I Thought I Knew God? What to Do If You’ve Been Left Behind

The Purpose of This Life is Knowing God.

God made humanity for his pleasure, and it was always supposed to be a mutual relationship.  We messed it up, on our end.  So now the whole point of our lives is finding God – being reconciled to him in relationship.  If we miss this, we miss the entire point of our existence.  Nothing else we accomplish matters if we don’t get this right.

I Thought I Knew God?

The most distraught people right now will be those who believed they knew God and would be saved, yet were left behind after the rapture of the church.  If this is you, you are experiencing one of the most terrifying passages in the Bible:

“Not everyone who says to me, ‘Lord, Lord,’ will enter the kingdom of heaven, but the one who does the will of my Father who is in heaven. On that day many will say to me, ‘Lord, Lord, did we not prophesy in your name, and cast out demons in your name, and do many mighty works in your name?’ And then will I declare to them, ‘I never knew you; depart from me, you workers of lawlessness.’  

Matthew 7:21-23 ESV

As a follower of Jesus, you must always test yourself, to see if you are in the faith:

Examine yourselves, to see whether you are in the faith. Test yourselves. Or do you not realize this about yourselves, that Jesus Christ is in you?—unless indeed you fail to meet the test!

2 Corinthians 13:5 ESV

God is offering you a second chance to pass the test.  This time, you need to surrender your whole heart to Him and be willing to die for Him, just as He died for you.

Finding God is a Process.

It doesn’t happen overnight, nor is there a magical formula.  We seek Him, and we will find Him, IF we seek Him with all our heart.  That means we don’t give up.  We press on and search as we would for a lost child, for our entire lives if necessary.  He’s that worth it.  And He wants to be found.  But He wants to be found by people who are willing to give their all to pursue Him.  Until the very end.

Following Jesus Will Be Virtually Impossible.

The time that you have now entered will be the most challenging time humanity has ever faced.  God’s escape hatch has closed, and there is no longer a possibility of being sheltered from what is to come.  There will be natural disasters and a shortage of essential survival items – food, water, shelter, and medical care.  The world will be violent and spiritually dark.  Satan will be actively targeting and suppressing the Truth of Jesus Christ.  In our humanity, it will be impossible to follow Jesus.  But with God, all things are possible.

Those who heard it said, “Then who can be saved?”  But he said, “What is impossible with man is possible with God.” 

Luke 18:26-27 ESV

God Offers a Second Chance for Salvation.

“Yet even now,” declares the Lord,
    “return to me with all your heart,
with fasting, with weeping, and with mourning;
     and rend your hearts and not your garments.”
Return to the Lord your God,
    for he is gracious and merciful,
slow to anger, and abounding in steadfast love;
    and he relents over disaster.

Joel 2:12-13 ESV

God Has Left Instructions Specifically For You.

I want to show you the words Jesus left specifically for you.  These are somber warnings, but they are pregnant with hope.  This life we are living is not all there is.  Although it seems long and at times unbearable, once it is done it will be but the briefest moment compared to the eternity that follows.

There Will Be a False Prophet and a False Messiah.

Jesus clearly taught that there will be false prophets and false messiahs.  There will be a singular false prophet who will point to a singular false messiah, who will claim to be “god” at some point (approximately 1260 days after a 7-year covenant is signed or strengthened with Israel).  These will be empowered by Satan himself, performing all kinds of supernatural signs and wonders.  This will include the “antichrist” rising from the dead, and fire being called down from heaven (Revelation 13).  God will grant this authority for His specific plans and purposes.

…and many false prophets will appear and deceive many people.   Because of the increase of wickedness, the love of most will grow cold, but the one who stands firm to the end will be saved. (Matthew 24:11-13 ESV)

Jesus warns repeatedly against being deceived.  This is Satan’s last chance – you can bet that he has been planning this for thousands of years and that it is going to be very convincing.

At that time if anyone says to you, ‘Look, here is the Messiah!’ or, ‘There he is!’ do not believe it.  For false messiahs and false prophets will appear and perform great signs and wonders to deceive, if possible, even the elect.   See, I have told you ahead of time. (Matthew 24:23-24 ESV)

God grants this authority because those who remain on the earth rejected His truth.

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 2:9-12 ESV)

This will be the greatest deception the world has ever seen, and most people will be deluded.  You have been warned.  Do not believe the lie.

Don’t Take the Mark of the Beast.

At some point after the antichrist claims to be “god”, he will institute his “mark of the beast” system.  He will demand worship and the taking of his mark to be able to buy or sell.  He will likely actively seek out and kill those who refuse either.  The mark is not specified in the Bible, but it will be on the right hand or the forehead.  It may be something that affects DNA.

And it was allowed to give breath to the image of the beast, so that the image of the beast might even speak and might cause those who would not worship the image of the beast to be slain. Also it causes all, both small and great, both rich and poor, both free and slave, to be marked on the right hand or the forehead,  so that no one can buy or sell unless he has the mark, that is, the name of the beast or the number of its name.  This calls for wisdom: let the one who has understanding calculate the number of the beast, for it is the number of a man, and his number is 666.  (Revelation 13:15-18 ESV).

Whatever it is, DO NOT WORSHIP THIS “god” OR TAKE HIS MARK.

And another angel, a third, followed them, saying with a loud voice, “If anyone worships the beast and its image and receives a mark on his forehead or on his hand,  he also will drink the wine of God’s wrath, poured full strength into the cup of his anger, and he will be tormented with fire and sulfur in the presence of the holy angels and in the presence of the Lamb.  And the smoke of their torment goes up forever and ever, and they have no rest, day or night, these worshipers of the beast and its image, and whoever receives the mark of its name. Here is a call for the endurance of the saints, those who keep the commandments of God and their faith in Jesus. And I heard a voice from heaven saying, “Write this: Blessed are the dead who die in the Lord from now on.” “Blessed indeed,” says the Spirit, “that they may rest from their labors, for their deeds follow them!”  (Revelation 14:9-13 ESV)

Followers of Jesus Will Be Persecuted.

When the “antichrist” claims to be “god”, this will begin the greatest persecution against believers in Jesus Christ of all time.  Those who are physically in the vicinity of Jerusalem can flee to the wilderness (likely Petra, in Jordan) and be supernaturally protected by God.  Hebrew followers of Jesus Christ, the “elect remnant” of Israel, is the “woman” in Revelation 12 who will be “given the wings of the great eagle” to flee from the persecution.  If you can get to that specific wilderness area near Israel before the antichrist claims to be “god” (approximately 1260 days after the 7-year covenant signing), you would also be protected by God starting when obedient Israel flees.  Otherwise, laying as low as you can, off the grid, would be a wise decision.

 “So when you see standing in the holy place ‘the abomination that causes desolation,’ spoken of through the prophet Daniel—let the reader understand—  then let those who are in Judea flee to the mountains.  Let no one on the housetop go down to take anything out of the house.  Let no one in the field go back to get their cloak.  How dreadful it will be in those days for pregnant women and nursing mothers!  Pray that your flight will not take place in winter or on the Sabbath.  For then there will be great distress, unequaled from the beginning of the world until now—and never to be equaled again.  (Matthew 24:15-21 ESV)

 And when the dragon saw that he had been thrown down to the earth, he pursued the woman who had given birth to the male child.  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.  The serpent poured water like a river out of his mouth after the woman, to sweep her away with a flood.  But the earth came to the help of the woman, and the earth opened its mouth and swallowed the river that the dragon had poured from his mouth.  Then the dragon became furious with the woman and went off to make war on the rest of her offspring, on those who keep the commandments of God and hold to the testimony of Jesus.  (Revelation 12:13-17 ESV)

There Will be no Special Protection Offered to Believers at This Time.

Jesus warns that His followers will be persecuted, hated, betrayed, and killed for His name.  Believers will have to stubbornly persist in the faith, even unto death.  The Holy Spirit will guide the words of those standing up for Jesus’ Name, just as He did for the apostles and early Christians.  Note that beatings will be in synagogues, suggesting that the persecution against Christians will be tied to the Jewish faith (they will likely accept the “false messiah” – the “antichrist”).

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

If anyone is to be taken captive,
    to captivity he goes;
if anyone is to be slain with the sword,
    with the sword must he be slain.

Here is a call for the endurance and faith of the saints.

(Revelation 13:5-10 ESV)

 “Then you will be handed over to be persecuted and put to death, and you will be hated by all nations because of me. At that time many will turn away from the faith and will betray and hate each other,  (Matthew 24:9-10 ESV)

 “But be on your guard. For they will deliver you over to councils, and you will be beaten in synagogues, and you will stand before governors and kings for my sake, to bear witness before them. And the gospel must first be proclaimed to all nations.  And when they bring you to trial and deliver you over, do not be anxious beforehand what you are to say, but say whatever is given you in that hour, for it is not you who speak, but the Holy Spirit.  And brother will deliver brother over to death, and the father his child, and children will rise against parents and have them put to death.  And you will be hated by all for my name’s sake. But the one who endures to the end will be saved. (Mark 13:9-13 ESV)

Death For Christ is Victory

If you die for Christ, you will immediately be escorted to heaven.  You will appear on the crystal sea before God’s throne and worship Him!

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 15:2-4 ESV)

All God’s promises will be given to you.  You will receive a glorified resurrection body and reign with Jesus in His Millennial Kingdom and into Eternity.

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. They came to life and reigned with Christ for a thousand years.  (Revelation 20:4 ESV)

 

Some of You Will Survive This Time of Trouble.

It will seem that it will be impossible to physically survive.  And yet, some of you will.  The reign of the antichrist will be limited to 1260 days, no matter how he tries to extend it.  God has allotted a certain amount of time for satan to rule and not a moment more.

And if the Lord had not cut short the days, no human being would be saved. But for the sake of the elect, whom he chose, he shortened the days. (Mark 13:20 ESV)

Jesus Christ, the Messiah, Will Return.

Jesus is going to come and defeat those who gather against Him.  There will be no guessing, His coming will be obvious.  If there’s any question, it’s not truly Him.

“So if anyone tells you, ‘There he is, out in the wilderness,’ do not go out; or, ‘Here he is, in the inner rooms,’ do not believe it. For as lightning that comes from the east is visible even in the west, so will be the coming of the Son of Man. (Matthew 24:26-27 ESV) 

[I’m not sure if anyone reading this will literally be in Jerusalem at this point in time, near the end of the 1260 days of the antichrist’s rule.  If you are, there will be an escape route provided to you by God.  The Mount of Olives will experience an earthquake, splitting in two and creating a valley.  That would be your sign to IMMEDIATELY flee to the wilderness, as Jerusalem is about to be utterly destroyed.]

29 “Immediately after the distress of those days, “‘the sun will be darkened, and the moon will not give its light; the stars will fall from the sky, and the heavenly bodies will be shaken.’ (Matthew 24 ESV) 24 “But in those days, after that tribulation, the sun will be darkened, and the moon will not give its light, 25 and the stars will be falling from heaven, and the powers in the heavens will be shaken. (Mark 13 ESV)  25 “And there will be signs in sun and moon and stars, and on the earth distress of nations in perplexity because of the roaring of the sea and the waves, 26 people fainting with fear and with foreboding of what is coming on the world. For the powers of the heavens will be shaken. (Luke 21 ESV)

At the end of the “antichrist’s” rule, everything will go dark.  Zechariah 14:6-7 describes this asOn that day there shall be no light, cold, or frost. And there shall be a unique day, which is known to the Lord, neither day nor night, but at evening time there shall be light.  (ESV)  It’s possible that in the evening on this day of darkness is when Jesus will light up the sky in all His glory, when He comes on His white horse.

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). 

What is the sign of the Son of Man in heaven?  I believe we are told in Revelation 19:

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)

Oh blessed day this will be to see Jesus return for those who have undergone such suffering for His name!  If you are still alive at this point, you will be rescued by Him and ushered into His Kingdom!  

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 Bible is infallible.  I am not.  Be a Berean – examine the scriptures to see if these things are so!

Im1EYuY

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!

The Mount of Olives – Final Escape Route

Come Out of Her, My People

Then I heard another voice from heaven saying, “Come out of her, my people, lest you take part in her sins, lest you share in her plagues; for her sins are heaped high as heaven, and God has remembered her iniquities”

Revelation 18:4-5 ESV

In Revelation 18, during the description of the destruction of Mystery Babylon, we are introduced to a voice from heaven which calls forth – “Come out of her, my people!”.  Since these people belong to the voice, this voice can belong to none other than Jesus Himself.  Jesus is offering a final escape, before the imminent destruction of Mystery Babylon commences.  But how are the people supposed to come out?  Where are they supposed to go?  The option to flee to the wilderness and be protected for 1260 days after the abomination of desolation (as per Revelation 12 and Matthew 24) has long since passed.  The answer comes to us through the prophet Zechariah:

 

Behold, a day is coming for the Lord, when the spoil taken from you will be divided in your midst.  For I will gather all the nations against Jerusalem to battle, and the city shall be taken and the houses plundered and the women raped. Half of the city shall go out into exile, but the rest of the people shall not be cut off from the city.  Then the Lord will go out and fight against those nations as when he fights on a day of battle.  On that day his feet shall stand on the Mount of Olives that lies before Jerusalem on the east, and the Mount of Olives shall be split in two from east to west by a very wide valley, so that one half of the Mount shall move northward, and the other half southward.  And you shall flee to the valley of my mountains, for the valley of the mountains shall reach to Azal. And you shall flee as you fled from the earthquake in the days of Uzziah king of Judah. Then the Lord my God will come, and all the holy ones with him. On that day there shall be no light, cold, or frost.  And there shall be a unique day, which is known to the Lord, neither day nor night, but at evening time there shall be light. On that day living waters shall flow out from Jerusalem, half of them to the eastern sea and half of them to the western sea It shall continue in summer as in winter. And the Lord will be king over all the earth. On that day the Lord will be one and his name one.  (Zechariah 14:1-9 ESV)

Now, it’s a little confusing, so let’s go over the passage a little bit at a time.  “The Day” that is coming is the End of the Day of the Lord – the Second Coming of Christ. This is the time when all the nations will gather against Jerusalem for the Battle of Armageddon.  Note that Zechariah 14 ties together our previous discussions that Mystery Babylon is identified as the end-times city of Jerusalem.  When the nations amass for the Battle of Armageddon, they also destroy Mystery Babylon – much to her surprise and dismay.  She will “sit as a queen” no longer.  Let’s review Bowl 6 and the gathering of these armies at Armageddon (near or even within Jerusalem herself):

The sixth angel poured out his bowl on the great river Euphrates, and its water was dried up, to prepare the way for the kings from the east.  And I saw, coming out of the mouth of the dragon and out of the mouth of the beast and out of the mouth of the false prophet, three unclean spirits like frogs.  For they are demonic spirits, performing signs, who go abroad to the kings of the whole world, to assemble them for battle on the great day of God the Almighty.  (“Behold, I am coming like a thief! Blessed is the one who stays awake, keeping his garments on, that he may not go about naked and be seen exposed!”)  And they assembled them at the place that in Hebrew is called Armageddon.  (Revelation 16:12-16 ESV)

Did you note that Jesus inserts that He is coming like a thief here?  And Blessed is the one who stays awake?  Those who are awake and watching will hear His call to  “Come out of her, my people, lest you take part in her sins, lest you share in her plagues; for her sins are heaped high as heaven, and God has remembered her iniquities” (Revelation 18:4-5 ESV).  It seems that possibly half the city will go into exile (come out of the city – Zechariah 14:2) in obedience.  On that day, the day that the city goes into exile, the Mount of Olives may be split to create a path for the exiles to flee “as before a great earthquake”.

Whether Jesus literally touches down on the Mount of Olives at this time, I am not sure.  What is clear is that this Mount of Olives splitting in two to allow fleeing, is not at the same time as Jerusalem splitting in three at the 7th Bowl Judgment.  The fleeing is a true escape option.  This escape route is also detailed in Joel 2:

“And I will show wonders in the heavens and on the earth, blood and fire and columns of smoke.  The sun shall be turned to darkness, and the moon to blood, before the great and awesome day of the Lord comes.  And it shall come to pass that everyone who calls on the name of the Lord shall be saved. For in Mount Zion and in Jerusalem there shall be those who escape, as the Lord has said, and among the survivors shall be those whom the Lord calls.  (Joel 2:30-32 ESV)

Everyone Who Calls Upon the Name of the Lord

Remember how when Peter quoted Joel 2 in Acts 2 he stopped after “And it shall come to pass that everyone who calls on the name of the Lord shall be saved”?  That statement is transitional.  It links the two different escape options that the Lord provides:

  1.  First Fulfillment – BEFORE the Day of the Lord, there is an option to escape what is coming upon the earth.  (Luke 21:36)  That salvation is for the church age, and is known as the (pretribulation) rapture.  Everyone who calls upon the name of the Lord shall be saved in the rapture.  Then, a new set of believers will begin to accumulate.
  2. Second (Dual) Fulfillment – Before the final outpouring of God’s wrath, again, “it shall come to pass that everyone who calls on the name of the Lord shall be saved”. This time it will be those who literally, physically flee from Mount Zion and Jerusalem – “there shall be those who escape, as the Lord has said, and among the survivors shall be those whom the Lord calls.”.  This is the remainder of the elect remnant of Israel – “and so all Israel shall be saved.” (Romans 11:26).

When Does the Calling Out Occur?

Can we put this calling out and fleeing on a timeline?  I believe that the 9th plague from the First Exodus may give us a hint:

Then the Lord said to Moses, “Stretch out your hand toward heaven, that there may be darkness over the land of Egypt, a darkness to be felt.”  So Moses stretched out his hand toward heaven, and there was pitch darkness in all the land of Egypt three days.  They did not see one another, nor did anyone rise from his place for three days, but all the people of Israel had light where they lived.  (Exodus 10:21-23 ESV)

Compare this with Bowl 5:

The fifth angel poured out his bowl on the throne of the beast, and its kingdom was plunged into darkness. People gnawed their tongues in anguish  and cursed the God of heaven for their pain and sores. They did not repent of their deeds.  (Revelation 16:10-11 ESV)

Is it possible that the earthquake that divides Mount Olives to provide deliverance for the remnant of Israel will occur 3 days after the darkness of Bowl 5?  This would parallel God’s deliverance of Israel after 3 days of darkness at the first exodus.

Wrath Poured Out on Those Left Behind

Of the people who do not go into exile, those that remain in the city, the Lord will then go out and fight against the nations that have amassed there.  This is when He comes, with all His holy ones with Him. This will happen on a special day where “there shall be no light, cold, or frost.  And there shall be a unique day, which is known to the Lord, neither day nor night, but at evening time there shall be light.”  The light that is seen is the Sign of the Son of Man:

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)

The Second Coming of Jesus Christ, and the outpouring of Bowl 7, culminates in the final destruction of Jerusalem (Mystery Babylon) and the armies gathered against Jesus (in and around Jerusalem) in the Battle of Armageddon.  It is finished.

The earthquake of Bowl 7 finishes preparing the earth for the Messianic Kingdom.

On that day living waters shall flow out from Jerusalem, half of them to the eastern sea and half of them to the western sea It shall continue in summer as in winter. And the Lord will be king over all the earth. On that day the Lord will be one and his name one.  (Zechariah 14:8-9 ESV)

What a welcome day this will be for those believers who have been suffering through the greatest tribulation of all time!  They are about to be ushered into the Millennial Kingdom, where the curse will be reversed and long lives will be granted.


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.

Main Menu – God’s Mosaic Prophecy Model

 The Bible is infallible.  I am not.  Be a Berean – examine the scriptures for yourself to see if these things are so!

israel-jerusalem-mount-of-olives.jpg-beth

 

 

The Return of Jesus Christ

“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)

The Apocalypse is simply the revealing of Jesus Christ.  In common use, it often is used to describe the end of the world.  The Second Coming of Jesus won’t be the end of the world, but it WILL mark the end of the current age of humanity.

An apocalypse (Ancient Greek: ἀποκάλυψις apokálypsis, from ἀπό and καλύπτω, literally meaning “an uncovering”) is a disclosure of knowledge or revelation. In religious contexts it is usually a disclosure of something hidden, “a vision of heavenly secrets that can make sense of earthly realities”.  (wikipedia)

The Second Coming of Christ occurs in two phases.  The first phase involves the rapture of the church.  The second phase involves the Mount of Olives decent and the Return to Earth.  When we are speaking of the Second Coming, most people are referring to this second phase and that is what we will discuss here.  For further discussion on the first phase, the rapture, please see:

  1. The Parousia (Appearances) of Jesus Christ
  2. The Rapture VS Second Coming
  3. The Rapture of the Church – Our Blessed Hope
  4. Is the Rapture Imminent?
  5. The Day and the Hour Unknown?  Can we Pinpoint the Rapture?
  6. Blood Moon VERSUS Dark Moon
  7. The Noisy, Not-So-Secret Rapture of the Church

second coming vs rapture

Now let’s move on to discuss when Jesus returns to the earth.  This marks the end of the tribulation period, the Day of the Lord, the 70th Week of Daniel, and the wrath of God.

MOUNT of OLIVES decent:

In the book of Zechariah, it tells us that in the future, Jesus will stand on the Mount of Olives.  When He does,  this mount will be split in TWO from east to west.  Note that this cannot be the same event that splits the city of Jerusalem in THREE parts (Bowl 7).  This event just involves the Mount of Olives and involves two parts, not three.

There is an escape option offered at this point.  Note that there is no description of an appearing or a revealing (parousia):

On that day his feet shall stand on the Mount of Olives that lies before Jerusalem on the east, and the Mount of Olives shall be split in two from east to west by a very wide valley, so that one half of the Mount shall move northward, and the other half southward.  And you shall flee to the valley of my mountains, for the valley of the mountains shall reach to Azal. And you shall flee as you fled from the earthquake in the days of Uzziah king of Judah.”   Zechariah 14:3-5 ESV

And it shall come to pass that everyone who calls on the name of the Lord shall be saved. For in Mount Zion and in Jerusalem there shall be those who escape, as the Lord has said, and among the survivors shall be those whom the Lord calls.  Joel 2:32 ESV

Note that this escape is NOT related to the command for believers in Jerusalem to flee when they see the abomination of desolation (per Matthew 24).  This event occurs far after that, near the very end of Daniel’s 70th week.

On the day when the elect remnant of Israel is called to flee, Jesus will touch down on the Mount of Olives. Whether this descent is physical (observable) or not is undetermined, as it is not described in Scripture elsewhere.  This event is perhaps what Jesus alludes to when He declares “Behold, I am coming like a thief!” between the judgments of Bowl 6&7.  The Mount of Olives splitting will be a literal event.  The valley formed allows believers one last chance to flee before the destruction of Jerusalem (Mystery Babylon).  This explains the command Jesus issues – “Come out of her, my people!” (Rev 18:4).  The command to flee must be authentic, with a true possibility of obeying it and being physically saved.  After this event at some point, Jesus will come with His holy ones, which is described by His next appearance.

I’m going to quote part of my article The Mount of Olives – Final Escape Route here:

Can we put this calling out and fleeing on a timeline?  I believe that the 9th plague from the First Exodus may give us a hint:

Then the Lord said to Moses, “Stretch out your hand toward heaven, that there may be darkness over the land of Egypt, a darkness to be felt.”  So Moses stretched out his hand toward heaven, and there was pitch darkness in all the land of Egypt three days.  They did not see one another, nor did anyone rise from his place for three days, but all the people of Israel had light where they lived.  (Exodus 10:21-23 ESV)

Compare this with Bowl 5:

The fifth angel poured out his bowl on the throne of the beast, and its kingdom was plunged into darkness. People gnawed their tongues in anguish  and cursed the God of heaven for their pain and sores. They did not repent of their deeds.  (Revelation 16:10-11 ESV)

Is it possible that the earthquake that divides Mount Olives to provide deliverance for the remnant of Israel will occur 3 days after the darkness of Bowl 5?  This would parallel God’s deliverance of Israel after 3 days of darkness at the first exodus.

Wrath Poured Out on Those Left Behind

Of the people who do not go into exile, those that remain in the city, the Lord will then go out and fight against the nations that have amassed there.  This is when He comes, with all His holy ones with Him. This will happen on a special day where “there shall be no light, cold, or frost.  And there shall be a unique day, which is known to the Lord, neither day nor night, but at evening time there shall be light.”  The light that is seen is the Sign of the Son of Man coming in power and great glory.

 

RETURN to EARTH:

Before we discuss Jesus’ return to earth, I want to point out that we saw in Revelation 16 (Bowl 6 Judgment) that the nations of the world will 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.  This is in stark contrast to the rapture and the beginning of God’s wrath, which will spring like a trap unexpectedly upon the world.  Let’s examine the Second Coming passages:

Then the Lord my God will come, and all the holy ones with him.  On that day there shall be no light, cold, or frost. And there shall be a unique day, which is known to the Lord, neither day nor night, but at evening time there shall be light.”  Zechariah 14:6-7 ESV

So, if they say to you, ‘Look, he is in the wilderness,’ do not go out. If they say, ‘Look, he is in the inner rooms,’ do not believe it.  For as the lightning comes from the east and shines as far as the west, so will be the coming of the Son of Man.  Wherever the corpse is, there the vultures will gather. “Immediately after the tribulation of those days the sun will be darkened, and the moon will not give its light, and the stars will fall from heaven, and the powers of the heavens will be shaken.  Then will appear in heaven the sign of the Son of Man, and then all the tribes of the earth will mourn, and they will see the Son of Man coming on the clouds of heaven with power and great glory.  And he will send out his angels with a loud trumpet call, and they will gather his elect from the four winds, from one end of heaven to the other. (Matthew 24:26-31 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)

The sun, moon, and stars will be darkened on a unique day.  It seems that in the evening, Jesus will appear 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.

Summary

In the end-times sequence, Jesus will appear twice but only have one true “Second Coming”.  It appears that the overall sequence that surrounds the Second Coming of Jesus Christ would be something like this:

  1. The antichrist, false prophet, and deceiving spirits collect armies assembled for battle against Jesus Christ.  (Bowl 6)
  2. The Mount of Olives will be split in two, from East to West.  A large valley will form.  All who believe Jesus (the believing elect in Jerusalem) are to flee at this time – this is the command given right before the destruction of Mystery Babylon – “Come out of her, my people!”
  3. Mystery Babylon is destroyed by the antichrist, false prophet, and their entourage.
  4. A unique day of darkness arrives, with no cold or light.
  5. In the evening, there shall be light – the sign of the Son of Man.  This is likely Jesus appearing on His white horse in the clouds of heaven, followed by his holy ones.
  6. Jesus destroys the armies gathered at Armageddon.
  7. The antichrist and false prophet are cast into the Lake of Fire (eternal).
  8. satan and the demons are cast into the Abyss (temporarily chained, 1000 years).
  9. Living humans are collected and judged in the Sheep and Goats Judgment.
  10. “Tribulation Saints” are resurrected to rule with Christ in His Millennial Kingdom.
  11. The Millennial Temple is established and dedicated.
  12. The Millennial Kingdom Begins.

Believers respond to the Mount of Olives splitting by fleeing. Jesus may or may not be visible at this point; it does not explicitly state in the text one way or another.  Unbelievers won’t be aware of the significance of this event, and likely won’t see Jesus.

Believers are gathered by angels at the Second Coming.  Unbelievers will be destroyed in the Battle of Armageddon and the Sheep and Goats Judgment.  Every eye will see Jesus at His return to earth.


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 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, 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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