7 Reasons for Pre-Tribulation Rapture

“Jesus saith unto him, Thou hast said: nevertheless I say unto you, Hereafter shall ye see the Son of man sitting on the right hand of power, and coming in the clouds of heaven.”
Matthew 26:64, KJV

7 Reasons for Pre-Tribulation Rapture

  • Tribulation Period Concerns Israel Jeremiah 30:7
    • Old Testament foretells a time of tribulation for Israel
    • Daniel 9:24 – “Seventy weeks are determined upon thy people and upon thy holy city, to finish the transgression, and to make an end of sins, and to make reconciliation for iniquity, and to bring in everlasting righteousness, and to seal up the vision and prophecy, and to anoint the most Holy.”
    • Daniel 12:7 – “And I heard the man clothed in linen, which was upon the waters of the river, when he held up his right hand and his left hand unto heaven, and sware by him that liveth for ever that it shall be for a time, times, and an half; and when he shall have accomplished to scatter the power of the holy people, all these things shall be finished.”
    • God uses Israel and the church on a mutually exclusive basis
      • God is Using Israel witness of God to the world (4-22)
        • Israel is a nation that needs to believe in Jesus as the Messiah
        • National distinction of Israel is brought forward
        • Revelation 7 – 144,000 Jews
        • Revelation 11 – Two Jewish witnesses
        • Revelation 12 – Israel flees
          • Describes Israel
            • clothed with sun, and moon, and stars
            • Crown of 12 (tribes?)
            • Gave birth to a child to rule all nations (Jesus?)
          • Genesis 37:9-10
            • Refers to sun, moon and stars(Israel) bowing to Joseph (Jesus)
      • The Church is the witness of God in the period of grace
        • Galatians 3:28 – There is neither Jew nor Greek, there is neither bond nor free, there is neither male nor female: for ye are all one in Christ Jesus.
        • The church is many nations and ethnicities
        • The church is not a country it is a Kingdom already under God in Christ
        • Revelation 1:20 – says the seven lampstands are the seven church in the presence of God
        • Revelation 4:5 – Seven lamps of fire burning before the throne
  • No Biblical reference to the church on earth during the Tribulation period (Rev 4-22)
    • Revelation 1:19 – “Write the things which thou hast seen, and the things which are, and the things which shall be hereafter;”
    • Seen (1) – Glorified Christ
    • Are (2-3) – Letters to the Churches of Asia Minor
    • Which Shall Be (4-22) – Future of events to come
    • The Greek word for church is used
      • 19 times in chapters 1-3
      • 0 times in chapters 4-19
      • Mentioned in closing of Revelation
    • Comparison of statements
      • Revelation 3:22 – “He that hath an ear, let him hear what the Spirit saith unto the churches.”
      • Revelation 13:9 – “If any man have an ear, let him hear.”
      • The addressing of the church is left out of Chapter 13.
  • Church is promised an exemption from diving wrath (1 Thess 1:10; 5:9; Rom 5:9; Rev 3:10: 6:17)
    • The same word for Wrath is used…
    • The promise
      • 1 Thessalonians 1:10 – And to wait for his Son from heaven, whom he raised from the dead, even Jesus, which delivered us from the wrath to come.
      • 1 Thessalonians 5:9 – For God hath not appointed us to wrath, but to obtain salvation by our Lord Jesus Christ,
      • Romans 5:9 – Much more then, being now justified by his blood, we shall be saved from wrath through him.
      • Revelation 3:10 – Because thou hast kept the word of my patience, I also will keep thee from the hour of temptation, which shall come upon all the world, to try them that dwell upon the earth.
    • Tribulation = Devine Wrath
      • Revelation 6:16-17 – And said to the mountains and rocks, Fall on us, and hide us from the face of him that sitteth on the throne, and from the wrath of the Lamb: For the great day of his wrath is come; and who shall be able to stand?
      • Revelation 11:18 – And the nations were angry, and thy wrath is come, and the time of the dead, that they should be judged, and that thou shouldest give reward unto thy servants the prophets, and to the saints, and them that fear thy name, small and great; and shouldest destroy them which destroy the earth.
      • Revelation 15:1,7 – And I saw another sign in heaven, great and marvellous, seven angels having the seven last plagues; for in them is filled up the wrath of God…… And one of the four beasts gave unto the seven angels seven golden vials full of the wrath of God, who liveth for ever and ever.
      • Revelation 16:19 – And the great city was divided into three parts, and the cities of the nations fell: and great Babylon came in remembrance before God, to give unto her the cup of the wine of the fierceness of his wrath.
    • Where is Jesus- He is in control!
      • Seven Sealed Scroll (5:1)
      • John weeps (5:2-4)
      • Christ is qualified (5:5-6)
      • Christ takes the scroll (5:7)
      • Christ glorified (5:8-14)
  • Rapture is imminent (1 Cor 15:51; 1 Thess 4:15)
    • Because the rapture is imminent is must take place before the tribulation begins
      • It can happen at any time (pending)
      • Sign-less Event – no prophetic sign needed to trigger the rapture
      • James 5:8 – The Lords Coming is near
      • 1 Cor 1:7 – eagerly waiting on the revelation of Jesus
      • We are not looking for an antichrist – we are looking for Christ!
    • What of the 4 Tribulation/ Rapture beliefs support imminence?
      • Pre-wrath = believe rapture happens after the Great Tribulation has begun – so no there are signs that have to be fulfilled still
      • Post-Tribulation = Believe the rapture occurs after the 7 years of tribulation = so no there are signs that have to be fulfilled still
      • Mid-Tribulation = Believe the rapture occurs after the 1st 3 ½ years of tribulation = so no there are signs that have to be fulfilled still
      • Pre-Tribulation = Believe that rapture occurs before the tribulation period = yes, no signs needed for Jesus to return, his return is imminent.
  • Rapture is a comfort to Christ’s followers
    • 1 Thessalonians 4:18 – “Wherefore comfort one another with these words.” (Paul revealed the doctrine of the rapture and said for us to ease one another with this information.  
    • Titus 3:13 – “Looking for that blessed hope, and the glorious appearing of the great God and our Saviour Jesus Christ;”
    • Which view of the rapture truly brings comfort to your soul?
  • Antichrist cannot come to power until the restrainer is removed (2 Thess 2:6-7)
    • 2 Thessalonians 2:6-7 – “And now ye know what withholdeth that he might be revealed in his time. For the mystery of iniquity doth already work: only he who now letteth will let, until he be taken out of the way.”
    • What starts the Tribulation?
      • Dan 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.
      • Covenant with Israel
  • Restrainer Must be Removed before Antichrist Revealed
    • 2 Thess. 2:6-7 = Restrainer = Holy Spirit
      • John 14:16; Romans 8:9 = Holy Spirit indwells believers
      • Believes along with the Holy Spirit must be absent from the earth
  • Symbolic parallels (2 Peter 2:5-9)
    • Luke 17:26-30 – as in the days of Noah (the day the Lot went out…)
    • Enoch taken before the flood (Gen 5:24)
    • Noah protected before the flood (Gen 7:6-7)
    • Lot taken before judgement on Sodom (2 Pet 2:7; Gen 19:22)
      • “Haste thee, escape thither; for I cannot do any thing till thou be come thither. Therefore the name of the city was called Zoar.” (Gen 19:22)
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Palm Sunday Observance

Palm Sunday

Palm Sunday is the observance of the day Jesus entered into Jerusalem prior to his arrest, trial, and subsequent execution.  It is commemorated on week prior to the Resurrection Celebration of Jesus’ rising from the dead.   Many Christians refer to this week as Passion Week and it is the end of the period of Lent. This entry into Jerusalem is a demonstration of the King entering Jerusalem and Jesus’ submission to his role in the redemption of Israel, and all of mankind.  This is a deliberate move by Jesus in fulfilling prophecy. 

In the book of the prophet Daniel we see in chapter 9 that there will be 483 years from the command to rebuild Jerusalem to the coming of the Messiah.  Nehemiah chapter 2 records for us, “And it came to pass in the month Nisan, in the twentieth year of Artaxerxes the king,” (Nehemiah 2:1), Historical documents from the Babylonian era puts this date at March 14, 445 B.C.  This brings us 483 years later, (using Jewish calendars) to April A.D. 32. [1] 

The timing of the arrival of Jesus in Jerusalem was of not just to take in the sites and see family and friends.  The arrival of Christ at this time had significant theological, political, and prophetical implications. Jesus came to Jerusalem during the time of Passover.  This was a special celebration of the Israelites delivery from death.  Passover was a time of special pilgrimage.  Jerusalem’s population of 40,000 would swell to over 240,000 in anticipation of this great festival of thanksgiving. The term Passover comes from the Jewish word Pesach, which means “to pass over”.  In Exodus we are relayed the story of how God delivered the Israelis from slavery in Egypt through 10 plagues, the last of which was death itself.  They were sparred the death of the first born by sacrificing a lamb and spreading it’s blood on the door posts, top, and both sides.  When death came and saw the blood of the lamb, death passed over that house.  Any home that was not covered with the blood of the lamb was entered by death and the life of the eldest son was taken.  So when we consider the offering of Jesus as a lamb for the slaughter, and in whose blood we are covered, we know that death passes over us also.  Death is the penalty for sin.  In Egypt, death was the penalty for disobedience to God.  Sin is disobedience to God.  Let us take a look at the entrance of Jesus into Jerusalem on start of Passion Week and the Passover. What Jesus was about to do in the manor he chose to enter Jerusalem would not only have an effect not only on Jesus and his followers, not the Jewish and Roman leaders, but mankind and all of creation. 

In entering Jerusalem on a little donkey, Jesus declared himself the long awaited Messiah, and the deliverer of Israel and the nations of the earth as promised to Abraham thousands of years in advance.  If you are not familiar with the telling of the events witnessed in scripture you can find them at:

  • Luke 19:29-44
  • John 12:12-19
  • Mark 11:1-10
  • Matthew 21:1-11

I know that some reading this do not have a bible to reference these events so here is Matthew’s account.

And when they drew nigh unto Jerusalem, and were come to Bethphage, unto the mount of Olives, then sent Jesus two disciples, Saying unto them, Go into the village over against you, and straightway ye shall find an ass tied, and a colt with her: loose them, and bring them unto me. And if any man say ought unto you, ye shall say, The Lord hath need of them; and straightway he will send them. All this was done, that it might be fulfilled which was spoken by the prophet, saying, Tell ye the daughter of Sion, Behold, thy King cometh unto thee, meek, and sitting upon an ass, and a colt the foal of an ass. And the disciples went, and did as Jesus commanded them, And brought the ass, and the colt, and put on them their clothes, and they set him thereon. And a very great multitude spread their garments in the way; others cut down branches from the trees, and strawed them in the way. And the multitudes that went before, and that followed, cried, saying, Hosanna to the son of David: Blessed is he that cometh in the name of the Lord; Hosanna in the highest. And when he was come into Jerusalem, all the city was moved, saying, Who is this? And the multitude said, This is Jesus the prophet of Nazareth of Galilee.  – Matthew 21:1-11

Both John and Matthew make reference to something. Nestled in their accounts is a reminder of the faithfulness of God and the importance of the study of his Word.  In here is another prophecy from the Old Testament.  The prophet Zechariah proclaimed, “Rejoice greatly, O daughter of Zion; shout, O daughter of Jerusalem: behold, thy King cometh unto thee: he is just, and having salvation; lowly, and riding upon an ass, and upon a colt the foal of an ass.” (Zechariah 9:9).  Just as a side note, for those of you who have read the Revelation 19 and Zechariah 14:4, John tells us that when Jesus comes at his second coming, that he will place his foot on Mount Olivet.  I think it is no accident that Jesus entered Jerusalem from the direction of the Mount of Olives. 

Now the meaning this manor that Jesus entered Jerusalem was not lost on the Jews nor the Pharisees. The entering of a man into the city on an ass was probably not such a big deal.  This had everything to do with who the man was and what he represented.  Jerusalem was ripe with rumors of a messiah.  They were looking for the return on the throne of David.  They anticipated to have a great man of God to deliver a message from Jehovah.  They desired to have an Israelite above all other Israelis to liberate them from the oppression of Rome and bring God’s judgement to the world.  The fame of Jesus as a man of God was all out the region.  There were witnesses the asserted he could heal the sick, even those afflicted by the incurable diseases like leprosy.  Others told how he had restored sight, a sign that God was with him.  Then there were the ones who told how Jesus had cast out demons, and how he stood up to the religious hierarchy, and that even the authority of the Pharisees could not supersede his.  This man possessed authority both in heaven and in earth.  Then, came the stories of his raising at least two people from the grave.  This man, Jesus of Nazareth, had authority even over death.  Surely this is the Son of David, the Son of God who has come to deliver his chosen people.  Wow what an exciting day!

As Jesus entered into the city in such a symbolic way, the message was receive loud and clear.  The common people of Jerusalem and all of Israel that were gathered began to tear the branches from the trees and lay the branched and their cloaks in to the path of their king.  Like a red carpet event in Hollywood, California, people were in a fanfare of the undeniable message being given to them by Jesus.  They worshiped him and called out loudly, “Blessed be the King that cometh in the name of the Lord: peace in heaven, and glory in the highest.” (Luke 19:38).  The Gospel of St. Matthew gave another point of view of these events when the author wrote, “The crowds that went ahead of Him and those that followed were shouting: ‘Hosanna to the Son of David!’ ‘Blessed is He who comes in the name of the Lord!’ ‘Hosanna in the highest!’”(Matthew 21:9)  The term “Hosanna” is from the Hebrew hishi’a na and had the intent of “save”, but; the meaning is that of a complete thought.  The expression means, “Salvation, Thank You” and is intended as a show of recognition and gratitude to Jehovah for his “saving us”. It was clearly a great time of jubilationfor Jesus and the crowd.  But not everyone was happy with the proceedings.  The religious leadership in Jerusalem were greatly trouble by this display of public affection for Jesus.  They feared a riot and the inevitable consequences that would be inflicted upon them from Rome, and the challenge to their authority presented in this bold challenge. Surely they must have also feared the wrath of God from the apparent blasphemy of this Jesus of Nazareth. 

The Pharisees quickly challenged Jesus’ motivations for entering Jerusalem in such a public manor; and told him to tell the crowds to be quiet.  They wanted him to deny that he was the messiah and that he was the Son of God.  Instead, Jesus insisted that he is who he is, and that if the crowds were silent then the stones would cry out to give him the honor he deserves.  Wow, can you see this.  Jesus was saying that he is the creator of the world.  Creation itself recognized its creator, but not man.   Jesus in essence told them I cannot deny who I am and even if the crowd did not, then the rest of creation would testify that I am the Son of God, the Word who was in the beginning, the creator of everything that is seen and unseen in heaven and in earth.  This laying of the palm leaves at the triumphant entry of the promised Messiah into the city of Jerusalem, and the confrontation at the gate, marks the beginning of the Passion Week and the advent of Palm Sunday.


[1](Chuck Missler, 11-1-2004, Koinonia House, Daniel’s 70 Weeks: The Precision of Prophecy http://www.khouse.org/articles/2004/552/)

A Portrait of the Last Days

Eschatology is the study of the last things, often referred to as end times, or last days, and even as “the day of the Lord.”  These terms are often used interchangeably, even though context and perspective should dictate otherwise.  For instance, when we talk about the “last days” what are we actually referring to?  When we ask if we are living in the last days, do we mean are we in the last days for Israel, the Church, or the end of mankind?  We must differentiate what we are talking about when we discuss the last days with scriptural context.  When referring to these terms we need to determine whether the Bible is speaking of the last days as relating to Israel, or of the end times in reference to the church (Hitchcock, Mark. The End).  Understand that everything in the Bible is to teach that Jesus has come to fulfill the Old Testament promises and that Jesus is the promised Messiah sent from God the Father. (Luke 1:30-33) The prophets (John 1:29), scriptures, Apostles, and even the angels (Luke 2:10-11), demons (Mark 1:24), and God Himself (Matthew 3:17; Matthew 17:5;Luke 3:22; Mark 9:7) bore witness that Jesus came to the earth, died for our sin, and was resurrected, ascended to his Father, and that he will come again to judge both the living and the dead.

The timeline of the return of Christ is discussed in several portions of the bible, both in the Old Testament and the New.  By using the book of the Revelation of John we can get the general flow of the timeline to be in this manner.  Revelation 1-3 covers the Church here on earth. The rapture of the Church then happens as covered in 1 Thessalonians 4.  The book of Revelation switches back and forth between events in heaven and events on earth.  Once the church is raptured then the 7 years of tribulation occurs on earth, depicted in Revelation 6-18, and the Judgement seat of Christ and Marriage of the Lamb occur in heaven as shown in Revelation 4-5;19:1-10. Then the Lord, “the Word of God” returns to establish his kingdom on earth (Revelation 19:11-21), at this time Satan is bound for 1000 years (Revelation 20:1-3).  Once the 1000 years has been completed, Satan will be loosed from the pit and will cause the nations to war against the Lamb, and this will bring the final judgement of God (Revelation 20:7-15). The Revelation of John the Apostle ends with the Lord establishing a new heavens and a new earth, and establishing his kingdom for ever (Revelation 21-22).

John Macarthur explains concerning the reading of Revelation,

“The book of Revelation is the ultimate action thriller. Anyone who loves a great novel will certainly love this book.  It contains drama, suspense, mystery, and horror.  It tells of rebellion, unprecedented economic collapse, and the ultimate war of human history.  Revelation is a book of astounding drama and horror, but also of hope and joy.  It culminates with a happy ending, as sin and death are banished forever (21:4; 22:3).”(John MacArthur Explains the Book of Revelation.2007).

What has become known as “The Olivet Discourse” is considered to be a concise outline of the end times.  This discussion was held by Jesus on Mount Olivet with just four of his disciples: Peter, James, John, and Andrew.  This discussion took place shortly after Jesus had made a remark to the disciples concerning the eventual destruction of the temple at Jerusalem. The disciples were concerned with what would be the sign of the destruction of the temple and the return of the Lord.  They could not imagine the destruction of the temple and the return of the Lord as separate events (Zechariah 14:1-11). The sermon is recorded in Matthew 24-25, Mark 13, and Luke 21; and addresses specifically the seven years of tribulation prior to the Lords return.  In this revelation, Jesus gave 8 signs that would increase in intensity and frequency, “as birth pains”, as the time of His return grew closer.

The signs are: wars; famines; earthquakes (Mathew 24:7); persecution (Mathew 24:9); false prophets (Mathew 24:5; 11); apostasy (Mathew 24:10); lawlessness (Mathew 24:12); and worldwide preaching of the gospel, and “then shall the end come.” (Matthew 24.14).  All of these signs have been fulfilled and are continuing to be fulfilled.  Jesus said that these signs would be like birth pains growing in frequency and intensity.  So that even as when a woman is in labor you can tell that she is about to give birth because her contractions are getting stronger and closer together and the slowly get in more and more pain, then you know the baby is in the birth canal.  So we can see that as the time of Christ’s return gets closer we will see more intensity and frequency in the signs listed above.  Still Jesus does say that these signs are “just the beginning of sorrows” (Matthew 24:8). Then Jesus mentions a final indication that the time is right for his return.  This sign is so significant that he warns that when this sign is seen, that those who witness it should flee and hide in the mountains.  They who witness this final sign should be so flee so urgently that they should not even go back into their house to get their coat!  “When ye therefore shall see the abomination of desolation, spoken of by Daniel the prophet, stand in the holy place, (whoso readeth, let him understand. Then let them which be in Judea flea into the mountains: Let him which is on the housetop not come down to take anything out of his house:” (Matthew 24:15-17).

The book of Daniel covers what is commonly referred to as the 70 weeks of Daniel and is considered the “Backbone of Bible Prophecy” and “God’s Prophetic Clock”.  The 70 week time period covers an expanse of 490 years.  The 490 years is a countdown to the fulfillment of the promises of God concerning the nation of Israel.  The church is not directly included in this timeline.  Mark Hitchcock explains in his book, The End: A Complete Overview of Bible Prophecy and the End of Days, that the 70 weeks have six divine goals in their purpose, as listed here:

  • To finish the transgression
  • To make an end of sin
  • To make atonement for iniquity
  • To bring in everlasting righteousness
  • To seal up the vision and the prophecy
  • To anoint the Most Holy Place

The clock of Daniel started ticking in 444BC when Artaxerxes, King of Persia, allowed the Jews to return to Jerusalem to rebuild (Nehemiah 2:1-8).  Xerxes allowed Nehemiah to return to Jerusalem with written letters of authorization for safe passage and use of the king’s forests for supplies to rebuild Jerusalem.  Then 483 years transpired between the actions of Nehemiah 2:1-8 and the coming of Jesus as the Messiah in AD 33 (Luke 19:28-44).  This means that the first 69 weeks prophesied in Daniel have already occurred (Daniel 9:25).  There is only one week in remaining, the 70th Week of Daniel.  This is the final week, or period of 7 years.

We are now living in what is called “The Church Age”, or the “Age of Grace”.  The prophetic clock for Israel has been halted for almost 2000 years, since the fulfillment of the killing of the Messiah for our sins (Isaiah 53; 1 Peter 2:24; Romans 5:6-8) and the destruction of the Temple (Matthew 24; Daniel 9:26).  The church age was established to give a time for Grace to abound.  The church, the body of Christ, are here to be a light to the lost, by our manner of living and to show the testimony of God’s grace.  In this way God is glorified. (Matthew 5:13-16).  The Lord has paused the timeline, for our benefit.  He is has not abandoned the world, or thrown in the towel.  He is demonstrating patience and love to us because he does not want anyone to die in their sin, but to come to repentance (2 Peter 3:9).

The church looks forward to the rapture of the church.  Paul tells us in 1 Corinthians 15 we should be ready because in an instant the dead shall be raised incorruptible, and we shall be changed and be made immortal.  We will be brought up and glorified in Christ.

“But I would not have you to be ignorant, brethren, concerning them which are asleep, that ye sorrow not, even as others which have not hope.  For it we believe that Jesus died and rose again, even so them which sleep in Jesus will God bring with him.  For this we say unto you by the word of the Lord, that we which are alive and remain unto the coming of the Lord shall not prevent them which are asleep. For the Lord himself shall descent from heaven with shout, with the voice of the archangel, and with the trump of God: and the dead in Christ shall rise first:  Then we which are alive and remain shall be caught up together with them in the clouds to meet the Lord in the air: and so shall we ever be with the Lord.” (1 Thessalonians 4:13-18).

If all we had to go by on the rapture were these two references, it would be enough to understand that: (1) we cannot inherit the kingdom of God in these “earth suits”, because they are mortal and corrupted. (2) the rapture is concerned only with the church and is only the 1st phase in the line of events that leads to the return of Jesus as Lord, and (3) this is solely dependent on the grace and will of God Himself.  The rapture of the church is the next great event that will occur in bible prophecy.  Jesus will return and claim his bride.  “The ‘Marriage of the Lamb,’ as described in Rev. 19:1-10, will take place in heaven, during the time of the awful ‘Wrath of God’ being poured out upon the Earth.” (Sharrit. 1978). That is to say that the church will be raptured up by Christ prior to the tribulation, and the marriage of the Lamb will take place in heaven while the 70th week of Daniels prophecy continues on earth.

The 70 Weeks are for Israel’s benefit, so that they can repent and accept Jesus as the Messiah.  The prophet Daniel continues on in his vision.  The final antichrist will come on the scene, and he will make a peace treaty with many for one week.  This is the final week, the 70th week of Daniel (Daniel 9:27).  Then halfway through the peace period, the antichrist will break the peace.  He will double-cross Israel and sacrilege the temple in Jerusalem (Matthew 24:21; Revelation 13:14-15). The Antichrist will proclaim himself as God (Danial 11:36; 12:11).  This marks the final 3 ½ years of the tribulation.

During this time, since the church will have already been removed in the rapture, God will send two witnesses. These two witnesses will be responsible to preach and prepare the way of the Lord.  They will be given miraculous powers and have the authority and ability to call down fire from heaven and to cause it to not rain. Their miracles will be similar to those of Moses and Elijah (John the Baptist), who also appeared, to minister to Jesus, in the account of Jesus’ transfiguration on the mountain recorded in Matthew 17.  Jesus tells us that Elijah had already come to clear the way for his (Jesus’) coming.  Malachi 3.1 declares, “Behold, I will send my messenger, and he shall prepare the way before me: and the Lord, whom ye seek, shall suddenly come to his temple, even the messenger of the covenant, who ye delight in: behold, he shall come, saith the Lord of hosts.”  Elijah is the Lords profit. Jesus declared that there has been no greater profit in history, which is to say that there has been no prophet with a more important purpose than John the Baptist.  The reference to the messenger of the covenant could only be Moses who brought the law down from Mt Sanai, Moses and Abraham are the most influential prophets in Judaism. Moses however, is the messenger of the covenant. These two Elijah and Moses will be given their unique message and extraordinary powers in order to reach out to the nation of Israel for a last chance to accept Jesus as Lord, prior to his return.  Their time will be brief and they will eventually be martyred and put on display in the streets of Jerusalem.  After 31/2 days there will be a major earthquake, a sign from God, and the two witnesses will be raised from the dead and ascend into heaven.  This earthquake will cause great destruction in Israel and kill many inhabitants, but those who remain will believe and give glory to God (Revelation 11).

This time period is also known as the time of Jacob’s trouble (Jeremiah 30:7; Daniel 7:21).He will then begin to persecute all those who refuse to accept his lordship. The intensity of the persecutions is so intense that nothing like it has ever been seen on the face of the earth since time began, and there will never be anything like it again; it will be un-parallel in human existence (Matthew 24:21).  Jacob is Israel, he had 12 sons and God made him change his name to Israel (Genesis 32:28), the descendants of Jacob (Israel) are the Jews.  The passages referring to this period as Jacob’s trouble refer to this being an Israeli plight.  This period of tribulation is targeted at Israel and his descendants. This is necessary because if we continue to read the passage it tells us “But he shall be saved out of it.”  The great tribulation results in salvation for Israel.

“Now gather thyself in troops, O daughter of troops: he hath laid siege against us: they shall smite the judge of Israel with a rod upon the cheek.  But thou, Beth-lehem Eph’ra-tah, though thou be little among the thousands of Juda, yet out of thee shall he come forth unto me that is to be ruler in Israel; whose goings forth have been from old, from everlasting.  Therefore will he give them up, unto the time that she which travaileth hath brought forth: then the remnant of his brethren shall return unto the children of Israel.  And he shall stand and feed in the strength of the Lord, in the majesty of the name of the Lord his God; and they shall abide; for now shall he be great unto the ends of the earth.” (Micah 5:1-5)

At the end of the 70th week God will kill the antichrist and bind Satan in the bottomless pit for 1000 years (Daniel 9:27; 2 Thessalonians 2:8; Revelation 19:20).  Jesus will rule from the throne of David as King of Kings and Lord of Lords. Isaiah chapter 11 gives a view of what the millennial kingdom will be like.  There will be a time of peace, which only the Lord Jesus could bring.  The whole earth will be blessed through the Lord dwelling in Israel.  “Shout and be glad, O Daughter of Zion.  For I am coming, and I will live among you,’ declares the Lord. Many nations will be joined with the Lord in that day and will become my people.  I will live among you and you will know that the Lord Almighty has sent me to you.” (Zechariah 2:10-11).  Isaiah continues to describe this period with peace towards man and all of creation. Even predatory animals like lions and bears will be at peace with one another and with man, just as it was in the beginning.  Once this time has been fulfilled, then Satan will be set free for a short period of time.

When Satan is released he gets busy with the task of deceiving the nations, and leads them in a rebellion against Jesus.  This culminates in the battle of Armageddon.  When the armies of Satan are arrayed out against the armies of the Lord fire comes down from heaven and destroys the complete army of the deceiver.  Once the armies of the nations who rebelled are destroyed, Satan is thrown into the lake of fire, where the beast and the false prophet were cast into.

Then the judgment of all the wicked before the throne of God occurs, and everyone whose name is not found in the Book of Life will be cast in to the lake of fire just like the devil and his demons.  “And I saw a great white throne, and him that sat on it, from whose face the earth and the heaven fled away; and there was found no place for them.  And I saw the dead, small and great, stand before God; and the books were opened: and another book was opened, which is the book of life: and the dead were judged out of those things which were written in the books, according to their works.” (Revelation 20:11-12).  There won’t be any place to hide.  It won’t matter how rich and poor you were in life, it won’t matter how influential you were in this life.  Everyone will be judged by the same standards.  First, did you believe and follow Jesus?  If you did not, then you will be judged by the very Word of God you rejected.  What now?  All of this being true, should we not have an urgency about the work to which we have been called?

Jesus warned us that he would return when we did not expect it. “But as the days of Noah were, so shall also the coming of the Son of man (the return of Jesus) be.  For as in the days that were before the flood they were eating and drinking, marrying and giving in marriage, until the day that Noah entered in to the ark, And knew not until the flood came, and took them all away; so shall also the coming of the Son of man be.” (Matthew 24:37-39).  Christians can look forward to this return with great anticipation, and can be encouraged knowing that the things that they suffer through and endure for Christ’s sake are being noted and will be rewarded, not just now in this life, but in the kingdom to come.

We also have a grave responsibility as stewards of this knowledge.  As we look around us we know that the world political climate is growing more unstable by the moment.  The spread of persecution against the church and the Hebrew people has grown exponentially since the turn of the Century.  While our capacity to reach civilizations all over the world for Christ through television, radio, social media, and the ease of modern day travel has increased the actual mission in the field and financial support for such missions has declined.  Churches report baptizing and serving fewer members than ever in recent history indicate an apostasy (2 Timothy 3).  The last days are characterized in the bible by “lawlessness” or “iniquity or iniquities”.  We have kicked God out of our Governments, schools, and even most of our churches.  In the United States, as of June 8, 2017 there have been an estimated 405,471 abortions performed since 1973. (“Number of Abortions – Abortion Counters.” Number of Abortions in US & Worldwide – Number of Abortions since 1973. N.p., n.d. Web. 08 June 2017).  Homosexuality and Transgendered tendencies are not only accepted, but expected.

Those who speak out against this abomination are ridiculed fined and even suffer loss of jobs and imprisonment, even here in the United States.  Everyone has freedom of speech except those who proclaim the truth of the Gospel of Jesus Christ.  This is the way it was before the flood of Noah’s Ark.  God was sorry that he even made man (Genesis 6:6). We all know someone who needs to know the truth.  We all know someone who needs to turn and repent before it is too late, before we are taken away in the rapture and they then have to face the wrath of God.  Being stewards of the knowledge of the Word of God gives us an awesome responsibility to reach out to those who walk in ignorance.  Our boldness does not come from arrogance, but from love and understanding of the peril that our loved ones are in imminent danger and are out of time. Jesus could come right now.  As John said. “Even so, come, Lord Jesus.”(Revelation 22:20)

 

References

Hitchcock, Mark. The End: A Complete Overview of Bible Prophecy and the End of Days. Ed. Adan Graber`. Illinois: Tyndale House, 2012. Print.

Sharrit, John T. Soon Coming World-shaking Events. Phoenix, AZ: Christian Missionary Society, 1978. Print.

Wiersbe, Warren W. The Bible Exposition Commentary. Vol. 2. Wheaton, IL: Victor, 1989. Print. Ephesians-Revelation.

MacArthur, John. Because the Time Is Near: John MacArthur Explains the Book of Revelation. Chicago: Moody, 2007. Print.

“Number of Abortions – Abortion Counters.” Number of Abortions in US & Worldwide – Number of Abortions since 1973. N.p., n.d. Web. 08 June 2017.