|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 328: September 14th 2016
The incredible message of the resurrections:
The incredible message of the resurrections:
Often, great truths are hidden in plain sight! They are right before us, but we didn’t comprehend. This is the case with the various Bible resurrections. They contain so much truth and answer so many mysteries, if only we would open our spiritual eyes to see.
There have been numerous resurrections of individuals in the past, which we will look at further down. There are a number of mass-resurrections revealed in the Bible. What is not generally known or seen is what the timing of these resurrections teaches us – and it’s pretty profound!
We have a general, mass resurrection at the close of each dispensation! Did you catch that?
That alone speaks volumes. It annihilates the view and beliefs of those who reject Bible dispensations.
It confirms and proves Bible dispensations and all that goes with it. It confirms a pre-tribulation rapture!
In this edition, I will prove that the resurrections prove dispensations, which in turn prove a pre-tribulation rapture.
I encourage you to look at the other editions on this subject which you will find in the “Editions by subject” index on the right hand side and then under the “rapture” sub-heading.
The central thesis of this edition is the picture painted by the rapture / resurrection of the church, ending the church age or dispensation with a pre-tribulation rapture.
Most people are totally ignorant of all these things, because eschatology has been removed from modern churches. Eschatology (end-time teaching) rocks the boat of the world. It rocks the boat of their worldly churches. It rocks the boat of their program to make their flock happy, positive, me-now, motivated people giving money into their organisation to perpetuate their institutions and half-baked gospel.
Eschatology shakes things, and church ministers in their blind ignorance, want to keep their flock unshaken in their comfort zones. So they hold onto the things that can and will be shaken and reject the things that can’t and won’t be shaken, like the truth of God’s word inevitably coming to pass!
What the Bible says about the resurrections:
1 Thessalonians 4:14-17 “If we believe that Yeshua died and rose again, even so God will bring with Him those who sleep (died) in Yeshua. For this we say to you by the word of the Lord, that we, who are alive and remain until the coming of the Lord, will by no means precede those who are asleep (died). For the Lord Himself will descend from heaven with a shout, with the voice of an archangel, and with the trumpet of God. And the dead in Messiah will rise first. Then we who are alive and remain shall be caught up together with them in the clouds to meet the Lord in the air. And thus we shall always be with the Lord.”
The verses above are most important. This is the rapture of the church – those in Messiah, alive at that time. But note that there is an inclusion and exclusion of certain people as well. The dead in Messiah are included. This obviously means the faithful dead of the church age. The dead saints of the Old Covenant are not included in this resurrection. It is for the church only.
The big question is why is this resurrection exclusively for the church? Why is it that Old Covenant saints are not included?
One obvious answer is because the Old Covenant is not complete yet and many more dead of that dispensation are still to come in.
What do I mean by the Old Covenant not being complete yet? This is where the all-important prophecy of Daniels seventy weeks (of years) comes in. (Daniel 9) In a nutshell, “Seventy weeks of years are determined upon “my people” (Jews).” It is broken down further into three groups, but just two for our purpose, - sixty nine weeks and the seventieth week.
The sixty nine weeks covers the time up until the church age begins, when the Old Covenant was put on hold. As this 69 week period comes to an end, we have a gap of some 2000 years where the church age is inserted. Then the seventieth week, which is part of the sixty nine, comes into play as the full Old Covenant now comes to an end and we go into the Millennium. (See diagram above)
Okay, so we have the seventieth week or the tribulation period and its martyrs still ahead of us. Please understand that the tribulation period by character, nature and exegesis is the close of the Old Covenant.
So, let’s presume a post-tribulation rapture and resurrection of the dead. That would mean that only the church and the dead in Christ (Messiah) are raised at the end of the tribulation.
That would mean that the Jews of the tribulation are the church. That would mean that the tribulation martyrs who are of the seventieth week are the dead in Messiah! Do you see the problems we are running into? So, in fact if you believe in a post-tribulation rapture you have to get rid of the Jews and replace them with the church. The tribulation martyrs must be the dead in Messiah in a post-tribulation view.
At a post-tribulation rapture, why would only the dead in Messiah and those alive in Messiah (the church) be raptured and not the tribulation martyrs, who are of “my people” – the Jews? At the end of the tribulation, the seventieth week (Old Covenant) is complete, yet only the church and its dead are raptured? It just doesn’t make sense.
But if we place the rapture of the church and resurrection of its dead before the tribulation begins, everything fits together perfectly.
So when are the Old Covenant saints, which include the tribulation saints and martyrs resurrected?
Isaiah 26:19-21 “Your dead shall live; together with my dead body they shall arise. Awake and sing you who dwell in the dust; for your dew is like the dew of herbs, and the earth shall cast out the dead, Come My people, enter your chambers, and shut the door behind you; hide yourself as it were, for a little moment, until the indignation (tribulation) is past. For behold, the Lord comes out of His place to punish the inhabitants of the earth for their iniquity; the earth also will disclose her blood, and will no more cover her slain.”
This most certainly implies that the Old Covenant saints will be resurrected at the end of the tribulation, when it is “past.” This is when their dispensation comes to completion.
Revelation 20:4 “I saw thrones and they who sat on them, and judgment was committed to them. And I saw the souls of those of those who had been beheaded for their witness to Yeshua and for the word of God, who had not worshipped the beast or his image and had not received his mark on their foreheads or on their hands. And they lived and reigned with Messiah for a thousand years.”
Here we see another verse saying that the tribulation saints are raised to go into the Millennium to rule and reign with Messiah.
Both of the verses above absolutely exclude the Old Covenant saints and the tribulation martyrs from a pre-tribulation rapture.
There is no sign of the church in this resurrection of the tribulation saints.
So, if we have the tribulation martyrs and saints raised at the end of the tribulation, which is right, how can we also have the church raised at the end of the tribulation? If that were so, it would get rid of the separate identities of the church and the tribulation martyrs and saints.
Note, as said, that the church rapture / resurrection is exclusively for the church and the “dead in Messiah”. It is exclusive, not inclusive of the tribulation saints.
The dead in Christ (Messiah) and “we who are alive” – the church are never included in or with the Old Covenant saints or martyrs. They are always a distinctly separate group.
Again, do you see the problem we run into with a post-tribulation rapture of the church?
Some believe that it is only the persecuted, and martyrs who are given the job of “ruling and reigning with Messiah”, while the others are not raised into their final status with resurrection bodies, but re-populate the earth in the Millennium, receiving their full final salvation body at the end of the Millennium. I have no problem with that. We will see!
So, now we have a rapture / resurrection for the church only, and a resurrection of the Old Covenant saints at the end of the tribulation and some at the end of the Millennium.
There is no single general resurrection of the dead, if you believe the Bible. It all occurs as the Bible says “Each in his own order.” (1 Corinthians 15:22)
The different resurrections prove dispensations:
Resurrections prove dispensations and Israel as a separate entity from the church. Non –dispensationalism must get rid of Israel as a separate entity.
Daniel 9:24 “Seventy weeks are determined for your people and for your holy city...”
Jeremiah 30:7 “Alas for that day is great, so that there is none like it; it is the time of Jacob’s trouble, but he shall be saved out of it.”
The verses above make it clear that the time periods, which include the tribulation period, are exclusively for “your people” and “your holy city (Jerusalem)” – the Jews. The name Jacob (the time of Jacob’s trouble) always refers to Israel and the Jews and never the church.
The great purpose of the rapture of the church is the transition between dispensations. It is to end one and start the next .
So we see clearly that the church age comes to an end with the dead in Messiah being resurrected at the same time as the living in Messiah at the rapture.
The conclusion is obviously that there are different dispensations.
Now let’s look briefly at the non-dispensation view. This parallels with the post-tribulation rapture view and is surprisingly the majority view in the church especially the institutional and denominational churches.
If there are no distinct dispensations, there would be no need for different resurrections, (“each in their own order.”)
If there were no dispensations there would be no distinction between the church and the Old Covenant saints. That would deny and make a mockery of hundreds of verses creating a highly confused picture.
If there were no dispensations there would be no different resurrections. There is a resurrection at the end of the church age and a resurrection at the end of the tribulation. That alone proves dispensations apart from the Bible verses speaking of dispensations.
Just for review, what the Bible says differentiates and distinguishes between the Old Covenant saints and martyrs and the church saints and the dead in Messiah. The Bible clearly distinguishes between the exclusive resurrections for the church and for the Old Covenant saints and martyrs. They are clearly distinctly, different resurrections in time and purpose.
You can’t lump them all together. You can’t make them all fit into a post tribulation rapture / resurrection! That doesn’t fit or work.
The pre-tribulation rapture:
The dead in Messiah and living in Messiah will be raised at the end of their dispensation. Church members can’t be resurrected in the Old Covenant dispensation. Likewise, Old Covenant saints can’t and won’t be resurrected in the church age or dispensation.
The dispensation view with the church exclusively raptured / resurrected separately from the Old Covenant saints necessitates a pre-tribulation rapture. If not, then the living and dead of the church and the Old Covenant (including the tribulation saints and martyrs) all land up together in one giant general resurrection.
As we have seen, the Bible excludes that totally. Example- “The dead in Messiah” are singled out and raised as a separate entity.
Another mighty proof of a pre-tribulation rapture is in the fact that there is not one single bit of evidence in the Bible that the church is present on the earth during the tribulation. Perhaps one of the greatest arguments lies in the fact that the gospel is given to the church to be spread, yet in the tribulation it is ministered by Jews. Two Jewish witnesses, 144,000 Jews and angels.
There is one unique, very important event that occurs at the transition from the church age into the final seven year tribulation. This unique event is the removal of the restrainer of evil.
A powerful view of a time period where there was no restrainer is Old Covenant times. This was before the church came into being. Evil in those times was far more rampant than it is today. This is why we saw such huge demonstrative judgements upon the world in those days.
It’s also the reason why things will be just the same in the tribulation period.
The removal of the restrainer:
2 Thessalonians 2:7 “The mystery of lawlessness is already at work; only He who now restrains, will do so until He is taken out of the way. And then the lawless one (antichrist) will be revealed...”
There is a key right here in identifying this restrainer. It is in the use of the words “He”. Note that they are capitalised. Some Bibles do not use capitals, but it’s there in the original. This “He” is the way you refer to the Holy Spirit and not other candidates like the archangel Michael.
The removal of this restrainer or “He” is not the Holy Spirit alone. It is the “container” of the Holy Spirit in the church age – true believers. The Holy Spirit will still be here, He is omnipresent, but His operations revert to the way they were in Old Covenant times, as the Old Covenant comes to its seven-year end.
So, we can say that the restrainer is the true church indwelt by the Holy Spirit, but leaving a restricted operation of the Holy Spirit in the tribulation period.
When is the restrainer taken away?
The restrainer is removed at the unveiling of the antichrist and rapture of the church. So if we have a post tribulation rapture, that would mean He would be removed at the end of the tribulation to un-restrain evil as we go into the Millennium. That is absolutely wrong!
He can and will only be removed at the start of the tribulation.
The big question is this: If the job of the restrainer is to restrain evil, is He at work now in the church age? If he is, we would have a cap on wickedness and evil at least to some degree now.
You may say that the world is so full of evil; the restrainer is not at work. You could not be more wrong.
The world has become wicked, evil and corrupt, but let me tell you that it’s all a Mickey Mouse party compared to what’s coming!
People see a big earthquake or Tsunami kill 200,000 people and the world is shocked – “Yes the end is nigh” they say! – Hogwash!
Of course there is a truth in the fact that there is an identifiable worsening trend in these things, but if you know your Bible, the tribulation period is a time far worse than anyone could imagine, with around some four billion people being killed in the worst ever judgements of supernatural origin, upheavals of nature and multiple wraths all on the go together.
Do you know, Americans that your history of being a spiritual beacon, and a light to the world, has been the very reason for your survival in blessing? If you, true believers, were suddenly removed, your nation would descend into unimaginable evil in five seconds!
No my friends, the restrainer is very much at work today! (2 Thessalonians 2:7)
According to scripture, the removal of the restrainer occurs at the same time as the signing of the Daniel 9:27 peace treaty, the revealing of the antichrist and rapture of the church, and the closing of the church age before the tribulation.
I’ve mentioned this many times, but it should be repeated. The “great apostasy” or falling away of the church is often cited as a reason that the rapture will not take place until this falling away is complete at the end of the tribulation. (2 Thessalonians 2:3)
If we insert the alternative interpretation of the original words for “falling away,” the picture is changed completely. The original words used can be interpreted as “falling away” or “the departure”. It is the context that gives us the right one.
The correct usage should be “the departure”. Now let’s write the verses correctly: 2 Thessalonians 2:3 “That Day (entire tribulation) will not come unless the departure (of the church) comes first and the man of sin is revealed...”
Do you see how that now all adds up?
Most people can’t imagine a resurrection or rapture, so they dismiss it. Most people don’t know that there have already been many resurrections in the past. Most of these people were raised from the dead but not to their full eternal resurrection as they died naturally later on, except for our Lord. Here they are:
●Elijah raised the son of Zarephath’s widow. (1Kings 17:17-24
●A dead man rose as his body touched the bones of Elisha. (1 Kings 13:21)
●Elisha raised the son of the Shunamite woman. (2Kings 4:35)
●Yeshua raises a widow’s son at Nain. (Luke 7:13-15)
●Yeshua raises the daughter of Jairus. (Matthew 9:25)
●Yeshua raised Lazarus from the dead. (John 11:43-44)
●Yeshua Himself was raised from the dead. (Matthew 28:5-7)
●Peter raises Tabitha from the dead. (Acts 9:36-42)
●Paul raises Eutychus from the dead. (Acts 20:9-12)
●Paul was raised from the dead. (Acts 14:19-20)
●Many came out of their graves following our Lord’s resurrection. (Matthew 27:52-53)
Post tribulation rapture belief has serious consequences. You must become a butcher of the word and cut it up so that it simply doesn’t make sense. You must ignore major Bible verses and truths. Adherents to the view are consistent in the things that they must look for. They must watch for the antichrist and all things related. They must find a substitute for the restrainer.
Acts 24:15 “I have hope in God, which they themselves also accept, that there will be a resurrection of the dead, both of the just and the unjust.”
I took this picture from a chopper flying over the entrance to the Mnweni Cutback in the Drakensberg Mountains, early in a misty morning.
Shalom and grow in His Grace!