Category: Interpretations


A Verse That Stumbles?

I’ll admit, as the Lord revealed to me that His name is Jehovah, there was ONE verse that stumbled me.  So I sought the Lord in prayer, for understanding.  This is what He revealed to me.

(First, we must remember that although the KJV translates YHVH (Yehovah) as sometimes Jehovah, and other times LORD or GOD, if we were reading the Hebrew text, it would say Yehovah (Jehovah) in ALL of these places.  When a person, or angel, or God Himself said ‘Jehovah, GOD, or LORD’, the Hebrew listener would have heard ‘Yehovah’.  In order to remind us of that, I’m going to insert the Hebrew name in parentheses after the translated name, in the verses that follow).

Here is the problem verse:

‘And I appeared unto Abraham, unto Isaac, and unto Jacob, by [the name of] God Almighty (El Shaddai), but by my name JEHOVAH was I not known to them.’  (Exodus 6:3)

Because it appears to contradict by this verse:

‘And Abraham called the name of that place Jehovahjireh: as it is said [to] this day, In the mount of the LORD (Yehovah) it shall be seen.’  (Genesis 22:14)

How could Abraham have named a place after Jehovah/God if he did not know His name was Jehovah (Yehovah)?  This type of ‘knowing’ must not be what was meant.  Is there another type of knowing?  Yes.  There is a knowing by revelation . . . by EXPERIENCE.

God uses many variations of His name to express different aspects of His character.  All of these names are fulfilled in the relationship of Jesus Christ to man.  They foreshadowed and pointed the way to what Jesus Christ would do.  We do not know EXACTLY what the meaning of ‘Jehovah’ is.  But the Bible gives us a few clues:

  • The Hebrew Word ‘hovah’ HVH means: ruin, disaster.

The name Je hovah (Ye hovah) ends with this.  But what could the Je/Ye part of His name mean?  I believe the answer is to be found in the very same passage as the verse that stumbled me . . .

‘And I appeared unto Abraham, unto Isaac, and unto Jacob, by [the name of] God Almighty (El Shaddai), but by my name JEHOVAH was I not known to them . . .

. . . And I have also heard the groaning of the children of Israel, whom the Egyptians keep in bondage; and I have remembered my covenant.

Wherefore say unto the children of Israel, I [am] the LORD (Yehovah), and I will BRING YOU OUT from under the burdens of the Egyptians, and I will RID YOU OUT OF their BONDAGE, and I will REDEEM you with a stretched out arm, and with great judgments:

And I will take you to me for a people, and I will be to you a God: and ye shall know that I [am] the LORD (Yehovah) your God (Elohiym), which BRINGETH YOU OUT from under the burdens of the Egyptians.’  (Ex 6:3-7)

So, here we have it:

I am Jehovah . . . I will bring you out . . . rid you of bondage . . . and redeem you.  I am Jehovah which brings you out of bondage.

This is how God defines His name.  Bring out of, rid of, redeem from . . .what word encompasses all these definitions?  Deliver.

I am Jehovah . . . I will deliver you . . . deliver you . . . and deliver you.  I am Jehovah which delivers you.

And indeed, this ties back to the verse that was apparently a contradiction:

‘And Abraham called the name of that place Jehovahjireh: as it is said [to] this day, In the mount of the LORD (Yehovah) it shall be seen.’  (Genesis 22:14)

What happened there that caused Abraham to build an altar called Jehovahjireh?

‘And they came to the place which God (Elohiym) had told him of; and Abraham built an altar there, and laid the wood in order, and bound Isaac his son, and laid him on the altar upon the wood. And Abraham stretched forth his hand, and took the knife to slay his son.

And the angel of the LORD (Yehovah) called unto him out of heaven, and said, Abraham, Abraham: and he said, Here [am] I. And he said, Lay not thine hand upon the lad, neither do thou any thing unto him: for now I know that thou fearest God (Elohiym), seeing thou hast not withheld thy son, thine only [son] from me.

And Abraham lifted up his eyes, and looked, and behold behind [him] a ram caught in a thicket by his horns: and Abraham went and took the ram, and offered him up for a burnt offering in the stead of his son. And Abraham called the name of that place Jehovahjireh: as it is said [to] this day, In the mount of the LORD (Yehovah) it shall be seen.’  (Gen. 22:9-14)

Jehovahjireh . . . In the mount of the Lord, IT SHALL BE SEEN.  Je (deliverance from) hovah (ruin) shall be seen.

And this passage is a perfect illustration and confirmation of how God delivers!  Here on mount Moriah He delivered Isaac from ruin and destruction, while providing a foreshadowing of how Jesus would deliver US from ETERNAL ruin and destruction.  Some even say that Mount Moriah was the same mount where Jesus was crucified.  If this is true, it provides another motive for obscuring the name of God: to remove any connection between deliverance and the crucifixion of Jesus Christ.

Back to the original verse and its meaning:

‘And I appeared unto Abraham, unto Isaac, and unto Jacob, by [the name of] God Almighty (El Shaddai), but by my name JEHOVAH was I not known to them.’  (Exodus 6:3)

Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob knew (EXPERIENCED) God as ‘El Shaddai’ (which the concordance defines as: Almighty; most powerful).  But they had not known Him as their deliverer.  This verse was spoken to Moses just before He delivered them from Egypt.  They would now know (EXPERIENCE) firsthand, His deliverance.

‘For I would not, brethren, that ye should be ignorant of this mystery, lest ye should be wise in your own conceits; that blindness in part is happened to Israel, until the fulness of the Gentiles be come in.  And so all Israel shall be saved: as it is written, There shall come out of Sion the Deliverer, and shall turn away ungodliness from Jacob:  For this [is] my covenant unto them, when I shall take away their sins.’  (Romans 11:25-27)

 

Please note: this author does NOT in any way acknowledge, support, or condone the Jehovah’s Witnesses.

If I understand Bible prophecy right, there is a fantastic event coming, even in the midst of the darkest hour the world has ever, or will ever, endure.  No, it’s not the Rapture . . . it will happen before that.  It is an event that no one talks about, that I believe has been hidden from our understanding–hidden in plain sight, for all the prophets talk of it.  That event is the revealing of the identities of those who are descended from the ‘missing’ ten tribes of Israel.

‘Yet the number of the children of Israel shall be as the sand of the sea, which cannot be measured nor numbered; and it shall come to pass, [that] in the place where it was said unto them, Ye [are] not my people, [there] it shall be said unto them, [Ye are] the sons of the living God.  Then shall the children of Judah and the children of Israel be gathered together, and appoint themselves one head, and they shall come up out of the land: for great [shall be] the day of Jezreel.‘  (Hosea 1:10-11)

Long ago, God divorced the ten tribes of the Northern Kingdom, also known as ‘Israel’ (the Southern Kingdom was known as Judah–today’s ‘Jews’).  The prophecies of Hosea tell of the day when God forgives Israel and brings her back to Himself.

‘For the children of Israel shall abide many days without a king, and without a prince, and without a sacrifice, and without an image, and without an ephod, and [without] teraphim:  Afterward shall the children of Israel return, and seek the LORD their God, and David their king; and shall fear the LORD and his goodness in the latter days.’  (Hosea 3:4-5)

Prior to that day (and on the horizon now) is the day that the eyes of the Jews will be opened:

‘And it shall come to pass in that day, [that] I will seek to destroy all the nations that come against Jerusalem. And I will pour upon the house of David, and upon the inhabitants of Jerusalem, the spirit of grace and of supplications: and they shall look upon me whom they have pierced, and they shall mourn for him, as one mourneth for [his] only [son], and shall be in bitterness for him, as one that is in bitterness for [his] firstborn.’  (Zech. 12:9-10)

‘In that day’ is referring to the time of the Psalms 83 war, when the enemies of the modern day nation of ‘Israel’ will make war against her and take her land.  Although they will at first prevail against her, God is going to somehow, supernaturally, intervene and turn things around.

‘Behold, I will make Jerusalem a cup of trembling unto all the people round about, when they shall be in the siege both against Judah [and] against Jerusalem. And in that day will I make Jerusalem a burdensome stone for all people: all that burden themselves with it shall be cut in pieces, though all the people of the earth be gathered together against it.

In that day, saith the LORD, I will smite every horse with astonishment, and his rider with madness: and I will open mine eyes upon the house of Judah, and will smite every horse of the people with blindness.‘  (Zech. 12:2-4)

But I will have mercy upon the house of Judah, and will save them by the LORD their God, and will not save them by bow, nor by sword, nor by battle, by horses, nor by horsemen.‘  (Hosea 1:7)

Then ‘Israel’ will actually have her borders enlarged!

‘In that day will I make the governors of Judah like an hearth of fire among the wood, and like a torch of fire in a sheaf; and they shall devour all the people round about, on the right hand and on the left: and Jerusalem shall be inhabited again in her own place, [even] in Jerusalem.’  (Zech. 12:6)

All this is in preparation for the day of ‘Jezreel’.  This will be an event of momentous importance–so much so that God named a place in the Promised Land, in anticipation of that future day . . .a day that many of us will live to see, and some may even be a part of!

‘Jezreel’ means ‘God sows’.  What does God sow?

‘ . . . and they shall hear Jezreel.  And I will sow her unto me in the earth; and I will have mercy upon her that had not obtained mercy; and I will say to [them which were] not my people, Thou [art] my people; and they shall say, [Thou art] my God.’  (Hosea 2:22-23)

First Israel, where she lives now, will be punished, purged, and cleansed.  Then the remnant will be returned to the Promised Land.  ‘Jezreel’ will be a day of great rejoicing!  It is the day of forgiveness and restoration . . . of the remarriage of Israel to Jehovah God!!

‘And I will betroth thee unto me for ever; yea, I will betroth thee unto me in righteousness, and in judgment, and in lovingkindness, and in mercies. I will even betroth thee unto me in faithfulness: and thou shalt know the LORD.’  (Hosea 2:19-20)

For I will take you from among the heathen, and gather you out of all  countries, and will bring you into your own land. Then will I sprinkle clean water upon you, and ye shall be clean: from all your filthiness, and from all your idols, will I cleanse you. A new heart also will I give you, and a new spirit will I put within you: and I will take away the stony heart out of your flesh, and I will give you an heart of flesh. And I will put my spirit within you, and cause you to walk in my statutes, and ye shall keep my judgments, and do [them]. And ye shall dwell in the land that I gave to your fathers; and ye shall be my people, and I will be your God.‘ (Ezek. 36:24-28)

I believe this complete, reunited Israel is the ‘woman’ spoken of in Revelation 12:6 and 14 . . .

‘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. . . And to the woman were given two wings of a great eagle, that she might fly into the wilderness, into her place, where she is nourished for a time, and times, and half a time, from the face of the serpent.’

”Therefore, behold, I will allure her, and bring her into the wilderness, and speak comfortably unto her. And I will give her her vineyards from thence, and the valley of Achor for a door of hope: and she shall sing there, as in the days of her youth, and as in the day when she came up out of the land of Egypt. . .

 And in that day will I make a covenant for them with the beasts of the field, and with the fowls of heaven, and [with] the creeping things of the ground: and I will break the bow and the sword and the battle out of the earth, and will make them to lie down safely.’* (Hosea 2:14-16, 18) 

*Compare this to Ezekiel 34:25 and 28 . . .

‘And I will make with them a covenant of peace, and will cause the evil beasts to cease out of the land: and they shall dwell safely in the wilderness, and sleep in the woods . . . And they shall no more be a prey to the heathen, neither shall the beast of the land devour them; but they shall dwell safely, and none shall make [them] afraid.’

Read the following passages for context, to confirm that they’re related and that this understanding is correct: Hosea 1-3, Ezekiel 34 (and 36-37), and Jeremiah 23:1-8.  They all foretell this grand event! I’ve only hit the highlights of what’s contained in these passages.

Let us stop living in fear of what The Antichrist is going to try to do to us, and know that God has a wonderful plan in store!  Even in a time of gross darkness, there will be light and rejoicing, provision and protection for His children.

‘Yea, though I walk through the valley of the shadow of death, I will fear no evil: for thou [art] with me; thy rod and thy staff they comfort me. Thou preparest a table before me in the presence of mine enemies: thou anointest my head with oil; my cup runneth over.’ (Psalm 23:4-5)

‘And to the woman were given two wings of a great eagle, that she might fly into the wilderness, into her place, where she is nourished for a time, and times, and half a time, from the face of the serpent.  And the serpent cast out of his mouth water as a flood after the woman, that he might cause her to be carried away of the flood.  And the earth helped the woman, and the earth opened her mouth, and swallowed up the flood which the dragon cast out of his mouth.’  (Rev. 12:14-16)

Let us live with abandon, and put our faith completely in Him.

‘And they overcame him by the blood of the Lamb, and by the word of their testimony; and they loved not their lives unto the death.‘  (Rev. 12:11)

‘If it be [so], our God whom we serve is able to deliver us from the burning fiery furnace, and he will deliver [us] out of thine hand, O king. But if not, be it known unto thee, O king, that we will not serve thy gods, nor worship the golden image which thou hast set up.’  (Daniel 3:17-18)

Faith is the oil for your lamp.  If you hope to be one of the ‘wise virgins’, you must build your faith NOW, by reading His Word.

‘So then faith [cometh] by hearing, and hearing by the word of God.’  (Romans 10:17)

I cannot impart my faith to you–not now, not later.  Only the Holy Spirit can fill you with faith, and that comes by prayer and reading His Word.  Don’t neglect these things now, while you still have time.

It is also through the Word that we are taught how to walk in righteousness, and our minds are cleansed and renewed.  You cannot walk in the Spirit without prayer and reading your Bible.  If you are not walking in the Spirit, then you are walking in the flesh.  When you walk in the flesh, you don’t grow spiritually or bear spiritual fruit.  You are also choosing a very dangerous path–especially in these days of great deception.

You must walk IN THE SPIRIT for the promise of ‘no condemnation’ to apply to you:

‘[There is] therefore now no condemnation to them which are in Christ Jesus, who walk not after the flesh, but after the Spirit.’  (Romans 8:1)

If we hope to be part of the remnant, then we must ‘walk worthy’ NOW.

‘For the eyes of the LORD run to and fro throughout the whole earth, to shew himself strong in the behalf of [them] whose heart [is] perfect toward him. . . ‘  (2 Chronicles 16:9)

‘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.’  (Luke 21:36)

The exodus from Israel was a foreshadowing of what is soon to happen.  There is a great and exciting event on the horizon!  Let the hope of this day encourage you through the trials, testings, and persecution that are to come.  Never give up hope.

‘Behold, the days come, saith the LORD, that I will raise unto David a righteous Branch, and a King shall reign and prosper, and shall execute judgment and justice in the earth.  In his days Judah shall be saved, and Israel shall dwell safely: and this [is] his name whereby he shall be called, THE LORD OUR RIGHTEOUSNESS.

Therefore, behold, the days come, saith the LORD, that they shall no more say, The LORD liveth, which brought up the children of Israel out of the land of Egypt;  But, The LORD liveth, which brought up and which led the seed of the house of Israel out of the north country, and from all countries whither I had driven them; and they shall dwell in their own land.’  (Jeremiah 23:5-8)

(What I’ve learned and shared with you today is further confirmation, for me, of what I wrote some time ago: Worthy to Escape

How many times have you heard someone say this?:

‘In Genesis 6, it talks about how Noah and his family were the only ones without corrupted seed.’

I’m going to address this, because it’s something we’re hearing virtually every day.  But not everything that’s being said is true.  God’s WORD however, IS true.

In the Bible, it is very typical for something to be REPEATED several times, to reinforce the meaning.  (While those who come up with false doctrines latch onto seemingly vague and isolated phrases.)

Let’s look closely at the verse from which this misunderstanding springs:

 ‘These [are] the generations 8435 of Noah 5146: Noah 5146 was a just 6662 man 376 [and] perfect 8549 in his generations 1755, [and] Noah 5146 walked 1980 with God 430.’  (Genesis 6:9)

(The next verses go on to list the generations (Strong’s H8435=descendants) of Noah.)

 

What is this verse trying to convey?  The meaning is stated 3 times, in 3 ways, in the verse:

  1. Noah was a just man (H6662)
  2. Noah was perfect in his generations (H8549, H1755)
  3. Noah walked with God

 

It’s stated again in Genesis 7:1

 ‘And the LORD said unto Noah, Come thou and all thy house into the ark; for thee have I seen RIGHTEOUS before me in this GENERATION 1755.’

 

Despite what we are being told, Genesis 6:9 is telling us that Noah was RIGHTEOUS–not genetically perfect!!  This is also restated in Ezekiel 14:14 and 14:20.

Let’s look at the definitions of the words used in Genesis 6:9 . . .

 

Just (H6662)

1) just, lawful, righteous

…a) just, righteous (in government)

…b) just, right (in one’s cause)

…c) just, righteous (in conduct and character)

…d) righteous (as justified and vindicated by God)

…e) right, correct, lawful

 

Perfect (H8549)

1) complete, whole, entire, sound

…a) complete, whole, entire

…b) whole, sound, healthful

…c) complete, entire (of time)

…d) sound, wholesome, unimpaired, innocent, having integrity

…e) what is complete or entirely in accord with truth and fact (neuter adj/subst)

 

Generations (H1755)

1) period, generation, habitation, dwelling

…a) period, age, generation (period of time)

…b) generation (those living during a period)

…c) generation (characterised by quality, condition, class of men)

…d) dwelling-place, habitation

 

Hopefully you can see, after reading the definitions above, that to say that ‘Noah was perfect in his generations’ meant he was genetically perfect, is quite a stretch.  It would also be taking these few words completely out of the context of the verse they’re in . . . and of everything else that is ever said about Noah in the whole Bible!

 

There should be no room left for doubt, after 2 Peter 2:5, that Noah was saved because of RIGHTEOUSNESS, not genetics!!

 ‘And spared not the old world, but saved Noah the eighth [person], a PREACHER OF RIGHTEOUSNESS, bringing in the flood upon the world of the UNGODLY’

 

I urge you all to pray about this, because once we have accepted a false teaching, it can be hard to unlearn.  Pray that the Lord would show you, and that if what I’ve said is true–and what you’ve heard is wrong–that God would erase it from your mind and replace it with His truth.

Most mainstream end-times Bible teachers say that The Tribulation will be seven years long, and will begin when The Antichrist signs a seven year peace treaty.  The hinge pin of their argument seems to be ONE verse:  Daniel 9:27.

 

‘And he shall confirm the covenant with many for one week: and in the midst of the week he shall cause the sacrifice and the oblation to cease, and for the overspreading of abominations he shall make [it] desolate, even until the consummation, and that determined shall be poured upon the desolate.’

 

I do not believe this verse says what they claim–and this is another VERY important example of how the KJV can protect us from deception, because ALL of the other versions (except the ‘Webster’s Bible) have the same error.  We KNOW these versions are translated from corrupted manuscripts.

In case you just skimmed the verse, or didn’t notice, let me point out the problem.  All of the corrupted versions say something to the effect of ‘he shall confirm a covenant’ (the NLT even calls it a ‘treaty’).  But notice, they say A covenant.  The KJV says THE covenant.

According to the KJV ‘he’ will CONFIRM THE COVENANT.  Let me point out two other things:

  1. It is not specified who ‘he’ is, but it comes directly after two verses that are discussing Jesus Christ, the Messiah.  If you read the chapter yourself, I think you will agree with me, that ‘he’ is likely Jesus Christ, NOT The Antichrist!
  2.  The first nineteen verses of the chapter are Daniel’s prayer.  He prays because he’s grieved that God’s sanctuary is desolate because the people broke THE COVENANT with God and suffered His punishment (as Deuteronomy 28 had promised would happen, if they ever forsook His covenant).  THE covenant in verse 27 is the very same covenant that Daniel was referring to in his prayer.

 

Will The Tribulation be seven years?  I don’t know.  But I do know that Daniel 9:27 is not a verse that can be used to support that idea.  Will The Tribulation begin with The Antichrist signing a seven year treaty?  Not unless there are OTHER Bible passages to support that happening, because Daniel 9:27 doesn’t.

I’m not asking you to accept what I say–I’m trying to motivate you to seek out the truth for yourself.   Now that we have thrown out our corrupted Bible versions, it is time to reexamine our understanding of end-times prophecy.  Daniel 9 is a great place to begin!

‘Wherefore the Lord said, Forasmuch as this people draw near [me] with their mouth, and with their lips do honour me, but have removed their heart far from me. . . ‘  (Isaiah 29:13)

Why have the churches become so much like the world?  My firm opinion is that they are populated with many people who have not been born again.  Repentance is necessary to conversion, but it is no longer preached.  Instead, people are told that all you have to do is believe in Jesus to be saved.  Well . . . that puts them in the same camp with the devil.

‘Thou believest that there is one God; thou doest well: the devils also believe, and tremble.’  (James 2:19)

Jesus tell us that there will be many people that believe they are Christians, that He will turn away.

‘Many will say to me in that day, Lord, Lord, have we not prophesied in thy name? and in thy name have cast out devils? and in thy name done many wonderful works?  And then will I profess unto them, I never knew you: depart from me, ye that work iniquity.’  (Matthew 7:22-23)

Either these people were wolves in sheep’s clothing and are trying to con Jesus on judgment day . . . or they are people who believed in Jesus, whose faith in Him produced works, but who are rejected for some other reason.  The last words of the verse give a clue: ‘ye that work iniquity’.

I believe these are the same people spoken of in 2nd Thessalonians 2:10-12

‘And with all deceivableness of unrighteousness in them that perish; because they received not the love of the truth, that they might be saved.

And for this cause God shall send them strong delusion, that they should believe a lie:  That they all might be damned who believed not the truth, but had pleasure in unrighteousness.’

The devil will use the ‘deceivableness of unrighteousness’ . . . to ensnare them.  Unrighteousness (sin) deceives people.  The people spoken about here, that will receive strong delusion from God and be damned, are people who practice sin.  The passage confirms this–‘they . . . who . . . had pleasure in unrighteousness’.

My belief, is that part of the strong delusion is that many people will believe they are saved, even while they continue to live in sin.  And that the truth they won’t receive or believe, is that they must repent to be saved, and then live in obedience to God to continue ‘abiding in Him’.

‘And he called [unto him] the twelve, and began to send them forth by two and two; and gave them power over unclean spirits; . . . And they went out, and preached that men should repent.   And they cast out many devils, and anointed with oil many that were sick, and healed [them].’  (Mark 6:7, 12-13)

‘Here is the patience of the saints: here [are] they that keep the commandments of God, and the faith of Jesus.’  (Revelation 14:12)

‘If a man abide not in me, he is cast forth as a branch, and is withered; and men gather them, and cast [them] into the fire, and they are burned.’  (John 15:6)

Those who receive this truth: that being reconciled to God requires repentance and obedience, can be saved.  Those who won’t receive the truth . . . who are only looking for a way to avoid hell (fire insurance, if you will), will be ensnared in the trap.

‘Whoso diggeth a pit shall fall therein: and he that rolleth a stone, it will return upon him.’  (Proverbs 26:27)

‘Be not deceived; God is not mocked: for whatsoever a man soweth, that shall he also reap.  For he that soweth to his flesh shall of the flesh reap corruption; but he that soweth to the Spirit shall of the Spirit reap life everlasting.’  (Galatians 6:7-8)

Those who want to ‘have their cake and eat it too’ . . . who want to escape the fires of hell, yet live like the devil . . . will be the ones pleading with God on judgment day.

‘Not every one that saith unto me, Lord, Lord, shall enter into the kingdom of heaven; but he that doeth the will of my Father which is in heaven.’  (Matthew 7:21)

‘What? know ye not that your body is the temple of the Holy Ghost [which is] in you, which ye have of God, and ye are not your own?   For ye are bought with a price: therefore glorify God in your body, and in your spirit, which are God’s.’  (1 Corinthians 6:19-20)

Those who mock God’s grace by attempting to get eternal life without having a change of heart, by insincerely making a profession of faith with their mouth while denying it by their actions . . . they will get what they deserve.

‘Examine yourselves, whether ye be in the faith; prove your own selves. Know ye not your own selves, how that Jesus Christ is in you, except ye be reprobates?’  (2 Corinthians 13:5)

After having read the Word, BUT without having had time to pray about it and let it ‘simmer’ . . . here are my initial thoughts about the army described in Joel 2:

I believe that the opening of the sixth seal (Rev. 6:12-17) and the sixth trumpet (Rev. 9:14-21) are simultaneous.  It looks like Joel 2 is another perspective on the same event (and, unexpectedly, Ezekiel 38 & 39).

THE SIXTH TRUMPET: ‘SUPER SOLDIERS’ UNLEASHED?

If this is true, it may be the unleashing of what some call ‘super soldiers’ by the Antichrist’s (Daniel’s fourth beast’s) army.

Joel 2:2

“a great people and a strong; there hath not been ever the like, neither shall be any more after it, [even] to the years of many generations.”

and

Joel 2:7-8

“They shall run like mighty men; they shall climb the wall like men of war; and they shall march every one on his ways, and they shall not break their ranks: Neither shall one thrust another; they shall walk every one in his path: and [when] they fall upon the sword, they shall not be wounded.”

_____________________________________________________________________________

THEIR SMOKE DARKENS THE SUN, MOON, AND STARS

Notice Joel 2:10

“The earth shall quake before them*; the heavens shall tremble: the sun and the moon shall be dark, and the stars shall withdraw their shining:”

*I interpret these things to happen AS A RESULT of them.

And Revelation 9:18

“By these three was the third part of men killed, by the fire, and by the smoke, and by the brimstone, which issued out of their mouths.”

Again, I believe that the fire and smoke is what darkens the sun, moon and stars.

Again, Joel 2:31 says

“The sun shall be turned into darkness, and the moon into blood, before the great and the terrible day of the LORD come.”

Matthew 24:29

“Immediately after the tribulation of those days shall the sun be darkened, and the moon shall not give her light, and the stars shall fall from heaven, and the powers of the heavens shall be shaken:”

I believe Revelation 6:12-17 picks up where Revelation 9:19 and Joel 2:10 leave off–because, after Joel 2:10 comes The Day of The Lord.

Rev. 6:12-17″I watched as he opened the sixth seal. There was a great earthquake. The sun turned black like sackcloth made of goat hair, the whole moon turned blood red, and the stars in the sky fell to earth, as late figs drop from a fig tree when shaken by a strong wind. The sky receded like a scroll, rolling up, and every mountain and island was removed from its place.

Then the kings of the earth, the princes, the generals, the rich, the mighty, and every slave and every free man 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 stand?”

_____________________________________________________________________________

In other words, I think THE CHRONOLOGY is this (you may want to read through it with your Bible, since I have not pasted all the verses here):

  • Revelation 9:14-19
  • Joel 2:2-10
  • Matthew 24:29, Mark 13:24-25
  • Revelation 6:12-17
  • Joel 2:11
  • (It looks like this also correlates with Ezekiel 38:1-17)

Then, the  story continues (as explained below):

  • Joel 2:12-17
  • Joel 2:18, Ezekiel 38:18-23, Revelation 16:17-21
  • Ezekiel 39:1-10
  • Joel 2:20
  • Ezekiel 39:11

also

  • Revelation 10:7, Matthew 24:27-31, Mark 13:26-27
  • Revelation 19:11-19

_____________________________________________________________________________

GOD’S PEOPLE REPENT

After this great army invades, the prophet Joel commands the people to repent and cry out to God (Joel 2:12-17)

______________________________________________________________________________

THE LORD WILL ARISE ON BEHALF OF HIS PEOPLE (THE DAY OF THE LORD)

“Then will the LORD be jealous for his land, and pity his people.”  (Joel 2:18)

 

DAY OF THE LORD PART 1: THE RETURN OF JESUS CHRIST FOR HIS PEOPLE

At the Lord’s return, He gathers His people to Him, before pouring out His wrath.

Revelation 10:7

“But in the days when the seventh angel is about to sound his trumpet, the mystery of God will be accomplished, just as he announced to his servants the prophets.”

Matthew 24:30-31

“And then shall appear the sign of the Son of man in heaven: and then shall all the tribes of the earth mourn, and they shall see the Son of man coming in the clouds of heaven with power and great glory. And he shall send his angels with a great sound of a trumpet, and they shall gather together his elect from the four winds, from one end of heaven to the other.”

Mark 13:26-27 “And then shall they see the Son of man coming in the clouds with great power and glory. And then shall he send his angels, and shall gather together his elect from the four winds, from the uttermost part of the earth to the uttermost part of heaven.”

 

DAY OF THE LORD PART 2: HE POURS OUT HIS WRATH UPON THE NATIONS = THE GREAT SUPPER OF GOD

Matthew 24:27-28

“For as the lightning cometh out of the east, and shineth even unto the west; so shall also the coming of the Son of man be.  For wheresoever the carcase is, there will the eagles be gathered together.”

Revelation 19:11-19

“I saw heaven standing open and there before me was a white horse, whose rider is called Faithful and True. With justice he judges and makes war. His eyes are like blazing fire, and on his head are many crowns. He has a name written on him that no one knows but he himself. He is dressed in a robe dipped in blood, and his name is the Word of God. The armies of heaven were following him, riding on white horses and dressed in fine linen, white and clean. Out of his mouth comes a sharp sword with which to strike down the nations. “He will rule them with an iron scepter.”  He treads the winepress of the fury of the wrath of God Almighty. On his robe and on his thigh he has this name written: KING OF KINGS AND LORD OF LORDS. And I saw an angel standing in the sun, who cried in a loud voice to all the birds flying in midair, “Come, gather together for the great supper of God, so that you may eat the flesh of kings, generals, and mighty men, of horses and their riders, and the flesh of all people, free and slave, small and great. Then I saw the beast and the kings of the earth and their armies gathered together to make war against the rider on the horse and his army.”

Remember who is gathered, hiding from the face of God in Rev. 6:15,

” . . . the kings of the earth, and the great men, and the rich men, and the chief captains, and the mighty men, and every bondman, and every free man . . . ”

Joel 2:11

“And the LORD shall utter his voice before his army: for his camp [is] very great: for [he is] strong that executeth his word: for the day of the LORD [is] great and very terrible; and who can abide it?”

And, this may correlate with Ezekiel 38:18-23

“And it shall come to pass at the same time when Gog shall come against the land of Israel, saith the Lord GOD, [that] my fury shall come up in my face For in my jealousy [and] in the fire of my wrath have I spoken, Surely in that day there shall be a great shaking in the land of Israel; So that the fishes of the sea, and the fowls of the heaven, and the beasts of the field, and all creeping things that creep upon the earth, and all the men that [are] upon the face of the earth, shall shake at my presence, and the mountains shall be thrown down, and the steep places shall fall, and every wall shall fall to the ground. And I will call for a sword against him throughout all my mountains, saith the Lord GOD: every man’s sword shall be against his brother. And I will plead against him with pestilence and with blood; and I will rain upon him, and upon his bands, and upon the many people that [are] with him, an overflowing rain, and great hailstones, fire, and brimstone. Thus will I magnify myself, and sanctify myself; and I will be known in the eyes of many nations, and they shall know that I [am] the LORD.”

It certainly seems that Joel 2:20

“But I will remove far off from you the northern [army], and will drive him into a land barren and desolate, with his face toward the east sea, and his hinder part toward the utmost sea, and his stink shall come up, and his ill savour shall come up, because he hath done great things.”

and Ezekiel 39:11 are talking about the same thing:

“And it shall come to pass in that day, [that] I will give unto Gog a place there of graves in Israel, the valley of the passengers on the east of the sea: and it shall stop the [noses] of the passengers: and there shall they bury Gog and all his multitude: and they shall call [it] The valley of Hamongog.”

_____________________________________________________________________________

IT IS DONE!

Ezekiel 39:8

“Behold, it is come, and it is done, saith the Lord GOD; this [is] the day whereof I have spoken.” Revelation 16:17-21

“The seventh angel poured out his bowl into the air, and out of the temple came a loud voice from the throne, saying, “It is done!” Then there came flashes of lightning, rumblings, peals of thunder and a severe earthquake. No earthquake like it has ever occurred since man has been on earth, so tremendous was the quake. The great city split into three parts, and the cities of the nations collapsed. God remembered Babylon the Great and gave her the cup filled with the wine of the fury of his wrath. Every island fled away and the mountains could not be found. From the sky huge hailstones of about a hundred pounds each fell upon men. And they cursed God on account of the plague of hail, because the plague was so terrible.”

(This passage also seems to correlate with Ezekiel 38:18-23.)    _____________________________________________________________________________

If this interpretation is correct, then it seems that the seven seals, seven trumpets, and seven bowls must all happen simultaneously.Revelation 16:12-14  (& 16), the sixth BOWL, also seems to happen simultaneously with all of what is outlined above (the sixth SEAL and sixth TRUMPET):

“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. Then I saw three evil  spirits that looked like frogs; they came out of the mouth of the dragon, out of the mouth of the beast and out of the mouth of the false prophet. They are spirits of demons performing miraculous signs, and they go out to the kings of the whole world, to gather them for the battle on the great day of God Almighty.”(“Then they gathered the kings together to the place that in Hebrew is called Armageddon.”)

And, indeed, the next verse (Rev. 16:15) corresponds with the same outline of events:

“Behold, I come like a thief! Blessed is he who stays awake and keeps his clothes with him, so that he may not go naked and be shamefully exposed.”

Also, as we have seen above, the seventh BOWL (Rev. 16:17-21) is the wrath of God, that seems to correlate with Ezekiel 38:18-23 where the Lord returns to battle the armies of the world.  This also seems to correlate pretty well with the seventh TRUMPET in Revelation 11:15:

“The seventh angel sounded his trumpet, and there were loud voices in heaven, which said: “The kingdom of the world has become the kingdom of our Lord and of his Christ, and he will reign for ever and ever.”

First, let me say that, although I have come back to my previous conclusions, I did go on a journey several days ago, with regards to my beliefs about ‘The Rapture’ and its timing. There is a video going around (Heaven Awaits 2011) that will probably ‘go viral’–among Christians at least. It contains some amazing information relating to Bible prophecies, signs in the heavens, current events, and Jewish feasts. It definitely states that there will be a preTribulation Rapture . . . and that its coming could be imminent.

I too am weary of this sin filled world. I would love to be able to have my heart lifted up with joy in the belief that Jesus could be coming to get me in just a couple of months. This is the attitude with which I watched the video. I truly wanted to believe it was right. However, a couple of things I heard seemed to conflict with what I already knew, so I went to the Scriptures to see.

After all consideration, I believe the video DOES put forth a very compelling argument . . . for the beginning of The Tribulation possibly being around September 29th of 2011 . . . but unfortunately, not for a Rapture to occur at, or before, that time. I too, am disappointed, after allowing myself that brief time of hope in ‘what if’.

As I said, I’ve come back around to my belief that ‘the gathering together of the saints’ occurs when the Lord returns–just before the 7th trumpet (Revelation 10:7 ) . . . which is the ‘last trumpet of God ‘–not of men (I Corinthians 15:52).

I had previously written about this on my blog, so in part, I will cut and paste from that article. I will also share fresh revelations on the subject, from the last few days.

“But in the days when the seventh angel is about to sound his trumpet, the mystery of God will be accomplished, just as he announced to his servants the prophets.” (Revelation 10:7)

 

Here is the mystery that God revealed to his prophets:

“Listen, I tell you a mystery: We will not all sleep, but we will all be changed—in a flash, in the twinkling of an eye, at the last trumpet. For the trumpet will sound, the dead will be raised imperishable, and we will be changed. For the perishable must clothe itself with the imperishable, and the mortal with immortality. When the perishable has been clothed with the imperishable, and the mortal with immortality, then the saying that is written will come true: ‘Death has been swallowed up in victory.’ [Isaiah 25:8]

‘Where, O death, is your victory?
Where, O death, is your sting? ‘” [Hosea 13:14]

(I Corinthians 15: 51-55)

 

The last trumpet is the seventh trumpet.

“The seventh angel sounded his trumpet, and there were loud voices in heaven, which said:

‘The kingdom of the world has become the kingdom of our Lord and of his Christ, and he will reign for ever and ever.’ ”

(Revelation 11:15)

 

Also, notice the parallel wording of the following three passages:

1.   “The seventh angel poured out his bowl into the air, and out of the temple came a loud voice from the throne, saying, ‘It is done!’ ” (Revelation 16:17) This is also what Jesus said, on the cross, when He gave up His spirit.
2.   “But in the days when the seventh angel is about to sound his trumpet, the mystery of God will be accomplished, just as he announced to his servants the prophets.” (Revelation 10:7)
3.   “The seventh angel sounded his trumpet, and there were loud voices in heaven, which said:

‘The kingdom of the world has become the kingdom of our Lord and of his Christ,and he will reign for ever and ever.’ ” (Revelation 11:15)

At the seventh trumpet, the mystery of God’s grace towards the Gentiles, through Jesus’ death, will be complete. The time of man’s rule will be done. Nebuchadnezzar’s dream in Daniel 2: 34-35 (and 2: 44-45) will be fulfilled. At the seventh trumpet, Jesus returns, to strike down the nations and then, to rule them with an iron scepter. And at the seventh trumpet, the body of/bride of Christ will go up to meet Him in the air, as He arrives.

 

The day of His return is also referred to as ‘The Day of the Lord’. When He returns, He will

1.   do battle with the wicked, who have gathered to fight against Him (and against the nation of Israel) in the Valley of Armageddon. After defeating them, He will
2.   take the throne and rule over the Earth for a thousand years.

“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.Then I saw three evil spirits that looked like frogs; they came out of the mouth of the dragon, out of the mouth of the beast and out of the mouth of the false prophet. They are spirits of demons performing miraculous signs, and they go out to the kings of the whole world, to gather them for the battle on the great day of God Almighty.

“Behold, I come like a thief! Blessed is he who stays awake and keeps his clothes with him, so that he may not go naked and be shamefully exposed.”

Then they gathered the kings together to the place that in Hebrew is called Armageddon.

The seventh angel poured out his bowl into the air, and out of the temple came a loud voice from the throne, saying, ‘It is done!'” (Revelation 16: 12-17)

Right there, sandwiched in between the sixth and seventh bowls, is Jesus telling us to be ready, that He is coming like a thief! Notice how out of place this verse is, in the context of the passage.

 

Now, here is a rather long passage, from Revelation 19, after the Tribulation period has already been described.

“I saw heaven standing open and there before me was a white horse, whose rider is called Faithful and True. With justice he judges and makes war. His eyes are like blazing fire, and on his head are many crowns. He has a name written on him that no one knows but he himself. He is dressed in a robe dipped in blood, and his name is the Word of God. The armies of heaven were following him, riding on white horses and dressed in fine linen, white and clean. Out of his mouth comes a sharp sword with which to strike down the nations. “He will rule them with an iron scepter.” [Psalms 2:9] He treads the winepress of the fury of the wrath of God Almighty. [refers to Revelation 14: 17-20, which immediately follows the harvest of the righteous–Rev. 14: 14-16] On his robe and on his thigh he has this name written:

KING OF KINGS AND LORD OF LORDS.

And I saw an angel standing in the sun, who cried in a loud voice to all the birds flying in midair, “Come, gather together for the great supper of God, so that you may eat the flesh of kings, generals, and mighty men, of horses and their riders, and the flesh of all people, free and slave, small and great.” [Jesus makes reference to this in Matthew 24:28–another very interesting, out-of-context verse]

Then I saw the beast and the kings of the earth and their armies gathered together to make war against the rider on the horse and his army. [Revelation 16: 12-14] But the beast was captured, and with him the false prophet who had performed the miraculous signs on his behalf. With these signs he had deluded those who had received the mark of the beast and worshiped his image. The two of them were thrown alive into the fiery lake of burning sulfur The rest of them were killed with the sword that came out of the mouth of the rider on the horse, and all the birds gorged themselves on their flesh. [Matthew 24:28 fulfilled]” (Revelation 19: 11-21)

 

The Bible is pretty clear that we will be here (those of us who survive) through all but the very end of the Tribulation. The pre-Tribulation Rapture teaching is a dangerous fallacy that has the potential to strip many Americans of their faith when persecution arrives. It will also confuse many, with regards to the identity of The Antichrist, because those who believe in a pre-Tribulation Rapture may dismiss the Antichrist as ‘impossible that he’s the one’ because ‘we are still here’.

However, II Thessalonians 2 makes it clear that we WILL see the ‘man of sin’ (Antichrist) revealed. This will take place after a great ‘falling away’. Jesus will NOT return until these two events have taken place.

“Now concerning the coming of our Lord Jesus Christ and our being gathered together to him, we ask you, brothers, not to be quickly shaken in mind or alarmed, either by a spirit or a spoken word, or a letter seeming to be from us, to the effect that the day of the Lord has come. Let no one deceive you in any way. For that day will not come, unless the 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.” (II Thessalonians 2: 1-4)

 

In the ‘Heaven Awaits 2011’ video, the speaker explicitly says that the coming of Jesus and our being gathered to Him are two separate events. THIS IS WRONG! Matthew 24 and Mark 13 show plainly that it is one event:

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.’ [Isaiah 13:10 & 34:4]

At that time ** the sign of the Son of Man will appear in the sky, and all the nations of the earth will mourn. They will see the Son of Man coming on the clouds of the sky, with power and great glory. And he will send his angels with a loud trumpet call, and they will gather his elect from the four winds, from one end of the heavens to the other.” (Matthew 24: 29-31)

*Immediately after the distress of wars, famines, earthquakes, false prophets, persecution, and the flight of Israel into the wilderness for three and a half years . . .

** at that time = a time when the sun will be darkened, the moon will not give its light, the stars will fall from the sky and the heavenly bodies will be shaken. I believe this corresponds with Rev. 6: 12-14

“I watched as he opened the sixth seal. There was a great earthquake. The sun turned black like sackcloth made of goat hair, the whole moon turned blood red, and the stars in the sky fell to earth, as late figs drop from a fig tree when shaken by a strong wind. The sky receded like a scroll, rolling up, and every mountain and island was removed from its place” (Rev. 6: 12-14)

So, after the distress, these signs will occur in the heavens. And then (at that time) Jesus will appear in the sky . . . and all the nations will mourn.

Let me go back to the verses in Revelation 6 that follow the ones I just gave . . .

“Then the kings of the earth, the princes, the generals, the rich, the mighty, and every slave and every free man 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 stand?’ ” (Revelation 6: 15-17)

When they see either these signs in the heavens, or Jesus Himself coming, everyone hides in caves [and ‘bunkers’] and among the rocks of the mountains–because the great day of God’s wrath has come . . . the day of the Lord . . . the day He comes to strike down the nations (then He will ‘rule them with an iron scepter’).

I believe that these are the same people who, in Revelation 16:16 (after the pouring out of the 6th bowl of God’s wrath), have gathered in the plain of Megiddo . . . Armageddon. Remember again, Jesus’ out of context words in Revelation 16:15, because I believe it shows that these (Revelation 6: 12-17 and Revelation 16: 14-16 and Matthew 24: 29-31) are parallel passages:

“Behold, I come like a thief! Blessed is he who stays awake and keeps his clothes with him, so that he may not go naked and be shamefully exposed.” (Revelation 16: 15)

But back to the point–yes, Jesus comes at the last trumpet, to strike down the nations . . . but, as Matthew 24 and Mark 13 clearly show, this is ALSO when he gathers the elect.

“At that time the sign of the Son of Man will appear in the sky, and all the nations of the earth will mourn. They will see the Son of Man coming on the clouds of the sky, with power and great glory. And he will send his angels with a loud trumpet call, and they will gather his elect from the four winds, from one end of the heavens to the other.” (Matthew 24: 30-31)

and again in the gospel of Mark

“But in those days, following that distress,

‘‘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.’ [Isaiah 13:10 & 34:4]

At that time men will see the Son of Man coming in clouds with great power and glory. And he will send his angels and gather his elect from the four winds, from the ends of the earth to the ends of the heavens.” (Mark 13: 24-27)

 

Many people talk about a preTribulation Rapture where Jesus ‘comes as a thief in the night’. But both First Thessalonians and Second Peter show that they are misapplying the phrase.  It is the day that Jesus returns to the Earth (aka The Day of the Lord), that will come as a thief–not a secret Rapture.

” . . . for you know very well that the day of the Lord will come like a thief in the night. While people are saying, “Peace and safety,” destruction will come on them suddenly, as labor pains on a pregnant woman, and they will not escape.” (I Thessalonians 5: 2-3)

and

“But the day of the Lord will come like a thief. The heavens will disappear with a roar; the elements will be destroyed by fire, and the earth and everything in it will be laid bare . . . That day will bring about the destruction of the heavens by fire, and the elements will melt in the heat.” (II Peter 3: 10-12)

This also lines up with Rev. 6: 12-14:

” . . . The sun turned black like sackcloth made of goat hair, the whole moon turned blood red . . . The sky receded like a scroll, rolling up, and every mountain and island was removed from its place.”

Because, with the Earth’s atmosphere rolled back, everything on Earth will certainly be laid bare and be destroyed by the heat of the sun.

 

More about the LORD’s return is found in First Thessalonians:

“We believe that Jesus died and rose again and so we believe that God will bring with Jesus those who have fallen asleep in him. According to the Lord’s own word, we tell you that we who are still alive, who are left till the coming of the Lord, will certainly not precede those who have fallen asleep. For the Lord himself will come down from heaven, with a loud command, with the voice of the archangel and with the trumpet call of God, and the dead in Christ will rise first. After that, we who are still alive and are left will be caught up together with them in the clouds to meet the Lord in the air. And so we will be with the Lord forever.” (I Thessalonians 4: 14-17)

“God will bring with Jesus those who have fallen asleep in him”–this means that when Jesus returns, He will bring with Him all the Christians who have already died. But listen to how this happens: “the Lord himself will come down from heaven . . . and the dead in Christ will rise first.” Then, together with all the resurrected Christians, Jesus continues to proceed towards the Earth (bringing with Him all the Christians who have already died).

Then “we who are still alive, who are left till the coming of the Lord” . . . “we who are still alive and are left will be caught up together with them in the clouds to meet the Lord in the air”.

First Corinthians tells us the same thing:

“Listen, I tell you a mystery: We will not all sleep, but we will all be changed—in a flash, in the twinkling of an eye, at the last trumpet. For the trumpet will sound, the dead will be raised imperishable, and we will be changed.” (I Corinthians 15: 51-52)

 

These Scriptures outline the reasons I say that The Tribulation and The Second Coming are one and the same. I’m sorry that I can’t give you ‘better news’. But does this mean all hope is lost? By no means. God does not intend for us to suffer wrath.

“For God did not appoint us to suffer wrath but to receive salvation through our Lord Jesus Christ.” (I Thessalonians 5: 9)

 

” . . . and to wait for his Son from heaven, whom he raised from the dead–Jesus, who rescues us from the coming wrath.” (I Thessalonians 1:10)

 

Not only will He rescue us, He will be with us.

” . . . And be sure of this: I am with you always, even to the end of the age.” (Matthew 28: 20)

 

“Even though I walk through the valley of the shadow of death, I will fear no evil, for you are with me; your rod and your staff, they comfort me.” (Psalm 23: 4)

 

“The king’s command was so urgent and the furnace so hot that the flames of the fire killed the soldiers who took up Shadrach, Meshach and Abednego, and these three men, firmly tied, fell into the blazing furnace.

Then King Nebuchadnezzar leaped to his feet in amazement and asked his advisers, “Weren’t there three men that we tied up and threw into the fire?”

They replied, “Certainly, O king.”

He said, “Look! I see four men walking around in the fire, unbound and unharmed, and the fourth looks like a son of the gods.”

Nebuchadnezzar then approached the opening of the blazing furnace and shouted, “Shadrach, Meshach and Abednego, servants of the Most High God, come out! Come here!”

So Shadrach, Meshach and Abednego came out of the fire, and the satraps, prefects, governors and royal advisers crowded around them. They saw that the fire had not harmed their bodies, nor was a hair of their heads singed; their robes were not scorched, and there was no smell of fire on them.

Then Nebuchadnezzar said, “Praise be to the God of Shadrach, Meshach and Abednego, who has sent his angel and rescued his servants! They trusted in him and defied the king’s command and were willing to give up their lives rather than serve or worship any god except their own God. ” (Daniel 3: 22-28)

” . . . if this is so, then the Lord knows how to rescue godly men from trials and to hold the unrighteous for the day of judgment, while continuing their punishment.” (II Peter 2: 9)

“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.” (Luke 21: 36)

Jesus would not have told us to pray that we would be counted worthy to escape, if it were not possible for some.

“I know your deeds . . . I know that you have little strength, yet you have kept my word and have not denied my name . . . Since you have kept my command to endure patiently, I will also keep you from the hour of trial that is going to come upon the whole world to test those who live on the earth.” (Revelation 3: 8-10)

 

We must understand that the wrath of God is not the same as tribulation. Jesus promised that, in this world, we would have tribulation. Trials and hardship come to each of us at different times. Although we do not understand it, we know that suffering has its place.

Suffering can solidify our faith.

” . . . though now for a little while you may have had to suffer grief in all kinds of trials. These have come so that your faith—of greater worth than gold, which perishes even though refined by fire—may be proved genuine and may result in praise, glory and honor when Jesus Christ is revealed.” (I Peter 1: 6-7)

 

Suffering can put our priorities in the right order, and help us to see–and live–life from a spiritual perspective.

“Therefore, since Christ suffered in his body, arm yourselves also with the same attitude, because he who has suffered in his body is done with sin. As a result, he does not live the rest of his earthly life for evil human desires, but rather for the will of God.” (I Peter 4: 1-2)

 

Suffering can mature us.

” . . . we also rejoice in our sufferings, because we know that suffering produces perseverance; perseverance, character; and character, hope. And hope does not disappoint us, because God has poured out his love into our hearts by the Holy Spirit, whom he has given us.” (Romans 5: 3-5)

 

Suffering can purify us.

“ . . . ‘Go your way, Daniel, because the words are closed up and sealed until the time of the end. Many will be purified, made spotless and refined, but the wicked will continue to be wicked. None of the wicked will understand, but those who are wise will understand.” (Daniel 12: 9-10)

 

But, besides the benefits that it can provide us, God sometimes has another reason for allowing us to suffer.

“Dear friends, do not be surprised at the painful trial you are suffering, as though something strange were happening to you. But rejoice that you participate in the sufferings of Christ, so that you may be overjoyed when his glory is revealed. If you are insulted because of the name of Christ, you are blessed, for the Spirit of glory and of God rests on you. If you suffer, it should not be as a murderer or thief or any other kind of criminal, or even as a meddler. However, if you suffer as a Christian, do not be ashamed, but praise God that you bear that name. For it is time for judgment to begin with the family of God; and if it begins with us, what will the outcome be for those who do not obey the gospel of God? And,

“If it is hard for the righteous to be saved,

what will become of the ungodly and the sinner?” [Proverbs 11: 31]

So then, those who suffer according to God’s will should commit themselves to their faithful Creator and continue to do good.” (I Peter 4: 12-19)

 

If we don’t deal with sin in our lives, God will.

“My son, do not make light of the Lord’s discipline,
and do not lose heart when he rebukes you,
because the Lord disciplines those he loves,
and he punishes everyone he accepts as a son.” (Proverbs 3: 11-12)

 

Endure hardship as discipline; God is treating you as sons. For what son is not disciplined by his father? If you are not disciplined (and everyone undergoes discipline), then you are illegitimate children and not true sons. Moreover, we have all had human fathers who disciplined us and we respected them for it. How much more should we submit to the Father of our spirits and live! Our fathers disciplined us for a little while as they thought best; but God disciplines us for our good, that we may share in his holiness. No discipline seems pleasant at the time, but painful. Later on, however, it produces a harvest of righteousness and peace for those who have been trained by it.” (Hebrews 12: 7-11)

 

Jesus tells the church at Laodicea (the ‘lukewarm church’ which represents the condition of the American Church today):

“I counsel you to buy from me gold refined in the fire, so you can become rich; and white clothes to wear, so you can cover your shameful nakedness; and salve to put on your eyes, so you can see. Those whom I love I rebuke and discipline. So be earnest, and repent.” (Revelation 3: 18-19)

At least a portion of today’s American Church is going to suffer during The Tribulation. Revelation 3: 17-22 tells us we are not pleasing to Him right now. Jesus is warning those who will listen to repent. However, verse 19 promises us that He is going to rebuke and discipline those who don’t.

 

Our Lord’s desire for His Church, and the purpose for everything He does in our lives is this:

that we be “a radiant church, without stain or wrinkle or any other blemish, but holy and blameless.” (Ephesians 5: 27)

 

The Lord knows how to deal with His children. For those who are not walking in righteousness, The Tribulation will produce the outcome He desires.

“See, I have refined you, though not as silver; I have tested you in the furnace of affliction . . . ” (Isaiah 48: 10)

 

“This third I will bring into the fire; I will refine them like silver and test them like gold. They will call on my name and I will answer them; I will say, ‘They are my people,’ and they will say, ‘The LORD is our God.'” (Zechariah 13: 9)

 

“To him who is able to keep you from falling and to present you before his glorious presence without fault and with great joy— to the only God our Savior be glory, majesty, power and authority, through Jesus Christ our Lord, before all ages, now and forevermore! Amen” (Jude 24-25)

Here are a couple of very good posts about  ‘The Rapture’:

http://filesfromtoni.blogspot.com/2010/07/corrie-ten-boom-warns-against-pre.html

http://filesfromtoni.blogspot.com/2007/12/pre-tribulation-rapture.html#links (you will probably need to scroll to the top of the page)

These two posts say most of what I would say, but I would add a bit more:

“But in the days when the seventh angel is about to sound his [seventh/last] trumpet, the mystery of God will be accomplished, just as he announced to his servants the prophets.”  Revelation 10:  7

” Listen, I tell you a mystery: We will not all sleep, but we will all be changed– in a flash, in the twinkling of an eye, at the last trumpet. For the trumpet will sound, the dead will be raised imperishable, and we will be changed.  For the perishable must clothe itself with the imperishable, and the mortal with immortality. When the perishable has been clothed with the imperishable, and the mortal with immortality, then the saying that is written will come true: “Death has been swallowed up in victory.”

“Where, O death, is your victory?
Where, O death, is your sting?”

I Corinthians 15: 51-55

“The seventh angel sounded his trumpet, and there were loud voices in heaven, which said:   The kingdom of the world has become the kingdom of our Lord and of his Christ, and he will reign for ever and ever.

Revelation 11: 15

Also,  notice the parallel wording of the passages:

“The seventh angel poured out his bowl into the air, and out of the temple came a loud voice from the throne, saying,  ‘It is done!‘ ”   Revelation 16: 17

” But in the days when the seventh angel is about to sound his trumpet, the mystery of God will be accomplished . . . ”   Revelation 10: 7

” The seventh angel sounded his trumpet, and there were loud voices in heaven, which said: ‘ The kingdom of the world has become the kingdom of our Lord and of his Christ, and he will reign for ever and ever.’ ”  Revelation 11: 15

At the seventh trumpet, the mystery of God’s grace towards the Gentiles, through Jesus’ death, will be complete.  At the seventh trumpet,  the body of/bride of Christ will go up to meet Him, as He arrives.  At the seventh trumpet, Jesus returns.

The day of His return is also referred to as The Day of the Lord.  When He returns, He will 1. do battle with the wicked, who have gathered to fight against Him (against His people) in the Valley of Armageddon.  After defeating them, He will 2. take the throne and rule over the Earth for a thousand years.

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. Then I saw three evil spirits that looked like frogs; they came out of the mouth of the dragon, out of the mouth of the beast and out of the mouth of the false prophet.  They are spirits of demons performing miraculous signs, and they go out to the kings of the whole world, to gather them for the battle on the great day of God Almighty.

“Behold, I come like a thief! Blessed is he who stays awake and keeps his clothes with him, so that he may not go naked and be shamefully exposed.”

Then they gathered the kings together to the place that in Hebrew is called Armageddon.

The seventh angel poured out his bowl into the air, and out of the temple came a loud voice from the throne, saying, “It is done!”   Revelation 16: 12-17

Right there, sandwiched in between the sixth and seventh bowls (after the sixth and just before the seventh) is Jesus telling us to be ready, that He is coming like a thief!  (Notice how out of place this verse is, in the context of the rest of the passage!)

“I saw heaven standing open and there before me was a white horse, whose rider is called Faithful and True. With justice he judges and makes war. His eyes are like blazing fire, and on his head are many crowns. He has a name written on him that no one knows but he himself.  He is dressed in a robe dipped in blood, and his name is the Word of God.  The armies of heaven were following him, riding on white horses and dressed in fine linen, white and clean. Out of his mouth comes a sharp sword with which to [1] strike down the nations. [2] “He will rule them with an iron scepter.” He treads the winepress of the fury of the wrath of God Almighty. On his robe and on his thigh he has this name written:

King of Kings and Lord of Lords.

And I saw an angel standing in the sun, who cried in a loud voice to all the birds flying in midair, “Come, gather together for the great supper of God,  so that you may eat the flesh of kings, generals, and mighty men, of horses and their riders, and the flesh of all people, free and slave, small and great.”

Then I saw the beast and the kings of the earth and their armies gathered together to make war against the rider on the horse and his army. But the beast was captured, and with him the false prophet who had performed the miraculous signs on his behalf. With these signs he had deluded those who had received the mark of the beast and worshiped his image. The two of them were thrown alive into the fiery lake of burning sulfur.  The rest of them were killed with the sword that came out of the mouth of the rider on the horse, and all the birds gorged themselves on their flesh.”  Revelation 19: 11-21

“We give thanks to you, Lord God Almighty,
the One who is and who was,
because you have taken your great power
and have begun to reign.
The nations were angry; and your wrath has come.
The time has come for judging the dead,
and for rewarding your servants the prophets
and your saints and those who reverence your name,
both small and great–
and for destroying those who destroy the earth.”
Revelation 11: 17-18

The Bible is pretty clear that we will be here (those of us who survive) through all but the very end of the Tribulation.  The pre-Tribulation Rapture teaching is a dangerous fallacy that will strip many Americans of their faith when persecution arrives.  It will also cause great blindness regarding The Antichrist, because those who believe in a pre-Tribulation Rapture will dismiss the Antichrist as ‘impossible that he’s the one’  because  ‘we are still here’.

Lastly: beware of people, and doctrines, that make things difficult to understand.  The Bible is pretty straightforward, if you take it literally.  It is God’s intention for every sincere seeker of truth to be able to comprehend His word.  Beware of people who make you feel like you must have a special education or degree to be able to understand it.  PRAY–and God will show you!!