A Prayer for the Weary Watchmen

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On your walls, O Jerusalem,

I have set watchmen;

all the day and all the night

they shall never be silent.

You who put the Lord in remembrance,

take no rest,

and give him no rest

until he establishes Jerusalem

and makes it a praise in the earth.

(Isaiah 62:6-7)

 

My dear watching friends,

As we enter another “high watch day”, I want to give you some encouragement and to pray for you. As the days turn into weeks, the weeks turn into months, and the months turn into years (for some of us!), it’s easy to get distracted with the cares, concerns, and lures of this world. Perhaps even easier, we can fall prey to melancholy – when our eyes are open to the stain of sin in the world, it’s hard not to see everything as corrupted! We know of, and long for, the perfection we were created to enjoy. It’s like the black claws of the evil one have torn into everything that God made “very good”, and everything is broken. How it feels like we have overstayed our welcome on earth! The world wants to boot us out, and we just want to go home. I know it’s hard some days, when all we are wondering is – “is it today? is it today? is it today?” – but we are called to persist – to occupy until He comes!

Therefore, since we are surrounded by so great a cloud of witnesses, let us also lay aside every weight, and sin which clings so closely, and let us run with endurance the race that is set before us, looking to Jesus, the founder and perfecter of our faith, who for the joy that was set before him endured the cross, despising the shame, and is seated at the right hand of the throne of God. Consider him who endured from sinners such hostility against himself, so that you may not grow weary or fainthearted.

(Hebrews 12:1-3)

It’s the last leg of the race. Push ahead so as to win the prize! It’s in our grasp. The finish line is near. Gather every ounce of strength you have left, and pour it into serving our King. Draw near to God like never before! Ask Him – plead with Him – to sustain you. Get on your knees and pray, children of Zion!

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I hope we hear the precious call of Jesus today – “Come up here!”. I hope the trumpet sounds and calls us to assembly. In the meantime, while we watch, let’s cast off everything that distracts us from Jesus!

God wants to be first and foremost in our lives, not out of control, but out of LOVE. He loves you so very much that he wants you to bask in His love. He wants you to be enveloped in it, comforted by it, reassured by it, and empowered by it. This is why His greatest commandment is to love Him best, first, and most of all. This is how you will experience His love! Everything in your heart that is a barrier between you and God, today is the day to get rid of it. Release it all to Jesus!

 

Dear Father,

How we long for You. Thoughts of You consume our minds and our hearts, and we desire nothing more than to be in Your presence. Nothing in this world compares with what You have prepared for us! We believe that You have readied a place for us, and that You will call us home to be with You soon. The Spirit within us cries – “Even so, come, Lord Jesus!”

It is the desire of our hearts that Your kingdom come and Your will be done as it is in heaven. We long to see the restoration of all things, and groan along with creation as we wait. Lead us not into the upcoming time of trouble, but deliver us from the evil one. We trust in Your goodness and Your mercy towards those who love You.

Please forgive our thoughts, words, and deeds, where we have wandered from Your will. We long to cast off this body of sin and death, so that we will no longer wrestle with doing what we don’t want to do, and not doing what we ought to do. We recognize that You, and You alone, are our Savior. We come before You and humbly bow our knees. Please clothe us with Your righteousness, and wash our hearts as white as snow. Thank You for Your faithfulness, which endures throughout the generations. Hide Your word in our hearts, that we might not sin against You.

Jesus, we pray for conviction in our hearts over anything that doesn’t please You. Reveal to us if we are harboring secret sins or temptations. Everything that is hidden in darkness, bring into Your glorious light. Shine Your Spirit in our hearts to break the chains that bind us! Give us Your power to defeat the sins that entangle us. Addictions, gossip, lies, coveting, jealousy, rage, pornography, lust, unforgiveness, theft, idols, gluttony, pride, and envy – we command the power of these over us to be broken in the mighty Name of Jesus Christ! The Name at which every knee shall bow, and every tongue confess that You are Lord. We take these sins and we nail them to the cross of Christ. Fill us to overflowing with Your Holy Spirit that there is no room in our hearts for anything else!

We pray for opportunity to witness to those who may not have a saving knowledge of You. Please open the eyes of our loved ones to see You. Open their hearts to understand the depth of their sinfulness and their need for Your salvation! We plead with You, Lord! Save them!!!! We know You hear our cries, and we know Your hand moves when we gather together in prayer. So tonight, right now, we all stand together in unity, praying for the salvation of those You have impressed upon our hearts.

Teach us to be good ambassadors for Your kingdom. In this world of ungodliness, where people are calling good evil, and evil good, may we be beacons on a hill – shining the light of the gospel clearly and brightly. Give us discernment in these dark days. Let us not lose sight of our main purpose, which is following You and making disciples of all nations. We want to love you best, more than everyone and everything else, and to pour out Your love to those around us. Flow through us! Guide us into abiding in You. Ripen the fruit of the Spirit in us – love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness, and self-control. As we put You first in our lives, we trust You to provide our daily needs.

Lead us into Your truth, and teach us by Your Spirit. Teach us to fear You, for the fear of the Lord is the beginning of all wisdom. Open our minds and our hearts to the knowledge and understanding of the scriptures. Thank You for Your word, it is more precious to us than diamonds.

In Jesus Name we pray,

Amen

 

Stand firm, my dear brothers and sisters. He is near, even at the gates!

 

Therefore, having this ministry by the mercy of God, we do not lose heart. For God, who said, “Let light shine out of darkness,” has shone in our hearts to give the light of the knowledge of the glory of God in the face of Jesus Christ. But we have this treasure in jars of clay, to show that the surpassing power belongs to God and not to us. We are afflicted in every way, but not crushed; perplexed, but not driven to despair; persecuted, but not forsaken; struck down, but not destroyed; always carrying in the body the death of Jesus, so that the life of Jesus may also be manifested in our bodies. So we do not lose heart. Though the outer self is wasting away, our inner self is being renewed day by day. For this light momentary affliction is preparing us for an eternal weight of glory beyond all comparison, as we look not to the things that are seen but to the things that are unseen. For the things that are seen are transient, but the things that are unseen are eternal.

(2 Corinthians 4:1,6-10,16-18)

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What Time is It (On God’s Celestial Calendar)?

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God is a God of order, not chaos.  He reveals patterns and sequences, templates and types.  God is outside of time, but He has a plan involving time from before the foundation of the world.

…for I am God, and there is no other; I am God, and there is none like me, declaring the end from the beginning and from ancient times things not yet done, saying, ‘My counsel shall stand, and I will accomplish all my purpose,’  

(Isaiah 46:9-10 ESV)

An interesting study is trying to discern the time we are in.  I believe most of us would agree that we are in the season of Jesus’ return.  I would suggest many of us are interested in studying just how close His return might be.

 

The Prophetic Calendar – 7000 Years

My first post on God’s calendar,  God’s Prophetic Timeline, discussed how the years allotted to humanity parallel the 7 days of creation and the Sabbath cycle.

And on the seventh day God finished his work that he had done, and he rested on the seventh day from all his work that he had done. So God blessed the seventh day and made it holy, because on it God rested from all his work that he had done in creation. 

(Genesis 2:2-3 ESV)

When Adam and Eve “fell”, their “work week” began.  No longer would they enjoy the pleasures and life of ease in Eden, but would have to work, strive and toil for the essentials of life.  Ever since, all creation longs for the Sabbath rest on the 7th day.

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From the Sabbath cycle, we can discern that humanity is granted approximately 7000 years of existence on Earth.

6000 years of human government

+ 1000 years of Jesus’ government in the Millennial Kingdom

= 7000 years

To support this belief, Jews have always acknowledged that the seven day creation week symbolizes a seven-thousand-year plan for humanity.  Each prophetic “day” represents 1000 years of the earth’s story.  (See Wikipedia – Year 6000)  The dispensation model for understanding God’s ordering of the ages of humanity also affirms this interpretation.

But do not overlook this one fact, beloved, that with the Lord one day is as a thousand years, and a thousand years as one day.

(2 Peter 3:8 ESV)

The Jubilee Cycle, of 7×7 years followed by a Jubilee year, would also seem to correlate.  In Genesis 6, God said:

“My Spirit shall not abide in man forever, for he is flesh: his days shall be 120 years.” (v3 ESV)

This 120 year period was a literal time period before the global flood, but it has been suggested that it is also representative of 120 Jubilee cycles.

120 cycles x 50 Jubilees = 6000 years

I know that there has been a lot of speculation regarding “Jubilee years” lately, and the last several years have been suggested as candidates.  I would suggest that the Jubilee year has more to do with the restoration of Israel and the redemption of the whole of creation than it does with the church body.  I understand that the Feasts of God apply to all the redeemed, but the Jubilee would seem to apply more specifically to Israel.  As such, I would suggest that the Jubilee cycle ends on the 6000th year, ushering in the eternal Jubilee and the 7th Day of Rest for humanity.  This would place the Jubilee year at the Second Coming of Christ – Year 6000.  The last thousand years, the Millennial Kingdom, will see the Earth restored to near Eden-like conditions with Christ ruling on His throne.

 

What Time Is It?

I think many of us are aware that there are inconsistencies in the calendars that are used today and that have been used in the past.  Every feast day that comes up, the true calendar becomes an important consideration.  I believe we need to use the calendar in the sun, moon, and stars – the Mazzaroth – to determine God’s timelines.  It’s the only one that humans can’t mess up.  Genesis 1:14 declares

“And God said, “Let there be lights in the vault of the sky to separate the day from the night, and let them serve as signs to mark sacred times, and days and years”.  (ESV)

(What are the feast days, you ask?  God set appointed times on His calendar from the beginning of creation.    The sacred times, or seasons, are the fixed or appointed times when God would meet with His people.  These appointed times are illustrative pictures for humanity of God’s redemption plan.  For more on these feasts, please see The Feasts of God – His Appointed Times).

Now let me just say, knowing what “time” it is isn’t a salvation issue.  Studying the calendars and pressing in to God in prayer over this is just something that I have been interested in.  All I want to do is share my findings with you, that it might springboard your own studies and thoughts.

With that said, here are my suggestions:

  • It shouldn’t require complicated calculations to figure out
  • It should involve the sun, moon, and stars
  • It should be supported by scripture

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Since Jesus is not currently here ruling in the midst of us, and we continue to live under the curse issued in Genesis 3, humanity must still be in our “work week”.  What most of us are interested in (me!) is how close we are to our “Sabbath Rest”.  Let’s see what we can discover!

 

So Many Calendars

One of the challenges to knowing exactly what year it is, is that the tracking of time has changed throughout human history.  A number of calendars have existed, some based on the sun (solar), some on the moon (lunar), and some on a combination of the two (lunisolar).  The Julian calendar was established in 45 BCE, and refined in 1582 CE to become the Gregorian calendar that is still in secular use today.  This calendar is based on “anno Domini nostri Jesu Christi” – “in the year of Our Lord Jesus Christ”, the presumed year of the birth of Jesus (which was probably more like 3-4 BC not year “0” that the calendar uses).  Anno Domini was renamed to the “common era” or “CE” about 350 years ago to remove Jesus from the picture.  Although this calendar gives us reference to the current age, the “Church Age”, it doesn’t give a picture of the entirety of human history.

Gregorian calendar – June 9, 2019

Well, what about the Hebrew calendar?  The Hebrew calendar is a lunisolar calendar, using intercalary months instead of leap years to make up the time difference between the lunar and solar years.  It is based on starting year counts at the creation of the world.  It also has gone through a few revisions and there is a discrepancy between the Orthodox Rabbinic calendar and the Nazarene calendar.  Currently, in 2019, the Orthodox Rabbinic year count is 5779.  The Orthodox Rabbinic calendar is based on a book called the “Seder Olam Rabbah”, which was written in 240 CE (AD).  Unfortunately, there is indication that there are up to 240 “missing years” in this calendar, which may or may not be deliberate.

Orthodox Rabbinic calendar – 6 Sivan, 5779

Orthodox Rabbinic calendar + 240 Missing Years – 6 Sivan, 6019

The Orthodox Rabbinic calendar, 5779, would place us several centuries away from the Second Coming of Christ.  The signs of the times (Sign, Sign, Everywhere a Sign) would suggest otherwise.  What about if we add in the 240 missing years to get 6019?  This would seem to put us into “overtime”.  Regarding both of these calendars – let me ask you this.  Do you think God, who is Sovereign and pre-planned this from the foundation of the world, would mix up His own year counts?  With the amazing preciseness of scripture, I am inclined to believe that God has orchestrated the symphony of humanity perfectly.  So let’s keep looking.

Remember all the begats and the age counts in Genesis?  These are actually extremely useful pieces of information when determining the age of the Earth, the timeline of the Great Flood, and the dividing of the Earth.  When combining the genealogical information in scripture with archaeological evidence, it appears that we have around 6000 years of human history.  Without getting into a creation debate, here are some articles if you are interested in the numbers:

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The Nazarene calendar uses the accounts in the Old Testament to date the year, much as current creation science does.  This is where God’s careful recording of genealogies comes into play!  All Scripture is there for a purpose, to lay out God’s plans and purposes.  Using numbers supplied in scripture, we can discern this timeline:

Adam to the Flood: 1656 years
Flood to the birth of Abraham 454 years
Abraham to the Exodus 430 years
Exodus to the First Temple 480 years
First Temple to the Exile 393 years
Exile to Second Temple 72 years
Total 3,485 years

Next, to count how many years there were between the building of the Second Temple until the year [2019] (i.e., now), we must switch to the Western (Roman) Gregorian calendar. The reason for this is that Scripture does not record these dates for us.

Now the Temple was finished on the third day of the month of Adar, which was in the sixth year of the reign of King Darius.  (Ezra 6:15)

Secular historians inform us that the sixth year of the reign of Persian King Darius took place in approximately 515 BCE. When we add 515 years to the [2019] years that have elapsed since Yeshua’s birth, we find that the Second Temple was built approximately 2520 years ago:

Second Temple built 515 BCE
Years elapsed since Yeshua’s birth [2019]
Total [2532] years

Now, to find the approximate age of the earth today (in the year 2019), we should add the number of years from the Creation to the building of the Second Temple (3,485) to the number of years from the building of the Second Temple until now (2,532). This will give us the approximate age of the earth in the year 2019 CE:

Creation to the Second Temple 3,485 years
Second Temple to 2019 CE 2,532 years
Years since the Creation (approximate) 6,017 years

(Source reference: Paul D Newman)

Bible Genealogy calendar – 6 Sivan, 6017

Using scripture as the backbone for our calendar is important.  I believe God gave us these specific ancestries and year counts on purpose – not just to verify Jesus’ bloodline.  However, using the biblical genealogies alone also puts us into “prophetic overtime”.  Since I do not believe this is a possibility, we need to keep searching.

 

The Calendar in the Sun, Moon, and Stars

The genealogies listed in scripture are useful pieces of information in the calendar of humanity.  However, after the Flood, they are based upon calendars which changed over time.  Thus, I suggest we need to corroborate these numbers with the calendar in the heavens.  Remember this verse?

And God said, “Let there be lights in the vault of the sky to separate the day from the night, and let them serve as signs to mark sacred times, and days and years’

(Genesis 1:14 ESV)

God provided the sun, moon, and stars to serve as signs and to mark days and years.  The sun, moon, and stars have remained unchanged by humanity, even when the earth changed its’ course.  Is there any sign in these heavenly bodies that can give us a clue as to what “time” it is on God’s unchanging clock?

Well, yes there is.  Interestingly, when prophecy watchers started scanning the thousands of years of human history and future for a specific sign in the sun, moon, and stars described in Revelation 12:1-2, they found only one match.

And a great sign appeared in heaven: a woman clothed with the sun, with the moon under her feet, and on her head a crown of twelve stars.  She was pregnant and was crying out in birth pains and the agony of giving birth.  (Revelation 12:1-2 ESV)

The sign occurred on September 23, 2017 and is detailed HERE.

Rev12 sign

While the sign in fulfillment of Revelation 12:1-2 only occurs once, watchmen did find three other partial alignments.  These partial alignments occurred on September 11, 3 BC (Jesus’ birth?), August 27, 70 AD (destruction of Second Temple), and August 5, 3915 BC.  All extremely significant events for humanity.

 

August 5, 3915 Sign in the Sun, Moon, and Stars

Adam and Eve were created to be eternal beings, and in their perfection were granted to eat freely from the Tree of Life.  We are not told how long they were in their perfected state before they sinned, but I’m not sure it matters to us at this point.  It was only when they FELL and became physically mortal that time would begin.  It was when they FELL that humanity’s day counts and “work week” began:

…cursed is the ground because of you; in pain you shall eat of it all the days of your life; thorns and thistles it shall bring forth for you; and you shall eat the plants of the field. By the sweat of your face you shall eat breadtill you return to the ground, for out of it you were taken; for you are dust, and to dust you shall return.”  

(Genesis 3:17-19 ESV)

Mankind was allotted 7000 years before this form of heaven and earth would be complete and we would return to our eternal state (either with God or apart from Him – the choice is up to each one of us).

Regarding the alignment in the sun, moon, and stars on this date, see this excerpt from Unsealed:

There is a near perfect match on this date (though not as precise as the 2017 alignment).  In fact it is such a close match that it has been speculated that this could have been the date of the Fall of Mankind when God spoke these eerily relevant words to the devil and to Eve in Genesis 3:15-16:

And I will put enmity
between you and the woman,
and between your offspring and hers;
he will crush your head,
and you will strike his heel.”

To the woman he said,
“I will make your pains in childbearing very severe;
with painful labor you will give birth to children.
Your desire will be for your husband,
and he will rule over you.”

Interestingly, in this dialogue the same three entities mentioned in Revelation 12 are also present: the serpent (Revelation 12:9), the woman, and the male child.  The planet Saturn, which some have speculated represents satan, happens to be near the heel of The Lion.

 

The calendar in the sun, moon, and stars would seem to possibly give us a date for the fall of mankind to be August 5, 3915 BCE.  What year would that put us in now?

3915 BC + 2019 (current year) – 1 (no year “0”) = 5934 years

Celestial Calendar – 6 Sivan, 5934

Using the Revelation 12:1-2 sign in 3915 BC puts us decades under 6000 years, right?  Or does it?

 

360 Versus 365.25 Days Per Year

At some point between the Flood and Today, the earth wobbled in its orbital path and gained a few days per year.  I would think it is safe to assume that the “fountains of the deep bursting forth” and the “windows of heaven opened” of the Flood had something to do with it.  The Bible doesn’t provide a lot of detail on this, but we know the post-Flood world was a significantly different environment than the pre-Flood world.  We also know that this instability of the earth’s crust lasted for a period of time – a few hundred years.  Scripture tells us that the land was divided (the crust shifted) “in the days of Peleg” after the Flood (Genesis 10:25).  So it took a while for things to settle down and come to their current resting place.

The result that pertains to us, is that somehow we ended up with approximately  365.25 day-years, instead of the 360 days per year from creation.  The length of a year is currently cited at 365.242190 days.  (Wikipedia)

Interestingly, the Bible uses a year length of 360 days in both Genesis and Revelation.

In the six hundredth year of Noah’s life, in the second month, on the seventeenth day of the month, on that day all the fountains of the great deep burst forth, and the windows of the heavens were opened.

(Genesis 7:11 ESV)

At the end of 150 days the waters had abated,  and in the seventh month, on the seventeenth day of the month, the ark came to rest on the mountains of Ararat.

(Genesis 8:3-4 ESV)

In Genesis chapters 7-8 we are told the Flood covered the land from the 17th day of the 2nd month to the 17th day of the 7th month.  This time period totals 150 days.  This would only be true if each month had 30 days in it.

…they will trample the holy city for forty-two months.  And I will grant authority to my two witnesses, and they will prophesy for 1,260 days

(Revelation 11:2-3 ESV)

…and the woman fled into the wilderness, where she has a place prepared by God, in which she is to be nourished for 1,260 days.

(Revelation 12:6 ESV)

…so that she might fly from the serpent into the wilderness, to the place where she is to be nourished for a time, and times, and half a time.

(Revelation 12:14 ESV)

And I heard the man clothed in linen, who was above the waters of the stream; he raised his right hand and his left hand toward heaven and swore by him who lives forever that it would be for a time, times, and half a time, and that when the shattering of the power of the holy people comes to an end all these things would be finished. 

(Daniel 12:7 ESV)

Forty-two 30-day months = 1260 days = “time, and times, and half a time” (“time”= 1 360-day year).

I would assume God uses 360 day years in His word for a reason, not just because the numbers round nicer than 365.25.  I would suggest that God has allotted 6000 years for humanity to rule based on the original creation of 360-day-years.

This is where I both agree and disagree with the Enoch/Zadok calendar.  I agree that God created the Earth with a 360-day solar year orbit.  Each month was 30 days, and the moon phases likely obeyed this 30 day pattern.  I also agree that after the rapture of the church, the Earth will once again have 360-day solar years with 30-day lunar months.  I believe that the resurrection / rapture event will be so severe as to cause the earth to sway and change its orbital path once again.

For the windows of heaven are opened,
    and the foundations of the earth tremble.
The earth is utterly broken,
    the earth is split apart,
    the earth is violently shaken.
The earth staggers like a drunken man;
    it sways like a hut;
its transgression lies heavy upon it,
    and it falls, and will not rise again.

(Isaiah 24:18-20 ESV)

Compare this to Genesis 6:

In the six hundredth year of Noah’s life, in the second month, on the seventeenth day of the month, on that day all the fountains of the great deep burst forth, and the windows of the heavens were opened. (v.11 ESV)

earth reeling.jpg

Where I disagree with the Enoch/Zadok calendar is in laying the 360-day-year model on top of our current situation.  The Earth did change in orbit and tilt.  I believe the Earth will change in orbit and tilt.  While the sun, moon, and stars remained in place, the Earth’s relative position to them changed.  Thus, our perspective of them changed, and our observance of them had to change.  I do believe we can correct for this, though.

To figure out what year we are in, we need to account for the discrepancy between how the earth was created (360-day years) and how it is now (365.25-day years).

Biblical Precedence to Correcting for 360-Day-Years

Prior to the Global Flood, the Earth had 360-day years.  Subsequent to the Rapture, the Earth will have 360-day years.  It is the interim time we wish to correct for, in order to discern the current year.

We don’t want to just go ahead and apply corrections to day counts to support our theories without some sort of scriptural basis to do so.  Fortunately, I believe we have several instances that supports this correction.

The first is the 430 Days of Laying of Ezekiel:

“Then lie on your left side, and place the punishment of the house of Israel upon it. For the number of the days that you lie on it, you shall bear their punishment.  For I assign to you a number of days, 390 days, equal to the number of the years of their punishment. So long shall you bear the punishment of the house of Israel.  And when you have completed these, you shall lie down a second time, but on your right side, and bear the punishment of the house of Judah. Forty days I assign you, a day for each year.  And you shall set your face toward the siege of Jerusalem, with your arm bared, and you shall prophesy against the city.  And behold, I will place cords upon you, so that you cannot turn from one side to the other, till you have completed the days of your siege.”  Ezekiel 4:3-8 ESV

Ezekiel literally laid on his side for 430 consecutive days to represent the punishment Israel was facing for disobedience.  God even strapped him down so that he couldn’t turn.  FOR OVER A YEAR.  70 years are most certainly accounted for in the Babylonian Captivity.  But there were still 360 years remaining.

430 days laying.jpg

After their captivity, by and large the nation of Israel did not repent.  Many didn’t even return to the Promised Land, and most didn’t obey God’s commandments.  Even after the rebuilding of the Temple, Israel remained in rebellion.  Israel’s continued disobedience resulted in a greater punishment coming into effect.  This was forewarned by God through Moses in Leviticus 26.  In this chapter, God states four times that He will increase their punishment “sevenfold” if they continue to disobey.

360 remaining years of punishment x 7-fold = 2520 years of punishment remaining

2520 years x 360 days = 907, 200 days

907, 200 days divided by 365.25 days (current Gregorian calendar) = 2483.778 years (2483 years, 9 months, 10 days)

What do we do with these numbers?  Well, there are two different time periods that might qualify:

“The Servitude of the Nation” – prophesied to last 70 years – Started by the first siege of Nebuchadnezzar in 605BC.  This lasted 70 years to the day – using the prophetic 360 day-year – ending in 536BC in Nisan (March/April) .  Using this calculation:

2483 years, 9 months, 21 days  MINUS 536 years [3-4 months/unsure day] PLUS 1 year (no year “0”) = 1948 year [undetermined month/day]

Restoration of Israel as a Nation – May 14, 1948

“The Desolations of Jerusalem” – prophesied to last 70 years – Started by the third and last siege in 587/6 BC and resulted in the destruction and desolation of the Temple and the city of Jerusalem.  This also lasted 70 years, until 516/7 BC, when the Second Temple was finished.  Using this calculation:

2483 years, 9 months, 21 days  MINUS 516/7 years [unsure month/day] PLUS 1 year (no year “0”) = 1967 year [undetermined month/day]

Restoration of Jerusalem to Israel – June 7, 1967

It seems that Ezekiel’s 430 days of laying prophetically predict the scattering and regathering of Israel within days or months, when a 360-day-year correction is applied to our current orbit.  It is interesting that God uses the prophetic year of 360 days, even though Ezekiel certainly lived far after the Flood and the days of Peleg.  (For more on Ezekiel’s 430 days, please see: Ezekiel’s 430 Days of Laying)

Ezekiel’s 430 days of laying remind me of the 70 weeks prophecy given to Daniel, of which Jesus expected His people to be aware.

And when he drew near and saw the city, he wept over it, saying, “Would that you, even you, had known on this day the things that make for peace! But now they are hidden from your eyes. (Luke 19:41-42 ESV)

The second example of 360-day-year correction is found in this 70 Weeks of Daniel prophecy.  Although Daniel’s prophecy was given post-Flood, when the Earth was surely in 365.25-day-year orbit, the dates given to him were in 360-day-years.

In Daniel 9:24, Daniel is given a prophecy:

Seventy weeks are decreed about your people and your holy city

Seventy weeks uses the Hebrew term “weeks” or “sevens”, which is a period of 7 years (much like our decade is a period of 10 years).  Seventy sets of seven years, or 70 weeks of years, is 490 years. Israel was to look for their anointed one, a prince, their Messiah, in 7+62 “weeks” from the decree issued in 445 BC.  69 weeks of years = 483 years.

The word to restore and build Jerusalem was given by King Artaxerxes in the month of Nisan in the 20th year of his reign.  Nisan 1 in his 20th year of his reign corresponds to March 14, 445 BC.  We learn from several places that a prophetic year is 360 days long.

483 years x 360 days = 173, 880 days

173, 880 days / 365.25 day-years = 476.06 years

445 BC – 476.06 years + 1 (no “year 0”) = 32 AD

[Or, 444 BC – 476.06 years + 1 = 33 AD (see here)]

Throughout His ministry, Jesus concealed His identity as the Son of God, at least in public.  This was so that He could proclaim Himself as Messiah on the very day foretold in the Scriptures.

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Jesus deliberately arranged to enter Jerusalem on Palm Sunday, the 10th of Nisan, 32 AD in fulfillment of Messianic prophecy (Zechariah 9:9, Psalm 118:26, Daniel 9:25).  On that day, he rode in to Jerusalem on a donkey while the crowd cheered Him on as the Messiah.  This was exactly 173, 880 days after Artaxerxes gave word to rebuild Jerusalem.  (For more on Daniel’s 70 Weeks, please see Daniel’s 70 Weeks)

Once again, in the example of Palm Sunday, it seems we have precedence not for laying a 360-day calendar over top of our current one, but for correcting our current orbit to an equivalent 360-day orbit.

There is Scriptural precedence given for correcting our calendar to a 360-day-year prophetic calendar.

So, What Time is It Really?

Let’s summarize so far:

  • Word of God – From scripture genealogies, we can place the global flood at 1656 AM (anno mundi, years after creation)
  • Mazzaroth – From the sun, moon, and stars, it seems we can possibly place the fall of man on August 5, 3915 BC
  • Prophecy – There is biblical precedence to correct for a 360-day-year Prophetic Calendar

 

First 360-Day Correction Calculation

In my original calculations, I guessed that things settled down to balance out to 365.25 days/year, on average, right after the flood.  To adjust current years to the prophetic 360-day years, it means humanity has existed for an extra ~5.25 days per year since the global flood.  If our allotted days are only 6000 360-day-years, we have actually “used up” more years than our calendars currently indicate.  Correcting for these extra days and converting them to 360-day-years:

3915 (Fall) – 1656 (Flood) = 2259 years humanity lived BC

+ 2019 years AD – 1 (no year 0)

= 4277 years lived with “extra days”

4277 x 365.25 (current days/year) / 360 (prophetic days/year) = 4339 360-day-year equivalent years since the Flood, lived by humanity

4339 (post flood years) + 1656 (preflood years) = 5995 years (+/- approximately half a year)

(Calculation 1) Prophetic Calendar – 6 Sivan, 5995 

I think we are getting much closer in our calculations here, but I’m not sure we are quite there yet.  The main concern with this calculation is that we don’t know how long the earth reeled for and when its’ orbit settled into 365.25-day-years.

Was the earth’s orbit affected when the land was divided post-flood in the days of Peleg?  What about in the days of Joshua?  The book of Joshua records for us a unique occasion where the “sun and moon stood still” to allow the Israelites to defeat their enemies.  How was the earth’s orbit affected at this time, or was it?

And the sun stood still, and the moon stopped, until the nation took vengeance on their enemies. Is this not written in the Book of Jashar? The sun stopped in the midst of heaven and did not hurry to set for about a whole day. 

(Joshua 10:13 ESV)

Through the work of Daniel Matson at Watchfortheday, it seems that another adjustment to the Earth’s axis may have occurred around 713BC during the days of King Hezekiah – documented in 2 Kings 20:8-11, when the sun’s shadow went backwards 10 steps.

And Hezekiah said to Isaiah, “What shall be the sign that the Lord will heal me, and that I shall go up to the house of the Lord on the third day?”  And Isaiah said, “This shall be the sign to you from the Lord, that the Lord will do the thing that he has promised: shall the shadow go forward ten steps, or go back ten steps?”  And Hezekiah answered, “It is an easy thing for the shadow to lengthen ten steps. Rather let the shadow go back ten steps.” And Isaiah the prophet called to the Lord, and he brought the shadow back ten steps, by which it had gone down on the steps of Ahaz. 

(2 Kings 20:8-11 ESV)

How do we factor in these additional uncertainties, or can we?

 

Should We Just Give Up?

I spent quite a bit of time in mental anguish here, wondering if God just wants us to give up trying to figure out what time it is.  I pleaded with Him – “Do You really not want us to know the time we are in?  You tell us to watch, to be ready!  You say You will not do anything without revealing it to Your prophets.  We know we are in the season, but You suggest we can know more than that.  Please help me, Lord!”

God expected the Jews to be aware of the time:

You hypocrites! You know how to interpret the appearance of earth and sky, but why do you not know how to interpret the present time?

(Luke 12:56 ESV)

It is the glory of God to conceal things, but the glory of kings is to search things out.  

(Proverbs 25:2 ESV)

For the Lord GOD does nothing without revealing his secret to his servants the prophets.

(Amos 3:7 ESV)

Remember that Jesus’ triumphal entry was able to be counted down to the exact day.  The restoration of Israel was able to be counted down to the exact year.  And here is where I believe God impressed upon my heart the Key of Enoch.

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For days, I couldn’t get Enoch off my mind.  Tradition, plus the extra-biblical text of Enoch, holds that Enoch was both born and raptured on the same day of the year – Pentecost.  I had just written a series on Pentecost and how it intimately relates to the body of Christ (Everything You Need to Know About Pentecost, the Feast that Ties It All Together For The Church).  What if God raptured Enoch, pre-flood, at 365 years exactly to give us a clue?  If we use the number 365.0 in our calculation as the correction factor, does that adjust for all the wobbling the earth went through?  You’ve got to admit that it is kind of interesting that Enoch would be raptured specifically at 365.0 years old (instead of, say, 360, or 492, or 253, or….).

Second 360-Day/Year Correction Calculation (From Enoch’s Rapture):

I considered that it might be Enoch’s rapture date that should be used for the 365.0 day correction start point instead of the Flood.  Enoch was raptured 669 years prior to the Flood.  That number surely must be significant in some way?  What if we are to take it into account in the calendar correction?

August 5, 3915 BC – Fall of Man

17 Iyar, 1656 AM (3915 – 1656 = 2259 BC) – Flood

Enoch’s Rapture Date = 669 years prior to the Flood at age 365

= 2259 + 669 = 2928 BC on Pentecost

August 5, 3915 BC – Pentecost 2928 BC = 987.05 years x 360 = 355,338 Days pre-Enoch Rapture

Pentecost 2928 BC – Pentecost 2019 AD (-1, no “year 0) = 4946.0 years

x 365 = 1,805,290 Days post-Enoch Rapture

Total Days of Humanity = 2,160,628 / 360

= 6001.7 years (the date as of Pentecost, June 9, 2019)

(+/- up to 1 year)

 (Calculation 2) Prophetic calendar – 6 Sivan, 6001.7

This calculation would seem to put us into prophetic overtime.

 

Third 360-Day/Year Correction Calculation (From Global Flood):

Using the global flood as a start point, instead of Enoch’s rapture, we get:

August 5, 3915 BC – Fall of Man

17 Iyar, 1656 AM (2259 BC) – Flood

3915 – 1656 = 2258.7 years pre-Flood

+ 2019.05 years (Pentecost, Sivan 6) – 1 (no year 0)

= 4276.75 years lived with “extra days” (from Flood until today)

4276.75 x 365 (Enoch days/year) = 1,561,013.75 days

1656 (pre-Flood years)  x 360 = 596,160 days

1,561,013.75 + 596,160 = 2,157,173.75 days / 360

= 5992.15 years (the date as of Pentecost, June 9, 2019)

(Calculation 3) Prophetic calendar – 6 Sivan, 5992 

Prophetic calendar – Pentecost 2020 (~May 31, TBD) – 6 Sivan, 5993

 

Using the flood as a start point would seem to be logical, since we know that is when the earth was changed from its’ 360-day year course.  It doesn’t, however, take the time gap between Enoch’s rapture and the flood into account, if that is meant to be a clue.

 

Let’s Review

I would suggest that by using the clues God has given us in scripture and in His celestial calendar, we can come close to knowing the current year on God’s Prophetic Calendar. As far as how to put all the pieces together, and which is most accurate, I cannot say I know for sure.  I hope, though, that the above calculations have made sense and have given you ideas for further research.

In summary, as of June 9, 2019 (Pentecost) the “time” could be:

Gregorian calendar – June 9, 2019

Orthodox Rabbinic calendar – 6 Sivan, 5779

Orthodox Rabbinic calendar + 240 Missing Years – 6 Sivan, 6019

Bible Genealogy calendar – 6 Sivan, 6017

Celestial Calendar – 6 Sivan, 5934

(Calculation 1) Prophetic Calendar – 6 Sivan, 5995

(Calculation 2) Prophetic calendar – 6 Sivan, 6001.7

(Calculation 3) Prophetic calendar – 6 Sivan, 5992

 

I am persuaded to continue to weave together all of God’s clues. Stay tuned for Part 2!

 

pentecost.jpg

Note:  This article was previously published as What Year is it Really?  (Is it 5991?) on April 27, 2018, and Calendars, Calendars, Calendars… 360 Days Versus 365 Days Per Year – The Clue of Enoch on May 28, 2018.


Further Resources:

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.

God’s Prophetic Timeline – 7000 Years of Humanity

The Fig Tree Sign and Israel’s Rebirth

Ezekiel’s 430 Days of Laying

The Terminal Generation

Revelation 12 – A Sign in the Heavens, September 23, 2017

Year 6000 – This Wikipedia page discusses the Jewish expectation of the Messianic Age to begin at year 6000 at the latest.  Their calendar is off (see the discussion on the missing years, and the 360-day calendar conversion above), but this shows the Jewish belief of the 7000 years destined for humanity.

God’s Challenge!  Understand My Plan by Douglas Berner

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!

The PreTribulation Rapture in the Lord’s Prayer

Lords Prayer2.jpg

“Our Father in heaven,

hallowed be your name.

Your kingdom come,

your will be done,

on earth as it is in heaven.

Give us this day our daily bread,

and forgive us our debts,

as we also have forgiven our debtors.

And lead us not into temptation,

but deliver us from evil.”

(Matthew 6:9-13)

While the Lord’s Prayer is often one of the first passages of scripture we memorize, how close do we pay attention to the words we say and the meaning behind them?  I want to examine what I believe are the prophetic portions of the Lord’s Prayer with you today.

Your Kingdom Come

Jesus gives us the example to specifically pray for Him to come back and set up His Millennial Kingdom!

Your Will be Done on Earth as it is in Heaven

We long for Jesus to rule humanity, with His will being carried out upon the Earth. We are praying for the literal fulfillment of all biblical prophecies when we recite these phrases. There’s a lot more that could be said, but I’m going to keep it simple here – “Please come, Jesus, and fix everything better!!!”  It’s the next two phrases I think we need to mine more deeply.

Lead Us Not Into Temptation

While Jesus promises not to allow us to be tempted beyond what we can bear, are we really to pray not to be tempted at all? Scripture is clear that we *will* be tested and tried, throughout the church age. We are to consider these trials and tribulations a joy:

No temptation has overtaken you that is not common to man. God is faithful, and he will not let you be tempted beyond your ability, but with the temptation he will also provide the way of escape, that you may be able to endure it. (1 Corinthians 10:13)

Count it all joy, my brothers, when you meet trials of various kinds, for you know that the testing of your faith produces steadfastness. And let steadfastness have its full effect, that you may be perfect and complete, lacking in nothing. (James 1:2-4)

Not only that, but we rejoice in our sufferings, knowing that suffering produces endurance, and endurance produces character, and character produces hope, and hope does not put us to shame (Romans 5:3-5)

In this you rejoice, though now for a little while, if necessary, you have been grieved by various trials, so that the tested genuineness of your faith—more precious than gold that perishes though it is tested by fire—may be found to result in praise and glory and honor at the revelation of Jesus Christ. (1 Peter 1:6-7)

Is it possible then that “lead us not into temptation” doesn’t mean the regular trials of faith and life that we are certainly to encounter and are even to embrace? Let’s look at the interlinear to see!

LeadStrong’s 1533 eispheró – to bring or lead, to carry inward

TemptationStrong’s 3986 peirasmos – an experiment, a trial, temptation; trial, probation, testing, being tried; temptation; calamity, affliction. Thayer’s Greek Lexicon adds the additional insight of “adversity, affliction, trouble”.

Does a trial, testing, calamity, affliction, and trouble remind you of something you have probably studied often – the Time of Jacob’s Trouble (Jeremiah 30:7)? Could Jesus have been encouraging us to pray “do not carry us forward into the Times of Trouble”? Does He suggest this elsewhere as well? I believe He does:

“But stay awake at all times, praying that you may have strength to escape all these things that are going to take place, and to stand before the Son of Man.” (Luke 21:36)

What about the word Jesus chose for temptation, that we are to pray to not be led into? It’s not the same as the “greatest tribulation”, that begins long after the rapture event. Instead, He uses the word for trouble and trial, which is also used here:

Because you have kept my word about patient endurance, I will keep you from the hour of trial [peirasmos] that is coming on the whole world, to try those who dwell on the earth. (Revelation 3:10)

then the Lord knows how to rescue the godly from trials [peirasmos], and to keep the unrighteous under punishment until the day of judgment… (2 Peter 2:9)

Jesus tells us to pray that we will not be led into the hour of trial that is coming upon the whole world, that we will have the strength/worthiness to escape all these things that are going to take place! The only way we can be worthy to escape is through His blood as our covering – being born again into the family of God.

But Deliver Us From Evil

If we are to pray to not be led into the time of trouble on earth, what else are we to pray? That we are to be delivered from evil, in general? Or is there a more specific meaning here?

DeliverStrong’s 4506 rhuomai – to draw to oneself, deliver; I rescue, deliver (from danger or destruction). From HELPS Word-studies – “properly, draw (pull) to oneself; to rescue (“snatch up”); to draw or rescue a person to and for the deliverer.”

Note the term “snatch up”? Sounds kinda like the harpazo, or rapture, doesn’t it! Where else is rhuomai used? Let’s see!

Wretched man that I am! Who will deliver [rhuomai] me from this body of death? (Romans 7:24)

When do we get delivered from this body of death? At the resurrection/rapture event!

For they themselves report concerning us the kind of reception we had among you, and how you turned to God from idols to serve the living and true God, and to wait for his Son from heaven, whom he raised from the dead, Jesus who delivers [rhuomai] us from the wrath to come. (1 Thessalonians 1:9-10)

…and if he rescued [rhuomai] righteous Lot, greatly distressed by the sensual conduct of the wicked (for as that righteous man lived among them day after day, he was tormenting his righteous soul over their lawless deeds that he saw and heard); then the Lord knows how to rescue [rhuomai] the godly from trials, and to keep the unrighteous under punishment until the day of judgment… (2 Peter 2:7-9)

As in the days of Lot, we will be rescued before God’s wrath pours down on those who “refused to love the truth and so be saved” (2 Thessalonians 2:10).

EvilStrong’s 4190 ponéros – evil, bad, wicked, malicious, slothful. It is also translated as “evil one”. From Thayer’s Greek Lexicon – ὁ πονηρός is used pre-eminently of the devil, the evil one: Matthew 5:37; Matthew 6:13; Matthew 13:19, 38; Luke 11:4 R L; John 17:15; 1 John 2:13; 1 John 3:12; 1 John 5:18f

It is important to note that in the Greek, there is a definitive article tou (the) in front of ponērou. Thus the translation is most accurately rendered “the evil (one)”. Thus we are to pray to be delivered from the evil one, satan, himself.

In the Lord’s Prayer, Jesus is teaching us to pray for Bible prophecy to be fulfilled, including that we would not be led into the time of trouble on earth (the “tribulation” or 70th week of Daniel), that we would be delivered from the evil one (satan, including his unholy trinity of the antichrist and false prophet), and that Jesus would come and establish His millennial kingdom on earth. Built in to the Lord’s Prayer is a plea to be raptured!!! Isnt’ that amazing!??!!

Do we see hints of this anywhere else in scripture?

Since all these things are thus to be dissolved, what sort of people ought you to be in lives of holiness and godliness, waiting for and hastening the coming of the day of God, because of which the heavens will be set on fire and dissolved, and the heavenly bodies will melt as they burn! (2 Peter 3:11-12)

Peter speaks of waiting for and hastening the coming of the day of God (the day of the Lord). We know from our scripture study above, that the rapture occurs BEFORE the day of the Lord, and so when we pray for the day to haste we are also praying for the rapture!

Lord's Prayer.jpg

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 Blessed Assurance:  A Guide to Rapture Readiness.


Further Resources:

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!

Babies, Children, and the Rapture of the Church

Jesus said, “Let the little children come to me and do not hinder them, for to such belongs the kingdom of heaven.”  (Matthew 19:14)

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One of the most common questions about the rapture of the church is if babies and young children will be taken with us. (The second most common question is if pets will come with us too!)

First of all, I DO believe that babies, young children, and mentally handicapped children of a BELIEVER will be raptured. However, contrary to what some people teach, I do NOT believe that the babies, children, and mentally handicapped offspring of UNBELIEVERS will be raptured. I do not believe there is scripture to support this position, and while we can hope it is true, I think it is wrong to teach it as a likely occurrence.

(Before you throw stones, remember that this is an entirely different question than if these young ones’ souls go to heaven upon death!)

Why Does it Matter?

Well, if we go around telling people to watch for all babies and children to disappear, as a sign of the rapture, and then not all children disappear… wouldn’t that cause people to wrongly believe the rapture didn’t occur? Wouldn’t that make them more susceptible to believing the deception instead of the truth? We must be careful what we teach as fact!

Children of a Believer

I believe that those under a certain comprehension level that fall under the care of a believer will be raptured. I base this on the teaching of 1 Corinthians 7:

“To the rest I say (I, not the Lord) that if any brother has a wife who is an unbeliever, and she consents to live with him, he should not divorce her.  If any woman has a husband who is an unbeliever, and he consents to live with her, she should not divorce him.  For the unbelieving husband is made holy because of his wife, and the unbelieving wife is made holy because of her husband. Otherwise your children would be unclean, but as it is, they are holy.  But if the unbelieving partner separates, let it be so. In such cases the brother or sister is not enslaved. God has called you to peace.  For how do you know, wife, whether you will save your husband? Or how do you know, husband, whether you will save your wife?”  (1 Corinthians 7:12-16)

We cannot *save* our spouses or children; they will have to make a decision for or against Christ for themselves. However, our godly influence and prayers can move the hand of God to open their eyes, ears, and hearts to the gospel. I believe the phrase “otherwise your children would be unclean, but as it is, they are holy” represents this godly influence of one believing parent, and would apply to those who are under a certain comprehension level for rapture purposes. It’s not clear, but this is as clear as scripture gets on this matter.

I also base my understanding that a believer’s young or mentally handicapped children will be raptured on the fact that Noah’s children were physically spared from the global flood, and Lot’s children were physically spared from destruction, based on the faith of their fathers.  (As far as eternal salvation, their children would have had to choose who to follow for themselves).  The upcoming end times are compared to “as in the days of Noah” and “as in the days of Lot”, and I would suggest that believers’ children will be spared based on these two scriptural models.

Children of an Unbeliever

I believe that those under a comprehension level that do NOT fall under the care of a believer will NOT be raptured. I again base this on 1 Corinthians 7, which would suggest that the children of unbelievers are “unclean” without the godly influence of a believing parent.

Now before you go all psycho on me, I *do* believe that when they die they will go to heaven.  So although they may face a difficult time on earth, they will be eternally spared if they are under a certain comprehension level – which is different for each person.

I base this understanding also on the days of Noah and Lot, which is what we are to compare the end times to. The babies, children, and mentally handicapped in Noah’s day and in Lot’s day were NOT spared earthly destruction. They drowned or were pulverized by fire and brimstone, along with their parents (but again I would suggest they would have been spared ETERNAL destruction!!!).

“It is a fearful thing to fall into the hands of the living God.” (Hebrews 10:31)

Comprehension Level

Those who cannot comprehend the Law, cannot comprehend that they are breaking it (are sinners) and that they have a responsibility for that (need a Savior). Paul describes it this way:

“For apart from the law, sin lies dead.  I was once alive apart from the law, but when the commandment came, sin came alive and I died.  The very commandment that promised life proved to be death to me.” (Romans 7:8-10)

This passage suggests that Paul, like all of us, was at one point alive apart from the law – where sin lies dead. This would seem to apply to those who are very young or mentally disabled. I do not believe that there is a certain age (or mental age) that applies here, but rather each person will be individually evaluated by God.

What we can trust in, with 100% certainty, is that God is GOOD. ALL the time. His judgment is righteous and holy. Jesus, who is the examiner of hearts, knows the comprehension and heart of every man, woman, and child. He will do what is FAIR and RIGHT, regarding each human being who has ever, and will ever, live. These things are in His hands alone.

“I the LORD search the heart and test the mind, to give every man according to his ways, according to the fruit of his deeds.” (Jeremiah 17:10)

God is Good – ALL the Time

I understand that it is difficult to cope with the thought of babies and children suffering. It is difficult to cope with the thought of any humans suffering en masse to the extent that they are going to – SOON! I do believe that we need to step outside our own feelings on the matter, though, and look at what scripture actually says, and not what we want it to say (not just on this matter but on every matter!).

My sweet friends, we would ALL be “left behind” if it weren’t for God’s amazing grace. NONE of us are “worthy” to escape what is to come, apart from the blood of the Lamb. We ALL deserve God’s judgment and wrath!!! Oh the glorious and tender mercies of our Father in heaven who saves us from the wrath to come! Be on your knees, saints, and plead for the salvation of loved ones while it is still day.

“While it is daytime, we must do the works of Him who sent Me. Night is coming, when no one can work.” (John 9:4)

What we can know is that God loves and cares about babies, children, and the hearts of ALL humans, far more than we do!   In the end, all we can know for certain is our heart alone.  Are YOU ready?  If you have any doubts I encourage you to read Blessed Assurance – A Guide to Rapture Readiness.


Further Resources:

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!

Jewish Rabbis: “Messiah is Coming This Year – We Need to Prepare”

in case of moshiach

“HARAV, WHEN IS MOSHIACH COMING?! WHEN?”

Rav Berland responded:

“IMMEDIATELY AFTER SEDER NIGHT.”

Rav Badani clarified:

“THIS YEAR? THIS YEAR?”

Rav Berland replied:

“YES. 5779. THIS IS EXACTLY THE GEMATRIA OF ‘ובביאת משיח’ (AND IN THE COMING OF MOSHIACH.)”

Rav Badani continued:

“SO, WE NEED TO BE PREPARED FOR THIS. WE NEED TO PREPARE.”

(Source)

 

The Messiah is coming!  The Messiah is coming!  We need to prepare!

This announcement reminds me of the watchman’s midnight cry – “Here is the bridegroom!  Come out to meet him!”  (Matthew 25:6).  While I wholeheartedly agree that the Messiah is coming and that we need to prepare our hearts and sound the alarm, I’m not quite sure that we are talking about the SAME Messiah.  Let’s examine who, exactly, the Jewish Rabbis are anticipating to come “this year”.  Do they have some secret knowledge we should pay attention to?

Jewish Messianic Date-Setting

While there have been rumors of the imminent coming of the “Messiah” (Moshiach in Hebrew) for a few years now in Orthodox Jewish circles, what’s interesting to me is that this winter has brought with it a rash of Messianic date-setting.  Date-setting as in, right away, date-setting.

The above quoted conversation comes from a discussion between two well-respected and high positioned Jewish rabbis – Rabbi (Rav) Badani and Rabbi Berland – on January 30, 2019.  It occurred during a traditional blessing upon Rabbi Badani’s grandchild.  The conversation turned to questions about the coming redemption of Israel.  During this discussion on redemption, Rabbi Berland made the claim that the Messiah will come immediately after Seder (Passover) night, this year.

It would be one thing if Rabbi Berland were the only one making this claim.  Even well-respected people sometimes go off on tangents and claim all sorts of things.  However, prominent Rabbi Chaim Kanievsky has also claimed that the Messiah will come this spring – prior to the upcoming Israeli elections.

Rabbi Chaim Kanievsky, one of the most prominent rabbis of this generation, made a shocking statement, claiming that the Messiah will precede the upcoming Israeli elections. Several rabbis noted that the writing is on the wall and the signs that the process leading up to the Messiah has already begun…for those who have the eyes to see it.

Rabbi Yekutiel Fish, an expert in Kabbalah (Jewish mysticism) gave a lesson this week in which he discussed how the Messiah was imminent. Rabbi Fish cited Rabbi Chaim Kanievsky, one of the most prominent Haredi (ultra-Orthodox) rabbis of this generation, who began foretelling the arrival of the Messiah just a few years ago.

“It is written that in the days leading up to the Messiah, tzaddikim (righteous men) will begin to announce his arrival but some people, those who have not prepared for His arrival, will laugh at the righteous and the learned,” Rabbi Fish said, warning that it is forbidden to mock the righteous.”

Rabbi Fish related a story that is just now being told within Haredi circles in Israel. A young Torah scholar from outside of Israel was hosted for the Sabbath a few weeks ago at the house of a follower of Rabbi Kanievsky. The young man visited Kanievsky during the Sabbath. He asked the rabbi if he should apply for Israeli citizenship in order to vote for the Haredi party in the Israeli elections being held on April 9.

“There is no need,” Rabbi Kanievsky answered. “The  Messiah will already be here before the elections.”

The young man was unsure that he had heard the rabbi correctly so after he departed from the house, he asked Kanievsky’s grandson, a venerated rabbi in his own right, to confirm the answer. The grandson entered the rabbi’s chamber and asked again: ‘Should the young man apply for citizenship before the elections?’

Rabbi Kanievsky responded, “I already told him that there is no need. The Messiah will be here before the elections.”

 (Source)

Breaking Israel News, an Israeli news source, describes Rabbi Kanievsky as “one of the most learned and righteous Jews alive today”.  These are highly regarded, senior-level, Ultra-Orthodox Rabbis making these claims.

Rabbi Matityahu Glazerson has also verified that the year 5779 appears to be significant concerning the coming Messiah.  Rabbi Glazerson is most known for his work in Torah codes.

Using a Torah program that searches for equidistant letter sequences in the Bible, Rabbi Glazerson did a search for relevant expressions concerning Kanievsky’s announcement. He noted that the term “יבוא משיח” (the Messiah will come) appears once in Leviticus 23 adjacent to the letters “תשעט” signifying the current Hebrew year, 5779.

  (Source)

such a time

At this point, I want to mention that Rabbi Kanievsky has been speaking about the imminent coming of the Messiah for a few years now.  In April 2016, he stated that the Messiah would arrive prior to Rosh Hashana 2016.  That prediction was based on the shmittah (sabbatical), and was obviously a failed prediction.  (Source)

In November 2017, a well-known mystical Rabbi, Nir Ben Artzi, claimed that the identity of the Messiah would be revealed in the “very near future”.  He stated:

“The Holy One, Blessed be He, will come to the rabbis in a dream with a vision and inform them of whom He has chosen for the King Messiah,” predicted Rabbi Ben Artzi. “The Creator will write to them exactly, whom He has chosen as King Messiah.”

This singular revelation was accompanied by details.

“There will be a yellow card and holy letters inscribed on a parchment like a Torah scroll, where they will be told in Aramaic who is King Messiah,” the rabbi continued. Aramaic is no longer spoken, but it is the language of the Talmud (oral law). “Then, they will have no choice and they will recognize the King Messiah.

“From above they will be told, ‘The choice is in your hands. Either you reveal him or the Creator of the world will cause you great trouble and will not let go until you reveal this and tell it to the people of Israel’,” Rabbi Ben Artzi said. “Then they will follow the instructions laid out in the dream and acknowledge who the Messiah King is.”

(Source

Let us be clear that these high-ranking Rabbis, learned as they may be, have no special revelation from God – despite what they might believe.  It appears that through their vigorous study of the scriptures (Torah + Tankh), plus a few “prophetic dreams and visions” (which I suggest did NOT come from God), they have come to the same conclusion that watching Christian believers have – the state of the world today is strongly indicative of the imminent coming of the Messiah.  Have no doubt, satan is also WELL aware that the Messiah is near.

Relevant Dates and Times

I know you’re chomping at the bit to ask WHEN???  What are the dates we are looking at here???  (Do I know you or what – ha!)

Purim (14th of Adar/Adar II):

Purim is the Jewish celebration which recalls the saving of the Jewish people from annihilation at the hands of Haman.  This redemption is recorded in the book of Esther.  Purim is celebrated each year on the 14th of Adar (or Adar II in leap years – which this year has been confirmed).

Hebcal:  March 21 (Source)

Chabad: March 20 (Source)

AISH: March 20 (Source)

Passover Seder (14th of Nisan):

The Passover Seder is the traditional ritual which retells the story of Israel’s redemption from slavery in Egypt.  It occurs on the first night of Passover, as the 14th transitions to the 15th of Nisan.  Since this is confirmed to be a leap year, Passover will be in April.

Renewed Moon: April 19th @ sundown (Source)

Hebcal: April 20 (Source)

Chabad: April 19 (Source)

AISH:  April 19 (Source)

Israeli Elections

The Israeli elections are scheduled, and will not flux with the Hebrew calendar.  These are set to occur April 9, 2019.  Interestingly, the recent news of Prime Minister Netanyahu’s indictment has placed the upcoming election in turmoil.  Will it be rescheduled?

Date Summary

Rabbi Berland states that the Messiah will come immediately after Seder night (April 19-20).  Rabbi Kanievsky states that the Messiah will come before the Israeli elections (April 9, unless postponed).  There are also rumors circulating that the Messiah will come on Purim, I think from the title of Israel National News Article – “Rabbi: Messiah Began on Sunday, Will Appear on Purim, and Will Finish With Israeli Elections“.  When reading the article, Rabbi Chaim Kanievsky states the Messiah will come after Seder night, so I personally suspect the article was mis-titled.  Regardless of the title and the quotation, it does seem that there is some expectation of Purim as a possible “high watch date”.

The Expected Messiah

Instead of focusing on the actual dates predicted, and whether or not they hold special “high watch status” to us as watchmen, I think what is more relevant is the overall atmosphere within the orthodox Jewish community.  The “watching” Jewish community is electrically charged with anticipation of the imminent arrival of their Messiah.  Fascinating, right?

Let’s talk about exactly WHO these ultra-orthodox Jewish rabbis are expecting to imminently appear.

Hint:  It’s not Jesus.  


As Christians, we longingly await for Jesus Christ to call us up in the harpazo of the church, prior to the 70th week of Daniel playing out on earth.

Orthodox Jews await for the first (and only) coming of a Messiah, who I suggest to you is the anti-Messiah – the anti-Christ.

Remember that the Jewish people, for the most part, rejected Jesus as Messiah approximately 2000 years ago.  Thus, they are still watching, and waiting, for a Messiah.  I think we will learn a lot if we examine how they believe they will identify him.

Moshiach is not identified by his ability to perform earth-shattering miracles. In fact, he isn’t required to perform any miracles at all (although the performance of miracles doesn’t disqualify him either).

The following are the criteria for identifying the Moshiach, as written by Maimonides:

If we see a Jewish leader who (a) toils in the study of Torah and is meticulous about the observance of the mitzvot, (b) influences the Jews to follow the ways of the Torah and (c) wages the “battles of G‑d”—such a person is the “presumptive Moshiach.”

If the person succeeded in all these endeavors, and then rebuilds the Holy Temple in Jerusalem and facilitates the ingathering of the Jews to the Land of Israel—then we are certain that he is the Moshiach.

(Source

 

According to Jewish writings, the Messiah will:

  • study the Torah and observe its commandments fastidiously
  • influence other Jews to follow the Torah
  • wage the “battles of God” (I would suggest, fight battles for Israel)
  • rebuild the Temple in Jerusalem
  • facilitate ingathering of Jews to Israel (aliyah)

Is this sending big-time chills up your spine?  Red flashing lights?

warning.jpg

How about this?

One of the principles of Jewish faith enumerated by Maimonides is that one day there will arise a dynamic Jewish leader, a direct descendant of the Davidic dynasty, who will rebuild the Temple in Jerusalem, and gather Jews from all over the world and bring them back to the Land of Israel.

Any potential Moshiach must be a direct descendant of King David, as well as erudite in Torah learning. It should be noted that many people living today can trace their lineage back to King David. The chief rabbi of Prague in the late 16th century, Rabbi Yehuda Loew (the Maharal), had a family tree that traced him back to the Davidic dynasty. Consequently, any direct descendant of the Maharal is of Davidic descent.

Maimonides states in his Mishneh Torah—a compendium of the entire halachic tradition—that Moshiach will first rebuild the Temple and then gather in the exiles. Jerusalem and the Temple will be the focus of divine worship, and “from Zion shall go forth Torah, and the word of the L‑rd from Jerusalem.”

According to some traditions, G‑d Himself will rebuild the third Temple. According to others, it will be rebuilt by Moshiach; still others suggest a combination of the two opinions. Some suggest that there will be two distinct periods in the messianic era: first a non-miraculous period, leading into a second, miraculous period.

The Sanhedrin—the supreme Jewish law court of 71 sages—will be re-established, and will decide on all matters of law. At this time, all Jews will return to full Torah observance and practice.

Initially, there will be no change in the world order, other than its readiness to accept messianic rule. All the nations of the world will strive to create a new world order, in which there will be no more wars or conflicts. Jealousy, hatred, greed and political strife (of the negative kind) will disappear, and all human beings will strive only for goodness, kindness and peace.

All the nations of the world will recognize Moshiach to be a world leader, and will accept his dominion. In the messianic era there will be world peace, no more wars nor famine, and, in general, a high standard of living.

All mankind will worship one G‑d, and live a more spiritual and moral way of life. The Jewish nation will be preoccupied with learning Torah and fathoming its secrets.

The coming of Moshiach will complete G‑d’s purpose in creation: for man to make an abode for G‑d in the lower worlds—that is, to reveal the inherent spirituality in the material world.

Our prophets speak of the advent of a human leader, of a magnitude that the world has not yet experienced. His unique example and leadership will inspire mankind to change direction.

Moshiach will be a man who possesses extraordinary qualities. He will be proficient in both the written and oral Torah traditions. He will incessantly campaign for Torah observance among Jews, and observance of the seven universal Noahide laws by non-Jews. He will be scrupulously observant, and encourage the highest standards from others. He will defend religious principles and repair breaches in their observance.

Jews anticipate the arrival of Moshiach every day. Our prayers are full of requests to G‑d to usher in the messianic era. Even at the gates of the gas chambers, many Jews sang “Ani Maamin”—I believe in the coming of Moshiach!

However, the Talmud states that there is a predestined time when Moshiach will come. If we are meritorious, he may come even before that predestined time. This “end of time” remains a mystery, yet the Talmud states that it will be before the Hebrew year 6000. (The Hebrew year at the date of this publication is 5772.)

In every generation there is a person who potentially could be the Moshiach. When G‑d decides that the time has arrived, He will bestow upon that individual the necessary powers for him to precipitate that redemption.

The Talmud describes the period immediately prior to the advent of Moshiach as one of great travail and turmoil. There will be a world recession, and governments will be controlled by despots. It is in this troubled setting that Moshiach will arrive.

There is a tradition that a great war will take place, called the war of Gog and Magog, and there is much speculation as to the precise timing of this war in relation to Moshiach’s arrival.

There is a tradition that Elijah the Prophet will come to the world and announce the imminent arrival of Moshiach. However, according to other opinions, Moshiach may arrive unannounced. Elijah would then arrive to assist in the peace process. Some suggest that if the Moshiach arrives in his predestined time, then Elijah will announce his arrival; but if Moshiach comes suddenly, then Elijah will appear after Moshiach has come.

(Source

I know.

Seriously.

Speechless.


Let’s summarize the Orthodox Jewish beliefs above:

  • The Messiah will arrive sometime before the Hebrew year 6000, whenever the Jews “merit it” – he could come any time
  • Elijah the Prophet will arrive and announce the imminent coming of the Messiah  (Or, the Messiah may just arrive unannounced with Elijah appearing after)
  • Immediately before the Messiah appears, there will be “great turmoil” – including a world recession and government take-overs
  • A great war will take place, the Gog-Magog war
  • Wage “battles of God” for Israel
  • The Messiah will by a dynamic leader who will achieve world dominion
  • Initially there will be no change in the world, other than a readiness to strive to create a “new world order”
  • Miracles may or may not happen when the Messiah first appears
  • The Messiah will be a direct descendant of King David
  • The Messiah will rebuild the Third Temple, as an abode for God “in the lower worlds”
  • Israel will return to Torah law; Gentiles will be held to the Noahide laws
  • The Messiah will call all all tribes to return to Israel (gather in the exiles)
  • All mankind will worship one God

If someone doesn’t meet every single one of these qualifications, he cannot be the Messiah.

Why Did Israel Reject Jesus as Messiah?

Have you ever wondered why the bulk of Israel rejected Jesus as their Messiah?  Although Jesus literally fulfilled hundreds of Messianic prophecies, some remain to be fulfilled – the ones related to the Messianic Kingdom.  Israel was expecting their Messiah to come in, fight off all their enemies, raise Israel up as head of the world, and establish his kingdom of peace ruled by Torah law.  Basically, they were expecting the Millennial Kingdom to be put into place.

My purpose here isn’t to give a full treatise on why Israel rejected Jesus as Messiah and what the Christian rebuttal is.  There are those who have done much more extensive research on that and I would refer you here:

Jewish Expectations – Messiah or Anti-Messiah?

The coming time of tribulation and wrath is about Daniel’s people (Israel) and his holy city (Jerusalem).  All end times prophecy is focused there.

Seventy weeks are decreed about your people and your holy city, to finish the transgression, to put an end to sin, and to atone for iniquity, to bring in everlasting righteousness, to seal both vision and prophet, and to anoint a most holy place.  (Daniel 9:24)

I am fully convinced that the Antichrist will attempt to present himself as the long-awaited Jewish Messiah.  Remember that satan knows the Biblical prophecies, and will try to duplicate them well enough to fool even the elect – if it were possible (Matthew 24:24).

I have come in My Father’s name, and you have not received Me; but if someone else comes in his own name, you will receive him.  (John 5:43)

Let’s examine the Jewish expectations we noted above, and compare them to what we know is about to occur prophetically.

Worthy of Messiah

According to Jewish tradition, the Messiah will arrive at some point before year 6000.  Currently, it is year 5779 on the Hebrew calendar, although there is much speculation about “missing years“.  Regardless of the exact year we are in, rabbis seem to believe that we are now “close enough” – that the “time is suited”.

“Tshuva and belief are what bring the Messiah,” Rabbi Glazerson said. “Even in the times that are suited for the Messiah to come, without tshuva, there can be no Messiah. And faith is what leads to Israel being redeemed.”   (Source)

To be worthy for the Messiah to come, Teshuvah, or repentance (returning to the path of righteousness), plus faith, will bring the “Messiah”.  Orthodox rabbis are thus pleading with the Jewish people to repent and have faith.  I don’t think it would be difficult to convince them that they did a “great job” and so the “Messiah was well-pleased and came”.

Elijah the Prophet

Some messianic expectations suggest Elijah will prepare the way for the “Messiah”; others suggest he might appear after the “Messiah” comes.  Whenever he arrives, Elijah is expected to appear before the Day of the Lord begins.

Behold, I will send you Elijah the prophet before the great and awesome day of the Lord comes.  (Malachi 4:5)

Whether Elijah will literally appear, or there will be one who “comes in the spirit of Elijah” (like John the Baptist), is unknown.  Elijah figures into many Jewish traditions including:

  • Brit Milah (Elijah’s Chair) – baby boys are placed on the Chair of Elijah at the beginning of circumcision rituals
  • Cup of Elijah – a cup of wine is poured for Elijah at the Passover Seder
  • Opening the Door for Elijah – Elijah is invited to the Passover Seder to “testify” that everyone present is circumcised and worthy to participate in the Seder.

Did you note the obvious connection between Elijah and the Passover Seder?  Interesting, since one of the rabbis claims that the Messiah will appear right after the Seder this year.

While Jewish tradition anticipates Elijah appearing once more, this passage may have already been completely fulfilled through John the Baptist.  Another consideration is that Elijah (the real one) might be one of God’s Two Witnesses, as described in Revelation 11.  Yet another consideration, will the false prophet claim to be Elijah?

Great Turmoil in the World

The belief that immediately prior to the Messiah appearing there will be “great turmoil”, reminds me of what Jesus said in the Olivet Discourse:

For nation will rise against nation, and kingdom against kingdom, and there will be famines and earthquakes in various places.  All these are but the beginning of the birth pains.  (Matthew 24:7-8)

Jesus describes a specific set of signs as marking the “beginning of birth pains”, which announces the “time of the end”.   This collection of signs includes:  nation rising against nation, kingdom rising against kingdom, famines, earthquakes in various places, terrors, and great signs from heaven (Matthew 24; Luke 21).   Individually, these signs don’t signify the end.  When the end DOES arrive, it will be very obviously marked by this collection of signs occurring all at once. The end will come like a flood, or a trap, indeed, and it will be obvious to all.  [A little assignment for you – note the parallels of these signs to Seals 2,3,4,6 in Revelation 6 and the Gog-Magog war in Ezekiel 38-39].

The “Messiah” will arise out of this mess, at the very beginning of Israel’s “birth pains”.  Surely it will happen just as Jesus said.

The Gog-Magog War

Now here’s an interesting expectation.  Jewish tradition suggests that the Messiah will arrive in coordination with the Gog-Magog war.  Let’s review what this war is all about (for your own study, please read Ezekiel 38-39).

“Gog” and the many nations intend to plunder Israel.  At least, they think they do.  In actuality, it’s God who will raise Israel’s enemies up against her in such a way as to guarantee her destruction.  Why?  Specifically, so that He can prevent her from being annihilated.  Are you confused?

It’s impossible to overemphasize the significance that God Himself is arranging this war exactly according to His schedule.  The sole purpose of the war is to provide an avenue for God to intervene supernaturally to save Israel for the sake of His own name.  God breaks His silence with Israel for the purpose of announcing to an unbelieving world that  He intends to fulfill His covenant promises!  He will reclaim Israel as His people and His land.  God mentions this purpose 70 times in the book of Ezekiel; four times in these two chapters alone to ensure He gets His point across.

It seems that God will use Gog / Magog as a set-up for both Israel and the nations.  It seems to be deliberately presented so that it can be interpreted by Israel as the final war (Battle of Armageddon).  When God intervenes, Israel will look for the Messiah to inaugurate the Messianic Kingdom.  A “messiah” will most certainly appear.  Since I believe that the Gog-Magog war is at the very beginning of Daniel’s 70th week, I would suggest that the antichrist will rise out of this war, claiming victory for Israel’s salvation.  This is the ultimate test for Israel – who will they accept as their “Messiah”?

Battles of God

I would suggest, based on Jewish Messianic expectation, that the antichrist will be fighting FOR Israel, not against her.  I would suggest he will be DEFEATING her enemies (likely, neighboring Islamic nations, plus anyone else who would dare attack her).  Perhaps he will claim to be the victor of the Psalm 83 / Isaiah 17 / Ezekiel 38-39 wars.

Jews are anticipating the Messiah to establish universal peace, with Israel at the head.  I mean, we are too, but not until after the coming time of “tribulation”.  

 

For when they shall say, Peace and safety; then sudden destruction shall come upon them, as travail upon a woman with child; and they shall not escape.  (1 Thessalonians 5:3)

Following the rapture of the invisible body of Christ, the restraint on the antichrist’s rise to power will be released.  I would suggest that the antichrist works to establish peace for ISRAEL, and for those who COOPERATE with her… but that the process will involve wars for those who OPPOSE her.

For the mystery of lawlessness is already at work. Only he who now restrains it will do so until he is out of the way.  And then the lawless one will be revealed, whom the Lord Jesus will kill with the breath of his mouth and bring to nothing by the appearance of his coming.  (2 Thessalonians 2:7-8)

There are a lot of different interpretations of how exactly the antichrist rises to power, which we won’t get into here.  Suffice it to say, that it appears the antichrist will most definitely rise to power within the first half of Daniel’s 70th week (1260 days).  This strong leader speaks “great things” and is “greater than his companions” (Daniel 7:19-20).  At the midpoint of the “week”, he achieves a global rule. 

World Domination

I want you to note that if you take the beasts in Daniel 7 – a lion with wings, a bear, a four-headed leopard, and a ten-horned beast – and combine them all together, you get a seven-headed, ten-horned beast with lion, bear, and leopard characteristics.  And, this just happens to be exactly what we see when the antichrist declares to be “god”:

And I saw a beast rising out of the sea, with ten horns and seven heads, with ten diadems on its horns and blasphemous names on its heads.  And the beast that I saw was like a leopard; its feet were like a bear’s, and its mouth was like a lion’s mouth.  (Revelation 13:1-2)

The antichrist’s power will come from satan:

And to it the dragon gave his power and his throne and great authority.  One of its heads seemed to have a mortal wound, but its mortal wound was healed, and the whole earth marveled as they followed the beast.  And they worshiped the dragon, for he had given his authority to the beast, and they worshiped the beast, saying, “Who is like the beast, and who can fight against it?” (Revelation 13:2-4)

It seems that the world will marvel after and follow the beast because of his apparent resurrection from the dead as well as his miltary prowess.  The antichrist’s 1260 days of rule (the last half of Daniel’s 70th week) is described further in Revelation 13:

And the beast was given a mouth uttering haughty and blasphemous words, and it was allowed to exercise authority for forty-two months. It opened its mouth to utter blasphemies against God, blaspheming his name and his dwelling, that is, those who dwell in heaven.  Also it was allowed to make war on the saints and to conquer them. And authority was given it over every tribe and people and language and nation, and all who dwell on earth will worship it, everyone whose name has not been written before the foundation of the world in the book of life of the Lamb who was slain.  If anyone has an ear, let him hear: If anyone is to be taken captive, to captivity he goes; if anyone is to be slain with the sword, with the sword must he be slain. Here is a call for the endurance and faith of the saints.  (Revelation 13:5-10)

The antichrist’s rule will be worldwide.  It is also described in the book of Daniel:

“As I looked, this horn made war with the saints and prevailed over them,  until the Ancient of Days came, and judgment was given for the saints of the Most High, and the time came when the saints possessed the kingdom.  “Thus he said: ‘As for the fourth beast, there shall be a fourth kingdom on earth, which shall be different from all the kingdoms, and it shall devour the whole earth, and trample it down, and break it to pieces.  As for the ten horns, out of this kingdom ten kings shall arise, and another shall arise after them; he shall be different from the former ones, and shall put down three kings. He shall speak words against the Most High, and shall wear out the saints of the Most High, and shall think to change the times and the law; and they shall be given into his hand for a time, times, and half a time.”  (Daniel 7:21-25)

Then the dragon became furious with the woman and went off to make war on the rest of her offspring, on those who keep the commandments of God and hold to the testimony of Jesus. And he stood on the sand of the sea.  (Revelation 12:17)

This is the time of “greatest tribulation” for followers of Jesus Christ.  (Matthew 24:15-16, 21-22)  It will be a period of intense persecution and martyrdom for the tribulation saints.

In Jewish end times study, once the Millennial Kingdom is established, they expect that unrepentant gentiles will be killed.  All will be expected to submit to their messiah as “god”.  Does this period of “greatest tribulation” start from within the Jewish community that has embraced the antichrist?  Check this out:

But be on your guard. For they will deliver you over to councils, and you will be beaten in synagogues, and you will stand before governors and kings for my sake, to bear witness before them.  (Mark 13:9)

Did you catch that the beating of followers of Jesus Christ will be in synagogues, the Jewish places of worship?  We understand from prophecy that 2/3 of the Hebrew people will perish, and 1/3 will be saved and enter the Millennial Kingdom.

And in all the land,” declares the LORD, “two-thirds will be cut off and perish, but a third will be left in it.  (Zechariah 13:8)

Do the two thirds that perish commit the ultimate blasphemy against God and embrace the anti-Messiah?

Desire for a New World Order

I think we are all familiar with the term “new world order” by now.  The world’s elites don’t even try to keep this goal a secret any more.  It reminds me of 2 Thessalonians 2:7 we just mentioned above – the mystery of lawlessness is already at work (being set up).  The “new world order” that the antichrist will establish will try to mimic the “millennial kingdom” expectations of the Messiah.

The word that Isaiah the son of Amoz saw concerning Judah and Jerusalem.  And it shall come to pass in the last of the days or times, that the mountain of the LORD’s house shall be confirmed as the head of the mountains and shall be exalted above the hills; and all the Gentiles shall flow unto it.  And many peoples shall go and say, Come ye, and let us go up to the mountain of the LORD to the house of the God of Jacob; and he will teach us of his ways, and we will walk in his paths; for out of Zion shall go forth the law and the word of the LORD from Jerusalem.  And he shall judge among the Gentiles and shall rebuke many peoples; and they shall beat their swords into plowshares and their spears into pruninghooks; nation shall not lift up sword against nation, neither shall they learn war any more (Isaiah 2:1-4)

I will make a covenant of peace with them. It shall be an everlasting covenant with them. And I will set them in their land and multiply them, and will set my sanctuary in their midst forevermore. (Ezekiel 37:26)

(Additionally, reference Isaiah 32:15-18, 60:15-18; Zephaniah 3:9; Hosea 2:20-22; Amos 9:13-15; Micah 4:1-4; Zechariah 8:23, 14:9; Jeremiah 31:33-34)

These verses reference the “covenant of peace”, which seems to feature heavily into the antichrist’s political and religious platforms.

Miracles or No Miracles?

Well here’s an easy one.  The Jews don’t seem clear, and neither do they seem to care, whether or not miracles will accompany the Messiah.  I find this rather surprising, actually!  However, we know from scripture, that the antichrist will come in with “signs and wonders”.

The coming of the lawless one is by the activity of Satan with all power and false signs and wonders, and with all wicked deception for those who are perishing, because they refused to love the truth and so be saved.  (2 Thessalonians 2:9-10)

These signs and wonders, permitted by God, will contribute to the overall atmosphere of excitement and awe surrounding the anti-Messiah.

A Descendant of David

According to the Hebrew scriptures, the Messiah will be descended from King David on his father’s side:

 

The scepter shall not depart from Judah,

    nor the ruler’s staff from between his feet,

until tribute comes to him;

    and to him shall be the obedience of the peoples.  (Genesis 49:10)

There shall come forth a shoot from the stump of Jesse,

    and a branch from his roots shall bear fruit.  (Isaiah 11:1)

Behold, the days are coming, declares the Lord, when I will raise up for David a righteous Branch, and he shall reign as king and deal wisely, and shall execute justice and righteousness in the land.  (Jeremiah 23:5)

For thus says the Lord: David shall never lack a man to sit on the throne of the house of Israel… (Jeremiah 33:17)

And I will set up over them one shepherd, my servant David, and he shall feed them: he shall feed them and be their shepherd.  And I, the Lord, will be their God, and my servant David shall be prince among them. I am the Lord; I have spoken.  (Ezekiel 34:23-24)

It is difficult to imagine that Israel would accept anyone as Messiah that doesn’t have this Davidic bloodline.  I understand that people like to speculate possible identities of the future anti-Christ; this heredity should be one of the considerations.  The Jews are anticipating a fully human Messiah, descended from King David.

The Third Temple

Although He taught there, Jesus didn’t set Himself up in the Jewish Temple to rule.  Not only did Jesus not rule from their Temple, He prophesied its’ destruction.  How curiously “un-Messiah-like” of Him, according to the Jews.

 

“Then Jesus went out and departed from the temple, and His disciples came up to show Him the buildings of the temple. And Jesus said to them, ‘Do you not see all these things? Assuredly, I say to you, not one stone shall be left here upon another, that shall not be thrown down.”  (Matthew 24:1-2)

A description of the anticipated Temple is found in Ezekiel chapters 40-48.  That this rule from the Temple will take place through the anti-christ, before it comes through Jesus, we are clearly foretold:

“Then I was given a measuring rod like a staff, and I was told, “Rise and measure the temple of God and the altar and those who worship there,  but do not measure the court outside the temple; leave that out, for it is given over to the nations, and they will trample the holy city for forty-two months.  And I will grant authority to my two witnesses, and they will prophesy for 1,260 days, clothed in sackcloth.”  (Revelation 11:1-3)

And he shall make a strong covenant with many for one week, and for half of the week he shall put an end to sacrifice and offering. And on the wing of abominations shall come one who makes desolate, until the decreed end is poured out on the desolator.”  (Daniel 9:27)

Let no one deceive you in any way. For that day will not come, unless the rebellion comes first, and the man of lawlessness is revealed, the son of destruction, who opposes and exalts himself against every so-called god or object of worship, so that he takes his seat in the temple of God, proclaiming himself to be God.  (2 Thessalonians 2:3-4)

John sees and measures a future temple which will exist during the times of the end.  In the books of Daniel and Matthew (Daniel 9:27, Matthew 24:15), we are told that during the yet future 70th week of Daniel, an event known as the “abomination of desolation” will occur to desecrate the Temple/altar.  For this to occur, a Jewish Temple needs to be in place, or at the very least, an altar of sacrifice.  We also know from Daniel that there will be Jews in Old Covenant relationship with God, and that they will be offering daily sacrifices.  At some point during the 70th week of Daniel (likely at the abomination of desolation), a strong ruler (the lawless one, the antichrist) will cause the sacrifices to cease (Daniel 9:27).  So thus, we know the sacrifices will be restarted before this stopping can occur.  In 2 Thessalonians 2:4, we are told the man of lawlessness will “set himself up in the temple and proclaim to be god”.  For this to be possible, there must be a Third Temple in place.

The closer the Third Temple comes to being a reality, the closer we must be to other end-time events, including the rapture of the church.

A Return to Torah

The Jews are anticipating a Torah rule from the Temple.  As Christians, we also are expecting an iron-rod rule from the Temple, but not until after the upcoming time of “tribulation”.

“My servant David shall be king over them, and they shall all have one shepherd. They shall walk in my rules and be careful to obey my statutes.  They shall dwell in the land that I gave to my servant Jacob, where your fathers lived. They and their children and their children’s children shall dwell there forever, and David my servant shall be their prince forever.  I will make a covenant of peace with them. It shall be an everlasting covenant with them. And I will set them in their land and multiply them, and will set my sanctuary in their midst forevermore.  My dwelling place shall be with them, and I will be their God, and they shall be my people. Then the nations will know that I am the Lord who sanctifies Israel, when my sanctuary is in their midst forevermore.”  (Ezekiel 37:24-28)

I will tell of the decree:
The Lord said to me, “You are my Son;
today I have begotten you.
Ask of me, and I will make the nations your heritage,
and the ends of the earth your possession.
You shall break them with a rod of iron
and dash them in pieces like a potter’s vessel.

Now therefore, O kings, be wise;
be warned, O rulers of the earth.
Serve the Lord with fear,
and rejoice with trembling.
Kiss the Son,
lest he be angry, and you perish in the way,
for his wrath is quickly kindled.
Blessed are all who take refuge in him. 

(Psalm 2:7-12)

The one who conquers and who keeps my works until the end, to him I will give authority over the nations, and he will rule them with a rod of ironas when earthen pots are broken in pieces, even as I myself have received authority from my Father.  (Revelation 2:26-27)

It seems very clear that the Jews will seek to return to Torah Law, with its system of sacrifices and offerings.  Whether or not these sacrifices will be pleasing to God or not depends on the heart – are they doing it out of remembrance of what Jesus has done, or out of rejection of Christ to attempt to atone for their own sins?  I appeal to your memory that there will be sacrifices during the Millennial Kingdom.  An iron-rod-rule sounds pretty Torah-like to me as well.  It seems that God is not opposed to rules or sacrifices; but these things have never saved and will never save.  Salvation is only by grace through faith in Jesus Christ and His blood atonement for our sins.

Aliyah (the Ingathering)

After the fall of Jerusalem in 70AD, the Jews were scattered all over the world exactly as prophesied.  In all of human history, no “dead” nation has ever been rebirthed.  However, God’s word and promises stand eternal.  In the 1800’s AD, the first whisperings of Zionism were heard.  In the late 1880’s the first Aliyahs were made – the return of the Jews to their God-covenanted homeland.  Return to Israel (then called Palestine) trickled in slowly but steadily.

And then, WWII.

God, knowing the end from the beginning, brought beauty out of the ashes of the Jewish Holocaust.  Israel was rebirthed in a day on May 14, 1948… after not existing for approximately 2,900 years.

 

Following independence, Aliyah began in earnest.  The return of the people of Israel to the Promised Land is foretold in many places in scripture:

And when all these things come upon you, the blessing and the curse, which I have set before you, and you call them to mind among all the nations where the Lord your God has driven you, and return to the Lord your God, you and your children, and obey his voice in all that I command you today, with all your heart and with all your soul,  then the Lord your God will restore your fortunes and have mercy on you, and he will gather you again from all the peoples where the Lord your God has scattered you.  If your outcasts are in the uttermost parts of heaven, from there the Lord your God will gather you, and from there he will take you.  And the Lord your God will bring you into the land that your fathers possessed, that you may possess it. (Deuteronomy 30:1-5)

He will raise a signal for the nations
and will assemble the banished of Israel,
and gather the dispersed of Judah
from the four corners of the earth.

(Isaiah 11:12)

Current population statistics (2017) show that Israel has the highest Jewish population, at 44.4% of the world’s Jewry.  Why is Jewish Aliyah interesting in light of end times prophecies?  Perhaps the Orthodox Jews state it best:

Prophecy can only exist in Israel when the land is inhabited by a majority of world Jewry, a situation which has not existed since 300 BCE. During the time of Ezra, when the majority of Jews remained in Babylon, prophecy ended upon the death of the last prophets – Haggai, Zechariah and Malachi. (Source)

Orthodox rabbinic tradition suggests that prophecy can only exist in Israel when it contains the majority of the world’s Jews (over 50%).  Note that this is NOT stipulated in the Scriptures, but seems to be a tradition of man.  Regardless, the coming anti-Messiah will most certainly be looking to fulfill this expectation as he gathers the people of Israel home.

 

In Law of Kings, Maimonides writes:
1. The Messianic King will arise in the future and restore the Davidic Kingdom to its former state and original sovereignty. He will build the Temple and gather the dispersed of Israel. All the laws will be re-instituted in his days as they had been aforetimes; sacrifices will be offered, and the Sabbatical years and Jubilee years will be observed fully as ordained by the Torah.
2. Anyone who does not believe in him, or whoever does not look forward to his coming, denies not only the other prophets but also the Torah and of Moses our Teacher.
For the Torah attested to him, as it is said:”then, the Lord, your God, will bring back your exiles, and He will have mercy upon you. He will once again gather you from all the nations… Even if your exiles are at the end of the heavens, the Lord, your God, will gather you from there, and He will take you from there. And the Lord, your God, will bring you… (Deuteronomy 30:3-5).
These words, explicitly stated in the Torah, include all the statements made by all the prophets.
— Maimonides, Mishneh Torah, Law of Kings 11:1-2[8]

 

It is critical for any messiah figure to focus on ingathering of the exiles to the land promised to Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob.

One World Religion

We have discussed that during the first half of Daniel’s 70th week the anti-messiah seems to be busy gathering the Jews, building the Temple, fighting skirmishes, rising to power, and establishing his kingdom.   Around the 3.5 year mark, this messiah figure will set up his headquarters (“palatial tents”) in Jerusalem and declare it to be the capital city of the world.  This is again what Jews are expecting from the “messianic kingdom age”.  But first, just as all prophecies indicate, this messiah figure is about to die:

“And he shall pitch his palatial tents between the sea and the glorious holy mountain. Yet he shall come to his end, with none to help him.” (Daniel 11:45)

 

Then, the anti-messiah will be miraculously resurrected from the dead:

“One of its heads seemed to have a mortal wound, but its mortal wound was healed, and the whole earth marveled as they followed the beast.  And they worshiped the dragon, for he had given his authority to the beast, and they worshiped the beast, saying, “Who is like the beast, and who can fight against it?”  (Revelation 13:3-4)

 

The resurrection will be through God’s power (only God has the power to give and take life), to fulfill His plans and purposes.  It is at this point that he will claim to be “god”.

Let no one deceive you in any way. For that day will not come, unless the rebellion comes first, and the man of lawlessness is revealed, the son of destruction, who opposes and exalts himself against every so-called god or object of worshipso that he takes his seat in the temple of God, proclaiming himself to be God. (2 Thessalonians 2:3-4)

I would suggest that the antichrist’s claim to deity, and the subsequent demand of worship, will be a huge turning point for the inhabitants of earth – the Israelites in particular.  Where once this man appeared to support the reinstitution of Torah and the Temple, he will now take over, cause sacrifices to cease, set up an abomination, and blaspheme God.  Wait a sec…

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The antichrist’s religious domination is further described in Revelation 13:

And the beast was given a mouth uttering haughty and blasphemous words, and it was allowed to exercise authority for forty-two months.  It opened its mouth to utter blasphemies against God, blaspheming his name and his dwelling, that is, those who dwell in heaven.  Also it was allowed to make war on the saints and to conquer them. And authority was given it over every tribe and people and language and nation,  and all who dwell on earth will worship it, everyone whose name has not been written before the foundation of the world in the book of life of the Lamb who was slain.  (Revelation 13:5-8)

Then I saw another beast rising out of the earth. It had two horns like a lamb and it spoke like a dragon. It exercises all the authority of the first beast in its presence, and makes the earth and its inhabitants worship the first beast, whose mortal wound was healed.  It performs great signs, even making fire come down from heaven to earth in front of people, and by the signs that it is allowed to work in the presence of the beast it deceives those who dwell on earth, telling them to make an image for the beast that was wounded by the sword and yet lived.  And it was allowed to give breath to the image of the beast, so that the image of the beast might even speak and might cause those who would not worship the image of the beast to be slain.  (Revelation 13:11-15)

 

This antichrist religion is bad news for the tribulation saints, who are about to become tribulation martyrs in vast numbers.  This calls for the patient endurance of the saints indeed.

Messiah 5779?

It is both fascinating and devastating to watch Orthodox Jewish messianic date-setting.  Fascinating, because there is a true longing to be reconciled to God.  Devastating, because they are so prepared to accept the WRONG MESSIAH.

Jesus is most certainly near, even at the doors. This year?  Definitely a strong possibility.  This month?  Also definitely possible.  We Might Be Closer Than You Think.  Check out these Major Prophetic Milestones!

Immediately following the rapture of the true church, it seems that the “false messiah” (antichrist) will arise and:

  • fight and win wars for Israel (these may include Psalm 83, Isaiah 17, Ezekiel 38-39 – which technically GOD wins for Israel, but the antichrist may CLAIM the victory?)
  • allow / encourage building of the Third Temple
  • attempt to gather all Jews back to Israel
  • promise to usher in an age of world peace / perfection with Israel at the head
  • unite humanity in religion
  • be descended on Father’s side from King David
  • allow, or possibly lead, full Torah observance
  • gain worldwide dominion

I believe that the anti-messiah will attempt to parallel what Jesus did at His first coming, in addition to appearing to fulfill what Jesus will do at His second coming.  The Jews did not foresee the two-part role of the messiah (Suffering Servant / Conquering King), and were legitimately baffled when the Messianic Kingdom wasn’t inaugurated at Jesus’ first coming.  In this way, the anti-messiah will appear to clear up the confusion and will be received.

Jesus warned that many would come claiming to be the Christ. These numerous lesser antichrists who were already in the world, as the Apostle John explained in 1 John:2:18, would prepare the way for the real Antichrist who would appear in the last of the “last days.” Behold the ultimate deception: Satan posing as God, Antichrist masquerading as the true Christ, and not just the world but an apostate church as well totally taken in by the bold fraud. Instead of a frontal assault on Christianity, the evil one will pervert the church from within by posing as its founder. He will cunningly misrepresent Christ while pretending to be Christ. And by that process of substitution, he will undermine and pervert all that Christ truly is. Anything less than such a diabolically malevolent strategy would be unworthy of Satan’s foul genius.

—Excerpt taken from Countdown to the Second Coming by Dave Hunt

Have no fear – the ultimate endpoint is that Jesus will overthrow all the kingdoms of the world and set up His kingdom that can never be shaken:

For you have not come to what may be touched, a blazing fire and darkness and gloom and a tempest  and the sound of a trumpet and a voice whose words made the hearers beg that no further messages be spoken to them.  For they could not endure the order that was given, “If even a beast touches the mountain, it shall be stoned.”  Indeed, so terrifying was the sight that Moses said, “I tremble with fear.”  But you have come to Mount Zion and to the city of the living God, the heavenly Jerusalem, and to innumerable angels in festal gathering, and to the assembly of the firstborn who are enrolled in heaven, and to God, the judge of all, and to the spirits of the righteous made perfect,  and to Jesus, the mediator of a new covenant, and to the sprinkled blood that speaks a better word than the blood of Abel.

See that you do not refuse him who is speaking. For if they did not escape when they refused him who warned them on earth, much less will we escape if we reject him who warns from heaven.  At that time his voice shook the earth, but now he has promised, “Yet once more I will shake not only the earth but also the heavens.”  This phrase, “Yet once more,” indicates the removal of things that are shaken—that is, things that have been made—in order that the things that cannot be shaken may remain.  Therefore let us be grateful for receiving a kingdom that cannot be shaken, and thus let us offer to God acceptable worship, with reverence and awe,  for our God is a consuming fire.
(Hebrews 12:18-29)

God will use all things for the good of those who love Him and are called according to His purposes (Romans 8:28).  All things includes the antichrist, his false religion, and the time of tribulation!  Jesus Christ will reign victorious!

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Further Resources:

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.

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!

Rightly Dividing the Word of Truth

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This article was written for Unsealed, link here: Rightly Dividing the Word of Truth

Study to shew thyself approved unto God, a workman that needeth not to be ashamed, rightly dividing the word of truth. (2 Timothy 2:15)

“Right Division”

It breaks my heart to see these two words tearing the prophecy watching community apart. I genuinely feel a heaviness deep within my spirit. Tears spring forth to my eyes as friends, brothers and sisters in Christ, face off in literal division over this phrase. The body of Christ is being torn apart, limb by limb.

Now guys, I love theology. I love studying the bible, I love sound doctrine, I love prophecy, and I love “right division”. What I do not love is debate and conflict. Some are gifted in this area, but I am not. I try my best to “always be prepared to make a defense to anyone who asks [me] for a reason for the hope that is in [me]; yet do it with gentleness and respect…” (1 Peter 3:15). But I am not a master with words. They do not come quickly to me; I must ponder and digest and write and edit. And often, I must apologize – as sometimes my intentions are misunderstood. There are many in this so-called “right division” debate who could beat me with their pinkie finger in a war with words. But is this what we want? A war with our brothers and sisters?

Our true battle is the one with the spiritual realm.

For we do not wrestle against flesh and blood, but against the rulers, against the authorities, against the cosmic powers over this present darkness, against the spiritual forces of evil in the heavenly places. Therefore take up the whole armor of God, that you may be able to withstand in the evil day, and having done all, to stand firm. Stand therefore, having fastened on the belt of truth, and having put on the breastplate of righteousness, and, as shoes for your feet, having put on the readiness given by the gospel of peace. In all circumstances take up the shield of faith, with which you can extinguish all the flaming darts of the evil one; and take the helmet of salvation, and the sword of the Spirit, which is the word of God, praying at all times in the Spirit, with all prayer and supplication. (Ephesians 6:12-18)

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What’s This All About?

Let me back up a few steps. In the post-Revelation12-sign-days, I have noticed a shifted focus in the prophecy watching community to what has been termed “Right Division”. Now, I would like to think that all followers of Christ try to understand the Bible correctly. It is, after all, the very Word of God. According to 2 Timothy 2, we are indeed to rightly divide the Word of Truth.

For those who study the scriptures, there are different interpretation methods. I personally believe that a literal, cultural, historical, grammatical approach produces the most reliably correct interpretation of any given verse/passage. It is the method most commonly used in conservative evangelical circles, and is the one that results in a dispensational view of prophecy. It also leads to a literal pretribulation, premillennial rapture view. An excellent summary on this Bible interpretation method can be found here – How to Interpret the Bible.

“When the plain sense of scripture makes common sense, seek no other sense; therefore, take every word at its primary, ordinary, usual, literal meaning unless the facts of the immediate context, studied in the light of related passages and axiomatic and fundamental truths, indicate clearly otherwise.” Dr. D.L. Cooper

So far, so good, right? Noble motives, reliable methods. Well, what seems to have occurred is that there are now clusters of believers who call themselves “Right Dividers” as a label, or title. I will refer to it as the “RD Doctrine” here, to distinguish it from believers who “rightly divide” but do not agree with the conclusions of this doctrine. There are a few variations within the view, but I will highlight what I see as some of the main features that distinguish it from other denominations:

  • There are two gospels – one revealed by Jesus/Peter; another revealed by Paul. The church age is to follow “Paul’s Gospel of Grace”.
  • Repentance is a “work”, so we are not to repent, as that would be trying to add “works” to salvation.
  • Water baptism is not an ordinance for believers in the church age.
  • They are dispensational. Classical dispensationalism places the division of law/grace at Acts 2, at the coming of the Holy Spirit on Pentecost. RD Doctrine disagrees with this placement of the start of the age of grace (church age). Some place the division of the church age at Acts 9 (Paul’s conversion), some at Acts 13 (Paul’s first missionary journey) – both of these views are termed Mid-Acts Dispensationalism. Some place the division of the church age at Acts 28 – this is called Post-Acts Dispensationalism, Ultradispensationalism, or Hyperdispensationalism. (I have noted they vehemently disagree with these labels, but that is what the views are called).
  • There is a strong focus on the Pauline epistles. Most suggest these are the only books of the Bible applicable to believers today.
    • The Gospels, and the Old Testament, were written for, and are applicable to, Jews only. Some concede that the gospel of Luke was written for Gentiles.
    • There is disagreement upon whether the following books were written for, and are applicable to, both Jewish and Gentile believers: Hebrews, James, 1 Peter, 2 Peter, 1 John, 2 John, 3 John, Jude, Revelation. All would agree they are for Jewish believers; most would state they do NOT apply to Gentiles.
    • The following books were written for, and are applicable to, the Jew first and then the Gentiles: Romans, 1 Corinthians, 2 Corinthians, Galatians, 1 Thessalonians, 2 Thessalonians.
    • The following books were written for, and are applicable to, all believers: Ephesians, Philippians, Colossians, 1 Timothy, 2 Timothy, Titus, Philemon.

There are a few troublesome aspects of this doctrine that I wish to discuss below. One of the most alarming features is that while this doctrine focuses heavily on preaching “grace”, it is incredibly divisive and offers little to no grace towards those who dissent. Those who call themselves “Right Dividers” as a title, by definition accuse anyone who disagrees with them as a “wrong divider”. Frequently, those who disagree (including such prophecy giants as Chuck Missler, John MacArthur, Jack Kelley, Thomas Ice, Arnold Fruchtenbaum, Clarence Larkin -!?!) are called “in the milk stage”, “unwilling to open their eyes”, “blindly following denominations”, and “refusing truth”. I have seen this with my own eyes and have personally been called an unbeliever and unsaved, multiple times, for suggesting there are serious concerns with this view.

I am not here to sway you with wise words or convincing speech. There are many wiser than I, more studied, more eloquent. However, I am here because this phrase – “right division” – keeps coming up again and again in our community, bringing further division within the body of Christ each time. It wrenches my heart and grieves me deeply. Thus, I am here to speak from my heart to yours on this matter, and ask only for your consideration.

And I, when I came to you, brothers, did not come proclaiming to you the testimony of God with lofty speech or wisdom. For I decided to know nothing among you except Jesus Christ and Him crucified. And I was with you in weakness and in fear and much trembling, and my speech and my message were not in plausible words of wisdom, but in demonstration of the Spirit and of power, so that your faith might not rest in the wisdom of men but in the power of God. (1 Corinthians 2:1-5)

The view is indeed very divisive, but is it right?

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The Gospel of Grace

Oh, you guys. It’s all about Jesus. There is nothing on earth that can compare. He is our hope, our strength, our joy, our light, our song, our salvation. Jesus is our everything. Let’s keep Jesus at the forefront of this discussion.

Put on then, as God’s chosen ones, holy and beloved, compassionate hearts, kindness, humility, meekness, and patience, bearing with one another and, if one has a complaint against another, forgiving each other; as the Lord has forgiven you, so you also must forgive. And above all these put on love, which binds everything together in perfect harmony. And let the peace of Christ rule in your hearts, to which indeed you were called in one body. And be thankful. Let the word of Christ dwell in you richly, teaching and admonishing one another in all wisdom, singing psalms and hymns and spiritual songs, with thankfulness in your hearts to God. And whatever you do, in word or deed, do everything in the name of the Lord Jesus, giving thanks to God the Father through him. (Colossians 3:12-17).

I hope one thing we can all agree upon is that it’s critical to get the gospel right. The first thing to ask when disagreements in doctrine come up – is this a salvation issue?

Let’s start where we agree, using Paul’s books alone:

“For all have sinned and fall short of the glory of God” (Romans 3:23).

“For the wages of sin is death” (Romans 6:23).

“But God demonstrates His love for us in that while we were still sinners, Christ died for us” (Romans 5:8).

“If you confess with your mouth, “Jesus is Lord”, and believe in your heart that God raised Him from the dead, you will be saved. For with the heart one believes and is justified, and with the mouth one confesses and is saved.” (Romans 10:9-10).

“For whosoever shall call upon the name of the Lord shall be saved” (Romans 10:13).

“For by grace you are saved through faith, and this is not from yourselves, it is the gift of God; it is not from works, so that no one can boast.” (Ephesians 2:8-9).

“…the gift of God is eternal life through Jesus Christ, our Lord” (Romans 6:23).

“There is therefore now no condemnation for those who are in Christ Jesus.” (Romans 8:1 ESV).

“For I delivered to you as of first importance what I also received: that Christ died for our sins in accordance with the Scriptures, that he was buried, that he was raised on the third day in accordance with the Scriptures…” (1 Corinthians 15:3-4).

Can we agree that salvation is by grace alone, through faith alone, in Jesus Christ alone, completely apart from human works, lest any man should boast? How are we saved, if not by the grace of God? How are we saved if not by the blood of the Lamb, and bearing the word of His testimony? We confess with our mouths Jesus is Lord, and believe in our hearts that God has raised Him from the dead – then we are saved.

“This is the work of God, that you believe in him whom he has sent.” (John 6:29).

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So what’s the big deal?

Well, as I mentioned above, I am frequently called an unbeliever for disagreeing not with right division, but with “Right Division”. Clearly, those who ascribe to this doctrine see it as a salvation issue. I cannot and will not judge anyone’s salvation – this is a heart issue between each individual and God. What I can judge is that the gospel is being divided, and this seems very serious to me indeed.

One Gospel, Not Two

In his article, A Different Gospel?, Jack Kelley addresses the two-gospel view much better than I could:

Did Peter and Paul teach the same gospel, or was the message Peter preached to Israel different from the one that Paul carried to the Gentiles?

This “Two Gospel” view, like several other opinions critical of the Bible’s authenticity, originally came from Germany through the writings of Ferdinand Baur of the Tubingen School of Theology. Mr. Baur couldn’t find very much at all to accept in the New Testament as it was written, even disputing the authorship of several of Paul’s letters, accepting only Galatians, 1&2 Corinthians, and Romans as genuine. He also claimed that the Paul of Acts was a different person than the one who wrote these Epistles.

As it was explained to me in one of the eMails I received,

“the 12 taught that Jesus was the Messiah and to repent and be baptized. Everything they taught was under the law, and all of this is true (for the Jews.)

Paul, however, taught the Grace of God and revelation that the ascended Lord gave him, which says we are saved by grace through faith, not of works. If you read the bible carefully you will see that the gospels and the letters written by the 12 are written to and for Jews, not that we can’t learn from them, but our doctrine comes from the Apostle Paul (given by The Ascended Lord) to Jews & Gentiles.”

I can’t tell you how many times folks who believe differently than I do have advised me to just read the Bible carefully and I’ll embrace their position, but that’s another story.

Supporters of this view point to Peter’s message to the Jews of “repent and be baptized” while the Gentiles were never told such a thing, only that we’re saved by grace through faith. They claim that Paul received this gospel that had been hidden through out the ages by direct revelation from God, using Galatians 1:11-12 as their authority. If true, this would mean that the Jews were given a different path to salvation, one that combined faith and works, rather than the grace through faith path offered to the Gentiles.

When Baur published his opinions, in the 1830’s and 40’s, even his fellow German critics thought it was too big a departure from traditional thinking, by and large rejecting it. But it has gained popularity again in some circles partly due to Hyam Maccoby, a British scholar of Jewish background, whose book, “The Myth Maker, Paul and the Invention of Christianity”, relies heavily on Baur’s work. Surprisingly, Baur’s two-Gospel view has also been embraced by the followers of Islam, who use it to support their view that Jesus was the Messiah for the Jews only. And there is at least one TV preacher that teaches this view, basing it on an interpretation of Galatians 2:7-9 that I think is taken out of context.

But we’re interested in everything the Bible says, not just a couple of verses. Was the doctrine of Salvation by Grace a secret hidden through the ages and revealed only to Paul? Did Peter and Paul preach a different message? Did the Jews receive a different path to salvation than the Gentiles? Were the Gospels and the non-Pauline Epistles written only to them?

Was the doctrine of Grace unknown in Old Testament times? Over 1000 years before Paul began preaching, King David had this to say after sinning with Bathsheba.

Have mercy on me, O God, according to your unfailing love; according to your great compassion blot out my transgressions. Wash away all my iniquity and cleanse me from my sin. You do not delight in sacrifice, or I would bring it; you do not take pleasure in burnt offerings. The sacrifices of God are a broken spirit; a broken and contrite heart, O God, you will not despise. (Psalm 51:1-2 & 16-17)

See how David made no attempt to restore himself to righteousness through his own works. According to the Law both he and Bathsheba should have immediately been put to death. David humbled himself before God, confessed his sin, asked to be forgiven, and was. (2 Samuel 12:13)

7 centuries before Christ, Micah offered two of the most eloquent descriptions of God’s Grace to be found anywhere in the Old Testament.

With what shall I come before the Lord and bow down before the exalted God? Shall I come before him with burnt offerings, with calves a year old? Will the Lord be pleased with thousands of rams, with ten thousand rivers of oil? Shall I offer my firstborn for my transgression, the fruit of my body for the sin of my soul? He has showed you, O man, what is good. And what does the Lord require of you?To act justly and to love mercy and to walk humbly with your God. (Micah 6:6-8)

These and dozens of other references throughout the Old Testament clearly show that the underlying message was one of God’s Grace right from the beginning. The sacrifices they offered were required as evidence of their faith in the coming redeemer, allowing God to set their sins aside until He came. Offering them in the absence of this faith was actually repulsive to God. (Isaiah 29:13-14 & 66:2-4) Once the Redeemer arrived on the scene, their sacrifices were not only not required, they were considered blasphemy. The entire letter to the Hebrews is devoted to this idea, (Hebrews 4:9-11, 10:1, 4, 14, 18) and was written, by the way, to Jews in Israel.

Speaking of the similarity of his message to that of the other Disciples, Paul had this to say, “For what I received I passed on to you as of first importance: that Christ died for our sins according to the Scriptures, that he was buried, that he was raised on the third day according to the Scriptures. Whether, then, it was I or they, this is what we preach, and this is what you believed.” (1 Cor. 15:3-4,11)

The confusion here lies not in the Bible, but in our misunderstanding of two words; repent and baptize.

The reason that Jews were told to repent and be baptized is that in spite of the passages I cited above, many had been taught that their salvation came from their works of righteousness. The Greek word translated repent applies to the way one thinks, not to the way one acts. It is perhaps the most misunderstood word in the Bible. When Peter told the Jews to repent and be baptized, as in Acts 2:38, he wasn’t telling them to re-double their efforts to behave more like the Law required, he was telling them to change their minds about their need for a Savior, stop relying on their efforts to keep the Law for their salvation, and receive the gift of Grace that had been extended in the Lord’s death on their behalf.

Since Gentiles didn’t have this pre-conceived notion of a works based salvation, there was no need to persuade them from it. That’s why there’s no mention of repentance for Gentiles in the Book of Acts. It certainly isn’t because they weren’t sinners in need of a Savior.

When the people asked Jesus, “What must we do to do the work that God requires?” they gave Him the clearest opportunity of His ministry to hand them a list. Here He was, a Jewish rabbi, standing in Israel speaking primarily to Jewish people who wanted to know what God required of them. He could have referred them to the 10 Commandments, or the Sermon on the Mount, or the 613 laws of the Torah. But how did He respond?

“The work of God is this: to believe in the One He has sent.” (John 6:28-29)

Then He said that it was God’s will that everyone who looked to the Son and believed in Him would have Eternal life. (John 6:40) Their salvation was based on their belief that He had come to save them, not on their behavior. Just like ours.

The idea that the gospels were written only to the Jews and teach a faith plus works gospel won’t stand up to scrutiny. There is but one Gospel and one path to salvation.

(Source: https://gracethrufaith.com/topical-studies/tough-questions-answered/a-different-gospel/?fbclid=IwAR1u-ez0LjLJMOwIQoYI6Cljq5OqctPNLxbayBXJehiGSldscrTSUGS-4tQ)

For those desiring further study on the Sermon on the Mount and how we can only “be perfect, as our heavenly Father is perfect” through the imputed righteousness of Christ, I highly recommend Jack Kelley’s article series:  Be Perfect, As Your Heavenly Father is Perfect Part 1, Part 2, Part 3.

There’s only one gospel – one redemption plan. It’s all about Jesus, the Lamb of God who takes away the sins of the world. The Old Testament and the Gospels pointed forwards to the cross. The New Testament points backwards to the cross. We would do well to heed the warning given by Jesus through the apostle Paul:

“I am astonished that you are so quickly deserting him who called you in the grace of Christ and are turning to a different gospel— not that there is another one, but there are some who trouble you and want to distort the gospel of Christ. But even if we or an angel from heaven should preach to you a gospel contrary to the one we preached to you, let him be accursed. As we have said before, so now I say again: If anyone is preaching to you a gospel contrary to the one you received, let him be accursed. For am I now seeking the approval of man, or of God? Or am I trying to please man? If I were still trying to please man, I would not be a servant of Christ.” (Galatians 1:6-10)

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Repentance

As Jack Kelley mentioned in the article quoted above, repentance is not about the way we act, but about the way we think. It’s not what we “do” (a work), it’s what we “believe” (not a work). We chose to sin and Jesus chose to be a “sin-bearer” and take God’s wrath for us. God offers an all-inclusive “forgiveness slip” to every human on earth. If we believe what God has said about us (we are totally lost and have no hope of saving ourselves), and what He has done to fix it (Jesus is the only way as a Savior), this is repentance. Seeing yourself as lost and wanting to do something about it, is called “repenting”.

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Repentance is clearly biblical, and was even mentioned by Paul. Thus I must disagree with the RD Doctrine that repentance is not for the body of Christ.

“And the Lord’s servant must not be quarrelsome but kind to everyone, able to teach, patiently enduring evil, correcting his opponents with gentleness. God may perhaps grant them repentance leading to a knowledge of the truth…” (2 Timothy 2:24-25).

We can ask God for Jesus’ blood payment to be applied to our account. This allows us to be declared innocent and sin-free in God’s Eyes – the debt we owed for our crimes is paid. Salvation is a change in legal standing before God – from “guilty” to “not guilty”. Jesus didn’t just pay PART of our debt, or even MOST of it, leaving some on the tab for us. He paid our ENTIRE debt. We cannot contribute in any way to our salvation (or to maintaining it). If you are not sure if you are saved, I would encourage you to read through What Must I Do to Be Saved?

The RD Doctrine seems to also teach against daily repentance, calling that a “work” as well. They teach that these verses are NOT for you and I, because they were not penned by Paul:

“Repent therefore, and turn back, that your sins may be blotted out…” (Acts 3:19).

“If we confess our sins, he is faithful and just to forgive us our sins and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness.” (1 John 1:9).

“Therefore, confess your sins to one another and pray for one another, that you may be healed. The prayer of a righteous person has great power as it is working.” (James 5:16).

As followers of Christ, we are saved by grace through faith. We have a change of heart and mind (repent) about who we are (sinners) and who Christ is (a Savior). We experience a heart transformation from spiritually dead in our sins to spiritually alive in Christ, being “born again”. Because we are a new creation, we are changed. The Holy Spirit seals us and dwells within us as His temple. He comforts us, counsels us, and leads us into truth. He also convicts us and prompts us to grow in our relationship with God. For the difference between our salvation (union with God) and our sanctification (fellowship with God), I highly recommend this article: Union and Fellowship.

Dispensations

With the gospel discussed, let’s move on to the topic of dispensations. Once again, let’s start with points of agreement.

I believe that dispensationalism is the closest representative way to understand God’s dynamic revelation to, and dealings with, humanity. As a human construct it’s not going to be perfect, but it helps us grasp how God has progressively revealed Himself and His redemption plan to humanity.

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Dispensationalism is the most common method of Bible prophecy interpretation in conservative evangelical circles. It is the major view which explains the literal rebirth of modern-day Israel and the aliyah, or regathering, of Jews that we can observe and track. It explains the prophetic line up of nations and wars we watch in the headlines. It explains the current social and political climate. It sees the Church and Israel as distinct entities, and understands that God has separate plans for each. It is the prophecy interpretation method most consistent with a literal, cultural, historical, contextual study of scripture.

Many of you are likely familiar with this view, and it’s not my purpose to discuss it fully here. Suffice it to say, I consider dispensationalism to be as close to “rightly dividing the Word of truth” as human interpretations get. The details of how many dispensations, how they overlap, and how rigid their division should be is where there is room for discussion. (I remind you that it is a man-made model, and as such must be continually tested against scripture). What is agreed upon by all, is that we are currently in the Age of Grace, or the “Church Age”.

Where the controversy has come in with RD doctrine, is where to draw dispensational lines, and how thick and black to draw them.

Clarence Larkin is highly regarded as the father of dispensationalism. His work “Dispensational Truth” in 1918 is foundational teaching for this interpretation method, as is the Scofield Reference Bible (published in 1909). Interestingly, Larkin’s dispensation overview chart is entitled “Rightly Dividing the Word of Truth”. (The whole of this amazing work is available for free online here: Dispensational Truth.)

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Where does Clarence Larkin place “right division”? If you zoom in, and look at his other charts, he clearly places “right division” at Acts 2:1-4, the coming of the Holy Spirit.

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I understand that we must examine all teachings of man with the scriptures, to see if these things are so. Is an Acts 2 division appropriate, or should the line be drawn somewhere else?

Dispensations, Wrongly Divided

While we all easily agree on dispensationalism and the distinction between Israel and the Church, self-proclaimed “Right Dividers” reject Classical Dispensationalism in favor of either a Mid-Acts or Post-Acts view. The Mid-Acts view places a dividing line at Acts 9 or 13, instead of at Acts 2. The Post-Acts, Ultra-Dispensational, Hyper-Dispensational view, places a dividing line at Acts 28, instead of at Acts 2. How much does this matter, or does it matter? I’m going to draw upon GotQuestions as a resource here:

Mid-Acts Dispensationalism:

According to mid-Acts dispensationalism or the Grace Movement, the apostles Peter, James, John, and the rest were still operating under the Old Covenant in Acts 1—8. They were still dutifully keeping the Law and still meeting as a Jewish body in Jerusalem. Peter and the other apostles preached repentance to Israel, but there was no church until Paul. It was Paul, the “apostle to the Gentiles” (Romans 11:13), to whom the doctrine of the church—and the doctrine of grace—was revealed. It was only after Paul began to minister that the church actually began. Thus, the only parts of the New Testament that are applicable to believers today are the Pauline Epistles. The rest of the Bible was written for Israel.

There are some other problems with mid-Acts dispensationalism. In particular, its views on salvation, water baptism, and the church’s origin are based on misunderstandings of some points of Scripture. Here are some of the difficulties inherent in the teaching that the church began with Paul:

To Paul were revealed the details of the church, which had been a “mystery” in the Old Testament (Colossians 1:25–27). Mid-Acts dispensationalism wrongly assumes that Paul’s revelation about the church equals the beginning of the church itself.

Mid-Acts dispensationalism misinterprets Galatians 2:7, “I [Paul] had been entrusted with the task of preaching the gospel to the uncircumcised, just as Peter had been to the circumcised.” The mid-Acts dispensationalist makes a distinction between a “gospel of circumcision,” taught by Peter, and a “gospel of uncircumcision,” taught by Paul. In reality, Paul is referring to different audiences, not different gospels. The Jews whom Peter ministered to were saved by grace through faith, just as the Gentiles to whom Paul ministered.

Mid-Acts dispensationalism or the Grace Movement denies the need for water baptism for believers, thus ignoring Jesus’ command in Matthew 28:19. They exclude water baptism on the basis that the baptism of the Spirit, which occurs at salvation, has replaced water baptism.

Mid-Acts dispensationalism overlooks the fact that Gentiles were part of the early church before Paul was converted. Acts 2:10–11 makes it clear that the crowd listening to Peter preach on the Day of Pentecost included Gentile proselytes to Judaism. And Acts 8 shows how Samaritans and an Ethiopian were baptized into Christ before Paul ever started preaching the doctrine of the church or of grace. Thus there was a joint church body of Jews and Gentiles before Paul began his ministry.

Most importantly, mid-Acts dispensationalism or the Grace Movement claims there are “different gospels,” one taught by Peter and one taught by Paul. But the Old Testament (and the first part of the New Testament) does not teach salvation by works; the Jews in Galilee were not saved a different way from the Gentiles in Achaia.

Mid-Acts dispensationalism is opposed to several elements of orthodoxy. Its downplaying of half of the New Testament, its unwarranted exclusion of early Jewish believers from the body of Christ, its disregard of water baptism, and its allowance for a faith-plus-works gospel make the Grace Movement an unbiblical view.

(Source: https://www.gotquestions.org/mid-Acts-dispensationalism.html)

Ultra-Dispensationalism:

Ultra-dispensationalism, also known as hyper-dispensationalism/hyperdispensationalism (although some theologians draw fine distinctions between these terms), is the teaching that Paul’s message was unique from the other apostles’ and that the church did not begin until Acts 28 or later. For this reason, ultra-dispensationalism is sometimes called “post-Acts dispensationalism.”

Instead of recognizing that the church began in Acts 2 when the disciples received the promised Holy Spirit on the Day of Pentecost, the ultra-dispensationalist inserts another dispensation and holds that the church did not begin until Paul’s imprisonment in Rome. Specifically, the seed of the church is found in Acts 28:28 when Paul says to the Jews in Rome who rejected the gospel, “I want you to know that God’s salvation has been sent to the Gentiles, and they will listen!” This was the view of one of the first ultra-dispensationalists, Ethelbert W. Bullinger of the Church of England.

Because ultra-dispensationalists believe in a late start to the church, they view the church in Acts as a “Hebrew” or “Jewish” church, separate from the “mystery” church to which Paul wrote his Prison Epistles. They believe that the books of Peter, James, Jude, Hebrews, and the epistles of John are all addressed to the Hebrew church, which is different from the “body of Christ.” This Jewish church, which was built on Kingdom promises, will be reestablished during the millennium and will worship at the rebuilt temple with atoning sacrifices.

According to ultra-dispensationalism, the four Gospels are for Jews only and have no bearing on the church. The book of Acts deals with a different “church” and not the body of Christ. Only the Prison Epistles of Paul are directed to the body of Christ or “mystery” church. Not even the book of Revelation addresses the church—the letters to the seven churches are written to the “Jewish” church of the tribulation. Also, most ultra-dispensationalists reject the ordinances of the church: water baptism and the Lord’s Supper were for the “Hebrew” church.

The greatest problem with ultra-dispensationalism is not its teaching about when the church began but the many other errors that come from its approach to Scripture. For example, at the heart of most forms of ultra-dispensationalism is the belief that Paul preached a different gospel from what the other apostles taught. Other false doctrines common in some forms of ultra-dispensationalism include soul sleep and annihilationism. Still others proclaim a brand of universalism that grants salvation even to Satan himself. Without a doubt, whatever name ultra-dispensationalism goes by, it is a dangerous error that almost always leads to other, even worse errors.

H. A. Ironside, a strong dispensationalist himself, wrote a good booklet outlining some of the dangers of ultra-dispensationalism. In it he says that he has “no hesitancy in saying that [ultra-dispensationalism’s] fruits are evil. It has produced a tremendous crop of heresies throughout the length and breadth of this and other lands; it has divided Christians and wrecked churches and assemblies without number; it has lifted up its votaries in intellectual and spiritual pride to an appalling extent, so that they look with supreme contempt upon Christians who do not accept their peculiar views; and in most instances where it has been long tolerated, it has absolutely throttled Gospel effort at home and sown discord on missionary fields abroad. So true are these things of this system that I have no hesitancy in saying it is an absolutely Satanic perversion of the truth” (Wrongly Dividing the Word of Truth, chapter 1, Loizeaux Brothers, 1938).

(Source: https://www.gotquestions.org/ultra-dispensationalism.html)

I hope you can see that where the dividing line for the age of grace is positioned affects more than just a flexible start point. It affects the gospel itself.

The Mystery Revealed

Now I rejoice in my sufferings for your sake, and in my flesh I am filling up what is lacking in Christ’s afflictions for the sake of his body, that is, the church, of which I became a minister according to the stewardship from God that was given to me for you, to make the word of God fully known, the mystery hidden for ages and generations but now revealed to his saints. To them God chose to make known how great among the Gentiles are the riches of the glory of this mystery, which is Christ in you, the hope of glory. (Colossians 1:24-27)

The article from GotQuestions above introduced the concept of the mystery of God which has now been revealed.  Is this mystery a new gospel, revealed by Paul?

Paul M. Elliott writes in his article on dispensationalism:

The Greek word is musterion, from which we obviously get our English word “mystery.” Paul speaks of “the mystery that was hidden from ages and from generations, but now has been revealed to His saints.”

What is a “mystery” in Scripture? A mystery, according to the Word of God, is some aspect of God’s plan that was hidden at one point in time, but is later revealed. And what is the mystery of which Paul is speaking here? Some commentators try to say that the mystery is that the Gentiles would partake of salvation along with Israel. But that was no mystery. That was never anything hidden. God told Abraham in Genesis chapter 12 that in the Messiah who would come through Abraham’s descendants, “all the nations of the earth will be blessed” – not just Israel. And in Isaiah 49 verse 6, God says of the coming Messiah, through Him I will restore the preserved ones of Israel, and, “I will also give Messiah as a light to the Gentiles, that You should be My salvation to the ends of the earth.” And although most of God’s Old Testament saints were Jews, we read in the Old Testament record of many occasions of individual Gentiles, and even whole Gentile cities, like Nineveh, repenting and turning to the Redeemer.

So the salvation of the Gentiles itself is not the mystery spoken of here. What, then, is the mystery? We have the answer at the end of verse 27: “Christ in you, the hope of glory.” The mystery of God’s plan that has now been revealed is that the Messiah not only would come to earth, not only would die, not only would be buried, not only would rise from the dead – the Messiah would actually live in each member of His redeemed people under the New Covenant. “Christ in you, the hope of glory.”

We find this confirmed in other passages. In John 14:23 Jesus says, “If anyone loves Me, he will keep My Word; and My Father will love him, and We will come to him and make Our home with him.” In Galatians 2:20 Paul says, “I have been crucified with Christ; yet it is no longer I who live, but Christ lives in me.”

“Christ in you, the hope of glory” – or to translate it more directly, “Christ in you, the guaranteed expectation of glory.” That is the mystery that was hidden and is now revealed. In times past, under the Old Covenant, Christ did not dwell within believers. The Holy Spirit did not dwell within believers in the Old Testament, except in specific cases for specific purposes. That is why David prayed in Psalm 51, after his great sin, “Do not take Your Holy Spirit from me.” That is a prayer that no believer in the Lord Jesus Christ, Jew or Gentile, needs to pray under the New Covenant. Paul says in Ephesians chapter one that the indwelling of the Holy Spirit is the down-payment, or guarantee, of our final redemption – when we will not only have Christ living within these mortal, sinful bodies, but we will be like Christ forever, when we will have glorified bodies like His for eternity. That is the “hope of glory.”

(Source: http://www.teachingtheword.org/apps/articles/default.asp?articleid=66756&columnid=6211)

The mystery of God revealed in the church age, is the indwelling Holy Spirit – Christ in us.  When did the Holy Spirit come down to indwell believers?  On Pentecost, in Acts 2.  In its fullest sense, the “mystery of God” is God’s complete redemption plan through Jesus Christ.  (For more on this please see: What is the Mystery of God Referred to in the Bible? and Paul’s Mystery)

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Blessed be the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, who has blessed us in Christ with every spiritual blessing in the heavenly places, even as he chose us in him before the foundation of the world, that we should be holy and blameless before him. In love he predestined us for adoption to himself as sons through Jesus Christ, according to the purpose of his will, to the praise of his glorious grace, with which he has blessed us in the Beloved. In him we have redemption through his blood, the forgiveness of our trespasses, according to the riches of his grace, which he lavished upon us, in all wisdom and insight making known to us the mystery of his will, according to his purpose, which he set forth in Christ as a plan for the fullness of time, to unite all things in him, things in heaven and things on earth. In him we have obtained an inheritance, having been predestined according to the purpose of him who works all things according to the counsel of his will, so that we who were the first to hope in Christ might be to the praise of his glory. In him you also, when you heard the word of truth, the gospel of your salvation, and believed in him, were sealed with the promised Holy Spirit, who is the guarantee of our inheritance until we acquire possession of it, to the praise of his glory. (Ephesians 1:3-14)

And do not grieve the Holy Spirit of God, by whom you were sealed for the day of redemption. (Ephesians 4:30)

Is that not mind-blowing?????!!!!!! Only God could write hundreds of thousands of words that could carry such pregnant meaning. Not until the revelation after His ascension could they be fully comprehended. What mystery! What majesty!

Pauline Epistles VERSUS Whole Word

If you remember what we talked about above, the RD Denomination has a strong focus on the Pauline epistles. Most would suggest that these are the only books of the Bible applicable to believers today. Let’s review:

  • The Gospels, and the Old Testament, were written for, and are applicable to, Jews only.  Some concede that the gospel of Luke was written for Gentiles.
  • There is disagreement upon whether the following books were written for, and are applicable to, both Jewish and Gentile believers: Hebrews, James, 1 Peter, 2 Peter, 1 John, 2 John, 3 John, Jude, Revelation. All would agree they are for Jewish believers; most would state they do NOT apply to Gentiles.
  • The following books were written for, and are applicable to, the Jew first and then the Gentiles: Romans, 1 Corinthians, 2 Corinthians, Galatians, 1 Thessalonians, 2 Thessalonians.
  • The following books were written for, and are applicable to, all believers: Ephesians, Philippians, Colossians, 1 Timothy, 2 Timothy, Titus, Philemon.

While I agree that Paul’s letters are very applicable to the church today, I wholeheartedly disagree that other passages in the Bible do not apply to us. Why?

“For the word of God is living and active, sharper than any two-edged sword, piercing to the division of soul and of spirit, of joints and of marrow, and discerning the thoughts and intentions of the heart.” (Hebrews 4:12)

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I can personally testify that the Word of God is living and active. Not all scripture was written to me, but all scripture was written for me and is profitable for me to study and apply to my life.

All Scripture is breathed out by God and profitable for teaching, for reproof, for correction, and for training in righteousness, that the man of God may be complete, equipped for every good work. (2 Timothy 3:16-17)

“It is written, ‘Man shall not live by bread alone, but by every word that comes from the mouth of God'”. (Matthew 4:4)

Do we believe this? We live by EVERY world that proceeds from the mouth of God? Why is there so much resistance to the words in red versus the words in black? Do not the words in red pierce you to your very soul? Do you remember WHO the Word of God is?

“In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God. He was in the beginning with God. All things were made through Him, and without Him was not any thing made that was made. In Him was life, and the life was the light of men. The light shines in the darkness, and the darkness has not overcome it… The true light, which gives light to everyone, was coming into the world. He was in the world, and the world was made through Him, yet the world did not know Him. He came to His own, and His own people did not receive Him. But to all who did receive Him, who believed in His Name, He gave the right to become children of God, who were born, not of blood nor of the will of the flesh nor of the will of man, but of God. And the Word became flesh and dwelt among us, and we have seen His glory, glory as of the only Son from the Father, full of grace and truth.” (John 1:1-5,9-14)

For God so loved the world, that he gave his only Son, that whoever believes in him should not perish but have eternal life. (John 3:16)

Here I am in tears again. In this season (despite the fact that Jesus was born in either spring or fall, I know, I know…), we are celebrating Jesus, the Word, becoming flesh and dwelling among us. What greater love than to leave His heavenly home of perfection to come and be persecuted and suffer down here with His groaning creation???? It is unfathomable to me, the love of Christ. To all who receive Him, who believe in His Name, He gives the right to become children of God. This passage is for you, for me.

Children of God. US. Whoever believes in Him. Who can truly comprehend this?!?

We cannot divide the Word, for the Word is God. God’s Word is one cohesive whole, because it was divinely authored from start to finish by one Spirit. The scarlet thread of God’s redemption plan runs from Genesis through Revelation.  A mystery, now revealed.

“…knowing this first of all, that no prophecy of Scripture comes from someone’s own interpretation. For no prophecy was ever produced by the will of man, but men spoke from God as they were carried along by the Holy Spirit.” (2 Peter 1:20-21)

When the Spirit of truth comes, he will guide you into all the truth, for he will not speak on his own authority, but whatever he hears he will speak, and he will declare to you the things that are to come. (John 16:13)

But the Helper, the Holy Spirit, whom the Father will send in my name, he will teach you all things and bring to your remembrance all that I have said to you. (John 14:26)

God is not man, that he should lie,

or a son of man, that he should change his mind.

Has he said, and will he not do it?

Or has he spoken, and will he not fulfill it?

(Numbers 23:19)

Jesus Christ is the same yesterday and today and forever.  (Hebrews 13:8)

What, Then, is “Right Division”?

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I want us to look again at the verse which contains the phrase “right division”. Let us look at it in context of the entire passage:

Remind them of these things, and charge them before God not to quarrel about words, which does no good, but only ruins the hearers. Do your best to present yourself to God as one approved, a worker who has no need to be ashamed, rightly handling the word of truth. But avoid irreverent babble, for it will lead people into more and more ungodliness, and their talk will spread like gangrene…. So flee youthful passions and pursue righteousness, faith, love, and peace, along with those who call on the Lord from a pure heart. Have nothing to do with foolish, ignorant controversies; you know that they breed quarrels. And the Lord’s servant must not be quarrelsome but kind to everyone, able to teach, patiently enduring evil, correcting his opponents with gentleness. God may perhaps grant them repentance leading to a knowledge of the truth, and they may come to their senses and escape from the snare of the devil, after being captured by him to do his will. (2 Timothy 2:14-17,22-26)

The interlinear of 2 Timothy 2:15 reads:

“Hasten yourself approved to present to God a workman not ashamed accurately handling the word of truth.”

“Hasten yourself”

Σπούδασον – Strong’s #4704 – to make haste, hence to give diligence. Usage includes “I hasten, am eager, am zealous”.

“approved”

δόκιμον – Strong’s #1384 – approved, acceptable, tried. Helps word studies states that dokimos is an adjective that carries the meaning “to receive, welcome properly, what passes the necessary test (scrutiny); hence acceptable because genuine (validated, verified). Dokimos was used for proving (testing) of coins, i.e. confirming they were genuine (not counterfeit, corrupted).”

“not ashamed”

ἀνεπαίσχυντος, ον – Strong’s #422 – not to be put to shame; having no cause to be ashamed

“accurately handling”

ὀρθοτομέω – Strong’s #3718 – to cut straight; handle correctly; teach rightly

As believers, we are clearly to handle the Word of God rightly. We are to be eager and zealous, in both presenting ourselves to God as proven and tried, and in our handling the Word of Truth. We are to show ourselves as tested and tried, confirmed to be genuine, in our handling of God’s word. Not only are we to handle it correctly, we are to teach the truth rightly.

Paul M. Elliott looks into the original language of 2 Timothy 2:15:

We find that the word that is translated “rightly dividing” in the Old and New King James Bibles, and in several others, is a single word in the Greek. It is a form of the Greek verb orthotomeo. This is a very interesting word.

In New Testament times, orthotomeo was primarily a civil engineering term. It was used, for example, as a road building term. The idea of the word was “to cut straight,” or “to guide on a straight path.” The idea was to cut a roadway in such a manner that people who would travel over that road would arrive at their destination directly, without deviation. Orthotomeo was also used as a mining term. It meant to drill a straight mine shaft so that the miners could get quickly and safely to the “mother lode.”

There is another word in Greek, katatomeo, which means “to cut into sections.” But that is not the word that the Apostle Paul, under divine inspiration, uses in 2nd Timothy 2:15. Paul is not talking about “rightly dividing” in terms of dissecting the Word of God, or cutting it into sections based on Jew and Gentile, or Israel and Church, or any other criterion. It is interesting that the Apostle Paul does use that other word – katatomeo, cutting up – in Philippians 3:2, where he says, literally, “beware of those who would divide you up” – in other words, beware of those who would try to make a difference among believers between Jews and Gentiles.

What, then, is the proper meaning of orthotomeo – “rightly dividing” the Word of truth? What is intended is not the arbitrary dissection of Scripture, but reading, teaching, and preaching Scripture accurately, without being turned aside by false teaching or man-made agendas. This, indeed, is the context of 2 Timothy 2:15. In the verses preceding, Paul emphasizes the unity of all believers, and instructs Timothy to solemnly warn the church “not to strive about words to no profit”.

(Source: http://www.teachingtheword.org/apps/articles/default.asp?articleid=66757&columnid=6211)

What “Rightly Dividing” is NOT

“Rightly dividing the word of truth” does not mean dissecting God’s Word like a cadaver. It does not mean butchering it apart, casting aside anything not written by the apostle Paul. It does not mean tearing apart the body of Christ into the “right dividers” and the “wrong dividers”. Rightly dividing is not proclaiming a “second” gospel. How do we know? Let’s examine the words of Paul himself:

I appeal to you, brothers, by the name of our Lord Jesus Christ, that all of you agree, and that there be no divisions among you, but that you be united in the same mind and the same judgment. For it has been reported to me by Chloe’s people that there is quarreling among you, my brothers. What I mean is that each one of you says, “I follow Paul,” or “I follow Apollos,” or “I follow Cephas,” or “I follow Christ”. Is Christ divided? Was Paul crucified for you? Or were you baptized in the name of Paul? I thank God that I baptized none of you except Crispus and Gaius, so that no one may say that you were baptized in my name. (I did baptize also the household of Stephanas. Beyond that, I do not know whether I baptized anyone else.) For Christ did not send me to baptize but to preach the gospel, and not with words of eloquent wisdom, lest the cross of Christ be emptied of its power.” (1 Corinthians 1:10-17)

For when one says, “I follow Paul,” and another, “I follow Apollos,” are you not being merely human? What then is Apollos? What is Paul? Servants through whom you believed, as the Lord assigned to each. I planted, Apollos watered, but God gave the growth. So neither he who plants nor he who waters is anything, but only God who gives the growth. He who plants and he who waters are one, and each will receive his wages according to his labor. For we are God’s fellow workers. You are God’s field, God’s building. According to the grace of God given to me, like a skilled master builder I laid a foundation, and someone else is building upon it. Let each one take care how he builds upon it. For no one can lay a foundation other than that which is laid, which is Jesus Christ. (1 Corinthians 3:4-11)

I am astonished that you are so quickly deserting him who called you in the grace of Christ and are turning to a different gospel— not that there is another one, but there are some who trouble you and want to distort the gospel of Christ. But even if we or an angel from heaven should preach to you a gospel contrary to the one we preached to you, let him be accursed. As we have said before, so now I say again: If anyone is preaching to you a gospel contrary to the one you received, let him be accursed. For am I now seeking the approval of man, or of God? Or am I trying to please man? If I were still trying to please man, I would not be a servant of Christ. (Galatians 1:6-10)

One Lord, one faith, one baptism, One God and Father of all, who is above all, and through all, and in you all. (Ephesians 4:5-6)

Paul follows Jesus. We are to follow Jesus, as he does. Not just “heavenly Jesus” or “spiritual Jesus”, but the Word of God Himself, who Was, and Is, and Is to Come. The unchanging One.

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Remember, brothers and sisters, it’s all about Jesus.

Conclusion

I hope I have done some justice to this very complicated discussion, and have not introduced further controversy or division. It is my heart to bring peace to the watching community I have grown to love so dearly. This is not a personal attack against any particular individual, nor am I questioning anyone’s salvation or intentions.

I understand that with prophecy we see dimly, as in a cloudy mirror. There are things we can agree to disagree on. Some details we just aren’t going to know on this side of the rapture, and that’s ok. We just can’t compromise on the gospel. We can’t allow an ultra-division of scripture. It is the enemy who seeks to divide and conquer the body of Christ. He knows his time has just about come to an end, and he is getting desperate.

“Be sober-minded; be watchful. Your adversary the devil prowls around like a roaring lion, seeking someone to devour.” (1 Peter 5:8)

“Every kingdom divided against itself is brought to desolation, and every city or house divided against itself will not stand. If Satan casts out Satan, he is divided against himself. How then will his kingdom stand?” (Matthew 12:25-26)

As Gary wrote in his article This is War,

We spend so much time focusing on ourselves and our shortcomings and wallowing in our self-doubt that we effectively remove ourselves from the fight. That is exactly what the enemy wants. Once you realize that Christ has completely eliminated the penalty for your sin and all you must do is believe then you are freed and empowered to help others. Those stuck in works-righteousness can never see the forest for the trees because they still don’t understand that the Gospel has decisively solved the sin problem. We are free. And now that we are free we can engage in the broader war and help our brothers and sisters in this bloody fight while we try to snatch more from the fire.

God’s grace is found in the fullness of Christ.

“For from his fullness we have all received, grace upon grace.” (John 1:16)

I love all you watching brothers and sisters in Christ dearly. I understand it’s exhausting waiting for Jesus to call us home. I’m tired, too. But we must remember to keep our eyes upon Jesus, the author and finisher of our faith. We must press on, occupying until He comes.

He will come.

The Spirit and the bride say, “Come”.

The grace of the Lord Jesus be with all. Amen.

“So flee youthful passions and pursue righteousness, faith, love, and peace, along with those who call on the Lord from a pure heart. Have nothing to do with foolish, ignorant controversies; you know that they breed quarrels. And the Lord’s servant must not be quarrelsome but kind to everyone, able to teach, patiently enduring evil, correcting his opponents with gentleness. God may perhaps grant them repentance leading to a knowledge of the truth, and they may come to their senses and escape from the snare of the devil, after being captured by him to do his will.” (2 Timothy 2:22-24)

Maranatha. Come, Lord Jesus.

 


Further Resources:

Main Menu – Bible Prophecy Lessons

How to Interpret the Bible – Grace Thru Faith

Why is Sound Doctrine so Important?  – Gotquestions

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.

What I post here is my best understanding from Scripture, but it is a human understanding, and thus will be flawed in some points.  I am continually pleading with God for truth and clarity, and will update posts as my understanding improves.  I urge you to search the Scripture for yourself to see if these things are so, praying for wisdom and understanding!

The Blood Moon Prophecy, the Lunar Eclipse on July 27, 2018, and a Picture of the Resurrection-Rapture Event

Hello my watching friends,

I’m getting a lot of questions and comments about the July 27 lunar eclipse so I thought I would do a short post to clarify my position on it.  (ETA: I should have known better.  Nothing I write is ever short! 😉 )

For those of you who don’t know, the longest total lunar eclipse of the 21st century will occur on the night of July 27 and will last for 1 hour and 43 minutes.  Here are the deets:

From EarthSky:

The July 2018 full moon presents the longest total lunar eclipse of the 21st century (2001 to 2100) on the night of July 27-28, 2018, lasting for a whopping 1 hour and 43 minutes. (In contrast, the previous total lunar eclipse on January 31, 2018, lasted 1 hour and 16 minutes.) A partial eclipse precedes and follows the century’s longest total lunar eclipse, each time lasting 1 hour and 6 minutes. So, from start to finish, the moon takes nearly 4 hours (3 hours and 55 minutes) to cross the Earth’s dark umbral shadow.

This lunar eclipse is primarily visible from the world’s Eastern Hemisphere (Europe, Africa, Asia, Australia and New Zealand). South America, at least in part, can watch the final stages of the eclipse just after sunset July 27, whereas New Zealand will catch the beginning stages of the eclipse before sunrise July 28.

Source: http://earthsky.org/?p=282841

If you want to know more details and where to view it, go to the earthsky link above.  What I’m more interested in than watching the eclipse (which won’t be visible from North America anyways), is whether or not this eclipse has prophetic significance.

People I have grown to truly love and care about are on the fence about this.  Gary at Unsealed says yes, that it marks the imminent fulfillment of Joel 2 this year (link: https://www.unsealed.org/2018/07/did-key-events-preceding-day-of-lord.html).  Scottie Clarke says no, that it marks the Second Coming (link: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=W3OodQzN-Uo).  I am going to weigh in my thoughts, but encourage you to consider other viewpoints as well.

You must know by now that I love the blood moon sign (hence my website name).  I spend a lot of time thinking about it!  The blood moon is a major key in Biblical Prophecy.  There is one and only one prophetic “blood moon” mentioned in the Bible, and it most certainly has not occurred yet.  Will it occur on July 27, 2018?

Well, it could… but I strongly believe that the blood moon of Seal 6 is not an eclipse.  Let me give you a glimpse of how I think the resurrection/rapture event is going to unfold:

Life continues on normally.  People will be eating and drinking, marrying and giving in marriage, planting and building, buying and selling, working in the field, grinding grain, and sleeping.  In the city of Jerusalem, sudden alarm!  The mountains of Israel crawl with a vast army.  Blow the trumpet in Zion!  Sound the alarm!  But it is too late – the enemy was cloaked by the hand of God Almighty even as they were hooked and led by the jaws.  Imminent destruction!  

Will God remember?  Does God see?

Awaken oh God of Israel!  Arise from your silence!  

A barrage of missiles, the Iron Dome defeated.  Israel was overconfident and now stands at the brink of annihilation.  The mountains of Israel rumble.  The ground begins to quake.  He who led the enemy to do His will, will rise up and destroy it for the purpose of announcing to an unbelieving world that He intends to fulfill His covenant promises!  

Earthquake in Israel!  The ground heaves and falls, splits and groans.  The army, sure of victory, is thrown into confusion.  Chaos erupts.  Torrential rains blind the soldiers.  The ground continues to tremble.

And then – the dead arise.  From the dawn of creation, those who believed in a coming Messiah, those who believed in the Messiah when He appeared, all those who believed upon the finished work of Jesus Christ on the cross… ARISE!  Let the earth bring forth her dead!

Worldwide, graves burst open.  The Earth trembles, shakes, reels on its’ axis.  It sways like a drunk man.  We look up.  Our redemption draws nigh.  In an instant, all the dead and alive in Christ are transformed – in the blink of an eye!  Buildings topple around us.  Bridges collapse.  The earth continues to sway and groan.  This all occurs at lightning fast speed but it feels like slow motion.  We are untouchable, there is no fear.

Another blink of the eye – we are before the throne of God.  The splendor of His majesty is before us.  We are overwhelmed.  We fall on our faces before Him and cry, “Holy, holy, holy is the Lord God Almighty!  Who was, and is, and is to come!  Salvation belongs to our God who sits on the throne, and to the Lamb!  Worthy is the Lamb who was slain!  Worthy to receive glory and honor and power forever!”

On the earth – terror.  The western coast of North America slips and the Cascadia Subduction zone heaves.  The entire Ring of Fire erupts in earthquake activity of the like never before seen.  Global volcanic activity is triggered.  Back in Israel, hail, fire, and brimstone rain down upon Gog and his army and the nations from which they came.  What begins as divine judgment on the troops surrounding Israel  will expand to include the whole world.  The air is thick with smoke, terror, and gloom.  The atmosphere is filled globally with ash and smoke.  The days are darkened, the moon appears blood red.

In the heavens – war.  It’s possible that Revelation 12:3-4, 6:13, and 12:7-9 are all describing the same event.  Revelation 12:7-9 provides the details of what was introduced in 12:3-4.  Consider the verses together:

And another sign appeared in heaven: behold, a great red dragon, with seven heads and ten horns, and on his heads seven diadems.  His tail swept down a third of the stars of heaven and cast them to the earth. And the dragon stood before the woman who was about to give birth, so that when she bore her child he might devour it. (Revelation 12:3-4 ESV)

…and the stars of the sky fell to the earth as the fig tree sheds its winter fruit when shaken by a gale.  (Revelation 6:13 ESV)

Now war arose in heaven, Michael and his angels fighting against the dragon. And the dragon and his angels fought back,  but he was defeated, and there was no longer any place for them in heaven. And the great dragon was thrown down, that ancient serpent, who is called the devil and Satan, the deceiver of the whole world—he was thrown down to the earth, and his angels were thrown down with him. (Revelation 12:7-9 ESV)

There is no longer a place (purpose) for the accuser of the brethren in heaven, as we have all arrived; there is no one left to accuse (momentarily).  

The days of darkness have arrived upon the earth.  Gloom, terror, death, and destruction.  Those who refused to love the truth and so be saved will now experience the judgment of the great and terrible Day of the Lord.  

It has begun.

Reference posts:

The Blood Moon

There will be one singular prophetic blood moon, and I believe it will occur as a consequence of the rapture of the Church (specifically, most likely from the resurrection of the dead in Christ).  As I have previously written in The Prophetic Significance of Blood Moons, the Blood Moon occurs 3 times in scripture.  Once, prophetically in Joel 2, once prophetically in Acts 2, and once, the fulfillment, at Seal 6.   Let’s examine it closely:

“And it shall come to pass afterward, that I will pour out my Spirit on all flesh; your sons and your daughters shall prophesy, your old men shall dream dreams, and your young men shall see visions. Even on the male and female servants in those days I will pour out my Spirit. And I will show wonders in the heavens and on the earth, blood and fire and columns of smoke. The sun shall be turned to darkness, and the moon to blood, before the great and awesome day of the Lord comes. And it shall come to pass that everyone who calls on the name of the Lord shall be saved.”  Joel 2:28-32 ESV  

Of great interest is the way Peter quoted Joel 2 in Acts 2:16-21.  Through this passage, I believe he announces the beginning and end of the church age.  If Peter is telling us that the church age will end with the signs detailed in Acts 2:19-21, where do we find a match for this in scripture?  There is only one place:

When he opened the sixth seal, I looked, and behold, there was a great earthquake, and the sun became black as sackcloth, the full moon became like blood,  and the stars of the sky fell to the earth as the fig tree sheds its winter fruit when shaken by a gale.  The sky vanished like a scroll that is being rolled up, and every mountain and island was removed from its place.  Then the kings of the earth and the great ones and the generals and the rich and the powerful, and everyone, slave and free, hid themselves in the caves and among the rocks of the mountains,  calling to the mountains and rocks, “Fall on us and hide us from the face of him who is seated on the throne, and from the wrath of the Lamb,  for the great day of their wrath has come, and who can stand?”  Revelation 6:12-17 ESV

The prophetic blood moon fulfillment is found in Revelation chapter 6, during Seal 6.  There is no getting around this.  Far from being an eclipse, it will be visible globally.  I anticipate that it will be caused by atmospheric ash and smoke worldwide, as the Joel 2 prophecy describes.

Will it be on July 27, 2018?  Well, the rapture is technically imminent and could happen at any time, so in that sense it is possible.  However, I see strong connections to God’s Appointed Times (moedim) and personally believe God will coordinate the resurrection/rapture event with the Gog/Magog war on either Pentecost or Feast of Trumpets.

 


Further Resources:

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.

Overview of Coming Prophetic Wars

Connecting Isaiah 17, Psalm 83, Ezekiel 38&39

Everything You Need to Know About Pentecost, the Feast that Ties It All Together For The Church

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!

Minor-earthquake-felt-in-northern-Israel-2 (1)

 

Rapture Timing – Feasts, Events, Wars, Birth Pains, Blood Moons and Eclipses, Day Counts, HELP!!!

With all the proposed “high watch dates”, calculations, and signs flooding the prophecy community, amidst cries of “no one knows the day or the hour!”, what should we be watching for?  Should we be watching?  Are you ready to throw in the towel as the last possible date for Pentecost 2018 passed?

Don’t be discouraged!  We aren’t wrong to watch!  We aren’t wrong to hope!  Jesus wants us to watch and to eagerly anticipate His call.

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Blessed are those servants whom the master finds awake when he comes. Truly, I say to you, he will dress himself for service and have them recline at table, and he will come and serve them.  Luke 12:37 ESV

So let’s go through what we are to watch for one by one!

The Feasts of God

God set appointed times on His calendar from the beginning of creation.  Genesis 1:14 declares “And God said, “Let there be lights in the vault of the sky to separate the day from the night, and let them serve as signs to mark sacred times, and days and years”.  (ESV)  The sacred times, or seasons, are the fixed or appointed times when God would meet with His people.  Note that they are the appointed feasts of the Lord, and as such, they transcend Israel.  These appointed times are the “Moedim” and are detailed in Exodus 12-13, Leviticus 23, Numbers 28-29 and Deuteronomy 16.

The appointed times all find their fulfillment in the Messiah – Jesus Christ.  Some of these appointed times have been fulfilled; others await fulfillment until the exact moment that God has decreed from the beginning.  There were 3 times when all Jewish men were required to go to Jerusalem to honor the Feasts: Unleavened Bread, Pentecost, and Tabernacles.

The first 3 Feasts – Passover, Unleavened Bread, and Firstfruits, are grouped together and were fulfilled at the death and resurrection of Christ.

The middle Feast – Pentecost – stands alone and marked the coming of the Holy Spirit to indwell the Church.  I personally believe that Pentecost is the highest watch Feast for the rapture, as I believe the Holy Spirit in the body of Christ (the Restrainer) will quite possibly leave on the day that He came.  I do not believe that this Feast has been fulfilled to completion.  Many would disagree and that’s fine, I’m just stating what I have come to believe.

The last 3 Feasts – Trumpets, Day of Atonement, and Tabernacles, are grouped together and will be fulfilled at the Second Coming of Christ.  While many say that the Feast of Trumpets is the next in line to be fulfilled, remember that the spring feasts were fulfilled in quick succession all in the same year.  I believe the fall feasts will be as well.

With that said, the spring feasts had shadow fulfillment at the time of the Exodus  Thus, the fall feasts may have shadow fulfillment at the time of the rapture and beginning of Daniel’s 70th Week.  The Feast of Trumpets in particular contains symbolism of the rapture.  Thus, I believe Feast of Trumpets is a secondary “high watch feast”.  Yom Kippur (Day of Atonement) is clearly associated with judgment and as such does not involve the church.  However, it might be associated with the start of the 7-Year-Tribulation period.  Tabernacles is clearly associated with the Millennial Kingdom.  The “8th Day” seems to be associated with the eternal state – when the 7 1000-year-days of humanity are complete and the eternal state (8th day) begins.

I have more articles on the Feasts of God here: The Biblical Feasts – God’s Appointments.

I personally believe that the Feasts of Pentecost and Trumpets are “high watch dates” for the rapture each year, particularly up to 2021.

Events

Are there any events connected with the rapture of the church?  Well, I believe there are  markers that indicate we are “in the season” that the rapture could occur.  These include:

  • The Fig Tree sign – Jesus tells His disciples that when they “see the fig tree leaf out”, they would know that the time of His coming was near.  Many prophecy scholars agree that this sign refers to Israel’s rebirth in May 1948.
  • Israel Reborn – Regardless of whether or not the fig tree refers to Israel, Israel’s rebirth as a nation after 2000 years of not being one is a flashing neon light!  The Kingdom of Heaven is Near!!!
  • Jerusalem Recaptured – Jerusalem features heavily in end times prophecy.  The 6 day war of 1967 was very significant prophetically!  It’s possible that war fulfilled Psalm 83; alternately, the complete fulfillment of Psalm 83 may be yet future.
  • Jewish Aliyah – Along with the re-establishment of Israel as a physical/political nation, God’s chosen people are foretold to return to the Promised Land.  This has been slowly but surely occurring over the last 120 years or so, with approximately 45% of the world’s Jewry living in Israel at this time (2016).  According to Jewish tradition, conditions are set for prophets to appear when at least 50% of the world’s Jewry is located in Israel.
  • The Third Temple – We know from the book of Daniel, the gospels, and Revelation that there will be a functioning Jewish Temple during the “70th Week of Daniel“.  While the Temple has not yet been built, the plans are complete, Levite priests are trained, and Temple equipment/furniture is made.  This indicates the 70th Week is ready to go.
  • Apostasy in the Church – It seems that as we approach Christ’s second coming, churches will fall away from preaching sound doctrine. Instead, they will focus on a social gospel that “tickles men’s ears” (tells them what they want to hear to feel good).
  • Immorality in Society – Society will move further and further away from God and His laws/morals.  We see this most clearly in the last several decades through Abortion (1.5 billion since 1980), Homosexuality (general worldwide acceptance in non-Muslim nations), and Human Euthanasia (legal in some nations, including Canada).
  • As in the Days of Lot – Society will be marked by violence, homosexuality, and sexual immorality.
  • As in the Days of Noah – Society will be marked by violence, DNA manipulation, and sexual immorality.
  • Knowledge Will Increase – In the latter days, people will travel “to and fro” and knowledge will increase.  We are approaching a “technological tower of Babel” situation!
  • The Gospel Will be Preached to All Nations – While there are still unreached people groups within nations, the gospel has been successfully taken to all nations around the globe.  The gospel will continue to be preached during the coming times of tribulation.
  • A Great Sign in the Sun, Moon, and Stars – It appears God may be announcing the imminent rapture of the church and the nearness of His Second Coming through a great sign in the sun, moon, and stars described in Revelation 12:1-2.  This great sign appeared in the sky on September 23, 2017.  Interestingly, satan also seems to think September 23 is an important date.

I personally believe that there are no further events necessary to set up for the rapture of the church or Daniel’s 70th Week.  Being aware of the signs that have aligned over the last seven decades affirms that we are “in rapture season”.

Wars

Wars, and rumors of war, strike black marks along the entire span of human history.  That humans fight with each other is not unique.  Israel, as God’s chosen nation and people, is the central focus of Bible Prophecy.  Throughout the Old Testament we are presented with prophecies and fulfillments of many wars involving Israel as she moves in to occupy and preserve her Promised Land.

When we study what is written in the Bible, there are a few prophetic wars that remain to be fulfilled around the time of the rapture.  These are detailed in Matthew 24/Luke 21/Mark 13, Isaiah 17, Psalm 83, and Ezekiel 38-39.

World War III

One of the first true “Birth Pains” that will indicate that the “time of the end” has finally arrived is Nation Rising Against Nation and Kingdom Rising Against Kingdom.

Then he said to them, “Nation will rise against nation, and kingdom against kingdom.  (Luke 21:10 ESV)
These phrases were a Hebrew idiom meaning war involving the entire known region.  Since the entire world will be involved in the “time of the end”, it would suggest that the “nation rising against nation” mentioned by Jesus would most likely be along the lines of what we would consider World War 3.  It will involve many nations.  World Wars 1&2 did not qualify as fulfilling this sign because they occurred before the rebirth of Israel as a nation (see the Fig Tree Sign) and did not include the accompanying “birth pain signs“.

The Destruction of Damascus – Isaiah 17

Isaiah 17 states that it is a prophecy against Damascus:  Damascus will no longer be a city but will become a heap of ruins. (Isaiah 17:1 ESV)
The prophecy in Isaiah 17 points to the complete destruction of Damascus, never to be restored again. This is noteworthy because presently the city is recognized as the world’s longest continually inhabited city.  Other cities (not specifically defined) are affected as well, and will be abandoned and desolated.

The Arab-Israeli Promised Land War of Psalm 83

Psalm 83 is a prayer of the prophet Asaph.  In it, he requests for God to break His silence towards Israel and protect her.  He mentions a specific group of nations wanting to wipe Israel off the face of the map.  The nations include Edom, Ishmaelites, Moab, Hagrites, Gebal, Ammon, Amalek, Philistia, Tyre, and Asshur.  Modern day equivalents seem to be Egypt, Jordan/Palestinians, Syria, Iraq, Saudi Arabia, and Lebanon.

 

This war appears to have been at least partially fulfilled in the Six-Day War of 1967.  The exact nations described in Psalm 83 issued a coordinated attack against Israel, and Israel was victorious.  It’s also possible that the complete fulfillment, or a dual fulfillment, of this war is yet future.

Gog and Magog War of Ezekiel 38 & 39

Ezekiel chapters 38 and 39 detail a very specific war against Israel.  A future leader or supreme commander, Gog (the spiritual entity behind the geographical region of “Magog”), of the land of Magog (Russia?  Turkey?), will oversee a vast military alliance which will be heavily armed.  The alliance appears to be primarily Islamic, and their goal will be to overtake Israel’s resources.  It seems that Russia (Turkey?) will be joined by  Iran and Islamic nations from north and east Africa (Ethiopia, Libya, Somalia, Sudan, and others), plus Islamic nations of the Middle East and Central Asia (Turkey, Kazakhstan, Turkmenistan, Tadzhikistan, Uzbekistan, Kyrgyzstan, and others).  There may be mild protest to this invasion from unspecified nations (USA?), but there will be no intervention in support of Israel and Israel may not even have time to defend itself.

God will completely destroy the invading armies and send destruction to their homelands through a global earthquake, internal chaos and infighting, pestilence, torrential rain, hail, fire and brimstone.  What begins as divine judgment on the troops surrounding Israel  will expand to include the whole world.

Basically, God will raise Israel’s enemies up against her in such a way as to guarantee her destruction, just so that He can prevent her from being destroyed.  It’s impossible to overemphasize the significance that God Himself is arranging this war exactly according to His schedule.  God has one final test for Israel.  He will use Gog / Magog as a challenge for both Israel and the nations.  It will be deliberately presented so that it can be interpreted by Israel as the final war (Battle of Armageddon).  Will Israel then turn to Jesus as the true Messiah, or will she embrace the anti-Messiah that satan will raise up?

In watching for signs of war, I am watching for:

  1. Wars and Rumors of Wars – Possible lineup of WW3.
  2. Wars and Rumors of Wars centered around Israel and the Middle East, including a specific interest in Damascus, Syria.
  3.  A lineup of players matching the nations found in Psalm 83 and Ezekiel 38-39.

There is suggestion in Ezekiel 38 that Israel doesn’t see this war coming (is in a state of “Betach” – peace and safety).  Thus, it’s possible that we won’t see this war begin… and I believe it’s safe to say we won’t see it end.

I personally see connection between Isaiah 17, Psalm 83, and Ezekiel 38-39.  I think they may occur concurrently, in connection with the rapture, and lead to global scale war.  

Birth Pain Signs

We seem to be in limbo between “rumors of wars” and “all-out war”, which suggests that “the end is not yet”.  How will we know when “true labor” – the actual time of the end – begins?  The Bible speaks of the “time of the End” as being similar to labor pains and childbirth.  When it hits, there will be no mistaking it.  And true believers get to skip that part through the “early delivery option”.

Now, brothers and sisters, about times and dates we do not need to write to you,  for you know very well that the day of the Lord will come like a thief in the night.  While people are saying, “Peace and safety,” destruction will come on them suddenlyas labor pains on a pregnant woman, and they will not escape.  1 Thessalonians 5:1-3 ESV

These are the words that the Lord spoke concerning Israel and Judah:  “Thus says the Lord: We have heard a cry of panic, of terror, and no peace.  Ask now, and see, can a man bear a child? Why then do I see every man with his hands on his stomach like a woman in labor?  Why has every face turned pale? Alas! That day is so great there is none like it; it is a time of distress for Jacob; yet he shall be saved out of it. Jeremiah 30:4-7 ESV

Labor and delivery, for me anyways, involved a lot of screaming, writhing, and pain.  Unmistakable and incomparable.  The “beginning of birth pains” are defined by Jesus in the Olivet Discourse:

Nation will rise against nation, and kingdom against kingdom. There will be famines and earthquakes in various places.  8 All these are the beginning of birth pains. (Matthew 24)  8 For nation will rise against nation, and kingdom against kingdom. There will be earthquakes in various places; there will be famines. These are but the beginning of the birth pains. (Mark 13) 10 Then he said to them, “Nation will rise against nation, and kingdom against kingdom. 11 There will be great earthquakes, and in various places famines and pestilences. And there will be terrors and great signs from heaven. (Luke 21) 

When the Time of Jacob’s Trouble (“Tribulation”) arrives, it will be marked all at once by the arrival of widespread war, global earthquakes, famines and pestilences, terrors and great signs from heaven.  Collectively, “all these” are the “beginning” of the birth pains.  What we are currently seeing are still the “Braxton Hicks’ contractions”.  I do believe we may see the *very beginning* of the birth pains; thus, I am scouring for signs of a rapid upsurgence in all of these things at once:

  1. Wars (as discussed above)
  2. Earthquakes and Volcanic Activity
  3. Famines
  4. Pestilences / Plagues
  5. Terrors and Great Signs from heaven (I believe Sept 23/17 fulfilled a singular “great sign”)

I have written more on the Birth Pain Signs here, Braxton Hicks, Labor Pains, and the Time of the End, and here, The End of the Age According to Jesus – Matthew, Mark, Luke.

I believe that if we see war, terrors from heaven, and earthquakes break out on a global scale all at once – it’s the Day!  It’s the Hour! 

Now when these things begin to take place, straighten up and raise your heads, because your redemption is drawing near. Luke 21:28 ESV

Blood Moons and Eclipses

The blood moon is a major key in Biblical Prophecy.  You probably already know this.  What you may not know, is that “blood moons” (plural) and “blood moon tetrads” are NOT found in the Bible.  There is one and only one prophetic “blood moon” mentioned in the Bible, and it most certainly has not occurred yet.  Nor is it going to be an eclipse.  Nor is a blood moon the same as a dark moon (which occurs at the second coming and is described in Matthew 24 and Zechariah 14).

The Blood Moon prophecy occurs 3 times in scripture.  Once, prophetically in Joel 2, once prophetically in Acts 2, and once, the fulfillment, at Seal 6.

I believe that the cause of the global blood moon is the resurrection of the dead and the rapture itself.  There is strong connection in scripture between resurrection of the dead and earthquakes; put this on a global scale and you have global earthquakes.  These would trigger volcanic eruptions worldwide, resulting in atmospheric ash.  Atmospheric ash darkens the sun and makes the moon appear blood red.

There are no eclipses documented in scripture in association with end times prophecy.

I have written more on the Blood Moon Sign here:

I do not believe we will SEE the Blood Moon Sign – it happens after we are gone.  I’m not watching for any eclipses, supermoons, super blood moons, super blue bloodmoons, or anything of that sort.

Day Counts

While God is outside of time, He has allotted humanity 7000 years of existence.  We are on the brink of 6000 years – the last 1000 years will be Jesus’ Millennial Kingdom!  See more about that here –  God’s 7000 Year Calendar When studying calendars and calendar corrections, my best interpretation places us at year 5991 or 5992.  The rapture would theoretically occur at year 5993 with the Second Coming at year 6000.

The books of Daniel and Revelation also provide us with some interesting day counts that deserve serious study.  The periods of time we are introduced to include “1 Week”, “Half a Week”, “Time, Times, and Half a Time”, “42 Months”, “1260 Days”, “1290 Days”, “1335 Days”, “2300 Evenings and Mornings”, “Day”, “Hour”, and “Approximately Half an Hour”.  I believe all these day counts come into play AFTER the rapture of the church, which I believe will cause the Earth to be knocked back into a 360-day-year orbit.  So although I have studied these timelines, I don’t believe they are useful markers for rapture watching.

I believe that the rebirth of Israel as a nation on May 14, 1948 represented the “Fig Tree” leafing out in the Fig Tree ParableEzekiel’s 430 Days of Laying – It appears that the rebirth of Israel, to the very year, was foretold 2500 years ago through the prophet Ezekiel.  This, I believe, started a 70-80 year countdown until the Second Coming of Christ based on the Generation That Won’t Pass Away Parable.  With a pretribulation rapture, the countdown would be 63-73 year countdown.  I believe there is scriptural precedence to possibly applying a 360-day-year correction to these numbers, placing the rapture countdown at 62-72 years from 1948.

From the Revelation 12 Sign of September 23, 2017, I believe we may possibly have been given up to a 3 year window for the rapture.  I believe this based on the appearance of the Star of Bethlehem announcing Jesus’ birth, and the fact that it took the wise men up to 3 years to find Jesus from the appearance of the Great Sign.  Thus, rapture timing of up to 3 years after the Great Sign of Revelation 12 would seem to be reasonable to me.

We seem to have 2-3 witnesses from Scripture that confirm a rapture in the 2017-2020 window.  I personally see no indication in scripture to study other number patterns.

Conclusion

I believe we can know for certain that we are in the rapture “season”.  We seem to have 2-3 witnesses from Scripture that confirm a rapture in the 2017-2020 window.   I personally believe that the Feasts of Pentecost and Trumpets are the most likely “high watch dates” for the rapture in those years.

I also see connection between Isaiah 17, Psalm 83, and Ezekiel 38-39 and think they may occur concurrently in connection with the rapture of the church.  I believe that if we see war, terrors from heaven, and earthquakes break out on a global scale all at once – these are the birthpains – it’s the Day!  It’s the Hour!

Now when these things begin to take place, straighten up and raise your heads, because your redemption is drawing near. Luke 21:28 ESV

Noah was told to enter the ark 7 days prior to the Great Flood beginning – perhaps we will know 7 days in advance of the “great flood of fire” that is to come upon the earth?  We may or may not get advance notice.  Regardless, I believe that on the day and in the hour, we will KNOW that it is TIME.

I have truly been blessed by the watching community this last year.  I can hardly wait to meet all of you in person!  I treasure all the brothers and sisters I have had the pleasure of watching alongside as we wrestle with feelings of excitement, discouragement, insight, defeat, and above all – hope and faith in our coming Redeemer.  He is coming.

The Spirit and the Bride say “Come, Lord Jesus!”

Holy Spirit filled Bride

Further Resources:

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.

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!

 

The Spirit-Bride Pair Says Come, Lord Jesus!

To the praise of His glorious grace!  Thanking God for the provision of brothers and sisters in Christ to faithfully watch for the coming of our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ with.  Brother Rohit and I had this most soul-touching conversation the other night (for me, anyways) and I would like to share it with you!  In the raw, here’s a fly-on-the-wall perspective:

Steph – The Spirit and the Bride say, come.
Steph – Hey wait a sec. The Spirit and the Bride. The Spirit in the Bride. The Restrainer.
Steph – The Restrainer is the Spirit in the bride, and we cry “come”!  The Spirit-filled Bride is most certainly crying “Come!!!!!  Oh please oh please oh please oh please COME LORD JESUS!!!”
Rohit – 😍
Steph – Hmmmm. Wonder if the Greek specifies whether it is “and” or “in” or if it leaves it blank. Gotta go look!
Rohit – 😆
Steph – It’s a coupler:
Steph – A Coupler connects two things.  The word is actually copulative, which is an intimate connection…  Isn’t that FASCINATING…
Steph – The Spirit-Bride pair says “Come”
17 “And behold, I am coming soon. (Jesus)
12 “Behold, I am coming soon (Jesus)
17 The Spirit and the Bride say, “Come.” And let the one who hears say, “Come.” – TO JESUS

Rohit – Why have thou forsaken me? And at the ninth hour, Jesus shouted in a loud voice, “Eloi Eloi lama sabachthani?” which is translated, “My God, my God, why have you forsaken me?” It is the only saying that appears in more than one Gospel, and is a quote from Psalms 22:1. This saying is taken by some as an abandonment of the Son by the Father. What if.. The Triune God craves to be with himself.

Steph – 😮

Rohit – So that all comes to pass, And his kingdom come, His will be done 🙂

Steph – Mind blown.
Steph – I don’t think the Spirit-Bride Restrainer pair is saying “come” to the people, although an invitation for all to come to Jesus follows. I think the Spirit-filled Bride is saying come to JESUS, as in “Come Lord Jesus”. Maranatha. Isn’t it usually taught that they are saying to come to salvation? Maybe I’ve never thought about it this much before.
Steph – “I am coming” (Jesus)  “Yes please come!” (Spirit-filled Bride).  Isn’t that what the Spirit in us cries and cries and cries for????
Rohit – We crave his glory, His coming – All creation awaits.
Steph – Come! Please come!!! Maranatha, come Lord Jesus!  Blessed is He who comes in the name of the Lord!
Rohit – Thy kingdom come, Thy will be done.
Rohit – Holy spirit + Bride Crave God so all can be fulfilled.  Genesis – Beginning; Revelation – End.  That’s why all Creation groans and awaits.

Steph – Still sitting here kinda stunned, digesting.

Rohit – 😆
Rohit – The Lord’s prayer.  Jesus prays for His kingdom to come, for His will to be done.  Jesus told us “Pray like this after I’m gone”.
Steph – UNTIL HE COMES
Rohit – It’s what Jesus wants.  What the Father wants.

Steph – What the Holy Spirit wants.  The Holy Spirit wants to go back to the Father.  He was sent as a DEPOSIT.  So we can be rescued.

Rohit – His love for us…
Steph – 😍

Rohit – He was craving Himself when He prayed, so that all comes to pass and he can take his beloved home to be with him (triune).

Rohit – That’s the whole bible.

Steph – I know the Holy Spirit is a person. But… it NEVER occurred to me that He wants to go back to God as much as we do. Thus… He prays WITH us “Come, Lord Jesus”.  Sometimes with a groaning so deep that words cannot express.

Rohit – The end of all things.  God with us Eternal.

Steph – Let’s see how to word this. It is God’s Spirit within us that cries “Come” in order to CALL Jesus.  The Holy Spirit within us forms the Restrainer… the Spirit-Bride pair. So….one would do well to examine if one is crying “Come” would one not?  Since the Holy Spirit is the one compelling us to cry “Come” to Jesus.  Like if you aren’t crying come…. Maybe ya better examine your heart. Are you pair-bonded with the Spirit…

Rohit – Bingo.  His love… We are his beloved… Come….
Steph – I read a blog one time, stuck with me. It paired belief in a pretribulation rapture with salvation in that… If you don’t really believe Jesus is coming back… If you don’t believe he will rescue you… Do you truly believe he will save you?  I mean, rapture (earthly rescue) is surely “easier” than salvation (eternal rescue) truly (salvation).  I don’t think I’d go that far but it made me think, that’s all.  Anyways that’s all just speculation.  Salvation is a heart issue.  I believe all believers will be raptured regardless of rapture beliefs.

Rohit -Sadly rapture is not being taught. Born again don’t know rapture is close.

Steph – The Spirit in believers should surely be quickening. Calling “Come”.
Steph  The cry of my heart is for everyone to call in unison – Come.
Rohit – God is holy. Love. How can it be mid or post trib. We are his beloved.  He died for us.  Ultimate sacrifice.

Steph – He brought me to His banqueting table, His banner over me is love.

Steph – The big picture is just overwhelming.
Rohit – 😍

Rohit – My God, my God, why hast thou forsaken me? [why art thou] far from my salvation, from the words of my groaning? Psalm 22:1 Darby Translation (DARBY) In the original Hebrew translation, read this… רָח֥וֹק why are You so] me? Far מִֽ֝ישׁוּעָתִ֗י from my deliverance Psalm 22.:1 Hebrew translation.

Rohit – I also think it means Jesus was craving, begging, crying out to The Father, His Beloved, hopelessly in love with Him…..how long more of this tribulation till we are together as one…..? The agony of separation from his LOVE. In everything, Love God, the most … no matter what tribulation one is going through. Jesus said unto him, Thou shalt love the Lord thy God with all thy heart, and with all thy soul, and with all thy mind. This is the first and great commandment. Matthew 22:37-38 (KJV)

Rohit – Consider this. Imagine being totally in love with your beloved. You get separated for some reason. Won’t you be crying out, lamenting, craving to be with your beloved? Why aren’t we together? I’m suffering… Why have you forsaken me? Why are you so far away from me?

Steph -The cry of Christ on the cross, the cry of the Holy Spirit within us…. A deep anguished gutteral cry to be united with our beloved. I cannot fathom Christ’s suffering on the cross, at His separation from the Father. But I would agree that the feeling in my heart of hearts is a “grunts and groans that words cannot express” longing for deliverance…. How long, oh Lord (why are you so far from my deliverance)?

The Spirit-Bride pair says COME!!!!!  Come Lord Jesus!!!!

 


Further Resources:

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.

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!

Holy Spirit filled Bride

 

Take Heart, and Be of Good Courage

Dear Father,

We pray for Your comfort and Your peace to fall upon us tonight.  We yearn for You, we pray for Your kingdom to come.  Oh how we long for You to come back and make everything better!  This world needs fixing!  Human hands will not do; the world needs Your touch.  Encourage us as we grow weary watching and waiting.  Provide us with tasks to keep our minds on You and our hands busy with Your work.  We come against all doubt and despair in Jesus’ Name and by Your power we will NOT let the enemy succeed in breaking down our spirits.  We will NOT let him steal our joy.  Our joy is not dependent on external experience, but on a deep-seated hope and trust in You.  We love You, Father.

Amen.

My dear watching brothers and sisters,

You are my treasured family.  I can hardly wait to meet all of you in person!  And yet we continue to wait on the Lord together down here.  We continue to wrestle with feelings of excitement, discouragement, insight, defeat, and above all – hope and faith in our coming Redeemer.  To be honest, doubt lurks on the doorstep of my heart – knocking.  It is prowling all around me, banging on the windows, looking for any cracks to slip through.  I choose to resist it with all my might.  I continue to refuse to let it in.  If doubt is creeping around your heart, don’t let it in!!!!!  Stand firm in your faith – both in Jesus your Savior, and in Jesus the coming Redeemer!  He is coming for us!  He WILL COME!!!!

This momentary period of watching may feel like an eternity, but eternity will feel like only a moment 🙂

Therefore, having this ministry by the mercy of God, we do not lose heart.  For God, who said, “Let light shine out of darkness,” has shone in our hearts to give the light of the knowledge of the glory of God in the face of Jesus Christ.  But we have this treasure in jars of clay, to show that the surpassing power belongs to God and not to us.  We are afflicted in every way, but not crushed; perplexed, but not driven to despair; persecuted, but not forsaken; struck down, but not destroyed;  always carrying in the body the death of Jesus, so that the life of Jesus may also be manifested in our bodies.  So we do not lose heart. Though our outer self is wasting away, our inner self is being renewed day by day.  For this light momentary affliction is preparing for us an eternal weight of glory beyond all comparison,  as we look not to the things that are seen but to the things that are unseen. For the things that are seen are transient, but the things that are unseen are eternal. 

2 Corinthians 4:1,6-10,16-18 ESV

The disappointment that we are still here is palpable.  We aren’t wrong to watch, we aren’t wrong to hope.  Jesus wants to find faith when He comes back.  He wants us to be watching and waiting and longing for Him!  As I said before,  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.

He is not delayed.  Nothing can hold back or stop the will of God!  Jesus will come at the appointed time.  We watch and wait together, encouraging one another, until He comes!  I love you all.

xx Stephanie Dawn

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