the Church era. So, the 70th must follow the 69, as the Church era or dispensation, or gap ends at the rapture.
Trying to make the church fit into the 70th week is doctrinal sacrilege!
Those who have studied these things know full -well that this makes perfect logical sense, just like a jigsaw fitting together.
With this in mind how can the Church be part of the Old Covenant? Logically the Church must disappear so that the world can kick back into the 70th week climax, completing the Old Covenant.
Surprising evidence for the pre-tribulation rapture:
What churches believe is often very insightful as to the source of those beliefs and there are many consistencies in this. This is a vast subject but the short version is this. God has provided one way to doctrinal safety. It is to lay down your own opinions, study and rightly divide the truth, led by the Spirit of God in you by and through the baptism of the Spirit.
Every one of the denominational churches was birthed somewhere amongst the reformers, who all rejected the full baptism in the Spirit. These churches have all been successful in creating division, disunity and confusion. Their word or doctrine is Spirit-less “dead letter”. These churches either reject the rapture altogether (they are amillenialists) or they believe in a post- tribulation rapture.
On the other hand we have the fairly consistent doctrine of pre-tribulationism being presented by people under grace and in the Spirit rather than the flesh.
Now we come over to Messianic Judaism and one the most exciting works of God today and we find that many of them have fallen back under the law and are trying to bring others under the law.
Those under the law are “in the flesh”, says the Bible and they are not under grace. The Bible declares that no one can be under the law and under grace!
Law and grace are mutually exclusive, says the Bible. You are under one or the other, not both. The Bible also says that those under the law are in the flesh and under its dictates. (Thankfully, a great deal of the Messianic movement is not in this position at all.)
So now, we have many regular denominational churches who are outside of the working of the Spirit, and His gifts, who operate in the energy of the flesh, with dead letter? And we have Messianic ministries who are under law and therefore in the flesh also.
So, now we have the doctrine of post- tribulationism being presented consistently by people in the flesh and outside of grace!
Interestingly, amongst ministries that practice the baptism of the Spirit, almost all believe in a pre-tribulation rapture. There are exceptions in both camps, but this is the majority consensus.
What is the common denominator behind the rejection of the rapture and the post-tribulation rapture position? It is believed and promoted by people in the flesh, and under law from churches all divided against each other?
Jude 18-19 “In the last days there will be scoffers walking after their own desires. These are sensual (lit=fleshly) people who cause divisions, not having the Spirit.” (What a powerful verse that is – whole books could be written on it!)
Not having the Spirit creates division. Having the Sprit leads into all truth! (John 16:13) It is no surprise that the divided fleshly church rejects the pre-tribulation rapture.
When is the likely time for the rapture?
Again, I am not date setting, but watching as commanded by my Lord in numerous places in His word. Let me ask you – what is the point of watching if no one knows the time? So what are we to watch for if no one knows the time?
We are commanded to watch for the time and season of the coming of our Lord! It is a command and not a suggestion! Let me warn you against those who continuously condemn us watchers. They are ministers, and ministries to be avoided, simply because the other side of not watching is continuing with a worldly focus.
They disobey our Lord and mock his commands to watch, and mock us who watch earnestly. Not only this but little do they know that in replacing God’s command to watch with their own exalted words, they are teaching and leading their blind flock to be at home and at peace in the world and with its god – Satan!
There are so many signs all dovetailing together now, but the big one to watch for is a coming peace covenant between Israel and the Palestinians. This is what actually starts the tribulation clock. Right now we have the US sponsored talks on the go. John Kerry has extended the nine-month period. It would be a miracle if this all succeeded, but then, be advised - we are in unique times!
These talks may fail completely. We may still end up with a peace covenant soon! If the talks fail and a big Middle East war breaks out, that may also end in a peace covenant. My point is that we must not force the pieces into the puzzle until they do fit!
The next of the Feasts of the Lord to be fulfilled is Trumpets, which occurs in late September. Trumpets will be the time of the ushering in of the tribulation and rapture of the church; Maybe this next one, maybe not! At this stage the ducks are lining up, but it’s still too early to jump up and down yet.
What you must do:
2 Peter 1:19 “We have the prophetic word made more sure. You will do well to pay close attention to it as to a lamp shining in a dismal squalid dark place, until the day breaks through the gloom and the Morning Star rises in your hearts.”
Hebrews 9:28 (Amp) “...He will appear a second time not for sin, but to bring full salvation to those who are eagerly, constantly and patiently waiting and expecting Him.”
Hebrews 10:25 “...Exhorting one another even more so as you see the day approaching.”
I took this picture of this beautiful wild fig tree along a river bank. To me it speaks of our need to be deeply rooted in our Lord in these days.
Ecclesiastes 3:11 “He has made everything beautiful in its time; also He has set eternity in their hearts.”
Shalom and grow in grace!