Posts Tagged ‘prophecy’

03 (2)

In this blog post I attempt to discuss the different views people have regarding the Rapture.  What is the Rapture?  The word “Rapture” is a Latin word for the words “caught up” in 1 Thessalonians 4:17.  The concept is that the Lord will return for believers (John 14:3 and Acts 1:9-11).  1 Thessalonians 4:16-17 says that those who are alive and remain shall be caught up together with them in the clouds to meet the Lord in the air…”  The context of this concept from chapter 4 is found in 1:10 which says, “and to wait for His Son from heaven, whom He raised from the dead even Jesus who delivers us from the wrath to come.”  Some things stand out, like the promise of the Lord’s return.  Also there is a wrath that is coming.  This word “wrath” is not defined for us until 5:9, which says “For did not appoint us to wrath but to obtain salvation through our Lord Jesus Christ.”  The context of the word “wrath” here is found in the preceding verses.  5:4 says, “But you brethern are not in darkness so that this Day should overtake you as a thief.”  The word “Day” is referring to the concept of the Day of the Lord (5:2).  The Day of the Lord is an OT concept, that has two phases 1. God’s judgment against sinful people 2. God’s eternal reign over His people (Joel 2:28-32; Isaiah 13:9-11; Zephaniah 1:14-18; 3:14-15).  The book of Joel as a whole is an exposition of the Day of the Lord.  On a side note, it is important to understand that the word “Day” is not meaning an actual 24 hour period, but rather a span of time.  In this 1 Thessalonians book, Paul uses the phrase Day of the Lord to refer to Christ’s return and coming Judgment.

The college and seminary I went to did me a favor in the way I was to approach the bible.  They taught me not a systematic theology (although I took all the courses on that), but to be a bible expositor.  What does that mean?  It means to read the bible and look at key factors before I interpret like 1. the Grammar 2. Language (Greek or Hebrew) 3. the audience 4. the style 5. Historical.  Why is this important?  Many today feel the need to read the bible through their systematic theology rather than allowing the bible to speak for itself.  This is extremely easy to do.  For example, many of a Reformed Church background like to substitute the church for Israel in scripture.  Therefore, the promises of God to Israel are now meant for believers.  Israel rejected Christ therefore, the promises transfer to the church.  The problem with this way of looking at scripture is that the context twisted.  It can lead a person down a slippery slope.  In my opinion, legalism usually follows close behind.

What does this have to do with the Rapture?  The audience and context is highly important when one reads the bible, especially concerning prophecy.  The Rapture is a biblical concept that means to be caught up to meet Jesus in the air.  My next blog will be about the different views on when the Rapture will take place.

 

 

01

A article in the Austin Statesman by New York Times writer Jim Yardley entitled “Pope urges World Peace reaches out to other faiths,” ran this past Thursday.  The pope in his first Christmas address urged the world to come together for peace.  He went on to say, “True peace is not a balance of opposing forces.  It is not a lovely facade which conceals conflicts and divisions.  Peace calls for daily commitment.”

Peace is a good thing.  I think any one reading this blog post including this writer would agree with that.  However, the bible claims that there will be no such thing as peace especially in these last days.  The Pope is welcomed to urge the world all he wants however, God has already spoken (Matthew 24:6,7).  The conflict in the Middle East is only the tip of the ice berg of what is to come in the Tribulation.

Matthew says there will wars and rumors of rumors of wars and that nation will rise up against nation.  These says are Jewish idioms for world wars.   There have already been two and there is still a yet third world war that is lurking on the horizon.  The third world war or possibly fourth by the end of the Tribulation will be when the Beast brings the armies of the world against Israel.  The Lord Jesus ends the war with His return (Revelation 19:11-21).

The perspective in which I write is a Pre-Tribulational view of Bible Prophecy.  This means I believe the Lord will return for believers before the Tribulation begins (Daniel 9:27, John 14:3, 1 Thessalonians 4:13-18, 5:2-3).  Therefore, when I read that the Pope is urging the world for peace I think “That’s great, but it will not be a lasting peace.”  1 Thessalonians 5:3 says, “Peace and safety then sudden destruction comes upon them as labor pains upon a pregnant woman.  And they shall not escape.”  The is saying that the world will achieve some sort of peace (which I believe will happen when the Antichrist or Beast finally gets a covenant signed with Israel and their foes) this peace will not last because the signing of the covenant will signal the start of Tribulation.

All this talk of peace should be taken as a sign that the Lord’s return is coming soon.  Believers should be looking up (1 John 2:28).

I have not written this blog post in an attempt to scare any one.  The purpose of Prophecy for Today is to prepare saints for the Lord’s return and His future Kingdom.  I take a conservative approach to bible prophecy interpretation in order to ensure and allow the word to speak.  Thank you for stopping by.  God Bless.

 

Over a year ago I was listening to a blog talk prophecy radio show by John Claeys and a caller asked a question about the upcoming election.  I will never forget John’s statement to the caller, which was “There has never been a President who was elected to a second term without supporting Israel.”  President Obama is now the first.  He has been cold in his support of Israel.  Therefore, the fact that he got reelected tells me something about bible prophecy.  This is not about political parties or ideology as it is about what God is doing.

In Daniel 7, he describes four beasts.  Each beast is a representative a kingdom that is and ones that will be.  The first is Babylon, then the Medes-Persians, followed by Greece, and lastly the fourth Kingdom which is not necessarily Rome but a new world empire.  I write that it is not Rome because Daniel who correctly identifies Greece before they were really any sort of a power could have done the same with Rome.  This fourth empire is like Rome, but different.  It is more vicious and dominant than Rome ever was.  Daniel 7:23 says, “The fourth beast shall be A fourth kingdom on earth.  Which shall be different from all other kingdoms, and shall devour the whole earth…”  Daniel goes on and says in verse 24, “The ten horns (of the fourth beast) are ten kings who shall arise from this kingdom…”  The day of America being a world power is swiftly coming to an end.

I am not one of those doomsday people who believe because Obama got elected that we should all run for the hills and hide in caves.  In my previous blog I wrote about how God is ultimately in control and leading us.  This is all happening to our country because God has a plan and His plan usurps anything that we would want.  Therefore, we should look to God and not our president for our help.

It seems that Obama does not have a good relationship with Israel, also America has seemed to lose it’s influence in the Middle-East.  What does that mean? It means the way is being cleared for a new leader in the Middle-East to rise up.  Who will that be?  He will be the Antichrist or as John calls him in Revelation The Beast.  America will probably be one of the ten kingdoms that Daniel 7 writes about.  The world now is becoming a much smaller place and it will be interesting to watch what will happen here in the next four years with President Obama.  All I know is that God is control.  His plan was for Obama to get elected to set up other things He is doing for His return.  May the Lord come quickly.

“For this reason God will send them strong delusion, that they should believe the lie…” (1 Thessalonians 2:11).

A question I always had was can people who have heard the Gospel before the Tribulation be able to get saved in the Tribulation.  In a sense will there be a second chance?

Many bible teachers feel that you will not be able to receive the gift of Salvation in the Tribulation.  While this view makes sense because if people reject the free gift then why should they have another chance to receive Christ?

God in His infinite Grace and Mercy will give the whole world one more chance during the Tribulation.  Once believers are Raptured up there will be no one left here on earth to tell them about the Lord, however, God will provide two witnesses to introduce the Gospel one more time (Revelation 11).  The identity of these two witnesses is unknown.  Through their ministry in Jerusalem, there will be 144,000 Jewish males, who hear the Gospel message from the Two Witnesses.  They will go and tell the whole world.  At this point in the Tribulation, Antichrist is still a little horn as Daniel calls him.  He has not yet reached world-leader status yet.  Half way through the Tribulation he will require people to worship him by accepting the mark on their forehead or wrist.  People will not be able to buy or sell unless they have the mark.  It is important to remember that the mark has nothing to do with a cashless society or credit cards.  The mark is the name of the beast or Antichrist.

I believe the “strong delusion” of 1 Thessalonians 2:11 will not happen until after the abomination of desolation, which is halfway through the Tribulation.  Therefore, people will still have the opportunity to accept Christ.  I make this assumption because there is nothing in the bible that says that they can’t.

What does this mean for us living today?  Tell others about the Lord.  Allow the Holy Spirit to work through you in your life to share the Gospel. The Gospel is free to us, but it cost Jesus His life.  It is our responsibility to go and tell.  It is up to us.  If someone in your family, or relative, or friend rejects Christ then there will still be one more opportunity for them to believe.

In a moment, in the twinkling of an eye we will be changed forever (1 Corinthians 15:52).  At some point in the Lord will come back for His church and when he does we shall be caught up to meet Him in the clouds (1 Thessalonians 4:17).  In churches, seminaries today we call this “caught up” the “rapture.”   The word “rapture” is a Latin term that means “caught up.”  There are many terms that are not in the bible, and yet they are still true concepts.  For example, the word Trinity is not in the bible.  Yet we see that concept throughout it.

I believe in a Pre-Tribulational Rapture of the church.  What that means is that the church will be raptured up before the Tribulation begins.  The Tribulation is a time when God will judge the earth, and put His attention back on His people.  When you read through Revelation you notice that chapters 2 and 3 discuss different churches then all of a sudden the church goes missing from chapters 4 to 17.

The rapture can happen at any moment.   1 Thessalonians 5:2 tells us that the day of the Lord comes as a thief in the night.   Obviously, a thief does not tell people when he is coming to break.  The same can be said of the day of the Lord.  Some people subscribe to a Mid-Tribulation, or Post-Tribulation or even a Pre-Wrath Rapture views.  Here is a quick summary of those views: Mid-Trib= God raptures us in the middle of the Tribulation, Post-Trib= God raptures us right before He returns, Pre-Wrath Rapture= God raptures us about 3/4 of the way through the Tribulation.  My problem with these different views is that they take away from the suddenness of the rapture.  If you know it is happening in the middle or 3/4 or you gotta go through the whole thing then you will be ready.  Yet when you scripture like 1 John 2:28, which talks about abiding in Christ so we will not be ashamed at His coming, you realize that it is sudden and without warning.

The life I have now I want to live for the Lord.  I do not have to be perfect because He was perfect for me and everyone.  I just need to live my life knowing He could return and to be ready.

 

Who is the AntiChrist?.

What will the AntiChrist be like?.