Approximately Half an Hour of Silence in Heaven

When the Lamb opened the seventh seal, there was silence in heaven for about half an hour.  Revelation 8:1 ESV

The eighth chapter of Revelation opens with this alarming statement – in heaven, silence.  Heaven, where cherubim never cease to proclaim God’s holiness – Silent.  Heaven, where the angels sing and the elders throw their crowns down before the Lamb in praise and worship – Silent. What monumental event could possibly cause such silence???

silence in heaven

In The Heavenly Silence of Seal 7, I suggested that besides foreboding awe at the wrath of God about to be poured out upon the earth, there are probably other events taking place:

  • The war in the heavenlies between Michael and the holy angels and satan and the fallen angels, described in Revelation 12:7-12
  • The sealing of the 144,000 described in Revelation 7:1-8
  • The antichrist begins his rise to power and is revealed as per 2 Thessalonians 2:7-11
  • The 2 Witnesses show up as described in Revelation 11 and Malachi 4:5 (Elijah)
  • The true birth pains begin as the effects of the Seals opening are felt; the Blood Moon sign is seen globally as described in Revelation chapter 6

And in Day Counts – Studying 1260, 1290, 1335, and 2300 DaysI studied how long this approximately half hour of silence might be.  This is the relevant portion:

About Half An Hour

The Day of the Lord seems to be equivalent to the 70th Week of Daniel, or the “Time of Jacob’s Trouble”.  It also is referred to as the “Hour of His Wrath” (Revelation 3:10).  Can these references give us a clue as to how long “about half an hour” is?

To understand how long “about half an hour” is, let’s do some math.  Now, as I’ve said previously, I don’t believe that end times prophecy requires one to understand convoluted equations and mental gymnastics.  So, take this interpretation with a grain of salt.  We already talked about how the opening of the Seals knocks Earth back into 360-day-years.  So here goes:

The Day of the Lord = 1 Week = 7 Years = 84 Months = 2520 Days

One Day = 24 Hours, Or Does It?

Taking the phrases “Day of the Lord” and “Hour of His Wrath” literally:

One Day of the Lord = 84 Months

Hour of His Wrath = 1/24 of the Day of the Lord = 3.5 Months

Half Hour of Silence = 1.75 Months

I had someone PM me months ago, asking me “How many hours are there in a Hebrew day”?  Now, there are obviously 24 hours in a day, but the way that the Jews historically calculate the hours in a day is by dividing the number of hours of sunlight on any given day into 12 equal parts.  Thus, the length of an “hour” varies from day to day.

The Halachic Hour

The hour has a special meaning in Jewish law. “The third hour of the day” doesn’t mean 3:00 a.m., or three sixty-minute hours after sunrise. Rather, an hour in halacha is calculated by taking the total time of daylight of a particular day, from sunrise until sunset, and dividing it into twelve equal parts. A halachic hour is thus known as a sha’ah zemanit, or proportional hour, and varies by the season and even by the day.

For example, on a day when the sun rises at 5 a.m. and sets at 7:30 p.m., one sha’ah zemanit, or proportional hour, will be 72.5 minutes long. The third hour of the day will come to a close at 8:37:30 a.m.

This information is important because many observances in Jewish law are performed at specific times during the day. The calculation of these halachic times, known as zmanim(“times”), depends on the length of the daylight hours in that locale.

Source: https://www.chabad.org/library/article_cdo/aid/526872/jewish/Hours.htm

If we take this halachic hour into account:

One Day of the Lord = 84 Months

Halachic Hour of His Wrath = 1/12 of the Day of the Lord = 7 Months

Halachic Half Hour of Silence = 3.5 Months

Note that 3.5 months of 30 days each gives us a total of 105 days.  105 days seems to nicely parallel “time, times, and half a time” using months instead of years.  I’m not big on mathematical patterns, but this one stuck out for me as a possible verification of this interpretation:

1260 1290 1335

Why “Approximately”?

The day counts given in Daniel and Revelation are very specific.  Why would this “half hour of silence” be approximate?  Why would it be the only day count that isn’t exact?

In considering this question, remember that I suggest the Seals on the wrath-scroll all open at the time of the rapture.  I believe the seals are currently being restrained from being opened by the Restrainer (Holy Spirit indwelling the body of Christ).  The opening of the Seals marks the transference of sealing from the hearts of the body of Christ to the foreheads of the firstfruits of the Jewish tribulation saints (the 144,000).  The resurrection/rapture event itself is pictured in Seals 5&6, and is followed by the “approximate half hour of silence” of Seal 7.

The events listed in Seal 6 are completely catastrophic.  Remember that the entire world is shaken by earthquakes at this time.  Similar to the days of Noah, when the global flood caused the earth’s orbit to change, I believe the opening of the seals and the nuclear transformation event of the resurrection/rapture will cause the earth’s orbit to change.  I believe Isaiah describes this orbit change:

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

This “reeling like a drunken man” of the earth in its’ orbit will affect the day counts during the “half hour of silence” and could explain why they might be defined as “approximate”.  It might be difficult to track the days at this time; the day length may vary; the month length may vary.  It seems that the orbit stabilizes in time for Daniel’s 70th Week to begin, as those day counts are listed as definite.

Can We Find “Approximately Half an Hour” in End Times Prophecy?

Remember that we are looking for an APPROXIMATE half an hour of time.  Is there any significant date range that is approximately 3.5 months in duration?

I have recently undertaken writing a series on Pentecost being the highest watch Feast of God for the rapture of the church.  It seems that the Restrainer (the Holy Spirit sealing the body of Christ) might just leave the same day He came down.  Links to the full study are found here:  The Biblical Feasts – God’s Appointments.

Considering the entire Red Moon Rapture model I have presented in this blog, I believe that this “approximate half hour of silence” in Seal 7 supports a Pentecost rapture.  The Halachic Approximate Half Hour of Silence = Approximately 3.5 Months.  There are approximately 3.5 Months between Pentecost (Sivan) and Yom Kippur (Tishrei).  Remember that the dates don’t have to be exactly 105 days, as it’s the only day count that’s given as an “approximate”.

monthsarial400.jpg

During this silence, I believe the war in heaven occurs, the 144,000 are sealed on earth, the 2 Witnesses appear, the effects of the Seals begin to play out, the antichrist starts his rise to power and is revealed, the birth pains begin in full force, and the blood moon sign occurs.  These events are stated to occur BEFORE the Day of the Lord, and yet, they must occur AFTER the rapture of the church.  What a perfect timeframe for them to be placed within – the “approximate half hour of silence”!  For more on these, please see: Precursors to the Day of the Lord.

Once the silence ends, the Yom Kippur ceremony is performed in heaven and wrath is poured out upon the earth for 7 years in the Day of the Lord.

This year (2018), the days between Pentecost (11 Sivan) and Yom Kippur (10 Tishrei) are approximately 119 (correcting for 360-day-years; at 365.25 day years the count is 114).  This count will vary from year to year.

Summary

I believe that a Pentecost rapture of the church, followed by an “approximate half hour of silence” of a halachic ~3.5 months perfectly fits in to the big picture of end times prophecy.  During this time, the earth will be restored to a 360-day-year orbit.  Once this ~3.5 months is complete, Yom Kippur will begin the wrath of the Day of the Lord.  I’m not stating this is a certainty, or stating a year, but am proposing this as a hypothesis.  If it turns out to be bogus, at least I had a grand ole time calculating it all day today 🙂


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.

Heavenly Silence – Seal 7

Precursors to the Day of the Lord

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

The Meaning of the Silence in Heaven (Beginning and End)

Seals, Sealing, and the Ministry of the Holy Spirit

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!

What Year Is It Really? (Is It 5991?)

The Day and the Hour and the Year?

From our studies on Pentecost I am becoming more and more confident that it is the “Day” we are to “high watch” for, although I would never be so brazen as to say a certain day WILL BE “The Day”.  [See part 1 of my ongoing study here –Pentecost Part 1 – The Giving of the Law, The Giving of Grace]  The “Hour” will vary for each one of us (and the literal day, actually) because of how we calculate time zones.

But what about the year?  We know from putting together Psalm 90 with the fig tree parable that the “transitional generation” will be approximately 70-80 years in length.  Thus, many of us are anticipating that it will be 73 years at the most (80 – 7 year tribulation) from Israel’s rebirth until we “fly away”.  This gives us a possible rapture window of up to 2021, but perhaps sooner.  [Again, I’m not saying that the rapture *has to* be by then, but am doing my best to rightly divide the scriptures.  This is a theory!]

The years of our life are seventy,
    or even by reason of strength eighty;
yet their span is but toil and trouble;
    they are soon gone, and we fly away.
 Who considers the power of your anger,
    and your wrath according to the fear of you?

So teach us to number our days
    that we may get a heart of wisdom.
Return, O Lord! How long?
    Have pity on your servants!

Psalm 90:10-13 ESV

The span of all our years is toil and trouble in this fallen age, and following Christ is a life of “tribulation” until we “fly away” (either through death or through the rapture).  After we “fly away”, God’s anger and wrath is released.  Only those who have great strength will make it to the 80 year mark, having survived the awful tribulation period.

Return, O Lord!  How long?  Have pity on your servants who are anxiously awaiting Your return!

Does Enoch’s Rapture Give Us a Key?

As I was writing about Enoch’s rapture the other day, it had me thinking.  Tradition holds that he was both born and raptured on the day that would become Pentecost.  And then it tells us the curious detail that he was 365 years old.

Now, the fact that Genesis gives us his age is not unusual, because the ages of all the patriarchs are listed.  This is how we can verify the age of the world and the timelines of history.  But why 365?  Why not 150? Or 843?  That is only about half as long as the other patriarchs lived.  And 365… that’s a very significant number to us as it is the number of days in our solar year.

I ran a number of calculations trying to figure out if there is any significance to the time gap between his rapture and the flood, which was 669 years.  I haven’t come up with anything concrete.  Maybe one of you can?  (Dan Matson??)

What I have previously studied was God’s prophetic timeline and the 7000 years He has allotted to humanity.  In that study I suggested we might be approximately at year 5993 now on God’s calendar (in 2017).  But I believe God is impressing upon my heart a possible correction to that calculation.

First, let me review how I got to the year ~ 5993, taken from this post: God’s Prophetic Timeline – 7000 Years of Humanity:

What Time Is It?

From archaeological evidence, it appears that we have around 6000 years of modern human history.  Without getting into a creation debate, here are some articles if you are interested in the numbers:

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 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 2017, the Orthodox Rabbinic year count is 5777.  The Orthodox Rabbinic calendar is based on a book called the “Seder Olam Rabbah”, which was written in 240 CE (AD).  There is some indication that there are up to 240 “missing years” in this calendar, which may or may not be deliberate.  The Nazarene calendar, on the other hand, uses the accounts in the Old Testament, 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.

Here is the geneaological counting, which was done in 2007:

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 2007 (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.

Ezra 6:15
15 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.

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 2007 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 2007
Total 2520 years

Now, to find the approximate age of the earth today (in the year 2007), 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 (2,520). This will give us the approximate age of the earth in the year 2007 CE:

Creation to the Second Temple 3,485 years
Second Temple to 2007 CE 2,520 years
Years since the Creation (approximate) 6,005 years

(Source: Paul D Newman – http://pauldnewman.blogspot.ca/2007/04/about-240-missing-years.html)

According to this model, we should now be at around year 6015.  This would technically put us into “prophetic overtime”.  Or does it?

The Calendar in the Sun, Moon, and Stars

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.  Is there any sign in the heavens that can give us a clue as to what “time” it 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.

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.

It is the 3915 BC alignment that is relevant to our current discussion:

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.

(Source: unsealed.org – http://www.unsealed.org/2017/01/the-revelation-12-sign-compendium.html)

Adam and Eve were created to be eternal beings, and in their perfection were granted to eat freely from the Tree of Life.  Thus, it was only when they FELL and became physically mortal that year counts would start to actually matter.  It was when they FELL that humanity’s “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).

Let’s examine what time it might be based on the calendar in the sun, moon, and stars:

3915 BC – Fall of Humanity + 2017 (current year) – 1 (no year “0”) = 5932 years

This puts us under 6000 years, right?  Or does it?

God’s Prophetic Calendar

The length of a year is currently 365.242190 days.  The length of a year is decreasing by approximately 0.000006 every century. (wikipedia)  The Bible, however, uses a year length of 360 days in both Genesis and Revelation.

…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)

42 30-day months = 1260 days = “time, and times, and half a time” (“time”= 1 360-day year)

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.

I would assume God uses 360 day years for a reason, not just because the numbers round nice.  Let’s assume that God created the world with 360-day years, as seen in the Flood account above.

Let’s also say that the global flood was in 1656 AM as calculated through the Torah here (AIG), and in the Nazarene calendar above.

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 significantly different and many species died off at that time.  Whatever happened (asteroid impacts?  massive earthquakes?), we do know that the land was divided (the crust shifted) “in the days of Peleg” and that this occurred a little while after the Flood (Genesis 10:25).  The result is that somehow we ended up with approximately  365.25 day-years.

So, What Time is It Really?

In my original calculations, I used the year 1656 AM and guessed that things settled down to balance out to 365.25 days/year quite quickly after the global flood.  This means humanity has existed for an extra ~5.25 days per year since the global flood.  But if our allotted days are only 6000 360-day-years, what happens if we take into account the “extra” days?  Correcting for these extra days and converting them to 360-day-years gave me the year of 5993.3 or 5992.3 as of 2017.  I will explain how I got there in a moment.

There are several other considerations though.  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

Does God really not want us to know the time?  He tells us to watch, and read the time!  He expected the Pharisees 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

And here is where I believe the Key of Enoch might come in.  I am wondering if God raptured Enoch at 365 years old specifically as a clue.

Prior to the Global Flood, the earth had 360-day years.  After the Rapture, I believe the earth will once again have 360-day years.  The resurrection / rapture event will be so severe as to cause the earth to sway and change its orbital path once again.  This is why both Genesis and Revelation use 360-day years in their prophetic time counts.

It is the interim that we are trying to calculate.  What if God gives us 365 years exactly (tradition holding to Enoch being both born and raptured on the same day of the year), to have us use that number in our calculation as the exact average correcting for all the wobbling as described above?

prophetic time.jpg

Calculating the Year

We will use the Revelation 12:1 sign on August 5, 3915 BC as the “Fall” and 1656 BC as the “Flood” as discussed above.

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

+ 2017.7 years AD – 1 (no year 0)

= 4275.7 years lived with “extra days”

I used 2017.7 because we are approximately 8 months through 2018 if we use August 5 as a starting point for calculations based on the 3915 start point.  I’m not confident we can get that close though.

4275.7 x 365 (Enoch days/year) / 360 (prophetic days/year)

= 4335 360-day-year equivalent years since the Flood

4335 (post flood years) + 1656 (preflood years) = 5991 years

Alternately, some software programs give the year 3914 BC for the sign in question. Using this date:

4334 (post flood years) + 1656 (preflood years) = 5990 years

From these calculations, I would suggest we are currently at approximately year 5991.  This consistently fits in with the “Fig Tree Generation” timeline.  It’s possible we have 2 (maybe 3) years left (said while ducking – please don’t stone me!).  But I hope it’s sooner 😉

I would suggest that waiting until the last possible moment within the window would fit with 2 Peter 3:8-9:

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.  The Lord is not slow to fulfill his promise as some count slowness, but is patient toward you, not wishing that any should perish, but that all should reach repentance.  (ESV)

The Virgin Mary Had a Baby Boy

How far away from the Revelation 12:1-2 sign on September 23, 2017 can we get before it is no longer reliably considered a sign?  This is a valid question and one that I have pondered as well.

For the answer to this I would ask you to consider the Star of Bethlehem that announced Jesus’ birth.  We know that it took up to 2-3 years for the wise men to locate Jesus after they saw and interpreted the Star Sign.

Then Herod, when he saw that he had been tricked by the wise men, became furious, and he sent and killed all the male children in Bethlehem and in all that region who were two years old or under, according to the time that he had ascertained from the wise men.  Matthew 12:16 ESV

Any time up to 3 years would seem to be reasonable to still consider the Revelation 12 sign applicable as a Great Sign.

If you are interested in the Star Sign announcing Jesus’ first coming, I would recommend Rick Larson’s 2007 Documentary entitled The Star of Bethlehem.

 


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!

Precursors to the Day of the Lord

The Day of the Lord is an intense period of God’s wrath upon the earth.  When we understand the purpose of the Day of the Lord, we can understand why some things must precede it.  The Day of the Lord will be global in scope with the purpose of cleansing the earth of its’ bloodguilt and wickedness and punishing those who refused to love the truth and be saved (2 Thessalonians 2:12).

Events that occur BEFORE the Day of the Lord:

  • The gathering of believers unto Christ (the apostasia, or rapture) – 2 Thess 2:3
  • The revealing of the antichrist – 2 Thess 2:3-4
  • Wonders in the heavens and on the earth, blood and fire and columns of smoke, darkened sun and blood red moon – Joel 2:30-31
  • Elijah will appear – Malachi 4:5

We will discuss each of these in more detail below.

The Apostasia and the Revealing of the Man of Lawlessness

Now concerning the coming of our Lord Jesus Christ and our being gathered together to him, we ask you, brothers, not to be quickly shaken in mind or alarmed, either by a spirit or a spoken word, or a letter seeming to be from us, to the effect that the day of the Lord has come.  Let no one deceive you in any way. For that day will not come, unless the [apostasia] 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.  Do you not remember that when I was still with you I told you these things?  And you know what is restraining him now so that he may be revealed in his time.  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.  Therefore God sends them a strong delusion, so that they may believe what is false,  in order that all may be condemned who did not believe the truth but had pleasure in unrighteousness. 2 Thessalonians 2:1-6, 11-12 ESV

The Day of the Lord is not meant to punish those who are righteous and love the truth.  Thus, the gathering of believers unto Christ will occur before it begins.

True believers in Jesus are promised to be spared from this time of wrath will depart from this earth, and so forever be with the Lord!  With the apostasia defined as a departure, Paul’s previous teachings on the catching up event are perfectly clarified.  Paul teaches that the Day of the Lord cannot come until the departure (rapture) has occurred.  Once that happens, the doors to heaven will be closed and God’s wrath will commence.

Further posts discussing this departure event:

We also are told that the man of lawlessness will be revealed before the Day of the Lord can begin.  From supporting passages, we can determine that the Lawless One is clearly the future Antichrist.

What will reveal the man of lawlessness?

  • The apostasia (departure) occurs, then the man of lawlessness is revealed
  • When the restraint on the man of lawlessness is lifted, he will be revealed
  • He will be revealed in God’s timing
  • When the “what” and the “one” who restrains him is out of the way, the man of lawlessness will be revealed
  • He will come by the activity of satan

The presence of the body of Christ, indwelt by the Holy Spirit, is currently restraining the man of lawlessness.  The Holy Spirit is restraining the full expression of the mystery of lawlessness and will do so until He is taken out of the way.

Our being gathered together to Jesus Christ at the departure event is what removes restraint from the man of lawlessness and the full expression of the mystery of lawlessness.  We can be confident that the man of lawlessness will be somehow revealed immediately upon the rapture of the church.

This revelation will involve a spectacular display of supernatural signs and wonders, driven by satan himself.  I am sure it will be very convincing.  This revelation may also include a re-confirming of the Mosaic laws, or perhaps land and peace treaties.  Those possibilities are discussed more fully here: The Covenant With Israel – Who Confirms It?  Please also see this discussion about the Jewish Messianic expectation, which I believe the anti-messiah will try to appear to fulfill:  Why Israel Rejected Jesus at His First Coming.

The Blood Moon Sign

The Blood Moon Sign is a special key unique to these 3 passages:

“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.”  Joel 2:30-31 ESV

And I will show wonders in the heavens above and signs on the earth below, blood, and fire, and vapor of smoke; the sun shall be turned to darkness and the moon to blood,  before the day of the Lord comes, the great and magnificent day. And it shall come to pass that everyone who calls upon the name of the Lord shall be saved.’  Acts 2:19-21 ESV

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 Blood Moon Sign (Seal 6, Joel 2, Acts 2) specifically comes BEFORE the Day of the Lord.  It occurs as a result of “wonders in the heaven and on the earth, blood and fire and columns of smoke”, which themselves are likely the result of earthquake and volcanic activity.  There may be other “heavenly signs”, such as asteroids and meteors, as well.  These “wonders” darken the sun and make the moon appear red on a global scale.

It appears that ALL the inhabitants of the earth recognize that “the great day of wrath” has come when these signs collectively appear.  Far from being a “mere” eclipse, this prophetic blood moon will be visible globally.  Note that it is connected with an earthquake which moves EVERY mountain and island on earth, and that ALL the inhabitants of the earth hide from the face of the Lord in connection with this collection of signs. What occurs on the earth will be so severe that no one will be able to deny its apocalyptic message.

Further posts covering these events are here:

When the blood moon sign appears, it would seem that the Day of the Lord has arrived.

The Coming of Elijah

Elijah is expected to appear before the Day of the Lord begins.  This strengthens the connection that he might be one of God’s Two Witnesses, as described in Revelation 11.  For more information on the two witnesses, please see this post: Who are the Two Witnesses in Revelation 11?

Whether Elijah will literally appear, or will be one who “comes in the spirit of Elijah” (like John the Baptist), is unknown.

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

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.

While Jewish tradition anticipates Elijah appearing once more, this passage may have already been completely fulfilled through John the Baptist.  Gotquestions has an interesting study on this:

Question: “Why must Elijah return before the end times (Malachi 4:5-6)?”

According to Malachi 4:6, the reason for Elijah’s return will be to “turn the hearts” of fathers and their children to each other. In other words, the goal would be reconciliation. In the New Testament, Jesus reveals that John the Baptist was the fulfillment of Malachi’s prophecy: “All the prophets and the law prophesied until John. And if you are willing to receive it, he is Elijah who is to come” (Matthew 11:13-14). This fulfillment is also mentioned in Mark 1:2-4 and Luke 1:177:27.

Specifically related to Malachi 4:5-6 is Matthew 17:10-13: “His disciples asked Him, saying, ‘Why then do the scribes say that Elijah must come first?’ Jesus answered and said to them, ‘Indeed, Elijah is coming first and will restore all things. But I say to you that Elijah has come already, and they did not know him but did to him whatever they wished. . . .’ Then the disciples understood that He spoke to them of John the Baptist.”

The scribes were the Jewish religious teachers, mostly Pharisees and Sadducees, who provided commentary on the Jewish Scriptures. Peter, James, and John were familiar with their teachings and asked Jesus about Elijah after seeing Jesus with Moses and Elijah at the transfiguration(Matthew 17:1-8). Jesus clearly stated that Elijah had already come, but, tragically, he was not recognized and had been killed. Jesus then predicted He would likewise die at the hands of His enemies (17:13).

A brief look at the ministry of John the Baptist reveals many notable ways that he was “Elijah.” First, God predicted John’s work as being like that of Elijah (Luke 1:17). Second, he dressed like Elijah (2 Kings 1:8 and Matthew 3:4). Third, like Elijah, John the Baptist preached in the wilderness (Matthew 3:1). Fourth, both men preached a message of repentance. Fifth, both men withstood kings and had high-profile enemies (1 Kings 18:17 and Matthew 14:3).

Some argue that John the Baptist was not the Elijah to come because John himself said that he was not Elijah. “And they asked him, ‘What then? Are you Elijah?’ He said, ‘I am not’” (John 1:21). There are two explanations for this apparent contradiction. First, because Elijah had never died (2 Kings 2:11), many first-century rabbis taught that Elijah was still alive and would reappear before the Messiah’s arrival. When John denied being Elijah, he could have been countering the idea that he was the actual Elijah who had been taken to heaven.

Second, John’s words could indicate a difference between John’s view of himself and Jesus’ view of him. John may not have seen himself as the fulfillment of Malachi 4:5-6. However, Jesus did. There is no contradiction, then, simply a humble prophet giving an honest opinion of himself. John rejected the honor (cf. John 3:30), yet Jesus credited John as the fulfillment of Malachi’s prophecy regarding the return of Elijah.

As the metaphorical Elijah, John called people to repentance and a life of obedience, preparing the people of his generation for the coming of Jesus Christ, the One who had come “to seek and to save what was lost” (Luke 19:10) and to establish the ministry of reconciliation (2 Corinthians 5:18).

Source: https://www.gotquestions.org/Elijah-end-times.htm


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.

The Blood Moon – Seal 6

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, some of which I think might need to be adjusted slightly.  I encourage you to consider my thoughts as you also examine the scriptures to see if these things are so!

before day of the lord

l

Studying the Prophetic Keys in 2 Thessalonians 2

2 Thessalonians 2 is an amazingly prophetic end times passage.  Like Matthew 24, it is also frequently misunderstood.  Let’s shed some light upon this most exciting chapter!

Now concerning the coming of our Lord Jesus Christ and our being gathered together to him, we ask you, brothers, not to be quickly shaken in mind or alarmed, either by a spirit or a spoken word, or a letter seeming to be from us, to the effect that the day of the Lord has come. Let no one deceive you in any way. For that day will not come, unless the apostasia [departure] 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.  Do you not remember that when I was still with you I told you these things?  And you know what is restraining him now so that he may be revealed in his time.  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.  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.  Therefore God sends them a strong delusion, so that they may believe what is false,  in order that all may be condemned who did not believe the truth but had pleasure in unrighteousness. 

2 Thessalonians 2:1-12 ESV

The Coming of Our Lord Jesus Christ

“The coming of our Lord Jesus Christ” is the parousia.  It is used to describe both appearing and coming, in an ordinary sense (showing up) as well as in the prophetic sense (a glorious event).  The parousia of Jesus Christ occurs when He is revealed,  which occurs when the skies are rolled back as a scroll.  We are told in the book of Revelation that the skies are rolled back as a scroll to reveal Jesus Christ twice – once at Seal 6 (which I believe is the rapture), and once at the 7th Bowl (the Second Coming).  For more on this, see here: The Parousia (Appearances) of Jesus Christ (1 Second Coming in 2 Phases).

Our Being Gathered Together With Him

“Our being gathered together to him” can also be interpreted as “assembling”.  Paul previously taught the Thessalonians that at some point, the dead and alive in Christ would be gathered together and meet Christ in the air.  This would be their reference for his current teaching.  Gathering together, or assembling, with Christ is an EVENT, which occurs “in the twinkling of an eye” (1 Cor 15:52).  For more on our gathering, see here: The Rapture of the Church – Our Blessed Hope.

The Day of the Lord

The Day of the Lord is mentioned hundreds of times throughout the Old and New Testaments, both directly and indirectly.  It refers to a future very specific and detailed time period in which God will pour out His wrath upon unbelievers.  Through the Day of the Lord, God will also reconcile Israel to Himself.  The Day of the Lord includes the familiar Seal, Trumpet, and Bowl Judgments.  For a full discussion on the Day of the Lord, please see The Day of the Lord.

Examining the Concern of the Thessalonians:

The Thessalonians, viewing the persecution around them, were terrified that the Day of the Lord had come.  They knew they were supposed to escape the Day of the Lord!  So what happened?  Why were they still here????

Paul replies, no, no, the Day of the Lord isn’t here.  Don’t let anyone deceive you.  The Day of the Lord will not come unless:

  • The [apostasia] comes first
  • The man of lawlessness is revealed, the one who will later take his seat in the temple of God and proclaim to be “god” himself.  His coming will be by the activity of Satan with all power and false signs and wonders, and with all wicked deception.  This man of lawlessness is clearly the “antichrist” figure.

Paul then clarifies further about the revealing of the man of lawlessness:

  • This mystery of lawlessness is already at work
  • There is a “what” restraining the man of lawlessness that must be removed
  • There is a “he” who is restraining the mystery of lawlessness and will continue to do so until “he” is out of the way
  • The man of lawlessness will be revealed “in his time”, by the activity of satan with all power and false signs and wonders

And then Paul clarifies the reason behind the man of lawlessness:

  • The lawless one will come with a wicked and very convincing deception for those “who are perishing”
  • The ones “who are perishing” refused to love the truth and so be saved. 
  • God Himself will send a delusion upon those who are perishing, so that they will believe this deception of the lawless one

Please see Part 1 – That Day Will Not Come Until… for a discussion on how we know “the Day that will not come until…” is the Day of the Lord.

The Apostasia

The apostasia [departure] comes before the Day of the Lord. This is such an important discussion that it has its own post here:  Part 3 – The Apostasia [Departure/Falling Away] and the Revealing of the Lawless One.

The definitive article “the” indicates that this is a specific event, not a generic “falling away from the faith”, or a departure from sound doctrine, that was already present in Paul’s day and has continued throughout the church age.  All early translations of the Bible (prior to 1500’s), translated the word apostasia as “departure” for good reason.  The departure clearly fits into Paul’s prior teachings that the Thessalonians (representing true believers) would be saved from wrath and experience salvation.  An honest examination of this passage in light of Paul’s previous teachings in 1 Thessalonians clearly indicates that the apostasia is the rapture of the church (gathering together of the saints unto Christ, catching up event, harpazo).

The Man of Lawlessness

In 2 Thessalonians 2, Paul spends quite a bit of time discussing “the man of lawlessness”.  From parallel scripture studies in Daniel, Revelation, and Matthew, we can definitively identify this man of lawlessness as the future “beast” or “antichrist”.  Please see this post for further discussion on his identification: Part 3 – The Apostasia [Departure/Falling Away] and the Revealing of the Lawless One. 

In that post we also discuss that upon the rapture of the church, the man of lawlessness will immediately be revealed somehow.  This will likely come through supernatural signs and wonders, performed through the power of satan himself.  Satan, the man of lawlessness (antichrist), and the false prophet form an “unholy trinity” and will work together to bring worship to the dragon (satan).  Subsequent to his revealing, the antichrist will rise to power and at the midpoint of Daniel’s 70th week will seat himself in the temple and claim to be “god”.  He will enjoy worldwide rule for 1260 days, then will be tossed into the lake of fire for eternity when Jesus Christ appears at the Second Coming.

You can be sure that Satan is chomping at the bit to reveal his man of lawlessness.  He likely has someone on the sidelines at all times, ready to maneuver him into power as soon as the restraint is removed.  Satan can hardly wait until he can fully express the mystery of lawlessness.

The Restrainer

Paul reminds the Thessalonians that they know what is restraining the man of lawlessness, so that he may be revealed in his time.  The mystery of lawlessness is already at work, although he who restrains it will do so until he is out of the way.

  • The man of lawlessness is clearly the future antichrist
  • The mystery of lawlessness is related to satan’s workings
  • God is not a WHAT, but He is a HE.
  • The body of Christ is a WHAT, that is indwelt by a HE.

God is the only one who can effectively restrain satan until the appointed time.  The presence of the body of Christ, indwelt by the Holy Spirit, is restraining the man of lawlessness.  The Holy Spirit is restraining the mystery of lawlessness and will do so until He is taken out of the way.  The interlinear translation reads “until out of the midst he might be gone“, as in, the Holy Spirit, along with the body of Christ, will be taken out of the midst of the lawless ones up into heaven.  This is discussed more fully here: Part 2 – The Restrainer and the Restrained in 2 Thessalonians 2.

The Wicked Deception

The coming of the Lawless One, an antichrist figure (anti-Christ/anti-Messiah = opposing Messiah), will be accompanied with all power, false signs and wonders, and a wicked deception.  The mystery of this deception is already at work; being set up, ready to burst forth when the restraint is removed. The wicked deception will come upon mankind in its’ fullness immediately after the “Restrainer” is removed.   It will continue to unfold throughout the time of trial on earth (Jacob’s Trouble).  The deception will be global and will be VERY convincing.  God gives permission for this activity and sends a delusion that people would believe the lie, because they refused to believe His truth.  While deception does not come from God, He will use it in order that His plans and purposes would be accomplished.

Note that the deception will be targeted at Israel and the Hebrew people, to attempt to convince them that the “anti-messiah” is the “true messiah”.  Jews do seek after signs, remember.

For Jews demand signs and Greeks seek wisdom, but we preach Christ crucified, a stumbling block to Jews and folly to Gentiles,  but to those who are called, both Jews and Greeks, Christ the power of God and the wisdom of God.  1 Corinthians 1:12-14 ESV

I personally believe that the wicked deception will somehow involve extra-terrestrial “aliens”, which are none other than fallen angelic beings.  Angels, both holy and fallen, are interdimensional, and can appear and disappear at will in various forms.  This “alien deception” is being systematically set up, particularly in the last 70 years.  For more on this, please see:  Part 4 – The Wicked Deception – “Aliens”?

Who is Perishing?

Only he who now restrains it will do so until he is out of the way.  And then the lawless one will be revealed… with all wicked deception for those who are perishing, because they refused to love the truth and so be saved.  Therefore God sends them a strong delusion, so that they may believe what is false,  in order that all may be condemned who did not believe the truth but had pleasure in unrighteousness. 2 Thessalonians 2 ESV

The interlinear translation of “until he is out of the way” reads “until out of the midst he might be gone“.  The Holy Spirit, along with the body of Christ, will be taken out of the midst of the lawless ones.  Those left behind are actively perishing, because they refused to love the truth and so be saved (raptured…taken out of the midst of the earth and received into heaven).  We have many New Testament passages that describe those who are perishing:

For the word of the cross is folly to those who are perishing, but to us who are being saved it is the power of God.  1 Corinthians 1:18 ESV

And even if our gospel is veiled, it is veiled to those who are perishing In their case the god of this world has blinded the minds of the unbelievers, to keep them from seeing the light of the gospel of the glory of Christ, who is the image of God. 2 Corinthians 4:3-4 ESV

For we are the aroma of Christ to God among those who are being saved and among those who are perishing, to one a fragrance from death to death, to the other a fragrance from life to life. 2 Corinthians 2:15-16 ESV

Note the distinction made in 2 Thessalonians 2 between YOU (the Thessalonians) and THEY (unbelievers).  Believers will not be sent a strong delusion from God, because they believe the truth.  The Thessalonians love the truth, and will thus be saved.  Salvation, escaping the wrath of God found in the Day of the Lord, is a genuine option just as taught by Jesus in Luke 21:36.

God sends THEM (unbelievers, the left behind, the perishing) a strong delusion that “they would believe what is false, in order that all may be condemned who did not believe the truth but had pleasure in unrighteousness.”  There is only one point in humanity’s existence when there will be no believers upon the earth – immediately following the rapture of the church.   There is no partial rapture.  All those who are actively being saved will be taken.  All those who are left behind will be actively perishing.  This seems severe, but God has sent warning signs and has withheld His wrath for a very long time:

The Lord is not slow to fulfill his promise as some count slowness, but is patient toward you, not wishing that any should perish, but that all should reach repentance.  2 Peter 3:9 ESV

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 ESV

What we can trust is that God is good, all the time.

Conclusion

Paul’s teaching of the end times timeline in 2 Thessalonians 2 is consistent with all his other teachings.  The Lord Jesus Christ will appear and gather his believers together with him, receiving them into heaven, in a specific event called the “departure”.  The Holy Spirit and His presence within the body of Christ will thus be taken out of the midst of the earth.  With the restraining Person and influence gone, the antichrist will be revealed and the mystery of lawlessness will be fully expressed.  This revelation will be supernatural, and accompanied by signs and wonders.  How it will unfold we cannot know for certain in advance, but the fallen angels will most certainly play a part.  The reason that God removes His restraint and sends a strong delusion to support satan’s lies is that those left behind “refused to love the truth and so be saved.”

The Day of the Lord must follow the departure of believers and the revelation of the antichrist.  The antichrist will rise to power, and at the midpoint of Daniel’s 70th week will sit in the temple of God and proclaim to be “god”.  This will start the time of worst Christian persecution the world has known.  However, that comes long after the event that triggers his revealing.  At the end of his rule, the antichrist will be defeated and cast into the lake of fire by Jesus Christ Himself.


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.

Apostasia: Physical Departing (Rapture) or Spiritual Falling Away? – Andy Woods

Part 1 – That Day Will Not Come Until…

Part 2 – The Restrainer and the Restrained in 2 Thessalonians 2

Part 3 – The Apostasia [Departure/Falling Away] and the Revealing of the Lawless One

Part 4 – The Wicked Deception – “Aliens”?

Who is the Antichrist and What Does He Do?

Part 1 – Tribulation, Great Tribulation, and Wrath

Part 2 – What is the Tribulation?

Part 3 – Spared From Wrath – the 7 Year Key

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, some of which I think might need to be adjusted slightly.  I encourage you to consider my thoughts as you also examine the scriptures to see if these things are so!

2_thessalonians

Part 1 – That Day Will Not Come Until…

The Thessalonians Freak Out

Now concerning the coming of our Lord Jesus Christ and our being gathered together to him, we ask you, brothers, not to be quickly shaken in mind or alarmed, either by a spirit or a spoken word, or a letter seeming to be from us, to the effect that the day of the Lord has come. Let no one deceive you in any way. For that day will not come, unless the apostasia [departure] 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. Do you not remember that when I was still with you I told you these things?  And you know what is restraining him now so that he may be revealed in his time.  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.  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.  Therefore God sends them a strong delusion, so that they may believe what is false,  in order that all may be condemned who did not believe the truth but had pleasure in unrighteousness.  2 Thessalonians 2:1-12 ESV

One of the early churches, that of the Thessalonians, seems to have been greatly interested in the coming of the Day of the Lord.  This is commendable, as believers throughout the church age are commanded to Watch and Be Ready at all times for our Lord to return (Matthew 24-25)!   However, what the Thessalonians were worried about was that the Day of the Lord had already started.  They saw the persecution around them and totally panicked!  Now, why would that worry them so much?  Let’s play this out.

If the persecution and tribulations of the Day of the Lord had started, and the “gathering together” was expected to come after this, then they should have been excited!  They should have been encouraged that the “gathering together” was almost here!  Were they?  No!  The exact opposite.  They completely freaked out!  They were worried they had missed the catching up event that we call the “rapture”.   Why?  Because they thought they had been LEFT BEHIND.  Missed the gathering.  They knew that if the Day of the Lord had started, they had missed the boat.  They knew that the gathering together to Christ would come BEFORE the Day of the Lord.

Paul’s Previous Teachings to the Thessalonians:

How do we know that the Thessalonians knew the “gathering together” was to occur before the Day of the Lord?  Let’s look at how Paul replied – “don’t you remember when I was still with you I told you these things?”  Paul states that he previously had taught them about this.  We don’t have record of what Paul told them verbally when he was there, but we DO have record of what Paul had previously taught them by letter. This included the following teachings:

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 us from the wrath to come. (1 Thessalonians 1:9-10 ESV)

But we do not want you to be uninformed, brothers, about those who are asleep, that you may not grieve as others do who have no hope.  For since we believe that Jesus died and rose again, even so, through Jesus, God will bring with him those who have fallen asleep.  For this we declare to you by a word from the Lord, that we who are alive, who are left until the coming of the Lord, will not precede those who have fallen asleep. For the Lord himself will descend from heaven with a cry of command, with the voice of an archangel, and with the sound of the trumpet of God. And the dead in Christ will rise first.  Then we who are alive, who are left, will be caught up together with them in the clouds to meet the Lord in the air, and so we will always be with the Lord. Therefore encourage one another with these words.  (1 Thessalonians 4:13-18 ESV)

Now concerning the times and the seasons, brothers, you have no need to have anything written to you.  For you yourselves are fully aware that the day of the Lord will come like a thief in the night.  While people are saying, “There is peace and security,” then sudden destruction will come upon them as labor pains come upon a pregnant woman, and they will not escape.  But you are not in darkness, brothers, for that day to surprise you like a thief.  For you are all children of light, children of the day. We are not of the night or of the darkness.  So then let us not sleep, as others do, but let us keep awake and be sober.  For those who sleep, sleep at night, and those who get drunk, are drunk at night.  But since we belong to the day, let us be sober, having put on the breastplate of faith and love, and for a helmet the hope of salvation.  For God has not destined us for wrath, but to obtain salvation through our Lord Jesus Christ,  who died for us so that whether we are awake or asleep we might live with him.  Therefore encourage one another and build one another up, just as you are doing. (1 Thessalonians 5:1-11 ESV)

So the Thessalonians had been taught:

  • We are to wait for God’s Son from heaven.
  • Jesus will deliver us from the wrath to come.  There will be future wrath, and we will be delivered from it.
  • When God’s Son from heaven comes, He will bring with Him the souls of those who have died in Him.  Then, with a cry of command, the voice of an angel and the trumpet of God, the bodies of the dead in Christ will rise first. Then we who are alive and left will be caught up together with the dead in Christ, we will all meet the Lord in the air (not on earth), and so we will always be with the Lord.  This is to be an encouragement.
  • The Day of the Lord will come like a thief in the night.  While people are completely unaware, sudden destruction will come upon them, and they will not escape.  But you are not in darkness for that day to surprise you like a thief.  We are not of the night.  Paul creates a marked distinction between PEOPLE/THEY and YOU/WE.  Unbelievers will be caught unawares like a thief in the night.  Believers, the Thessalonians, will NOT be caught unaware.
  • THEY (unbelievers) will not escape.  WE (believers) will escape (Luke 21:36).  What do we escape from?  The sudden destruction of the Day of the Lord.
  • The Thessalonians have the hope of salvation.  God has not destined us for wrath, but to obtain salvation through Jesus Christ.

The Thessalonians knew that in the future there would be a time of wrath and sudden destruction in the Day of the Lord.  They also knew that they could expect to escape from that wrath, via being caught up together with the dead in Christ and taken to be with the Lord.

What Day Are We Talking About?

Now concerning the coming of our Lord Jesus Christ and our being gathered together to him, we ask you, brothers, not to be quickly shaken in mind or alarmed, either by a spirit or a spoken word, or a letter seeming to be from us, to the effect that the day of the Lord has come.  Let no one deceive you in any way. For that day [the day of the Lord] will not come, unless…..

Grammatically, the “day that will not come unless…” must refer back to a day which was previously spoken of.  In the sentence prior, we have an exact matching phrase about a day that is going to come – “the day of the Lord”.

“The coming of our Lord Jesus Christ and our being gathered together to him” is an EVENT, not a DAY.  It occurs in “the twinkling of an eye” (1 Cor 15:52), not over a span of time.  Believers will be whisked away to heaven and face the Judgment Seat of Christ. Further studies on this lightning-quick event are found here:

The Day of the Lord, on the other hand, is a span of time, spoken of frequently in scripture.  To confirm, we look in Scripture and find dozens of references to the Day of the Lord as being “THAT DAY” (Passages HERE).  Further studies on the Day of the Lord are here:

The Day that will not come until the [apostasia] and man of lawlessness being revealed is none other than the Day of the Lord.  This is completely separate from the gathering and catching up event commonly known as “the rapture”.

For believers, we are to pray to hasten the Day of the Lord, as it signals our imminent gathering together to be with Christ:

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 ESV

And let us consider how we may spur one another on toward love and good deeds, not giving up meeting together, as some are in the habit of doing, but encouraging one another—and all the more as you see the Day approaching.  Hebrews 10:24-25 ESV

The approach of the Day of the Lord is exciting for us – we wait for it, anticipate it, watch for it, hasten it, encourage each other as we see it approach.  It means that Jesus is near, at the very gates!  However, the Day of the Lord will be dreadful and terrible for those who “refused to love the truth and so be saved”.  They will enter the time of greatest catastrophe known to humanity.


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.

Studying the Prophetic Keys in 2 Thessalonians 2:

  1. Part 2 – The Restrainer and the Restrained in 2 Thessalonians 2
  2. Part 1 – The Apostasia [Departure/Falling Away] and the Revealing of the Lawless One
  3. Part 4 – The Wicked Deception – “Aliens”?

Part 1 – Tribulation, Great Tribulation, and Wrath

Part 2 – What is the Tribulation?

Part 3 – Spared From Wrath – the 7 Year Key

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, some of which I think might need to be adjusted slightly.  I encourage you to consider my thoughts as you also examine the scriptures to see if these things are so!

Day of the Lord

Part 3 – Spared From Wrath, the 7 Year Key

We are studying the wrath that we, as believers, are promised to be spared from.  I mentioned in parts one and two of our study that the term “Tribulation” or “7-Year Tribulation” is a very misleading name.  You can read that here:  Tribulation, Great Tribulation, and Wrath – Part 1and here: What is the Tribulation? Part 2. 

In those posts, we found out that church age believers are only specifically promised to be spared from God’s wrath.  Thus, we must define when God’s wrath begins if we want to know when our anticipated escape plan will come into effect.

“But watch yourselves lest your hearts be weighed down with dissipation and drunkenness and cares of this life, and that day come upon you suddenly like a trap.  For it will come upon all who dwell on the face of the whole earth.  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 21:34-36 ESV

When Does God’s Wrath Begin?

The body of Christ is promised to be spared from God’s wrath.  God has righteous wrath, which will be poured upon the earth in the Day of the Lord:

But on that day, the day that Gog shall come against the land of Israel, declares the Lord Godmy wrath will be roused in my anger.  For in my jealousy and in my blazing wrath I declare, On that day there shall be a great earthquake in the land of Israel.  (Ezekiel 38:18 ESV)

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

For God has not destined us for wrath, but to obtain salvation through our Lord Jesus Christ, who died for us so that whether we are awake or asleep we might live with him.  1 Thessalonians 5:9-10 ESV

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 us from the wrath to come. (1 Thessalonians 1:9-10 ESV)

In Ezekiel 38:18 we learn that God’s wrath is roused when Gog comes against the land of Israel.  So we need to study the war of Gog/Magog described in Ezekiel chapters 38-39, and watch for this war to line up.  When we see it approaching, we should look up for our redemption draws nigh!

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

More on the Gog/Magog war can be found here:

The Burning Weapons Key

Believers are not specifically promised to be spared from the 70th Week of Daniel or the Greatest Tribulation.  However, we saw that believers are promised to be spared from God’s wrath, which is encompassed in the Day of the Lord.  So, what we need to do is find out how the Day of the Lord and the 70th Week of Daniel fit together on a timeline.  In part two of this series, we discussed how the Day of the Lord overlays with the 70th Week of Daniel.  We thus found out that church age believers will be spared from the 70th Week of Daniel (“The Tribulation”) AS WELL AS the Day of the Lord.

Now let’s see if we can figure out where the Gog Magog war of Ezekiel 38-39 fits into place.

The connecting key we are looking for is found in Ezekiel Chapter 39:

Behold, it is coming and it will be brought about, declares the Lord God. That is the day of which I have spoken. “Then those who dwell in the cities of Israel will go out and make fires of the weapons and burn them, shields and bucklers, bow and arrows, clubs and spears; and they will make fires of them for seven years,  so that they will not need to take wood out of the field or cut down any out of the forests, for they will make their fires of the weapons. They will seize the spoil of those who despoiled them, and plunder those who plundered them, declares the Lord God.  On that day I will give to Gog a place for burial in Israel, the Valley of the Travelers, east of the sea. It will block the travelers, for there Gog and all his multitude will be buried. It will be called the Valley of Hamon-gog. For seven months the house of Israel will be burying them, in order to cleanse the land.  All the people of the land will bury them, and it will bring them renown on the day that I show my glory, declares the Lord God. Ezekiel 39:8-13 ESV

At the conclusion of the war of Gog/Magog, the entire house of Israel will bury their bodies for a 7 month period.  Israel will additionally burn the weapons from this war for a period of seven years.  Whether they begin burning the weapons WHILE they are still burying bodies is unknown.  Whether there is a supply of weapons that could be burned LONGER than 7 years is also unknown.  What we are told is that they will burn the weapons for a period of 7 years, at which point the weapons burning will stop.

This 7 years is not defined by months or days, so it could be a little more or a little less than 7 years in theory.  In Hebrew culture at that time (cultural and historical context), portions of time were rounded up.  For example, Jesus’ “three days and three nights in the grave” were portions of days and nights, but rounded up.  What we need to focus on is what we have been given – “7 years”.

There are two possible scenarios here.  One, is that the weapons burning ends at the abomination of desolation, when the believing remnant of Israel flees to the wilderness as per Jesus’ instructions in Matthew 24.  Remember this involves 1/3 or less of the Hebrews (per Zechariah 13:8).  2/3 or more will remain and not flee, so the other scenario is that the unbelieving Hebrews (who will likely follow the antichrist) continue burning the weapons until the Second Coming of Christ.  I will try to illustrate this from minimum time to maximum time:

burning of weapons.JPG

No Burning of Weapons in the Millennial Kingdom

Wait a minute, you say.  Why does the weapons burning have to end at the Second Coming of Christ?  A valid question.  Yes, I am making the assumption that weapons burning does not continue into the Millennial Kingdom.  This is based on the following Scriptures:

The seventh angel poured out his bowl into the air, and a loud voice came out of the temple, from the throne, saying, “It is done!”  And there were flashes of lightning, rumblings, peals of thunder, and a great earthquake such as there had never been since man was on the earth, so great was that earthquake. The great city was split into three parts, and the cities of the nations fell, and God remembered Babylon the great, to make her drain the cup of the wine of the fury of his wrath.  And every island fled away, and no mountains were to be found. (Revelation 16:17-20 ESV)

 The whole land shall be turned into a plain from Geba to Rimmon south of Jerusalem. But Jerusalem shall remain aloft on its site from the Gate of Benjamin to the place of the former gate, to the Corner Gate, and from the Tower of Hananel to the king’s winepresses.  And it shall be inhabited, for there shall never again be a decree of utter destruction. Jerusalem shall dwell in security.  (Zechariah 14:10-11 ESV)

It shall come to pass in the latter days that the mountain of the house of the Lord
shall be established as the highest of the mountains, and shall be lifted up above the hills; and all the nations shall flow to it, and many peoples shall come, and say: “Come, let us go up to the mountain of the Lord, to the house of the God of Jacob, that he may teach us his ways and that we may walk in his paths.”  For out of Zion shall go forth the law, and the word of the Lord from Jerusalem.  He shall judge between the nations, and shall decide disputes for many peoples; and they shall beat their swords into plowshares, and their spears into pruning hooksnation shall not lift up sword against nation, neither shall they learn war anymore.  (Isaiah 2:2-4 ESV)

The earthquake at Jesus’ second coming is so severe that ALL the cities in the world fall, EVERY island flees, NO mountains remain.  Israel is turned into a plain, and the site of Jerusalem (which has been split into 3 parts) is raised up.  Weapons will be turned into plowshares and pruning hooks (agricultural tools), not burned as per Isaiah 2.  It doesn’t sound like weapons, whatever they are, will stick around and be burned for a little while in the 1000-year Kingdom (and if they did, why would it only be for a short time period?).  God is refashioning the earth for Jesus’ Millennial rule, and I’m sure He will figure out how to provide for fuel in His Kingdom if it is needed.

Overlaying the Day of the Lord and the 70th Week of Daniel

Since the Gog/Magog war is when God rises in wrath, it begins the Day of the Lord.  God mentions repeatedly through the prophet Ezekiel that the day He rises is “That Day” of which He has spoken hundreds of times (the Day of the Lord).

Behold, it is coming and it will be brought about, declares the Lord GodThat is the day of which I have spoken. Ezekiel 39:8 ESV

Since we have been given a timeline of 7 years weapons burning, there must be at least ~ 7 years between the beginning of the Day of the Lord (Gog/Magog war) and the end of the Day of the Lord (Second Coming of Christ).  Remember that the Second Coming of Christ ends The Day of the Lord, The 70th Week of Daniel, and the period of Greatest Tribulation.

While the Day of the Lord and Daniel’s 70th week are thus overlapping, the Day of the Lord could be LONGER or SLIGHTLY SHORTER than the 70th week.  We have already discussed that the 7 years of burning could be an approximation, since it is nowhere also defined by months or days.  Daniel’s 70th week, on the other hand, is specifically split into two halves of “42 months” or “1260 days” or “times, time, and half a time”.  While the Day of the Lord could possibly be up to approximately 11 years in length, I am placing my bets that it happens to be about 7 years.  The reason for this is that we need Elijah (2 Witnesses) to appear and the antichrist to be revealed in some fashion before it can begin, but Ezekiel 38-39 also seems to be connected to the rapture of the church.

The rapture of the church seems to occur near the conclusion of the Ezekiel 38-39 war.  The process of God rising in wrath and defending Israel (and possibly the resurrection/rapture itself) would seem to cause the earthquakes and atmospheric disturbances that darken the sun and turn the moon blood red.  As the war concludes, the 2 Witnesses (including “Elijah”) MUST appear and the antichrist MUST somehow be revealed.  Then the Day of the Lord will begin.

Conclusion

So here is the important point.

The Day of the Lord is at least ~ 7 years long based on the 7 years of weapons burning AFTER God rises in wrath to save Israel from certain destruction.  Thus, the Day of the Lord encompasses the 70th Week of Daniel.

Because we are promised to be spared from the wrath of God, we will ALSO be spared from the entire 70th week of Daniel (“The Tribulation”).  We will ALSO be spared from the time of “Greatest Tribulation”, which comes in the last half of Daniel’s 70th Week.  We will ALSO be spared from “Satan’s Wrath”, because satan’s wrath occurs during the 70th Week and for sure during the Greatest Tribulation.

Thus, although church age believers are not specifically promised to be spared from Daniel’s 70th week or the “7 Year Tribulation” or the “Greatest Tribulation”, we will be, because God’s wrath encompasses these same time periods.


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.

The Rapture of the Church – Our Blessed Hope

Part 1 – Tribulation, Great Tribulation, and Wrath

What is the Tribulation? Part 2

The Day of the Lord

The Woman Flees To A Place Prepared

The Mount of Olives – Final Escape Route

Blood Moon VERSUS Dark Moon

The Noisy, Not-So-Secret Rapture of 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!

rapture-e1508355136944

 

What is “The Tribulation”? Part 2

We are studying the wrath that we, as believers, are promised to be spared from.  I mentioned in part one of our study on Tribulation, Great Tribulation, and Wrath that the term “Tribulation” or “7-Year Tribulation” is a very misleading name.  You can read that here:  Part 1 – Tribulation, Great Tribulation, and Wrath

There actually is no such thing in Scripture as “The Tribulation”; generally people are referring to the “70th Week of Daniel” when they mention it.  There is certainly an upcoming time of wrath and judgment that I believe lasts 7 years.  What is generally referred to as the “Tribulation” actually encompasses several broad periods of time – the 70th Week of Daniel and the Day of the Lord.  These have distinct purposes, so let’s briefly examine and compare them!

The 70th Week of Daniel

The 70th Week of Daniel is 1260+1260 days long (7 360-day years).  This is why the “Tribulation” is called the “7-year Tribulation”.  However, nowhere is it mentioned that this “week of years” will be filled with “tribulation” specifically.  What Daniel states is that:

…to the end there shall be war. Desolations are decreed.  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 9:26b-27 ESV)

The 70th week of Daniel begins at the confirming of a covenant with Israel.  This covenant likely results in the rebuilding of the Third Temple and the re-institution of an Old-Testament style sacrificial system.  We know this Temple and sacrifices are in place by the middle of the “week”, because at this midpoint the daily sacrifices are caused to cease.  It is for the last half of the week, or 3.5 years, that the antichrist will set up the “abominations” and will make “desolate”.

The first half of this “week”, 1260 days, will likely be relatively peaceful – at least for Israel.  There is no unusual “tribulation” mentioned.  Depending how satan’s deception of 2 Thessalonians 2 unfolds, the antichrist will be rising to power during this time and may proclaim himself to be the Jewish “messiah”.  He will be conquering Israel’s enemies, so there may be “tribulation” against other religions, like Islam.

While there may not be specified “tribulation” during this first half of Daniel’s 70th week, remember that “desolations are decreed” until the end, as is war.  So it’s not all going to be cherries and cupcakes.

It is the latter 3.5 years that the time of “greatest tribulation” occurs (Matthew 24).  Thus, the “Great Tribulation” coincides with the last half of the 70th Week of Daniel.

The purpose of the 70th Week of Daniel is for national and ethnic Israel, particularly Jerusalem, and involves:

  • Spiritual Testing, purification, and refinement of Israel and the holy city of Jerusalem
  • Preparation to receive her King and inaugurate His kingdom rule
  • Fulfilling all remaining prophecies in the Bible
  • Ending with God’s presence filling the earthly (Millennial) Temple

So we have found out that the 70th week of Daniel likely has some regular tribulation for half of it, just as the entire church age is filled with “tribulation”.  Tribulation is part of life in this fallen world, and opposing the world and aligning with Christ brings additional tribulation.  We know that war and desolations are decreed until the very end, so these are to be expected to continue.  However, starting halfway through the week, is the Great Tribulation.  Satan’s wrath can definitely be seen in the Great Tribulation part, even if it can’t be pinpointed to the first half.  There is no mention of God’s wrath in the 70th week.  So, no current believers are specifically promised to be spared from the 70th Week of Daniel.

Daniel’s 70th week, and the Great Tribulation, ends when the antichrist’s rule ends, which is through the Second Coming of Jesus Christ.

Further information on Daniel’s 70th week and what it includes can be found here:

The Day of the Lord

The Day of the Lord is an intense period of God’s intervention and judgment (wrath) on earth.  God will rise up to protect Israel from certain destruction in order that all prophecy can be fulfilled; this begins the Day of the Lord.

The Day of the Lord will start suddenly, unexpectedly, and catastrophically.  It is described as coming upon the earth “like a trap”, “as labor pains”, and “as a thief in the night”.  The Day of the Lord starts with an earthquake that becomes global in scope, like nothing the earth has ever experienced before. The beginning of the Day of the Lord has strong connections with the events of Seal 6, the beginning of birth pangs (Olivet Discourse), and the Gog Magog war, and is marked by:

  • God rises in judgment and wrath (Mt 24, Rev6, Ez38-39)
  • The “beginning” of birth pangs (Mt24, Mk13, Lk21)
  • Sudden, unexpected destruction (Mt 24, Rev6, Ez38-39)
  • Great war (Mt 24, Rev6, Ez38-39)
  • Global earthquake (Mt 24, Rev6, Ez38-39)
  • Famine (Mt 24, Rev6)
  • Pestilence (Mt 24, Rev6, Ez38-39)
  • Dark sun  (Rev6)
  • Blood red moon (Rev6)
  • Men HIDE in fear (Rev6)

The Day of the Lord cannot come until all the following has occurred:

  • The gathering of believers unto Christ (the rapture) – 2 Thess 2:3
  • The revealing of the antichrist – 2 Thess 2:3-4
  • Wonders in the heavens and on the earth, blood and fire and columns of smoke, darkened sun and blood red moon – Joel 2:30-31
  • Elijah will appear – Malachi 4:5

Ezekiel chapter 38-39 details a future war of “Gog and Magog”, in which God will rise up in wrath at the time of His choosing.  God arranges the war at an appointed time by putting thought’s in “Gog’s” head, and “putting hooks into [his] jaws”.  God then “drives” and “leads” him to fulfill his purposes.

During the Day of the Lord:

  • The earth, and in particular Jerusalem, will be cleansed of its bloodguilt (answering the prayers of the Seal 5 martyrs)
  • Nations will be judged by how they treated Israel
  • Wickedness will be purged from the earth
  • Those who rejected God’s salvation plan will be punished
  • The earth will be prepared physically and spiritually to receive her true King (Jesus)
  • Israel will be reconciled to God (the believing remnant)
  • Israel will be fully restored and elevated as God’s holy nation

The entire Day of the Lord is marked by God’s wrath, which will come off and on in a series of 14 specific judgments detailed in the 7 Trumpets and the 7 Bowls.  This wrath is not defined as “tribulation”, although there will certainly be suffering because of it.  It could certainly be called anguish, tribulation, and sorrows, but it is not specifically referred to as such in scripture.

Believers are promised to be spared from God’s wrath, and thus the entire Day of the Lord.

Like a pregnant woman who writhes and cries out in her pangs when she is near to giving birth, so were we because of you, O Lord; we were pregnant, we writhed, but we have given birth to wind. We have accomplished no deliverance in the earth, and the inhabitants of the world have not fallen. Your dead shall live; their bodies shall rise. You who dwell in the dust, awake and sing for joy! For your dew is a dew of light, and the earth will give birth to the dead.  Come, my people, enter your chambers, and shut your doors behind you; hide yourselves for a little while until the fury has passed by. For behold, the Lord is coming out from his place to punish the inhabitants of the earth for their iniquity, and the earth will disclose the blood shed on it, and will no more cover its slain.   (Isaiah 26:17-21 ESV)

This passage in Isaiah 26 is particularly interesting in that it connects the dead rising (resurrection), God’s people entering their chambers to hide (rapture), and God coming out of His silence to punish the earth (beginning of wrath).

More on the Day of the Lord can specifically be found in these posts:

Overlapping Daniel’s 70th Week with the Day of the Lord

It appears that Daniel’s 70th week and the Day of the Lord will overlap.  Thus, God’s wrath will be overlaid on top of the 7 year time period that pertains to Daniel’s people (Hebrews), his holy city (Jerusalem), and nation (Israel).  The Second Coming of Jesus Christ ends the wrath of the Day of the Lord, just as it ends the 70th week of Daniel and the time of Greatest Tribulation.  The earth will have been prepared physically and spiritually for Jesus to usher in His Millennial Kingdom.  Ultimately, both Daniel’s 70th Week and the Day of the Lord will bring about Israel’s reconciliation with God and her elevation as God’s holy nation.

Because God’s wrath begins either at or before the 70th Week of Daniel (“The Tribulation”), believers will be spared from “The Entire Tribulation”.

Part 3 – Spared From Wrath – the 7 Year Key


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.

The Rapture of the Church – Our Blessed Hope

Part 1 – Tribulation, Great Tribulation, and Wrath

Part 3 – Spared From Wrath – the 7 Year Key

The Day of the Lord

The Woman Flees To A Place Prepared

The Mount of Olives – Final Escape Route

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!

 

BlueMapWorldmap1s.jpg

Martyrs Under the Altar, Martyrs Beside the Crystal Sea

I find that without a proper definition of who all the players in the book of Revelation are, it can get very confusing to sort out who’s who and who goes where.  I hope to bring some clarity to this here, regarding the two different groups of martyrs that we see in the book of Revelation.  We know there are two different groups, because they have two different locations and say two different things.  I have also discussed this elsewhere in The Martyrs Under the Altar – Seal 5.

Church Age Martyrs

 When he opened the fifth seal, I saw under the altar the souls of those who had been slain for the word of God and for the witness they had borne. They cried out with a loud voice, “O Sovereign Lord, holy and true, how long before you will judge and avenge our blood on those who dwell on the earth?”  Then they were each given a white robe and told to rest a little longer, until the number of their fellow servants and their brothers should be complete, who were to be killed as they themselves had been.  Revelation 6:9-11 ESV

When Seal 5 is opened, we see a group of souls under the heavenly altar.  This is a very specific group of people – they have been martyred for the witness they had given for the word of God.  Note that it doesn’t say that it was specifically for their faith in Jesus, so this group could include Old Testament martyrs as well.  They are located under the altar in the throne room of heaven, which is a very special and holy place.  These martyrs have  not withheld their very lives in testimony to God, and are very precious indeed. They are souls, because their bodily resurrection has not taken place yet.

This group of martyrs is requesting of the Lord to judge the earth and avenge their deaths.  Note that these saints have been waiting a long time for vengeance. They would not be asking “how long until you avenge us”, if God was already in the process of avenging them through the judgments of the tribulation period!   If they had only been waiting a few months or years, they would be very impatient indeed.  This is an established group of souls, not one that is just arriving.  This group cannot be the tribulation saints, as is so commonly taught.

When seal 5 is opened, the martyrs receive their white robes and are told to “rest a little longer”.  Douglas Berner, in his book Earthquake Resurrection, provides the only logical explanation for the white robes these saints are given.  We never see souls wearing robes – spirits don’t need clothes.  Humans get their white robes when they get their resurrection bodies.

Seal 5 is a picture of the dead in Christ rising and being transformed into robed resurrection bodies, followed immediately by Seal 6 where the ones still alive and remaining are transformed. This process is described in Isaiah 26:

Your dead shall live; their bodies shall rise.
    You who dwell in the dust, awake and sing for joy!
For your dew is a dew of light,
    and the earth will give birth to the dead.

 Come, my people, enter your chambers,
    and shut your doors behind you;
hide yourselves for a little while
    until the fury has passed by.
 For behold, the Lord is coming out from his place
    to punish the inhabitants of the earth for their iniquity,
and the earth will disclose the blood shed on it,
    and will no more cover its slain.

Isaiah 26:19-21 ESV

The body of Christ, both dead and alive, will enter our rest in heaven as per Isaiah 26.  Meanwhile on earth, the number of martyrs will continue accumulating until their fullness is complete (Rev 6:11).  The souls of these martyrs accumulate on the sea of glass in heaven (Rev 15:2).

Tribulation Martyrs

The first half of the “7-year tribulation” will be very difficult due to the effects of the seals and trumpet judgments.  Many will come to Christ in this time through the witness of the 2 Witnesses, the 144,000, and the through the legacy of those who were true believers.   The first 3.5 years will not be a time of intense religious persecution.

The period of greatest persecution of the tribulation saints comes after the midpoint of Daniel’s 70th week.  This is when the antichrist will be given worldwide rule, and the saints are delivered into his hand.  However, most pretribulation models place the opening of seal 5 in the first half of the tribulation.  I hope you can see the difficulty with this view.

The “tribulation” martyrs appear as a separate group later on in the chronology of Revelation, standing on the sea of glass in Revelation 15:

Then I saw another sign in heaven, great and amazing, seven angels with seven plagues, which are the last, for with them the wrath of God is finished. And I saw what appeared to be a sea of glass mingled with fire—and also those who had conquered the beast and its image and the number of its name, standing beside the sea of glass with harps of God in their hands.  And they sing the song of Moses, the servant of God, and the song of the Lamb, saying,

“Great and amazing are your deeds,
    O Lord God the Almighty!
Just and true are your ways,
    O King of the nations!
 Who will not fear, O Lord,
    and glorify your name?
For you alone are holy.
    All nations will come
    and worship you,
for your righteous acts have been revealed.”

(Revelation 15:1-4 ESV)

Also I saw the souls of those who had been beheaded for the testimony of Jesus and for the word of God, and those who had not worshiped the beast or its image and had not received its mark on their foreheads or their hands. (Revelation 20:4  ESV)

After the group described in seal 5 receives their white robes (resurrection and eternal bodies), there will begin accumulating the “number of their fellow servants and their brothers [until it] should be complete, who were to be killed as they themselves had been.”  The souls of these martyrs accumulate beside the sea of glass before God.  They don’t ask “how long before you avenge us?”, because they know that vengeance is being played out.  Indeed, it is about to be completed.  At the time of the bowl judgments, the allotted number of martyrs will be complete, and God will finish His vengeance.

We have one more clue here that these are the tribulation martyrs, and that is that they sing the song of Moses and the song of the Lamb.  Prior to Jesus’ first coming, all humanity knew was the “song of Moses”.  People were able to approach God through the Law.  After Jesus’ death on the cross and resurrection, humanity had a new song – the “song of the Lamb”.  We were now able to approach God through Grace.  At the rapture, the age of Grace will end and it seems that people will need to approach God through Grace demonstrated by Law.  I discuss more about that here: Salvation During the “Tribulation”.


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.

Seals, Sealing, and the Ministry of the Holy Spirit

The Four Horsemen – Seals 1-4

The Blood Moon – Seal 6

Heavenly Silence – Seal 7

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, some of which I think might need to be adjusted slightly.  I encourage you to consider my thoughts as you also examine the scriptures to see if these things are so!

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Day Counts – Studying 1260, 1290, 1335, and 2300 Days

The books of Daniel and Revelation 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”.

The Prophetic Calendar

The length of a year is currently 365.242190 days.  The length of a year is decreasing by approximately 0.000006 every century. (wikipedia)  The Bible, however, uses a year length of 360 days.  I would assume God uses 360 day years for a reason, not just because the numbers round nice.  I believe God created the world with 360-day years, as seen in the Flood account.

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.

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 the end times, the year length also appears to be 360 days.

…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)

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

In Daniel 9, we are introduced to weeks: 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. These weeks also feature 360-day-years.

 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…  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 9:24-,7 ESV

1 Week = 7 years

1/2 Week = 3.5 years = 1260 days = 42 months = time, times, and half a time

prophetic day counts

I believe that the earth will be restored to 360-day years at the time of the rapture, for the 7 years of tribulation.  I have written more about God’s prophetic time clock in these posts:

  1. God’s Prophetic Timeline – 7000 Years of Humanity
  2. What Year Is It Really?  (Is It 5991?)
  3. Daniel’s 70 Weeks
  4. Ezekiel’s 430 Days of Laying

With this understanding, let’s examine the day counts given in Revelation and Daniel.

One Week of Years

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.  Daniel 9:27 ESV

The counting of days in the latter times begins with Daniel chapter 9.  When a covenant is confirmed with Israel, this will begin Daniel’s 70th Week, which is a 7 year period (2520 days).  Will this covenant be confirmed with Israel by men, or by God?  I personally believe it is the latter, discussed here: The Covenant With Israel – Who Confirms It?

At some point before or during the first half of the “week”, sacrifice and offering will begin.  We know this, because it will be caused to cease for the last half of the “week”.

1260

The 70th Week of Daniel, commonly called “The Tribulation”, is divided into two halves of 1260 days each.  Within this time frame, God grants authority first to His two witnesses, then to the beast (antichrist).  The two witnesses will preach to Israel and many will choose to follow Jesus.  These will flee to the wilderness to be supernaturally protected during the time of beast-rule.

First 1260 days:

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 ESV

Second 1260 days:

…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

But the woman was given the two wings of the great eagle 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

“How long shall it be till the end of these wonders?” 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 12:6-7 ESV

The first 1260 days involves the antichrist’s rise to power; the second 1260 days involves the antichrist’s worldwide rule (the time of “greatest tribulation, as spoken of by the prophet Daniel”).

tribulation timeline.JPG

1290

Daniel chapter 12 gives us a new day count of 1290 days:

And from the time that the regular burnt offering is taken away and the abomination that makes desolate is set up, there shall be 1,290 days.  Daniel 12:11 ESV

The start point of the 1290 days is when the regular burnt offering is taken away and the abomination of desolation is set up.  It covers the second half of Daniel’s 70th week.  The question then is, there shall be 1,290 days until what???

Some speculate that because there is an additional 30 days here over the 1260 day count, that there must be a “leap year” (extra month – Adar II) during the time of Greatest Tribulation.  This would actually lengthen the antichrist’s rule.  If anything, the time of Greatest Tribulation will be “cut short” for the sake of the elect (Matthew 24).  In Daniel 12:6, the angel tells Daniel that it will take “time, times, and half a time” to fulfill the time of trouble, which is the time of greatest tribulation.  We have already seen that time, times, and half a time is equivalent to 1260 days.  Thus, there can be no additional days added to the Greatest Tribulation.

This extra 30 day period comes AFTER the Greatest Tribulation.  It is likely the timeframe in which the judgments of the tribulation survivors will take place.  These judgments are detailed in the parables of the Sheep and Goats and the Wheat and Tares in the gospels.  They are also detailed in Daniel Chapter 7.

1335

Daniel chapter 12 also gives us a day count of 1335 days:

Blessed is he who waits and arrives at the 1,335 days.  Daniel 12:12 ESV

From 1290 to 1335 we have an additional count of 45 days.  This timeframe is likely used to cleanse the Temple and make preparations for the Millennial Kingdom to begin.  Those who survive through the judgments and are allowed to enter the Millennial Kingdom will be truly blessed!

Discussion of 1 Week, 1260, 1290, 1335 Days

When we discuss how to apply the day counts, our interpretation comes into play.  Based on the Red Moon Rapture end times model, I understand that Seals 1-7 are opened all at once at the time of the rapture of the Church (Day Zero).  I believe that Seal 6 describes an event so severe that the Earth will be knocked back into a 360-day-year orbit.  Whether that includes pole shifts, EMP events, nuclear events, a mysterious Planet X, or all of the above, I cannot say.

What I can say, is that the conclusion of Seal 7 seems to initiate the wrath known as the “Day of the Lord”.  In Seal 6, the left-behind all seem to recognize that it is imminent, and in Seal 7 it arrives after a “silence in heaven for about half an hour”.  We will discuss this half an hour of silence shortly.

In Revelation 8 we see a heavenly enactment of the Yom Kippur ceremony:

Another angel, who had a golden censer, came and stood at the altar. He was given much incense to offer, with the prayers of all God’s people,on the golden altar in front of the throne. The smoke of the incense, together with the prayers of God’s people, went up before God from the angel’s hand. Then the angel took the censer, filled it with fire from the altar, and hurled it on the earth; and there came peals of thunder,rumblings, flashes of lightning and an earthquake.

Yom Kippur, or the Day of Atonement, would seem to mark the beginning of the wrath of God in the Day of the Lord. Beginning and End writes:

This is clearly a picture of the Day of Atonement – and “another Angel” is none other than Jesus Christ – the only One worthy of standing before the Heavenly altar in the true Most Holy Place. As detailed in our prior installment in the Revelation series, at this point in the prophetic timeline, the Church has been raptured to Heaven at the opening of the 6th Seal. On earth, the 144,000 – select Jewish men who will witness the Gospel during the Day of The Lord, have been chosen and sealed with supernatural protection by God. The seven angels who sound the trumpets of judgment during the Day of The Lord were held back for these events and one final intercession by Christ before they unleash more of God’s wrath.

The Endtimes Censer Will Be For Protection of Those on Earth

Jesus will bring up the prayers of the saints before the throne to make intercession for those who are no doubt loved ones of the just-raptured church. These people may be unsaved, but prayers on their behalf could potentially provide relief and a path to salvation during the Great Tribulation. A foreshadow of this event occurred in Numbers 16. Korah, a cousin of Moses, challenged Moses and Aaron’s selection by God as the earthly leaders of the twelve tribes of Israel. 

Although almost 15,000 died from the plague, millions escaped death by Aaron offering the incense of atonement and standing “between the dead and the living.” Note that the entire nation revolted but the petition made by Aaron and Moses still saved many from harm.  Jesus Christ was the ultimate fulfillment on this through His death on the cross which provides forgiveness for all spiritually dead people who believe upon on Him and receive eternal life. But in Revelation 8, the incense is offered as a final plea for those unbelievers on Earth before the judgment trumpets.

After Christ offers the incense with the prayers of the saints, the censer is filled with Divine fire and that fire is cast to Earth.

Source: http://beginningandend.com/revelation-8-jesus-christ-initiates-the-wrath-of-god/

Seven years later, Yom Kippur would seem to mark the end of the wrath of God in the Second Coming of Christ.  If we consider that the Earth will now be in 360-day-year orbit, we don’t have to do any mental gymnastics with mathematics, day counts, or metonic cycles.

Using this model, from wrath beginning on Yom Kippur to wrath ending on Yom Kippur will simply be 7 years exactly – 1260+1260=2520 days – no matter what year it starts and ends.

After the Second Coming of Christ, it will take approximately 30 days to judge the living and either send them to hell or welcome them into the Millennial Kingdom.  This is the meaning of the 1290 days.  No leap year correction needed.

It will take an additional 45 days to cleanse the temple in preparation for inaugurating the Millennial Kingdom.  This would seem to mark when the regular burnt offering would be able to be reinstated, as we know it will be during the Millennial Kingdom from Ezekiel chapters 40-48.  This is the meaning of the 1335 days.  There are 75 days between 1260 and 1335.  There are 75 days between Yom Kippur and Chanukah in any given year.  The 1335 day count would seem to re-enact the Festival of Chanukah.

The Festival of Chanukah

As I mentioned, I believe that the 1335 day count points to Chanukah (Hanukkah, the festival of lights).  No matter what year, there are always 75 days between Yom Kippur (10 Tishrei) and Chanukah (25 Kislev).  This festival marks the rededication of the Second Temple in Jerusalem after the revolt of the Maccabees.  Traditional Torah readings connect to the dedication of the Tabernacle in the wilderness.

There is some suggestion that this festival initially started as a delayed celebration of Sukkot (Tabernacles).  This would also make sense prophetically, since at the time of the Second Coming there will be much judgment and cleanup required.  Remember that there will have been an “abomination of desolation” in the Temple that must be destroyed and cleansed.

Hebrew4Christians writes about this festival:

The Hebrew word chanukah means “dedication” and marks an eight day winter celebration (from Kislev 25 – Tevet 3) that commemorates the rededication of the Second Temple after a small group of Jewish believers defeated the forces of assimilation at work in their world.  As such, Chanukah represents the victory of faith over the ways of speculative reason, and demonstrates the power of the miracle in the face of mere humanism.

Source: http://www.hebrew4christians.com/Holidays/Winter_Holidays/Chanukah/chanukah.html

While not a Feast of God, we do know that Jesus celebrated Chanukah while He was on earth and that it is considered a very important Jewish holiday.

hanukkah-yeshua.jpg

Perhaps the 1335 day count will mark the fulfillment of the final piece of Daniel’s 70 weeks – “to anoint the most holy” (Daniel 9:24).  This anointing is actually an interesting study in and of itself!

2300

The 2300 day count is perhaps the most difficult one to discern.  I will present my interpretation here!

Out of one of them came a little horn, which grew exceedingly great toward the south, toward the east, and toward the glorious land.  It grew great, even to the host of heaven. And some of the host and some of the stars it threw down to the ground and trampled on them. It became great, even as great as the Prince of the host. And the regular burnt offering was taken away from him, and the place of his sanctuary was overthrown.  And a host will be given over to it together with the regular burnt offering because of transgression, and it will throw truth to the ground, and it will act and prosper.  Then I heard a holy one speaking, and another holy one said to the one who spoke, “For how long is the vision concerning the regular burnt offering, the transgression that makes desolate, and the giving over of the sanctuary and host to be trampled underfoot?”  And he said to me, “For 2,300 evenings and mornings. Then the sanctuary shall be restored to its rightful state.”  Daniel 8:9-14 ESV

First of all we have to understand whether the 2300 evenings and mornings refers to days (one evening and morning equals one day), or half days (one evening sacrifice, one morning sacrifice, total 1150 days).  For this we turn to the interlinear which reads: hundred-and three-two thousand-mornings evenings.

The word used for mornings and evenings are boqer (H1242) and ereb (H6153).

We see this same phrase used repeatedly in Genesis chapter 1:

And there was evening [boqer] and there was morning [ereb], the first day.

The regular burnt offering that is being referred to in Daniel chapter 8 is described in Exodus 29:

38 “Now this is what you shall offer on the altar: two lambs a year old day by day regularly. 39 One lamb you shall offer in the morning [H1242], and the other lamb you shall offer at twilight [H6153]. 40 And with the first lamb a tenth measure of fine flour mingled with a fourth of a hin of beaten oil, and a fourth of a hin of wine for a drink offering. 41 The other lamb you shall offer at twilight [H6153], and shall offer with it a grain offering and its drink offering, as in the morning [H1242], for a pleasing aroma, a food offering to the Lord. 42 It shall be a regular burnt offering throughout your generations at the entrance of the tent of meeting before the Lord, where I will meet with you, to speak to you there. 43 There I will meet with the people of Israel, and it shall be sanctified by my glory.   Exodus 29:38-43 ESV

We know that the regular burnt offering will be restored at some point in the first half of the 70th week of Daniel, and that it will be taken away at the mid-point of the week.  Also occurring at this midpoint will be the “transgression that makes desolate”, or the abomination of desolation.  From that point until the Second Coming of Christ, the sanctuary and believers in Christ will be given over to the beast/antichrist/little horn to be “trampled underfoot” until the “times of the gentiles are complete” (Luke 21:24).  After that, the sanctuary shall be restored to its rightful state – cleansed, or “made holy”.

We just completed a discussion on Chanukah, in which we discussed the cleansing of the Temple and the “anointing the most holy”.  I believe this will mark the regular burnt offering being re-instated for the Millennial Kingdom.

I understand “2300 morning evenings” to represent the regular burnt offering that was to be offered on the altar of sacrifice each day.  Thus, I take the 2300 to literally mean 2300 days / sets of morning-evening sacrifices (not 1150).  I believe the start point of the 2300 days is the start of the regular burnt offering.  This would seem to occur 295 days into Daniel’s 70th Week.  I believe the endpoint to the 2300 days is Chanukah following the Second Coming of Christ.

During this 2300 day timespan, the sacrifices will occur, will be stopped, the abomination of desolation will be set up, the holy place and believers will be trampled, Jesus will come, and the Temple will be cleansed and prepared for the Millennial Kingdom.

About Half An Hour

The Day of the Lord seems to be equivalent to the 70th Week of Daniel, or the “Time of Jacob’s Trouble”.  It also is referred to as the “Hour of His Wrath” (Revelation 3:10).  Can these references give us a clue as to how long “about half an hour” is?

When the Lamb opened the seventh seal, there was silence in heaven for about half an hour.  Revelation 8:1 ESV

To understand how long “about half an hour” is, let’s do some math.  Now, as I’ve said previously, I don’t believe that end times prophecy requires one to understand convoluted equations and mental gymnastics.  So, take this interpretation with a grain of salt.  We already talked about how the opening of the Seals knocks Earth back into 360-day-years.  So here goes:

The Day of the Lord = 1 Week = 7 Years = 42 Months = 2520 Days

One Day = 24 Hours, Or Does It?

Taking the phrases “Day of the Lord” and “Hour of His Wrath” literally:

One Day of the Lord = 84 Months

Hour of His Wrath = 1/24 of the Day of the Lord = 3.5 Months

Half Hour of Silence = 1.75 Months

I had someone PM me months ago, asking me “How many hours are there in a Hebrew day”?  Now, there are obviously 24 hours in a day, but the way that the Jews historically calculate the hours in a day is by dividing the number of hours of sunlight on any given day into 12 equal parts.  Thus, the length of an “hour” varies from day to day.

The Halachic Hour

The hour has a special meaning in Jewish law. “The third hour of the day” doesn’t mean 3:00 a.m., or three sixty-minute hours after sunrise. Rather, an hour in halacha is calculated by taking the total time of daylight of a particular day, from sunrise until sunset, and dividing it into twelve equal parts. A halachic hour is thus known as a sha’ah zemanit, or proportional hour, and varies by the season and even by the day.

For example, on a day when the sun rises at 5 a.m. and sets at 7:30 p.m., one sha’ah zemanit, or proportional hour, will be 72.5 minutes long. The third hour of the day will come to a close at 8:37:30 a.m.

This information is important because many observances in Jewish law are performed at specific times during the day. The calculation of these halachic times, known as zmanim(“times”), depends on the length of the daylight hours in that locale.

Source: https://www.chabad.org/library/article_cdo/aid/526872/jewish/Hours.htm

If we take this halachic hour into account:

One Day of the Lord = 84 Months

Halachic Hour of His Wrath = 1/12 of the Day of the Lord = 7 Months

Halachic Half Hour of Silence = 3.5 Months

Note that 3.5 months of 30 days each gives us a total of 105 days.  105 days seems to nicely parallel “time, times, and half a time” using months instead of years.  I’m not big on mathematical patterns, but this one stuck out for me as a possible verification of this interpretation:

1260 1290 1335

Why “Approximately”?

The day counts given in Daniel and Revelation are very specific.  Why would this “half hour of silence” be approximate?  Why would it be the only day count that isn’t exact?

In considering this question, remember that I suggest the Seals on the wrath-scroll all open at the time of the rapture.  I believe the seals are currently being restrained from being opened by the Restrainer (Holy Spirit indwelling the body of Christ).  The opening of the Seals marks the transference of sealing from the hearts of the body of Christ to the foreheads of the firstfruits of the Jewish tribulation saints (the 144,000).  The resurrection/rapture event itself is pictured in Seals 5&6, and is followed by the “approximate half hour of silence” of Seal 7.

The events listed in Seal 6 are completely catastrophic.  Remember that the entire world is shaken by earthquakes at this time.  Similar to the days of Noah, when the global flood caused the earth’s orbit to change, I believe the opening of the seals and the nuclear transformation event of the resurrection/rapture will cause the earth’s orbit to change.  I believe Isaiah describes this orbit change:

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

This “reeling like a drunken man” of the earth in its’ orbit will affect the day counts during the “half hour of silence” and could explain why they might be defined as “approximate”.  It might be difficult to track the days at this time; the day length may vary; the month length may vary.  It seems that the orbit stabilizes in time for Daniel’s 70th Week to begin, as those day counts are listed as definite.

Can We Find “Approximately Half an Hour” in End Times Prophecy?

Remember that we are looking for an APPROXIMATE half an hour of time.  Is there any significant date range that is approximately 3.5 months in duration?

I have recently undertaken writing a series on Pentecost being the highest watch Feast of God for the rapture of the church.  It seems that the Restrainer (the Holy Spirit sealing the body of Christ) might just leave the same day He came down.  Links to the full study are found here:  The Biblical Feasts – God’s Appointments.

Considering the entire Red Moon Rapture model I have presented in this blog, I believe that this “approximate half hour of silence” in Seal 7 supports a Pentecost rapture.  The Halachic Approximate Half Hour of Silence = Approximately 3.5 Months.  There are approximately 3.5 Months between Pentecost (Sivan) and Yom Kippur (Tishrei).  Remember that the dates don’t have to be exactly 105 days, as it’s the only day count that’s given as an “approximate”.

monthsarial400.jpg

During this silence, I believe the war in heaven occurs, the 144,000 are sealed on earth, the 2 Witnesses appear, the effects of the Seals begin to play out, the antichrist starts his rise to power and is revealed, the birth pains begin in full force, and the blood moon sign occurs.  These events are stated to occur BEFORE the Day of the Lord, and yet, they must occur AFTER the rapture of the church.  What a perfect timeframe for them to be placed within – the “approximate half hour of silence”!  For more on these, please see: Precursors to the Day of the Lord.

Once the silence ends, the Yom Kippur ceremony is performed in heaven and wrath is poured out upon the earth for 7 years in the Day of the Lord.

This year (2018), the days between Pentecost (11 Sivan) and Yom Kippur (10 Tishrei) are approximately 119 (correcting for 360-day-years; at 365.25 day years the count is 114).  This count will vary from year to year.

Summary

I believe that a Pentecost rapture of the church, followed by an “approximate half hour of silence” of a halachic ~3.5 months perfectly fits in to the big picture of end times prophecy.  During this time, the earth will be restored to a 360-day-year orbit.  Once this ~3.5 months is complete, Yom Kippur will begin the wrath of the Day of the Lord.  This will also mark the start of the 70th Week of Daniel as a covenant is confirmed with Israel (I personally think it will be God who reconfirms His Abrahamic covenant with them).

295 days later, I believe the daily sacrifices will be able to restart in the Third Temple.  The entire temple doesn’t need to be complete, but the altar of sacrifice does.

1260 days later, the 2 witnesses will be killed and the abomination of desolation will be set up.  Using 360-day-years, this will fall on 10-14 Nisan (covering the 3.5 days the 2 Witnesses lay dead).  Note the date – 14 Nisan – Passover.  The antichrist will begin his worldwide rule at this time.

2520 days later, Jesus will come at the Battle of Armageddon on Yom Kippur.

2590 days later (1260 + 1290), the judgments of the living survivors will be complete.

2595 days later (1260 + 1335), the Temple will be rededicated and “made holy”.  This also completes the 2300 days from the restarting of sacrifices – the interruption of them – and the restarting of them again.  Sacrifices will begin for the Millennial Kingdom as it is inaugurated.

1260 1290 1335 2300


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.

1260, 1290, 1335 Days – Gotquestions

The End Times According to Daniel – Gracethrufaith

God’s Prophetic Timeline – 7000 Years of Humanity

What Year Is It Really?  (Is It 5991?)

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

The Day of the Lord

  1. Precursors to the Day of the Lord
  2. Examining the Day of the Lord in Depth

Daniel’s 70 Weeks

Ezekiel’s 430 Days of Laying

The Covenant With Israel – Who Confirms It?

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!

day counts pic

The Parousia (Appearances) of Jesus Christ (1 Second Coming in 2 Phases)

Parousia (/pəˈruːziə/; Greek: παρουσία) is an ancient Greek word meaning presence, arrival, or official visit.  It is used for appearing, as well as coming.

There is much confusion over the second coming of Jesus, but it needn’t be so.  Bible prophecy can be described as viewing “mountain peaks”.  The prophets see the peaks, but the valleys are invisible to them.  This is by design, so that God can both reveal and conceal at the same time, according to His plan and purposes.  A visual for this is as follows:

Image result for prophecy as seeing peaks second coming

Just as there was an unforseen time gap between Jesus’ first and second comings, there is a gap between Jesus being revealed at the time of the rapture and Jesus being revealed AND coming down to earth for the Battle of Armageddon.  Understanding that there are two revealings, or appearances, of the Lord Jesus Christ in the context of the end times is a key that unlocks critical understanding of future events.

Jesus is revealed once BEFORE the Great and Terrible Day of the Lord, and once at the END of the Great and Terrible Day of the Lord.  The parousia of Jesus Christ occurs  when the skies are rolled back as a scroll.  We are told in the book of Revelation that the skies are rolled back as a scroll to reveal Jesus Christ twice – once at Seal 6 (which I believe is the rapture), and once at the 7th Bowl (the Second Coming).  Let’s examine the verses pertaining to each so that we can see that they are separate events.

The Revealing of Jesus BEFORE the Day of the Lord

REVELATION as a LAMB:

The sky is rolled back as a scroll to REVEAL Jesus appearing as the Lamb in the clouds of heaven, beside God’s throne, to receive the saints (rapture).   The reason He appears this way, is because He is actively opening the seals at this time!!!  This is a revelation (apocalypse), but not the “Second Coming”.  Jesus does not come down to the earth at this time, but He does appear in our dimension.  He will call us up from there, with the trumpet voice of God.

This occurs BEFORE the Day of the Lord (Tribulation) begins.  Behold, the Lamb of God, who takes away the sins of the world!  (John 1:29)

Then I saw a Lamb, looking as if it had been slain, standing at the center of the throne, encircled by the four living creatures and the elders.  He went and took the scroll from the right hand of him who sat on the throne… I watched as he opened the sixth seal… Then the kings of the earth, the princes, the generals, the rich, the mighty, and everyone else, both slave and free, hid in caves and among the rocks of the mountains.  They called to the mountains and the rocks, “Fall on us and hide us from the face of him who sits on the throne and from the wrath of the Lamb!  For the great day of their wrath has come, and who can withstand it?”  Revelation 5:6-7, 6:12,15-17 ESV

The sky rolls back as a scroll to reveal the Third Heaven – the supernatural one where God resides.  It appears that everyone on earth can see the face of Him who is seated on the throne, and the Lamb beside Him.  They correctly identify that the events transpiring indicate that the time for God’s wrath has come.  The vision of God on His throne is more than terrifying enough to inspire all of humanity to collectively hide in fear.

I want you to note that the Lamb is not flanked by armies, nor is there a description of power or glory.  At this revealing of Jesus Christ, He appears as a Lamb – the slain Lamb at the right hand of God that has taken the scroll and is worthy to open its’ seals.  The reason He appears this way, is because He is actively opening the seals at this time!!!

If you are wondering at this point why BELIEVERS would cower and hide in fear when the Lamb is revealed, you are doing well.  The answer is, we don’t!  When these signs begin, we will lift up our heads because we recognize that our redemption draws nigh (Luke 21:28)!  Jesus will just call us up from there, with the trumpet voice of God.  This is the Lamb of God, who is our salvation!  The unbelievers ask “who can stand?” and the answer is those who are saved by grace through faith in Jesus Christ can stand! (Rev 7)

Just as man is appointed to die once, and after that to face judgment, so also Christ was offered once to bear the sins of many; and He will appear a second time, not to bear sin, but to bring salvation to those who eagerly await Him.  (Hebrews 9:28 ESV)

For the grace of God has appeared, bringing salvation for all people,  training us to renounce ungodliness and worldly passions, and to live self-controlled, upright, and godly lives in the present age,  waiting for our blessed hope, the appearing of the glory of our great God and Savior Jesus Christ,  who gave himself for us to redeem us from all lawlessness and to purify for himself a people for his own possession who are zealous for good works. (Titus 2:11-14 ESV)

I have fought the good fight, I have finished the race, I have kept the faith.  Henceforth there is laid up for me the crown of righteousness, which the Lord, the righteous judge, will award to me on that day, and not only to me but also to all who have loved his appearing. (2 Timothy 4:7-8 ESV)

When Jesus appears at this time, it is to bring salvation to those who are eagerly awaiting Him.  This is our blessed hope, that we are to encourage one another with:

For the Lord Himself will descend from heaven with a shout, with the archangel’s voice, and with the trumpet of God, and the dead in Christ will rise first. Then we who are still alive will be caught up together with them in the clouds to meet the Lord in the air and so we will always be with the Lord.  Therefore encourage one another with these words.  (1 Thessalonians 4:15-17 ESV)

Although He appears (parousia), He doesn’t come down onto the earth.  Instead, He meets us in the air and we go up into heaven together to be hidden from the time of wrath on earth (Isaiah 26).

All earth dwellers respond in FEAR.  They are taken by surprise.

The Revealing of Jesus AT THE END of the Day of the Lord

REVELATION as WARRIOR-KING:

Jesus is REVEALED on the clouds of heaven, mounted on a white horse, as a conquoring warrior-King.  This is the true “Second Coming”.  Jesus descends into the Battle of Armageddon at this time and comes down to the earth.

Before Jesus is revealed to the world at His second coming, I want to point out that we saw in Revelation 16 (Bowl 6 Judgment) that the nations of the world have gathered in and around Jerusalem specifically to fight Jesus.  Three deceiving spirits will be sent forth from the “unholy trinity” of the dragon, beast, and false prophet to bring the nations together in rebellion against God.  They are EXPECTING Jesus to show up, and they are preparing to do battle against Him.

The revelation of Jesus Christ at the End of the Day of the Lord is hardly the Lamb of God.  No, at the end of the Day of the Lord, when He comes to put all nations under His feet He comes as a warrior-King flanked by His armies!

“Then will appear the sign of the Son of Man in heaven. And then all the peoples of the earth will mourn when they see the Son of Man coming on the clouds of heaven, with power and great glory.  (Matthew 24:30 ESV)

Then I saw heaven opened, and behold, a white horse! The one sitting on it is called Faithful and True, and in righteousness he judges and makes war. His eyes are like a flame of fire, and on his head are many diadems, and he has a name written that no one knows but himself.  He is clothed in a robe dipped in blood, and the name by which he is called is The Word of God. And the armies of heaven, arrayed in fine linen, white and pure, were following him on white horses. From his mouth comes a sharp sword with which to strike down the nations, and he will rule them with a rod of iron. He will tread the winepress of the fury of the wrath of God the Almighty.  On his robe and on his thigh he has a name written, King of kings and Lord of lords.”  (Revelation 19:11-16 ESV)  

Behold, he is coming with the clouds, and every eye will see him, even those who pierced him, and all tribes of the earth will wail on account of him. Even so. Amen.
 (Revelation 1:7 ESV)

And I will pour out on the house of David and the inhabitants of Jerusalem a spirit of grace and pleas for mercy, so that, when they look on me, on him whom they have pierced, they shall mourn for him, as one mourns for an only child, and weep bitterly over him, as one weeps over a firstborn.  On that day the mourning in Jerusalem will be as great as the mourning for Hadad-rimmon in the plain of Megiddo. (Zechariah 12:10-11 ESV)

Jesus will appear at this time in power and great glory, flanked by the armies of heaven (His holy ones, including the previously resurrected/raptured/rewarded Bride of Christ).  Those who have been deceived by the antichrist, particularly those of the house of Israel, will weep bitterly as the realization that they rejected their true Messiah drives into their heart like a knife.

While the peoples of the earth had been collected in rebellion to FIGHT Jesus, when He shows up they will MOURN instead.  The fact that they have been deceived will now be painfully obvious.

Jesus will descend and defeat those gathered against Him at the Battle of Armageddon.  He will remain on the earth and set up His Messianic Kingdom.  This completes the “Second Coming” of Jesus.  The Great Tribulation (both Daniel’s 70th week and the Day of the Lord) comes to an end with Jesus appearing in power and glory, mounted on a white horse in the clouds of heaven.

Comparing the 2 Phases of The Second Coming

second coming vs rapture.JPG

Summary

When Jesus next appears, it will be as a Lamb.  It will catch the world unaware – unbelievers (and most believers) will NOT be expecting Him.  Only the earth will be shaking at this time (not the powers of the heavens).  This appearance will mean salvation to those who are His true followers, who are about to be taken from the earth and received into heaven.  This appearance will announce impending wrath to those who are left behind.  Those who are left behind will be terrified, and hide in fear.

After an approximately 7 year period of wrath, Jesus will appear again.

When Jesus appears at that time, it will be as a warrior-King.  The world will be expecting Him, and unbelievers will have collected to do battle with Him.  They will be angry and blaspheming Jesus.  However, when He appears, they will realize they have been deceived and will mourn and wail.  Jesus will defeat His enemies at the Battle of Armageddon as the 7th Bowl Judgment is poured out.   Both the heavens and the earth will shake as Jesus defeats all the kingdoms of this world (supernatural and natural).   (That study is HERE – What’s Shaking, the Earth, the Heavens, or Both?).  This appearance will seal the fates of all who dwell on the earth and judgment will soon follow.


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, some of which I think might need to be adjusted slightly.  I encourage you to consider my thoughts as you also examine the scriptures to see if these things are so!