Christian Apologetics Study

THE TERRIFYING DAY OF THE LORD

Nov
29

The Day of the Lord is an expression used by Old Testament Hebrew prophets to describe a time when God actively takes part in human history. The words “DAY OF THE LORD” usually identifies events that take place at the end of history and is often closely associated with the phrase “THAT DAY.” The key to understanding these expressions are words identifying a span of time during which God personally intervenes in history, directly or indirectly, to accomplish some specific aspect His plan. Many eschatology experts associate the Day of the Lord with the tribulation period when God will release 21 judgments upon a Messiah rejecting world. The tribulation is a future seven year period of time when God will intensify His dealing with Israel and finalize His judgment of the unbelieving world.

CHURCH SAINTS RAPTURE AND TRIBULATION

The church, made up of all believers who have trusted in the person and work of Messiah Yeshua, will be saved from the tribulation judgments because believers in the Church will not be present during the tribulation. The church will be removed from the earth in an event known as the rapture (1 Thessalonians 4:16-18; 1 Corinthians 15:50-54). The church is saved from the wrath to come (1 Thessalonians 5:9). Throughout Scripture, the tribulation is referred to by other names such as the Day of the Lord (Isaiah 2:12; 13:69; Joel 1:15; 2:131; 3:14; 1 Thessalonians 5:2) and a time of trouble and tribulation (Deuteronomy 4:30; Zephaniah 1:1).  The Great Tribulation, which refers to the more intense second half of the seven year period (Matthew 24:21) and time or day of trouble (Daniel 12:1; Zephaniah 1:15) and time of Jacob’s trouble (Jeremiah 30:7).

DURATION OF THE TRIBULATION

An understanding of Daniel 9:24-27 is necessary in order to understand the purpose and time of the tribulation. This passage speaks of 70 weeks that have been declared against “your people.” Daniel’s people are the Jews, the nation of Israel, and Daniel 9:24 speaks of a period of time that God has given “to finish transgression, to put an end to sin, to atone for wickedness, to bring in everlasting righteousness, to seal up vision and prophecy and to anoint the most holy.” God declares that “seventy sevens” will fulfill all these things. This is 70 sevens of years, or 490 years.

This is confirmed by another part of this passage in Daniel. In verses 25 and 26, Daniel is told that the Messiah will be cut off after “seven sevens and sixty two sevens” (69 total), beginning with the decree to rebuild Jerusalem. In other words, 69 sevens of years (483 years) after the decree to rebuild Jerusalem, the Messiah will be cut off. Biblical historians confirm that 483 years passed from the time of the decree to rebuild Jerusalem to the time when Jesus was crucified. Most Christian scholars, regardless of their view of eschatology (future things and major events), have the above understanding of Daniel’s 70 sevens.  With 483 years having passed from the decree to rebuild Jerusalem to the cutting off of the Messiah, this leaves one seven year period to be fulfilled in terms of Daniel 9:24: “to finish transgression, to put an end to sin, to atone for wickedness, to bring in everlasting righteousness, to seal up vision and prophecy and to anoint the most holy.” This final seven year period is known as the tribulation period—it is a time when God finishes judging Israel for its sin.

Daniel 9:27 gives a few highlights of the seven year tribulation period: “He will confirm a covenant with many for one ‘seven.’ In the middle of the ‘seven’ he will put an end to sacrifice and offering. And on a wing of the temple he will set up an abomination that causes desolation, until the end that is decreed is poured out on him.” The person of whom this verse speaks is the person Jesus calls the “abomination that causes desolation” (Matthew 24:15) and is called “the beast” in Revelation 13. Daniel 9:27 says that the beast will make a covenant for seven years, but in the middle of this week (3 1/2 years into the tribulation), he will break the covenant, putting a stop to sacrifice.

Revelation 13 explains that the beast will place an image of himself in the temple and require the world to worship him. Revelation 13:5 says that this will go on for 42 months, which is 3 1/2 years. Since Daniel 9:27 says that this will happen in the middle of the week, and Revelation 13:5 says that the beast will do this for a period of 42 months, it is easy to see that the total length of time is 84 months or seven years. Also see Daniel 7:25, where the “time, times, and half a time” (time=1 year; times=2 years; half a time=1/2 year; total of 3 1/2 years) also refers to “great tribulation,” the last half of the seven year tribulation period when the beast will be in power. For further references about the tribulation, see Revelation 11:23, which speaks of 1260 days and 42 months, and Daniel 12:11-12, which speaks of 1290 days and 1335 days. These days have a reference to the midpoint of the tribulation. The additional days in Daniel 12 may include the time at the end for the judgment of the nations (Matthew 25:3146) and time for the setting up of Christ’s millennial kingdom (Revelation 20:46).  Therefore, the tribulation or Day of the Lord is a seven year time period in the end times in which humanity’s decadence and depravity will reach its fullness, with God judging accordingly.

THE DAY OF THE LORD

The phrase “DAY OF THE LORD” is used many times in the Old Testament Hebrew Scriptures (Isaiah 2:12; 13:6, 9; Ezekiel 13:5, 30:3; Joel 1:15, 2:1, 11, 31; 3:14; Amos 5:18, 20; Obadiah 15; Zephaniah 1:7, 14; Zechariah 14:1; Malachi 4:5). The Old Testament Biblical passages dealing with the Day of the Lord often convey a sense of imminence, nearness, and expectation: “Wail, for the Day of the Lord is near!” (Isaiah 13:6); “For the day is near, even the day of the Lord is near” (Ezekiel 30:3) and “Let all who live in the land tremble, for the day of the Lord is coming. It is close at hand” (Joel 2:1) and “Multitudes, multitudes in the valley of decision! For the Day of the Lord is near in the valley of decision” (Joel 3:14) and “Be silent before the Lord God! For the Day of the Lord is near” (Zephaniah 1:7). This is because the Old Testament passages referring to the Day of the Lord often speak of both a near and a far fulfillment, as does much of Old Testament prophecy. Some Old Testament passages that refer to the day of the Lord describe historical judgments that have already been fulfilled in some sense (Isaiah 13:622; Ezekiel 30:219; Joel 1:15, 3:14; Amos 5:1820; Zephaniah 1:1418), while others refers to divine judgments that will take place toward the end of the age (Joel 2:30-32; Zechariah 14:1; Malachi 4:1, 5).

This same phrase is employed a few times in the New Testament Christian Scriptures (Acts 2:20; 2 Thessalonians 2:2; 2 Peter 3:10). It is also alluded to in other passages (Revelation 6:17; 16:14). The New Testament calls it a day of “wrath,” a day of “visitation,” and the “great day of God Almighty” (Revelation 16:14) and refers to a still future fulfillment when God’s wrath is poured out on unbelieving

Israel (Isaiah 22; Jeremiah 30:117; Joel 12; Amos 5; Zephaniah 1) and on the unbelieving world (Ezekiel 38–39; Zechariah 14). The Scriptures indicate that “the day of the Lord” will come quickly, like a thief in the night (Zephaniah 1:1415; 2 Thessalonians 2:2), and therefore Christians must be watchful and ready for the coming of Christ at any moment.

SUMMARY OF THE DAY OF THE LORD

Finally, the Day of the Lord will also be a time of salvation as God will deliver the remnant of Israel, fulfilling His promise that “all of Israel will be saved” (Romans 11:26), forgiving their sins and restoring His chosen people to the land He promised to

Abraham (Isaiah 10:27; Jeremiah 30:1931, 40; Micah 4; Zechariah 13). The final outcome of the Day of the Lord will be that “the arrogance of man will be brought low and the pride of men humbled and  the Lord alone will be exalted in that day” (Isaiah 2:17). The ultimate or final fulfillment of the prophecies concerning the Day of the Lord will come at the end of history when God, with wondrous power, will punish evil and fulfill all His promises.

RELATED SOURCES

Bible Mysteries; Donald P. Ryan, PhD; 2000. The Complete Guide to Bible Prophecy; Stephen M. Miller; 2010. The Last Days; Richard H. Perry; 2006. The Book of Revelation; Larry R. Helyer, PhD and Richard Wagner; 2008. Article by Dr. Thomas Ice. Bible Prophecy Revealed  by Dr. Grant Jeffrey. Article by Dr. David Reagan. Learn the by in 24 Hours by Dr. Chuck Missler. Comments by Dr. Gary Stearman. Got questions?org.

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THE BIBLE CODES SHOW MAJOR EARTHQUAKES FOR THE NEAR FUTURE

Nov
27

The Bible Codes show major earthquakes for the near future. Within God’s Holy Scriptures, earthquakes are the shaking or trembling of the earth caused by volcanic activity, earthquakes occur frequently in Israel. The regions around the Dead Sea and the Sea of Galilee are volcanic in nature. The primary centers of earthquakes in Israel are upper Galilee, the Samaritan country near Shechem, and the western edge of the Judean Mountains near Lydda. The Hebrew word for “earthquake” indicates a great noise or a tremendous roaring. This suggests that the Israelites were impressed with the rumbling connected with earthquakes.

The Bible mentions that earthquakes occurred during the following events: at Mount Sinai, when God gave the law to Moses (Exodus 19:18); during the wilderness wandering of the Israelites, when Korah and his followers rebelled against Moses and were destroyed as punishment for their rebellion (Numbers 16:31-33); during a fight between the Philistines and Jonathan and his armor bearer (1 Samuel 14:15); after Elijah killed the prophets of Baal and fled from Jezebel’s wrath, before God spoke to him (1 Kings 19:11); during the reign of King Uzziah (Amos 1:1). The earth shook and the rocks split at the death of Yeshua on Calvary (Matthew 27:51-54). Another earthquake took place at the resurrection of Yeshua (28:2). When Paul and Silas were in jail at Philippi, an earthquake shook the foundations of the prison (Acts 16:26).

Earthquakes are predicted before and during the “Day of the Lord” (Zechariah 14:4-5) and the end of the age (Revelation 6:12-24; 11:19; 16:18). Today, some Biblical eschatology experts and Bible code researchers believe there will be major earthquakes in North America, Japan, China, Israel, and elsewhere during the 2014 and 2015 timeframe.

CALIFORNIA EARTHQUAKE

Many Bible code researchers believe the next major earthquake to strike United States of America will begin in California. All the major quakes that have already shaken that state were foreseen. The biggest that ever struck the United States the great San Francisco earthquake of 1906 was encoded in the Holy Bible. The Hebrew words for “S.F. Calif.” and 1906 appear together. “Fire, earthquake” is also encoded with the year, and the hidden text states “city consumed, destroyed.”

The biggest recent earthquake to hit the U.S. mainland, again in San Francisco, is also encoded. The year, 1989, the words “fire, earthquake,” and “S.F. Calif.” all appear in the same place. But Los Angeles is mathematically the best match with “great earthquake” of any major city in the world. “L.A. Calif.” is encoded with “great earthquake” against very high odds, and both “America” and “USA” also appear with the predicted cataclysm. Seismologists agree that Southern California is the most likely area in the United States to face a major earthquake in the near future.  The U.S. Geological Survey in 1995 stated that there is an “80 to 90% probability of a magnitude 7.0 or greater earthquake will occur within Southern California before 2024.”

YELLOWSTONE SUPERVOLCANO ERUPTION

Other Bible code researchers have found codes showing that the Yellowstone region will erupt soon. Yellowstone’s massive mantle plume is getting bigger. This reservoir of superheated viscose rock is at least two and a half times larger than previously thought. A new study disclosed on Oct. 27th at the Geological Society of America annual conference, stated a huge earthquake measuring 9.0 mag. or larger as a result of Yellowstone’s massive mantle plume expansion may be a higher risk in the near future resulting in a major earthquake and an eventual volcanic eruption.

Significant volcanic activity has been occurring in Yellowstone National Park for the past few years.  When this large eruption happens, it does not devastate all of North America. However, this eruption will probably be larger than Mount Saint Helens. Even though all of the signs will be there, the eruption catches many people off guard. The ash will spread throughout the eastern part of North America, and there will be some civil unrest, but not too much because people cannot be out in the ash. Most of the civil unrest is caused by people trying to get food and supplies.

MOUNT RAINIER ERUPTION

Likewise, some Bible code researchers and prophecy teachers believe that Mount Rainier will erupt soon. Mt. Rainier is a massive strato-volcano located 54 miles (87 km) southeast of Seattle in the state of Washington, United States. It is the most topographically prominent mountain in the contiguous United States. Mt. Rainier is considered one of the most dangerous volcanoes in the world, and it is on the Decade Volcano list. Because of its large amount of glacial ice, Mt. Rainier could potentially produce massive lahars that would threaten the whole Puyallup River valley.

EARTHQUAKES FOR CHINA

Bible code experts found the words “Great earthquake” encoded with “China.” China was the scene of the worst earthquake in world history, the 1976 cataclysm that killed 800,000 Chinese. That year, “5736,” crosses “earthquake” right above “China.” It appears three times with “great earthquake.” Some Bible code researchers believe that major Earthquakes are coming for China sometime within the near future.

EARTHQUAKES FOR ISRAEL

Bible code researchers have found the words earthquake and Israel.  Israel, which has not suffered a major earthquake this century, is the place most prominently stated in the plain text of the Bible. Ezekiel openly predicts “a great earthquake in the land of Israel.” “Israel” also appears four times with “great earthquake” in the Bible code, but Israel appears so often in the Bible that there is no way to calculate the mathematical significance. Israel is, however, located on what may be the world’s greatest fault line, the Red Sea rift that in pre-historical times shifted so violently it separated Africa from Asia.

EARTHQUAKES FOR JAPAN

The one country most likely in danger of a massive earthquake, according to the Bible code, is Japan. Japan will suffer a series of major earthquakes in the coming years. Recent English Bible and Hebrew Codes reveal a giant earthquake could hit Tokyo Japan sometime in the near future. Likewise, dream interpreter and prophecy teacher John Paul Jackson says another massive earthquake will strike Japan sometime in the near future and 7 million Japanese will die. He believes the eruption of Mount Fuji will be associated with this massive earthquake in Japan. Mount Fuji is the highest mountain in Japan, it rises to 12,388 ft (3,776 m) near the Pacific coast in central Honshu. Mount Fuji, with its graceful volcanic cone (dormant since 1707), has become famous internationally. It is considered a sacred symbol of Japan, and thousands of Japanese climb to the shrine on its peak every summer. The mountain is the major feature of Fuji-Hakone-Izu National Park, created in 1936. For many code researchers, “Japan” is also the country most clearly encoded with a future “great earthquake.” Again, there is no way to know if the stated danger is real. However, there seems to be an apocalyptic urgency in the Bible Code to warn the Japanese people about their near future.

BIBLE CODES EARTHQUAKE SUMMARY

While many Bible code experts only believe the Bible codes show a possible future, if these codes are correct, then the next few years will be very dramatic and apocalyptic for North America, Japan, Israel, and the world. Many times God’s judgment or visitation is described using the imagery of an earthquake and is often seen as a sign of the end of time. Many times an earthquake is a sign of God’s presence or of God’s revelation of Himself. At times the whole universe is described as being shaken by God. Even though earthquakes were usually seen as things to escape, they could be used by God for good purposes. The earth quaked in revulsion at the death of Messiah Yeshua, and the earth quaked to move the stone from Yeshua’s tomb. Those who love God and are faithful to Him have no need to fear the trembling of the earth.

RELATED SOURCES

The Real Bible Codes; Rabbi Glazerson; 2012. America and the Day of the Lord; John Mcternan; 2008.  As America Has Done to Israel; John Mcternan; 2008. Bible Mysteries; Donald P. Ryan, PhD; 2000. Iran Bible Code Matrix; Eliot Elwar; 2011. Isralestine; Bill Salus; 2008.  The Complete Guide to Bible Prophecy; Stephen M. Miller; 2010. The Last Days; Richard H. Perry; 2006. The Book of Revelation; Larry R. Helyer, PhD and Richard Wagner; 2008. The Bible Code III; Michael Drosnin; 2010.

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SECULAR SCIENTISTS WHO REJECT DARWINISM

Nov
22

For many years, Darwinism has been portrayed as a proven fact of science within the liberal news media, the academic community, and the secular scientific community. Uninformed people will incorrectly assume that persons who reject Darwinism are uneducated, anti-science, and completely irrational. However, today more critics of Darwinism can be found among scientists who reject supernatural creation. There are many publications by such scientists questioning and outright debunking the major principles of evolution.  This narrative highlights the comments by secular scientists who are skeptical of Darwinism.

DR. DAVID BERLINSKI

According to Dr. David Berlinski, the structures of life are complex, and complex structures get made in this, the purely human world, only by a process of deliberate design. An act of intelligence is required to bring even a thimble into being; why should the artifacts of life be different? For many years, biologists have succeeded in keeping skepticism on the circumference of evolutionary thought. However, the burning fringe of criticism is now contracting, coming ever closer to the heart of Darwin’s doctrine” (“The Deniable Darwin,” Commentary magazine, June, 1996). Dr. David Berlinski is an agnostic with a Ph.D. in philosophy from Princeton and has done post-doctoral work in mathematics and biology at Columbia University. He has taught philosophy, mathematics, and English at Stanford, Rutgers, and the University of Paris.

DR. MICHAEL DENTON

According to Dr. Michael Denton, my fundamental problem with the theory of evolution is that there are so many highly complicated organs, systems and structures, from the nature of the lung of a bird, to the eye of the rock lobster, for which I cannot conceive of how these things have come about in terms of a gradual accumulation of random changes. It strikes me as being a flagrant denial of common sense to swallow that all these things were built up by accumulative small random changes. This is simply a nonsensical claim, especially for the great majority of cases, where nobody can think of any credible explanation of how it came about. And this is a very profound question which everybody skirts, everybody brushes over, everybody tries to sweep under the carpet” (“An interview with Michael Denton,” Access Research Network, Vol. 15. No. 2, 1995). Dr. Michael Denton is an atheist who has a Ph.D. in biochemistry from King’s College London. He is the Senior Research Fellow in molecular biology at the University of Otago, New Zealand.

DR. WOLFGANG SMITH

According to Dr. Wolfgang Smith, the doctrine of evolution has swept the world, not on the strength of its scientific merits, but precisely in its capacity as a Gnostic myth. It affirms, in effect, that living beings created themselves, which is, in essence, a metaphysical claim. Smith believes that evolutionism is in truth a metaphysical doctrine decked out in scientific garb (Teilhardism and the New Religion, 2009, p. 24). Smith is a Ph.D. in mathematics from Columbia University and has been a mathematics professor at MIT, UCLA, and Oregon State University.

DR. LEE SPETNER

According to Dr. Lee Spetner, despite the insistence of evolutionists that evolution is a fact, it is really no more than an improbable story. No one has ever shown that macroevolution can work. (“Lee Spetner/Edward Max Dialogue,” 2001, The True Origin Archive). Dr. Spetner earned a Ph.D. in physics from MIT, and worked with the Applied Physics Laboratory of the John Hopkins University from 1951-70.

DR. COLIN PATTERSON

According to Dr. Colin Patterson, the explanation value of the evolutionary hypothesis of common origin is nil! Evolution not only conveys no knowledge, it seems to convey anti-knowledge.  Many scientists will have to admit that in the last 10 years we have seen the basis of evolution go from fact to faith! It does seem that the level of knowledge about evolution is remarkably shallow. We know it ought not to be taught in high school, and that’s all we know about it.” (Patterson was the senior paleontologist at the Museum of Natural History in London when he gave this address at the American Museum of Natural History in 1981; cited from White and Comninellis, Darwin’s Demise, 2001, p. 47.)

DARWINISM SUMMARY

The Achilles heel of evolution is its failure to explain the origin of information within a universe that functions on conservation and deterioration. The entropy factor and the thermodynamic laws in nature do not allow for an increase in complexity and organization, which can give birth to biochemical information systems. Biological and genetic entropy increase as we move forward in time; therefore, this means that naturalistic evolution is a scientific impossibility. Secular scientists are aware of the real problems with evolution. However, the liberal media, many atheists, agnostics, and pagan philosophers continue to push this dogmatic religious philosophy on populations worldwide. Modern  science will never make its next major step forward until the curse of Darwinism has been lifted from the brows of scientists working in the secular scientific community.

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THE TIMING OF THE RAPTURE

Nov
22

The Rapture describes a supernatural event that will take place sometime in the near future. Messiah Yeshua will come in the air, catch up His Church from the Earth, and then return to His dwelling place somewhere in heaven with the Church. Saint Paul gave a clear description of the Rapture event in his letters to the Thessalonians and Corinthians. The most controversial aspect of the Rapture event is its timing. Some Biblical eschatology experts place the Rapture at the end of the Seven Year Tribulation, thus making it one and the same event as the Second Coming. Other Biblical scholars place it in the middle of the Tribulation. Still other prophecy teachers believe that it will occur sometime before the Seven Year Tribulation.

The reason for these differing perspectives is that the precise time of the Rapture is not clearly revealed in God’s Holy Scriptures. The timing of the Rapture is only inferred. There is, therefore, room for honest debate and differences in eschatological interpretations. However, lines of fellowship should never be drawn over differences regarding various Rapture viewpoints, even though the Rapture is an extremely important issue in Biblical prophecy.

THE POST-TRIBULATION RAPTURE THEORY

The Biblical eschatology experts who place the Rapture at the end of the Tribulation usually base their arguments on two parables in Matthew 13 and on Messiah Yeshua’s Olivet Discourse in Matthew 24. In Matthew 24 Yeshua portrays His gathering of the saints as an event that will take place “immediately after the tribulation of those days” (Matthew 24:29). This passage certainly sounds like a post-Tribulation Rapture. However, we must remember that Matthew’s Gospel was written to the first century Jewish community living in Israel; therefore, the recording of Yeshua’s speech by Matthew has a distinctive Jewish perspective to it when compared with Luke’s record of the same speech.

We notice that Matthew’s references to Judea and to Jewish law regarding travel on the Sabbath (Matthew 24:15-20 NKJV) are all omitted in Luke’s account. Rather, Luke mentions the saints looking up for deliverance “to escape all these things” when the end time signs “begin to take place” (Luke 21:28-36 NKJV). The saints in Matthew are instructed to flee from Judea and hide. The saints in Luke are told to look up for deliverance.

Matthew and Luke are speaking of two different groups of saints. The saints in Matthew’s account are the Jews who receive Yeshua as their Messiah during the Tribulation. However, the saints in Luke are those who receive Messiah Yeshua before the Tribulation begins. Many people who accept Yeshua during the Tribulation will be martyred, according to Revelation 7:9-14 NKJV. The believers who are alive at the end of the Tribulation will be gathered by angels of the Lord, according to Matthew 24:31 NKJV.

The parable of the wheat and tares (Matthew 13:24-30 NKJV) and the parable of the dragnet (Matthew 13:47-50) should be explained in the same manner. They refer to a separation of saints and sinners that will take place during the end of the Tribulations years. The saints are believers who embrace Messiah Yeshua as their Lord and Savior during the Tribulation (Both Jew and Gentile) and who live to the end of that awful period.

MID-TRIBULATION RAPTURE THEORY

There are variations of the mid-Tribulation Rapture arguments. The most common argument is that the Church will be taken out in the exact middle of the Tribulation at the point in time when the Anti-Messiah is revealed worldwide.  This Rapture argument is based upon a statement in I Corinthians 15:52, which says that the Rapture will occur during the blowing of “the last trumpet.” This trumpet is then identified with the seventh trumpet of the trumpet judgments mentioned in the Book of Revelation. Because the blowing of the seventh trumpet is recorded in Revelation 11, the mid-point of the Tribulation, the conclusion is that the Rapture must occur in middle of the Tribulation.

However, there are two problems with this interpretation. The first is that the last trumpet of 1 Corinthians 15 is blown for believers only whereas the seven trumpets of Revelation chapters 8, 9, and 11 are sounded for unbelievers.  The trumpets mentioned in Revelation have no relevance for the Church. The last trumpet of 1 Corinthians 15 is a trumpet for the righteous. The trumpet of Revelation 11:15 will sound for the unrighteous Earth dwellers.

Revelation 11:15 is really a flash forward vision describing the end of the Tribulation. Flash forward visions are very common in the Book of Revelation. They often occur when something terrible is mentioned to assure the reader that everything will eventually be OK when Yeshua returns at the end of the Tribulation. Therefore, the eighth and ninth chapters of Revelation, which describe the apocalyptic horrors of the trumpet judgments, are all followed by a flash forward vision in chapter 10 that pictures the return of Yeshua in victory at the end of the Tribulation. The mid-tribulation events resume in chapter 11 with the description of the killing of the two prophets of God (Moses and Elijah) by the Anti-Messiah. Following this crime, readers are presented with another flash forward vision, which begins in verse 15. The seventh trumpet is sounded and we find ourselves propelled forward to end of the Tribulation when the “Kingdom of the world becomes the kingdom of our Lord.”

The point is that the seventh trumpet of Revelation 11:15 relates to the end of the Tribulation and not the middle. It is the same trumpet that is referred to in Matthew 24:31, which is the trumpet that will be blown to announce the Second Coming of Messiah Yeshua.  Thus, the seventh trumpet mentioned in Revelation 11:15 and Matthew 24:31 is simply not the same trumpet describe in 1 Corinthians 15:52, Revelation 4:1, and 1 Thessalonians 4:16-18.

THE PRE-WRATH RAPTURE THEORY

A variation of the mid-Tribulation Rapture theory is the pre-wrath Rapture concept that places the rapture at the beginning of the last quarter of the Tribulation, about five and a half years into the Tribulation.  The argument for this view is that the Church is promised protection only from the wrath of God and not from the wrath of Satan. It is argued that only the bowl judgments in the last quarter of the Tribulation (Revelation 16) represent the wrath of God.   However, this argument collapse quickly when we consider two facts. First, it is Yeshua Himself who breaks the seals that launch each of the seal judgments recorded in Revelation chapter 6.  Second, the seven angels who blow the trumpets that initiate each of the trumpet judgments are given their trumpets in the throne room of God, according to Revelation 8:2 NKJV.

All 21 judgments described in the Book of Revelation are clearly superintended by God. That is the reason why we are told in Revelations 15:1 that the bowl judgments at the end of the Tribulation will finish the wrath of God, not begin His wrath.

PRE-TRIBULATION RAPTURE THEORY 

Some prophecy teachers believe the best inference of Scripture is that the Rapture will occur sometime before the beginning of the Tribulation. The most significant explanation for why they believe this theory has to do with the issue of imminence. Within God’s Holy Scriptures, we are told to watch for the appearing of the Lord. We are warned by Messiah Yeshua “to be ready” (Matthew 24: 44 NKJV), “to be on alert” (Matthew 24:42 NKJV), “to be dressed in readiness” (Luke 12:35 NKJV). Yeshua warns believers against date setting when He said “But of that day and hour no one knows, not even the angels of heaven, but My Father only” (Matthew 24:36 NKJV). He warns believers again when He said “watch therefore, for ye know neither the day nor the hour wherein the Son of man cometh” (Matthew 25:13). Thus, the clear reason for these persistent warnings is that Messiah Yeshua can appear at any moment. This means that only the pre-Tribulation Rapture theory allows for the imminence of the Lord’s majestic appearing for His Church. When the Rapture is placed at any other point in time, the imminence of the Lord’s appearing is destroyed because other prophetic events must happen first.

RELATED SOURCES

Bible Mysteries; Donald P. Ryan, PhD; 2000. The Complete Guide to Bible Prophecy; Stephen M. Miller; 2010. The Last Days; Richard H. Perry; 2006. The Book of Revelation; Larry R. Helyer, PhD and Richard Wagner; 2008. Article by Dr. Thomas Ice. Bible Prophecy Revealed  by Dr. Grant Jeffrey. Article by Dr. David Reagan. Learn the by in 24 Hours by Dr. Chuck Missler. Comments by Dr. Gary Stearman.

 

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THE FUTURE RAPTURE OF MESSIAH YESHUA’S CHURCH

Nov
22

The Rapture describes a magnificent supernatural event, which God has promised to all members of His Church.  This promise says that someday within the near future, when the majestic trumpet of God is blowing during the awesome shout of an archangel, Yeshua will appear in the sky and transport believers in His Church, both living and dead, to His dwelling place in Heaven.

THE RAPTURE TERM

The term, Rapture, originates from the Latin word, RAPIO, and this word means to catch up, to snatch away, or to take out suddenly. This word Rapture is also a translation of the Greek word, HARPAZO. This means the word RAPTURE is a Biblical word that originates from the Latin Vulgate and Greek translations of the Holy Bible. The word is found in 1 Thessalonians 4:16-18.  In the New American Standard Version, New King James Version, and New International Version, the English phrase, “caught up,” is employed.

THE RAPTURE IS A PROMISE TO THE CHURCH

The Rapture concept was not revealed to the Old Testament Hebrew prophets because it is a promise to the New Testament Christian Church and not to God’s saints who lived before the Christian Church Age. Yeshua will return as a bridegroom for His bride, and His bride will only include Church Age saints.  The saints mentioned in the Old Testament Hebrew Scriptures will be resurrected at the conclusion of the seven year Tribulation period and not either before or during the Rapture of Christian believers. The prophet Daniel reveals this future history when he wrote: “At that time Michael shall stand up, the great prince who stands watch over the sons of your people; and there shall be a time of trouble, Such as never was since there was a nation, even to that time. And at that time your people shall be delivered, everyone who is found written in the book. And many of those who sleep in the dust of the earth shall awake, some to everlasting life, some to shame and everlasting contempt.” (Daniel 12:1-3 NKJV).

THE BIBLICAL REFERENCES FOR THE RAPTURE

The first clear mention of the Rapture in God’s Holy Scriptures originates from the words of Messiah Yeshua when He said, “Let not your heart be troubled; you 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 to Myself; that where I am, there you may be also. And where I go you know, and the way you know.” (John 14:1-4 NKJV).

The most detailed revelation of the actual Rapture event is given by Paul when he wrote: “For the Lord Himself will descend from heaven with a shout, with the voice of an archangel, and with the trumpet of God. And the dead in Christ will rise first. Then we who are alive and remain shall be caught up together with them in the clouds to meet the Lord in the air. And thus we shall always be with the Lord. Therefore comfort one another with these words.” (1 Thessalonians 4:16-18 NKJV).

Paul mentions the Rapture event again when he wrote: “Now this I say, brethren, that flesh and blood cannot inherit the kingdom of God; nor does corruption inherit incorruption. Behold, I tell you a mystery: We shall not all sleep, but we shall all be changed—in a moment, in the twinkling of an eye, at the last trumpet. For the trumpet will sound, and the dead will be raised incorruptible, and we shall be changed. For this corruptible must put on incorruption, and this mortal must put on immortality. So when this corruptible has put on incorruption, and this mortal has put on immortality, then shall be brought to pass the saying that is written: “Death is swallowed up in victory.” (1 Corinthians 15:50-54 NKJV).

Paul mentions the timing of the Rapture when he wrote: “Let no one deceive you by any means; for that Day will not come unless the falling away comes first, and the man of sin is revealed, the son of perdition, who opposes and exalts himself above all that is called God or that is worshiped, so that he sits as God in the temple of God, showing himself that he is God.” (2 Thessalonians 2:3-4 NKJV).  This passage confirms that the Rapture event occurs before  the Anti-Messiah is revealed worldwide. The English words for FALLING AWAY were originally translated DEPARTURE AWAY in early English Bible versions, according to Dr. Grant Jeffrey.  Therefore, after the great departure of believers occur, then the Anti-Messiah will be revealed to the world.

RAPTURE SUMMARY

These Biblical passages teach that the shout of an archangel and the blowing of God’s trumpet will signal the sudden and dramatic appearance of Messiah Yeshua in the heavens. The dead in Messiah Yeshua will be resurrected and they will rise up to meet Yeshua in the sky. Then, the believers who are alive will be “caught up” to the Lord. Paul concludes his breathtaking description of the Rapture event with “comfort one another with these words.” The Rapture will be the most comforting experience for all believers in Messiah Yeshua because we will all receive a supernatural immortal body and we will never experience sickness and death again as we spend eternity with Messiah Yeshua.

RELATED SOURCES

Bible Mysteries; Donald P. Ryan, PhD; 2000. The Complete Guide to Bible Prophecy; Stephen M. Miller; 2010. The Last Days; Richard H. Perry; 2006. The Book of Revelation; Larry R. Helyer, PhD and Richard Wagner; 2008. Article by Dr. Thomas Ice. Bible Prophecy Revealed  by Dr. Grant Jeffrey. Article by Dr. David Reagan. Learn the by in 24 Hours by Dr. Chuck Missler. Comments by Dr. Gary Stearman.

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THE PRE-TRIBULATION RAPTURE THEORY

Nov
17

The Rapture event is a Christian term used to describe the coming ascension of Christians at the time of Messiah’s second coming. This is the noun corresponding to the verb used in 1 Thessalonians 4:17, where those believers who are still alive at the coming of Messiah are described as being “caught up” together with their resurrected fellow Christians to meet him “in the air.” This same verb used in 1 Thessalonians 4:17 is used in 2 Corinthians 12:2-3 to denote Paul’s mysterious experience of being “caught up” into the third heaven, or paradise. There are differences of interpretation about the timing of the Rapture at the time of Messiah’s second coming in relation to other end-time events. This has led to the emergence of distinct schools of eschatological thought . Today more believers are teaching that the Church will be in the Tribulation. However, This author believes the pre-Tribulation rapture theory is the best explanation for the destiny of God’s Church for several reasons.

First, the Tribulation comes after the great rebellion or falling away.  According to 2 Thessalonians 2:3, “For that day will not come,unless the rebellion comes first, and the man of lawlessness is revealed, the son of destruction, who opposes and exalts himself against every so-called god or object of worship, so that he takes his seat in the temple of God, proclaiming himself to be God.” The words that day refers to the Seven Year Tribulation when the Anti-Messiah rules the world just after the rapture of believers in Messiah Yeshua. Furthermore, a few prophecy scholars point out that  the Day of the Lord (Tribulation) comes after the GREAT DEPARTURE, which has been incorrectly translated as falling away in 2 Thessalonians 2:3. At least seven early English translations of this Greek rapture passage always used DEPARTURE AWAY rather than FALLING AWAY. For example 2 Thessalonians 2:3 says:  “Let no one deceive you by any means; for that Day will not come unless the falling (DEPARTURE) away comes first, and the man of sin is revealed, the son of perdition, who opposes and exalts himself above all that is called God or that is worshiped, so that he sits as God in the temple of God, showing himself that he is God.” This rapture passage demonstrates that the rapture must occur before the Anti-Messiah is revealed at the beginning of the seven year tribulation, according to Dr. Grant Jeffrey.

Second, the seventh trumpet in Revelation 11:15 comes from the trumpet of an Angel and not the trumpet of God. During the rapture event, God’s voice will sound like a majestic Trumpet, according to 1 Thessalonians 4:16-17 and Revelation 4:1.  For example St Paul says: “For the Lord Himself will descend from heaven with a shout, with the voice of an archangel, and with THE TRUMPET OF GOD. And the dead in Christ will rise first. Then we who are alive and remain shall be caught up together with them in the clouds to meet the Lord in the air. And thus we shall always be with the Lord.” The voice of God will sound like a trumpet during the rapture, according to Dr. Gary Stearman.

Third, Messiah Yeshua says the tribulation will be like the days of Noah. For example Matthew 24:37-40 says: “But as the days of Noah were, so also will the coming of the Son of Man be. For as in the days before the flood, they were eating and drinking, marrying and giving in marriage, until the day that Noah entered the ark, and did not know until the flood came and took them all away, so also will the coming of the Son of Man be.” (Matthew 24:37-40). The PROPHET ENOCH WAS RAPTURED to Heaven before the great flood of Noah arrived (Genesis 5:20-21). Enoch represents a type of Church Saint, while Noah represents a type of tribulation Saint.  Enoch was pre-flood, bur Noah was preserved through the flood. Therefore, this type shows the rapture must be a pre-tribulation event, according to Dr. Chuck Missler.

Fourth, Messiah’s Church is not mentioned as existing on Earth after Revelation 4:1 because the Church has been raptured to Heaven by Yeshua. For example Revelation 4:1 says: “After these things I looked, and behold, a door standing open in heaven. And the first voice which I heard was LIKE A TRUMPET SPEAKING WITH ME, saying, “Come up here, and I will show you things which must take place after this.” We only see the Church again in Revelation 19 when Messiah Yeshua descends down to conquer the enemies of Israel. For example Revelation 19:11-16 says: “Now I saw heaven opened, and behold, a white horse. And He who sat on him was called Faithful and True, and in righteousness He judges and makes war. His eyes were like a flame of fire, and on His head were many crowns. He had  a name written that no one knew except Himself. 13 He was clothed with a robe dipped in blood, and His name is called The Word of God. And the armies in heaven, clothed in fine linen, white and clean, followed Him on white horses.  Now out of His mouth goes a sharp[g] sword, that with it He should strike the nations. And He Himself will rule them with a rod of iron. He Himself treads the winepress of the fierceness and wrath of Almighty God. 16 And He has on His robe and on His thigh a name written: KING OF KINGS AND LORD OF LORDS.” This passage reveals that the Church was taken out of Earth and it returns with Messiah during the war of Armageddon, according to Dr. Thomas Ice.

Fifth, all 21 judgments originate from the Throne Room of God in Heaven. The seven seals judgments described in Revelation 6, Matthew 24, Mark 13, and Luke 21. The seven trumpets are described in Revelation chapters 8 to 15.  The seven bowls are described in Revelation 16.   This means that all 21 judgments are part of the wrath of God because they originate from the Throne Room of God, according to Dr. David Reagan.

Sixth, the teaching of the pre-tribulation rapture is not new because it was taught by St. Paul in the first century AD (1-thessalonians 4:16, 2 Thessalonians 2:3, and 1-Corinthians 15:50-55) and by Ephraim the Syrian in 373 AD. For example Ephraim says: “For all the saints and the elect of God are gathered prior to the Tribulation that is to come, and are taken to the Lord lest they see the confusion that is to overwhelm the world because of our sin.”

Finally, as we approach the last years of human history and we come near the seven year tribulation days, many believers and non-believers will attack the pre-tribulation rapture teaching because it is too supernatural. Many believers fail to understand that it will take some time before the anti-Messiah arrives on the scene. The global government needs to form (Daniel 2 and 7; Revelation 18) and the global religious system needs to form (revelation 17). The Obadiah 1:15-21, Psalm 83, and Isaiah 17:1 wars needs to be fulfilled and later the Gog and Magog war (Ezekiel 38 and 39). After the rapture event, the fallen ones will reveal themselves to humanity and the days of Noah will return to Earth when hybrid humans and animals occupy the land. It will probably take another 10 to 20 years for all these things to happen. Therefore, the rapture can occur at any moment, but there are signs leading up to the Seven Year Tribulation period.

RELATED SOURCES

Bible Mysteries; Donald P. Ryan, PhD; 2000. The Complete Guide to Bible Prophecy; Stephen M. Miller; 2010. The Last Days; Richard H. Perry; 2006. The Book of Revelation; Larry R. Helyer, PhD and Richard Wagner; 2008. Article by Dr. Thomas Ice. Bible Prophecy Revealed  by Dr. Grant Jeffrey. Article by Dr. David Reagan. Learn the by in 24 Hours by Dr. Chuck Missler. Comments by Dr. Gary Stearman.

 

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