I have been excited every year about the Feast of Trumpets for a number of years now. When I stumbled upon the Revelation 12 Sign this spring, I was so excited to see another major prophetic signpost! Perhaps the biggest one since Israel became a nation!
As it got closer to September 23rd, I wanted the interpretation of the sign as a possible rapture date BEFORE OR ON THAT DAY to be true as well. So badly so, that I allowed my emotions to run unchecked. I never stated that I knew the rapture would happen then for sure, but I really (really, really) hoped so. And watched, and waited, and prayed, and cried.
I still believe the Great Sign on September 23, 2017 fulfilled Revelation 12:1-2. I also believe that it heralds the imminence of the rapture of the church and the time of Jacob’s Trouble for Israel! Soon! But how soon…. I don’t know. I have educated guesses, but that’s all they are. We stay awake, we watch, and we occupy until He comes!
I’m just tired of the corruption and suffering and pain in this world. I’m tired of the issues that I can’t do anything about in my own life. It’s HARD here. I really just want Jesus to take the reigns back and fix all this mess. The signs already indicated He was near (generation sign, among others). It’s hard not to be the child at the window, watching in the darkness for the headlights of a loved one’s car to turn that corner!
With watching, as we see the Day approach, there are false starts and excitements. Did the watching community go a little overboard? Maybe. But I would rather be jumping at the window with excitement when Jesus comes than not watching at all.
That’s why we’re here, right? We’re the Watchmen! The welcoming committee — for JESUS!! WE are the ones who have the bubbling up joyful anticipation. WE are the ones scouring the skies for Him to appear. WE are the ones keeping our ears peeled for the hint of a trumpet call. We’re the cheerleaders!!!
When Jesus comes, will He find faith on earth? Faith that He is coming?
YES! Amongst His faithful Watchmen! WE will be the ones leaping up at His call – not surprised, but bawling and laughing and shrieking and beside ourselves with joy.
I don’t think we will have very long to wait. How long? I’m not sure. I would like to examine what He said about being late!
Between the Feast of Trumpets and the Day of Atonement are 10 Days known as the 10 Days of Awe. The overall atmosphere of these two Fall Feasts is somber REPENTANCE. Could this possibly be a reference to 2 Peter 3:9?
The Lord is not slow to fulfill his promise as some count slowness, but is patient toward you, not wishing that any should perish, but that all should reach repentance. (ESV)
Second Peter 3:9 hints at an apparent (from our perspective) slowness for God to fulfill his promise of the coming Day of the Lord. Earlier in the chapter, Peter also deals with the scoffers and mockers that will arise around this time, asking “Where is the promise of His coming?” Since the Revelation 12 sign has brought both Watchmen and Scoffers out of the woodwork, maybe we should consider the connection between Scoffing and Mocking and a Delay in His Coming.
The Delayed Bridegroom, The Delayed Master
Are there any other passages suggesting that God may appear slow to fulfill His promise?
Yes, there are. The most well known one is that of the 10 Virgins. Normally attributed to the tribulation saints, is this really true? Or could that parable apply to our time as well, as a type of dual fulfillment? I think I can understand that parable in a whole new light.
10 Virgins are waiting for the appearance of the Bridegroom. They all know about Him and are expecting Him. 5 of them are wise, and are prepared for His coming, and 5 are foolishly unprepared. The Bridegroom is a long time in coming, and ALL the virgins become drowsy and fall asleep. At midnight, a cry rings out (from the watchman!) that He is here! The Bridegroom is here! All the virgins wake up with a start. The wise ones give their lamps a little trim and are eager and ready. The foolish ones panic and realize they have no more oil – their lamps are going out. The foolish virgins leave to try to go buy more oil. However, while they are gone, the Bridegroom arrives. He takes the virgins who are ready in to the wedding banquet, and shuts the door. Meanwhile, the foolish virgins get back, see the shut door, and are horrified to learn they are too late! They plead with the Bridegroom to open the door and let them in! The answer is no – it’s too late. (found in Matthew 25).
This parable is perhaps a picture of those who are true believers in Jesus Christ, and of those who are followers in name only. Both groups know about Jesus. They all are expecting Him to come at some point. What divides the group into two is the flask of oil. In the church age, we do not have to maintain our own oil. At the time of salvation, the Holy Spirit seals us for the day of redemption. The truly born again can never run out of oil (it seems it might be different after the rapture). Many people walk the walk the and talk the talk of the Christian religion, but never truly yield their heart to Christ. They might find, when the alarm sounds, that they do not have the sealing of the Holy Spirit. But by then it will be too late. While all true believers will be raptured, not all who call Jesus “Lord” are known by Him (Matt 7:22). It is by grace we are saved, through faith in the atoning blood of Jesus Christ. We can never earn, maintain, or be worthy of salvation or rapture by our own merit.
Jesus tells a similar parable in Matthew 24 and Luke 12:
“Be dressed ready for service and keep your lamps burning, like servants waiting for their master to return from a wedding banquet, so that when he comes and knocks they can immediately open the door for him. It will be good for those servants whose master finds them watching when he comes. Truly I tell you, he will dress himself to serve, will have them recline at the table and will come and wait on them. It will be good for those servants whose master finds them ready, even if he comes in the middle of the night or toward daybreak… But suppose the servant says to himself, ‘My master is taking a long time in coming,’ and he then begins to beat the other servants, both men and women, and to eat and drink and get drunk. The master of that servant will come on a day when he does not expect him and at an hour he is not aware of. He will cut him to pieces and assign him a place with the unbelievers. (Luke 12:25-38,45-46 ESV)
Those who are dressed and ready are the ones who are clothed in Jesus’ blood and righteousness – true believers. We are to be WATCHING (spiritually ready – not physically awake!) when he comes, even if it is at the middle of the night (midnight cry) or towards daybreak. Note again that a delay serves to separate the true servant from the false servant. Their true fruits are displayed in the waiting/watching period.
Delayed, Not From His Perspective, But From Ours
While Jesus can never be delayed from His appointed times from HIS perspective, is it possible that He has been delayed from OURS? Many watchmen hoped the rapture of the church would occur either before or on the day of the Great Sign of Revelation 12:1-2. But we are still here, and verses 3-5 haven’t happened yet. At least, not as of today. But we know that He is FAITHFUL and He will FULFILL HIS PROMISE!
Rejoice always, pray continually, give thanks in all circumstances; for this is God’s will for you in Christ Jesus. Do not quench the Spirit. Do not treat prophecies with contempt but test them all; hold on to what is good, reject every kind of evil. May God himself, the God of peace, sanctify you through and through. May your whole spirit, soul and body be kept blameless at the coming of our Lord Jesus Christ. The one who calls you is faithful, and he will do it. 1 Thessalonians 5:16-24 ESV
If the Feast of Trumpets was a possible expected time, could the actual appointment be later? Will it be on a feast day at all? These are things we will continue to study!
Are you CERTAIN of your Salvation, beyond a shadow of a doubt? Do you KNOW that no matter when the rapture occurs, you will be counted worthy to escape? If not, please read What Must I do to Be Saved.
The Feasts of God – His Appointed Times
The Harvest of the Church and the Fulfillment of the Feasts of God
Yom Kippur – Do We Go Up As Wrath Comes Down?
Jubilees, the Last Trump, and Yom Kippur
Jewish Traditions in the Fall Feasts
God’s Mosaic – A Whole Scripture Overview of Things To Come
Main Menu – God’s Mosaic Prophecy Model
The Bible is infallible. I am not. I am merely challenging traditional models and testing them against Scripture. I believe that traditional pretribulation teachings provide a solid backbone upon which to lay the musculature of details. I encourage you to consider my thoughts as you also examine the scriptures to see if these things are so!
One thought on “Is the Bridegroom Delayed?”
I am the music director of a 60-voice choir in a retirement community. Every year we do at least 1 show. Last spring I decided to use Gospel music for our annual variety show, on February, 2018. It was last April when I woke up one morning thinking of the selections I might use in this show and suddenly heard a voice in my head say “There won’t be another show. I’m coming to take you home – to be with me.” I was startled, even though I knew it was the Holy Spirit talking to me. I know…because He always does when I least expect it. Also I wasn’t thinking of the Rapture or anything even related. For months after I remember the message as clearly as I heard it the first time. I’m 70 years old and longevity does not run in my family. So I thought that if this wasn’t about the Rapture, then it must mean I’m going to die physically. The eclipse came, the Sign came, followed by 2 even 3 devastating hurricanes, horrific forest fires, and the threat of war. I’m still here, watching and waiting, studying and praying…thinking that maybe I might still get to experience the Rapture in this body. I HAVE to believe that it will happen before/by February 16 because of what He told me, which has also made it incredibly difficult for me to prepare for and stay focused on a performance that isn’t going to happen. At the same time I remember His command to “occupy till I come.” I was born/born-again to be a missionary with my music. And that’s what I’m trying to do with the time I have left on this earth.