Saturday, June 28, 2008

The Rapture - Part 17

Re the “last trump” and the “trump of God”:

1Cor. 15:51 Behold, I shew you a mystery; We shall not all sleep, but we shall all be changed,
1Cor. 15:52 In a moment, in the twinkling of an eye, at the last trump: for the trumpet shall sound, and the dead shall be raised incorruptible, and we shall be changed.

1Th. 4:16 For the Lord himself shall descend from heaven with a shout, with the voice of the archangel, and with the trump of God: and the dead in Christ shall rise first:
1Th. 4:17 Then we which are alive and remain shall be caught up together with them in the clouds, to meet the Lord in the air: and so shall we ever be with the Lord.

As I started researching the use of trumpets, these are some of the things I found.

• The sound of the trumpet has a specific purpose.
1Cor. 14:8 For if the trumpet give an uncertain sound, who shall prepare himself to the battle?

• The trumpet was used to call the people to assembly.
Jer. 4:5 Declare ye in Judah, and publish in Jerusalem; and say, Blow ye the trumpet in the land: cry, gather together, and say, Assemble yourselves, and let us go into the defenced cities.
Joel 2:15 Blow the trumpet in Zion, sanctify a fast, call a solemn assembly.

• The sound of the trumpet is associated with the voice of the Lord.
Rev. 1:10 I was in the Spirit on the Lord’s day, and heard behind me a great voice, as of a trumpet,
Rev. 1:11 Saying, I am Alpha and Omega, the first and the last:

• It is an alarm of war.
Jer. 4:19 My bowels, my bowels! I am pained at my very heart; my heart maketh a noise in me; I cannot hold my peace, because thou hast heard, O my soul, the sound of the trumpet, the alarm of war.
Ezek. 33:3 If when he seeth the sword come upon the land, he blow the trumpet, and warn the people;

• It is a call to get ready.
Ezek. 7:14 They have blown the trumpet, even to make all ready; but none goeth to the battle: for my wrath is upon all the multitude thereof.

• It is to be used as an alarm that the day of the Lord is at hand.
Joel 2:1 Blow ye the trumpet in Zion, and sound an alarm in my holy mountain: let all the inhabitants of the land tremble: for the day of the LORD cometh, for it is nigh at hand;

• In Revelation the trumpets are a signal that the wrath of God is being poured out. (Wiersbe)

Wednesday, June 25, 2008

The Rapture - Part 16

Re “knowing” the time of His coming: The Lord told his disciples that no one except the Father knows the time of His coming; yet, in Daniel we are given a specific number of days from the time of the abomination of desolation and the Second Coming. Just as with His first coming—the prophecies imply two parts.

Matt. 24:36 But of that day and hour knoweth no man, no, not the angels of heaven, but my Father only.

Mark 13:32 But of that day and that hour knoweth no man, no, not the angels which are in heaven, neither the Son, but the Father.
Mark 13:33 Take ye heed, watch and pray: for ye know not when the time is.

First, Antichrist makes the covenant for a week of years—7years. Then he breaks the covenant in the middle of the week. The children of Israel will be given special protection in a wilderness location during the time of his rule—1,260 days.

Dan. 7:25 And he shall speak great words against the most High, and shall wear out the saints of the most High, and think to change times and laws: and they shall be given into his hand until a time and times and the dividing of time. (3.5 years = 42 months x 30 days per month = 1260 days)

Dan. 12:7 And I heard the man clothed in linen, which was upon the waters of the river, when he held up his right hand and his left hand unto heaven, and sware by him that liveth for ever that it shall be for a time, times, and an half; and when he shall have accomplished to scatter the power of the holy people, all these things shall be finished.

Rev. 13:5 And there was given unto him a mouth speaking great things and blasphemies; and power was given unto him to continue forty and two months.

Rev. 12:6 And the woman fled into the wilderness, where she hath a place prepared of God, that they should feed her there a thousand two hundred and threescore days.

Who is the one that defeats the Antichrist? JESUS

Rev. 19:11 And I saw heaven opened, and behold a white horse; and he that sat upon him was called Faithful and True, and in righteousness he doth judge and make war.
Rev. 19:16 And he hath on his vesture and on his thigh a name written, KING OF KINGS, AND LORD OF LORDS.
Rev. 19:19 And I saw the beast, and the kings of the earth, and their armies, gathered together to make war against him that sat on the horse, and against his army.
Rev. 19:20 And the beast was taken, and with him the false prophet that wrought miracles before him, with which he deceived them that had received the mark of the beast, and them that worshipped his image. These both were cast alive into a lake of fire burning with brimstone.

Sunday, June 22, 2008

The Rapture - Part 15

Other thoughts concerning the Rapture:

Re post-trib rapture - Even if you ignore all the thoughts presented above, the post-tribulation cannot be right simply because of logic—Who would be left to populate the millennium?

Matthew 24:44….”when ye think not…” could never apply. (Dave Hunt)

Henry Morris, The Revelation Record, made an astute observation concerning post-tribulationists who contend “there is no reason why Christians in the last generation deserve to escape the great tribulation. The fact is, however, that Christians in every other generation have escaped the great tribulation, so there is no reason why the last should be singled out for participating in it.”

Re the difference in coming with Jesus and His coming for us - A quote from Thomas Ice re John 14: 1-3, "This passage, taken literally, indicates that the believer is going to go to heaven at the time of Christ's coming for Him." This will not occur at the Second Advent because that will be a time in which Christ comes with His saints, who are already in heaven, not for His saints as John 14:1-3 requires.

John 14:1 Let not your heart be troubled: ye believe in God, believe also in me.
John 14:2 In my Father’s house are many mansions: if it were not so, I would have told you. I go to prepare a place for you.
John 14:3 And if I go and prepare a place for you, I will come again, and receive you unto myself; that where I am, there ye may be also.

When Jesus comes to earth the second time, we will be with him.

Zech. 14:5 And ye shall flee to the valley of the mountains; for the valley of the mountains shall reach unto Azal: yea, ye shall flee, like as ye fled from before the earthquake in the days of Uzziah king of Judah: and the LORD my God shall come, and all the saints with thee.

1Th. 3:13 To the end he may stablish your hearts unblameable in holiness before God, even our Father, at the coming of our Lord Jesus Christ with all his saints.

The following verse in Revelation describes the armies of heaven coming with Jesus. Although argument could be made that He would not take His bride to war with Him, I don’t think it carries much weight since He knows that the battle is His alone; and the bride will be there only as witness to His complete victory over Satan and the forces of evil. At what other time could the prophecies from Zechariah and 1Thessalonians be fulfilled?

Col. 3:4 When Christ, who is our life, shall appear, then shall ye also appear with him in glory.
Rev. 19:14 And the armies which were in heaven followed him upon white horses, clothed in fine linen, white and clean.

Thursday, June 19, 2008

The Rapture - Part 14

Reasons to believe the rapture is near:

Although no signs are given relating to the rapture, there are many signs given regarding the Second Coming of Jesus to planet earth. If the signs of the Second Coming are beginning to be fulfilled, how much closer must be the rapture.

• One of the main signs is the rebirth of the nation of Israel.
Ezek. 37:12 Therefore prophesy and say unto them, Thus saith the Lord GOD; Behold, O my people, I will open your graves, and cause you to come up out of your graves, and bring you into the land of Israel.
Ezek. 37:13 And ye shall know that I am the LORD, when I have opened your graves, O my people, and brought you up out of your graves,
Ezek. 37:14 And shall put my spirit in you, and ye shall live, and I shall place you in your own land: then shall ye know that I the LORD have spoken it, and performed it, saith the LORD.

Ezek. 37:21 And say unto them, Thus saith the Lord GOD; Behold, I will take the children of Israel from among the heathen, whither they be gone, and will gather them on every side, and bring them into their own land:
Ezek. 37:22 And I will make them one nation in the land upon the mountains of Israel; and one king shall be king to them all: and they shall be no more two nations, neither shall they be divided into two kingdoms any more at all:

• Other signs that are mentioned in Matthew, Mark and Luke are: people claiming to be Christ, wars and rumors of wars, ethnic conflicts, famine, pestilence, earthquakes. Although these things have existed through history, they are described as the “beginnings of sorrows.”

Matt. 24:8 All these are the beginning of sorrows.
Mark 13:8 For nation shall rise against nation, and kingdom against kingdom: and there shall be earthquakes in divers places, and there shall be famines and troubles: these are the beginnings of sorrows.

The word “sorrows” in the Greek has a direct reference to the pains of childbirth. Birth pains continue to increase in frequency and intensity as they get closer to “birth.” Just by paying attention to the news headlines, I am convinced that the “birth pains” have begun to increase and intensify. Yes, I am eager for the Lord’s return, but I don’t think one can deny the signs of the times. Jesus criticized the religious leaders of His day for not recognizing the signs of the times.

Matt. 16:3 And in the morning, It will be foul weather to day: for the sky is red and lowring. O ye hypocrites, ye can discern the face of the sky; but can ye not discern the signs of the times?

They were expected to recognize Him from the “signs” given by the prophets, but they didn’t. If He didn’t expect us to look for and recognize these signs, He wouldn’t have given them.

Monday, June 16, 2008

The Rapture - Part 13

Continuing with the parallels to the Jewish wedding:

Nissuin = The Nuptials
Groom's father decides when he may return for the bride.
Arrival unexpected by the bride
Abductlon of the bride.
Finely dressed and crowned.
Marriage Feast
Bride and Groom dwell together in happiness

Parallel to Church
Only the Father knows when the Son will return, Matthew 24:36, “But of that day and hour knoweth no man, no, not the angels of heaven, but my Father only.” Mark 13:32, “But of that day and that hour knoweth no man, no, not the angels which are in heaven, neither the Son, but the Father.”

We will be 'abducted,' 1Thessalonians 4:16-18, “For the Lord himself shall descend from heaven with a shout, with the voice of the archangel, and with the trump of God: and the dead in Christ shall rise first: Then we which are alive and remain shall be caught up together with them in the clouds, to meet the Lord in the air: and so shall we ever be with the Lord. Wherefore comfort one another with these words.

We will be crowned, 1Peter 5:4, “And when the chief Shepherd shall appear, ye shall receive a crown of glory that fadeth not away.” James 1:12, “Blessed is the man that endureth temptation: for when he is tried, he shall receive the crown of life, which the Lord hath promised to them that love him.”

He will be crowned, Revelation 19:12, “His eyes were as a flame of fire, and on his head were many crowns.”

Note: The huppah is the wedding room, the place of the honeymoon, which lasted for 7 days. The marriage feast takes place after this. The seven years of tribulation on earth would appear to correspond as the honeymoon time for the church in heaven.

We will take part in the marriage feast of the Lamb, Revelation 19:7-9, “Let us be glad and rejoice, and give honour to him: for the marriage of the Lamb is come, and his wife hath made herself ready. And to her was granted that she should be arrayed in fine linen, clean and white: for the fine linen is the righteousness of saints. And he saith unto me, Write, Blessed are they which are called unto the marriage supper of the Lamb. And he saith unto me, These are the true sayings of God.”

We will dwell forever with the Groom in happiness, 1Thessalonians 4 :17, “Then we which are alive and remain shall be caught up together with them in the clouds, to meet the Lord in the air: and so shall we ever be with the Lord.”
Revelation 21:3, “And I heard a great voice out of heaven saying, Behold, the tabernacle of God is with men, and he will dwell with them, and they shall be his people, and God himself shall be with them, and be their God.”

Friday, June 13, 2008

The Rapture - Part 12

Continuing with the parallels from the Jewish wedding:

Ketubah = The Marriage Contract
Written document stating the mohar, the Rights of the bride, the promises of the groom.
Parallel to Church
Our written contract stating the mohar, the rights of the Bride, and the promises of the Groom is the New Testament.

Kiddushin = The Betrothal
Sealed with the 'cup of acceptance'
Groom: Preparation of huppah (According to many authorities the huppah was the groom's house, or at any rate an actual room or building other than the bride's parental home.)
Bride: Purification (Mikveh – a ritual bath of immersion used for purification)
Undistracted devotion
Anticipation

Parallel to Church
Cup of the New Covenant, Matthew 26:27-29, “And he took the cup, and gave thanks, and gave it to them, saying, Drink ye all of it; For this is my blood of the new testament, which is shed for many for the remission of sins. But I say unto you, I will not drink henceforth of this fruit of the vine, until that day when I drink it new with you in my Father’s kingdom.

Christ goes to prepare a place for us, John 14:1-3, “Let not your heart be troubled: ye believe in God, believe also in me. In my Father’s house are many mansions: if it were not so, I would have told you. I go to prepare a place for you. And if I go and prepare a place for you, I will come again, and receive you unto myself; that where I am, there ye may be also.”

We are 'set apart', 2Corinthians 11:2, “For I am jealous over you with godly jealousy: for I have espoused you to one husband, that I may present you as a chaste virgin to Christ.”

Purified by 'washing,' lCorinthians 6:11, “And such were some of you: but ye are washed, but ye are sanctified, but ye are justified in the name of the Lord Jesus, and by the Spirit of our God.”

We are not to be distracted by:

False Teachers, 2John 7-11, “For many deceivers are entered into the world, who confess not that Jesus Christ is come in the flesh. This is a deceiver and an antichrist. Look to yourselves, that we lose not those things which we have wrought, but that we receive a full reward. Whosoever transgresseth, and abideth not in the doctrine of Christ, hath not God. He that abideth in the doctrine of Christ, he hath both the Father and the Son. If there come any unto you, and bring not this doctrine, receive him not into your house, neither bid him God speed: For he that biddeth him God speed is partaker of his evil deeds.

Worldly Things, lJohn 2:15, “Love not the world, neither the things that are in the world. If any man love the world, the love of the Father is not in him.”

We anticipate Christ's return, Luke 12:37, “Blessed are those servants, whom the lord when he cometh shall find watching: verily I say unto you, that he shall gird himself, and make them to sit down to meat, and will come forth and serve them.” 2Timothy 4:8, “Henceforth there is laid up for me a crown of righteousness, which the Lord, the righteous judge, shall give me at that day: and not to me only, but unto all them also that love his appearing.” Titus 2:13, “Looking for that blessed hope, and the glorious appearing of the great God and our Saviour Jesus Christ.”

Tuesday, June 10, 2008

The Rapture - Part 11

The Jewish wedding also has some wonderful parallels to the church and the coming of Christ for His bride. The information below is from an article by William Risk, with added notes from Mayim Hayim and a few additions/corrections of my own.

Shiddukhin = The Match
Initiated by the father of the groom
Agent may be used
Consent of the bride

Parallel to Church
The Father chooses the bride, John 6:37 “All that the Father giveth me shall come to me.”

Holy Spirit acts as agent of Father in the world today, 1Corinthians 2:12, “Now we have received, not the spirit of the world, but the spirit which is of God; that we might know the things that are freely given to us of God.”

We respond to Christ's love and accept Him, 1John 4:19, “We love him, because he first loved us.”

Mohar = The Bride Price
Required by law
Paid by the father of the groom
Reflects the value of the bride

Parallel to Church
Our mohar was the life of the Son, 2Corinthians 5:21, “For he hath made him to be sin for us, who knew no sin; that we might be made the righteousness of God in him.”

The price was required by the Law, Romans 8:3-4, “For what the law could not do, in that it was weak through the flesh, God sending his own Son in the likeness of sinful flesh, and for sin, condemned sin in the flesh: That the righteousness of the law might be fulfilled in us, who walk not after the flesh, but after the Spirit.”

The mohar was paid, as required, lCorinthians 6:20, “For ye are bought with a price: therefore glorify God in your body, and in your spirit, which are God’s.”

The value placed on the bride was high, Matthew 13:45-46, “Again, the kingdom of heaven is like unto a merchant man, seeking goodly pearls: Who, when he had found one pearl of great price, went and sold all that he had, and bought it.”

Saturday, June 7, 2008

The Rapture - Part 10

Observations from the scripture in Genesis from the previous post:

• Abraham expected God not to punish the righteous with the unrighteous. God did not reprimand him for or refute the truth of that expectation.

• God physically removed the righteous from the place of judgment.

• Punishment is reserved for the unjust.

• If Lot is a type of the church, then Luke 17:29 would indicate that the 70th week starts after the rapture. If 7 weeks = 7 years, then a day would equal a part of that year. We might conclude, then, that the rapture and covenant with antichrist would happen in the same year. With the church gone, it would be the time for God to again deal with the Jews. The end of one dispensation leads into another. God won’t leave the world without a witness, i.e., the two prophets and the 144,000 Jews.

Luke 17:29 But the same day that Lot went out of Sodom it rained fire and brimstone from heaven, and destroyed them all.

An excerpt from my journal in Genesis applies here.
Gen. 19:29→ “I think you could say that Abraham is a type of Christ in this situation. Just as God remembered Abraham and delivered his brethren from judgment, so too will He remember Christ and deliver His brethren from coming judgment.

I once thought of Noah as another type of the rapture. He has since been presented (Jon Courson) as a type of the Jewish remnant being preserved through the judgment, which I had to admit made better sense.

Wednesday, June 4, 2008

The Rapture - Part 9

9. Do any ever escape God’s wrath? Yes.

1Th. 5:9 For God hath not appointed us to wrath, but to obtain salvation by our Lord Jesus Christ,
1Th. 1:10 And to wait for his Son from heaven, whom he raised from the dead, even Jesus, which delivered us from the wrath to come.

Rom. 5:9 Much more then, being now justified by his blood, we shall be saved from wrath through him.

Rev. 3:10 Because thou hast kept the word of my patience, I also will keep thee from the hour of temptation, which shall come upon all the world, to try them that dwell upon the earth.

Is. 26:20 Come, my people, enter thou into thy chambers, and shut thy doors about thee: hide thyself as it were for a little moment, until the indignation be overpast.
Is. 26:21 For, behold, the LORD cometh out of his place to punish the inhabitants of the earth for their iniquity: the earth also shall disclose her blood, and shall no more cover her slain.

Is. 57:1 The righteous perisheth, and no man layeth it to heart: and merciful men are taken away, none considering that the righteous is taken away from the evil to come.

Zeph. 2:3 Seek ye the LORD, all ye meek of the earth, which have wrought his judgment; seek righteousness, seek meekness: it may be ye shall be hid in the day of the LORD’S anger.

Luke is talking about the tribulation and Jesus 2nd coming in chapter 21. He indicates that some will be accounted worthy to escape the terrible judgments he has just described.

Luke 21:36 Watch ye therefore, and pray always, that ye may be accounted worthy to escape all these things that shall come to pass, and to stand before the Son of man.

I think the phrase “accounted worthy” is a reference to those who have truly accepted Jesus as Lord. Nothing we can do makes us “worthy.” Only the blood of Jesus can do that.

Rev. 3:4 Thou hast a few names even in Sardis which have not defiled their garments; and they shall walk with me in white: for they are worthy.
Rev. 3:5 He that overcometh, the same shall be clothed in white raiment; and I will not blot out his name out of the book of life, but I will confess his name before my Father, and before his angels.

1John 5:5 Who is he that overcometh the world, but he that believeth that Jesus is the Son of God?

Lot, a righteous man, was removed from Sodom and Gomorrah before they were destroyed by God’s wrath, and he is a type from the Old Testament that supports the truth of people of faith not experiencing God's wrath.

Gen. 18:23 And Abraham drew near, and said, Wilt thou also destroy the righteous with the wicked?
Gen. 18:24 Peradventure there be fifty righteous within the city: wilt thou also destroy and not spare the place for the fifty righteous that are therein?
Gen. 18:25 That be far from thee to do after this manner, to slay the righteous with the wicked: and that the righteous should be as the wicked, that be far from thee: Shall not the Judge of all the earth do right?
Gen. 18:26 And the LORD said, If I find in Sodom fifty righteous within the city, then I will spare all the place for their sakes.

Gen. 19:15 And when the morning arose, then the angels hastened Lot, saying, Arise, take thy wife, and thy two daughters, which are here; lest thou be consumed in the iniquity of the city.
Gen. 19:16 And while he lingered, the men laid hold upon his hand, and upon the hand of his wife, and upon the hand of his two daughters; the LORD being merciful unto him: and they brought him forth, and set him without the city.

Peter affirms that truth in his letter:

2Pet. 2:7 And delivered just Lot, vexed with the filthy conversation of the wicked:
2Pet. 2:8 (For that righteous man dwelling among them, in seeing and hearing, vexed his righteous soul from day to day with their unlawful deeds;)
2Pet. 2:9 The Lord knoweth how to deliver the godly out of temptations, and to reserve the unjust unto the day of judgment to be punished:

Sunday, June 1, 2008

The Rapture - Part 8

8. Does God’s wrath/judgment encompass the whole 70th week?

The opening of the first seal in Revelation doesn’t necessarily coincide with the signing of the 7-year covenant. Revelation 6:17 could precede or coincide with the signing.

As stated previously, I believe that the time of God’s wrath and the tribulation (or Daniel’s 70th week) are distinctive actions of God toward the world in general and Israel respectively. I believe that the time of God’s wrath runs basically concurrent to the 70th week. Scripture indicates that it starts with the opening of the 6th seal.

Rev. 6:16 And said to the mountains and rocks, Fall on us, and hide us from the face of him that sitteth on the throne, and from the wrath of the Lamb:
Rev. 6:17 For the great day of his wrath is come; and who shall be able to stand?

The first five seals seem to mirror the labor pains of Matthew 24. I want to keep an open heart, but the signing of the treaty is still the most obvious defining factor of the 70th week—and the whole week has been set aside to accomplish the Lord’s purpose for Israel as distinct from His wrath that is directed at God’s enemies, most of which are comprised of the Gentile nations.

As stated in a previous blog, there is no need for us to be able to distinguish between events that occur as pertaining to either the wrath of God or the tribulation. One can build a fire and use it to heat water to purify it and cleanse it of impurities while destroying trash with the same fire.