For more than two thousand years believers and followers of Christ have been anticipating His ‘Second Coming’ appearance on earth. In biblical scripture, Jesus himself tells us His return will be prior to the end of “the last generation” (Mt 24:34). The “Last Generation” is believed to be those born and living after the 1948 reconstituting of Israel as a nation (May 14, 1948).
Due to prophecy’s often perceived convoluted presentations of events (confusing for the reader, not for God nor His prophets) it’s fairly easy to get tripped up in our studies or understanding. However, even if this is the case don’t become discouraged or disheartened. The reward of prophecy is that its validation is spoken by God and relayed to mankind through the prophets.
The seven tribulation years are divided into two specific time frames, each 1260 days or 42 months in length. At the mid-point of these two time periods several actions will occur that will change the entire world as never before in human history. Every living human will become part of these events.
As described previously, the first 42 months will prove to be filled with dichotomies. There will be ‘peace and security’ on one hand with horrific cosmic and environmental disturbances pitted against the other. There will be spiritual revival contrasted with hedonist humanism on steroids. There will be political intrigue and consternation gnawing at a growing clamor for unification. There will be a movement towards one world religion with the elevation of religious leaders coming together to benefit all mankind verses efforts to draw others to Christ.
The world will appear to be making progress as never before, even inviting widespread recognition of Israel as an economic and military power. Adjunct to this identification will stand the Two Witnesses audibly at odds with those reconstructing or using the Third Temple in Jerusalem for worship services. Amidst the orthodoxy of fundamental Rabbinical Judaism practiced in the Temple, a growing movement of Messianic Judaism rears its head for acknowledgment. The transition in these years will be overt and subtle at the same time. An appearance of new normality will be peppered with untold disasters wedging themselves to split apart perceived advancements.
The ‘Two Witnesses’ will be sharing perilous warnings heralded by many yet disdained by others. Their prominence will be a focal point dividing many politically and religiously. These months will be viewed as the ‘best of times and the worst of times.’ They will be priming the world for the moment the Antichrist morphs from world renown leader to emissary of Satan as the world’s dictatorial ruler.
At Mid-Tribulation events will move quickly over a short period (days, perhaps a few weeks) initiated with the blowing of the Fifth Trumpet in heaven. It’s the Mid-Tribulation events that will literally change the world with the coming domination of the Antichrist and his forces. The most evident immediate action will be the invasion and vanquishing of Jerusalem. Followed by the deaths and resurrections of the Two Witnesses. The occupation of the Third Temple by the Antichrist and his elimination of Jewish worship. Establishment of the Antichrist’s Abomination of Desolation image at the Mercy Seat by the false prophet. And the decree that institutes the ‘Mark of the Beast’ for all the world’s inhabitants.
These actions will take a short time to establish and initiate, but they will be part and parcel of domination by the Antichrist in supplication to Satan. A decree will go out for all; accept or be put to death. The method of identification as an Antichrist acolyte will be the taking of the Mark of the Beast. A visible ‘mark’ on the forehead or hand. Those with the mark will be allowed to live, to ‘buy and sell’. Those without the mark will be banned economically and exposed, to be killed.
This ‘Mark of the Beast’ will be the outward evidence of capitulation and acceptance of the Antichrist and Satan. All who take the mark will be condemned with Satan by God. This mark will be the definitive divide between those who will experience eternal damnation with Satan, the Antichrist, and False Prophet and those who may be martyred for Christ in the Last Days. Should you still be alive during these months, choosing death instead of ‘the mark’ will keep you from eternal hell, even though that decision may cost your life.
The second half years of the tribulation will be as no other in human history (Mt 24:21).
Join me next time in Part 7 when we identify news headlines and stories warning of prophecy precursors being revealed before our eyes.
Scripture states “no one knows the day or hour” when the Rapture will happen. Rest assured no one knows! But just as assuredly know, it will happen!
Focus should remain on the purpose, not the timing. ‘When’ a specific event is to happen is less relevant than knowing and believing its inevitability. The key isn’t knowing ‘when’ a prophecy may occur but why it will happen, what it means, and what can be known or done to prepare for its eventuality?
Like many aspects of biblical scripture, particularly prophecy, interpretations often vary. This can ‘muddy the waters’ but fundamentally prophetic dichotomies reinforce imperatives being presented. What do I mean by this? As stated originally in this series the more one explores scripture and prophecy the better one can understand the information studied.
Although there will be environmental and cosmic disturbances in the first three and one-half years in the seven year Tribulation period, this will be a time of general ‘peace and security’ for many. Within this sense of wellbeing continued intensity of environmental calamities will be viewed as escalations of climate change and not as prophesied End Time events.
In the run-up to these events will be awareness ahead of time and predictability. The increasing severity of events and extent of their consequences in each time frame will grow greater and more obvious. However, people may be so encumbered by survival efforts they may miss entirely the focus and purpose of what’s taking place around them. The fallout/consequences of events in each of the two tribulation periods will be destructive and terrifying.
The Rapture will remove from the earth Jesus’ believers and followers. Dead or alive as a believer in Christ you will be a Rapture participant. But back to our question, When?
‘When will the Rapture occur’ is answered in a circuitous manner. According to scripture, we have three options. They are, ‘Pre-Tribulation, Mid Tribulation, or Post Tribulation.’ Remember the tribulation period is seven years in length, divided into two separate yet intertwined periods of three and one-half years each (Wrath of Jesus/Wrath of God, or End Times/Last Days).
Believers who put their faith in a ‘Pre-Tribulation’ Rapture think it will happen right before, or in conjunction with the first trumpet blast from heaven. The seventh Seal will be broken on the scroll in heaven, followed by a period of silence (preparation) in heaven for one-half hour (Rev 8:1).
We don’t know the actual length of this ‘half-hour’ time frame, it may be preceded or followed by the first trumpet blast. The sounding of this trumpet coincides with the confirmation of the treaty which ends the Ezekiel War, signifying the start of the seven ‘tribulation’ years.
A ‘Mid-Tribulation’ rapture occurs at the Mid Tribulation point (end of the first three and one-half year period). This rapture time coincides with the blowing of the Fifth trumpet in heaven. It needs to be reiterated that the importance of Mid- Tribulation can’t be underestimated. It’s at this point everything changes (Mt 24:15-21).
With the blast sound of the fifth trumpet, the ‘Last Days’ begin, the Antichrist comes to power, the worst time in all of history starts. Israel is invaded and defeated, the Two Witnesses are killed, the Abomination of Desolation takes place (Antichrist enters the Third Jewish Temple and occupies God’s mercy seat), the Mark of the Beast is instituted, and the Antichrist’s worldwide domination is underway.
Between the final Trumpets (5, 6, and 7), the Bowl decrees of God, and the Antichrist’s rule death and destruction is global. Mid-Tribulation rapture believers understand their removal from earth will be before the beginning of this horrific time (the second 3 and one-half year period).
‘Post-Tribulation’ believers think the Rapture will be part of Jesus Christ’s ‘Second Coming’ arrival/appearance at the end of the seven years, in conjunction with blast of the seventh trumpet (Mt 24:30-31). When will the Rapture take place? At one of these three points in time! It will happen! Will you be ready? And more importantly, will you be part of it?
Join me next time in Part 6 when we examine the most important days in the last two thousand years.
One of the great blessings the Lord God has for all the earth is His desire to have every person with Him eternally. His magnificence as a loving parent requires only one thing from His children. Each one who desires to spend eternity in His glory must decide whether they will choose to believe in Him and then, believe in His Son, who was sent to save the world from its sinful nature.
The believer of and in Jesus as the Christ/Messiah, is the sole caveat decision God demands from each member of humanity. His unconditional love provides each of us an opportunity to recognize Jesus for who He is/was (God incarnate). Understanding His redemptive role as savior (‘the way’ Jn 14:6) for spiritual reconciliation back into the arms of spiritual origination by the grace of God’s Holy Trinity is both the blessing and the reward for belief in Jesus as savior and redeemer.
For those who have made this choice and decision to accept and acknowledge Jesus as the Christ/Messiah, should they perish prior to the Rapture, their ascendency to heaven is promised (Jn 11:25-26). All those who have accepted and invited Jesus and His spirit to dwell within will be ‘caught up’ to meet the Lord Jesus at the moment the Rapture occurs (1 Thes 4:16-17).
The question becomes, how does one acknowledge this recognition that Jesus is the Christ? What must one do to receive the Holy Spirit of Christ? In His benevolence God the Father has made acquisition of His Spirit through Christ as easy as it is to receive his love. Simply invite Jesus into your life by doing the two steps described in 1 Corinthians 15:1-4, or Romans 10:9,10,17. Do these and the Lord Jesus Christ will be with you from that moment, into eternity. It couldn’t be easier! Do it today, and when the Rapture happens you are promised to be part of its magnificent occurrence.
The “Rapture” (Dan 12:10) is the one prophecy most people have heard about, seen movie or video depictions of, or are familiar with as an End Times event. The questions surrounding the Rapture are, ‘How, What, When and Why’? To wit: What is the Rapture? How does it happen? When will it occur, and more importantly, Why will it take place? And finally, the question that will be on every set of lips when ‘all the Jesus Freaks are gone’? What will happen to those “Left Behind?”
Let’s look at all these questions and try to explain and understand the answers. The term “Rapture” is actually described as the act(ion) of being “caught up” in the air to meet Jesus Christ. Bible prophecy explains that before the trouble and turmoil of the “Last Days” (the second three - and one-half years of the Tribulation period) ‘Jesus followers and believers’ will be caught up in the air as their spirits are taken out of harm’s way from the impending imminent events and consequences about to take place globally that will plague all inhabitants of earth with death and destruction (1Thes 5:9-10).
Now that you know how and why the Rapture will occur the most important question is, “What will happen to those ‘Left Behind’?” If you’ve ever seen one of those ‘End of Days’ movies or videos where the Rapture is depicted, you’ve seen the focus is on those Left Behind, not those missing. The story is about those who weren’t ‘caught up’ in the Rapture experience.
Rest assured, whatever mayhem and destruction was portrayed in the movie doesn’t even come close to the actual terror and death that will occur when all those raptured ‘Jesus Freaks’ vanish. Think about the chaotic results of every Jesus believer in motion at that moment. When every ‘driver’ of any vehicle, plane, train, bus, or other mode of transportation goes missing. When every believer in the middle of doing something that could be dangerous to others around them disappears. What will be the immediate outcome? Death and destruction will ensue worldwide.
For non-believers, those “left behind” that’s just the beginning. The economic, social, political, and religious fallout will be devastating. Fear and trauma will be off the charts. Any type of recovery will be near impossible in the short term. The despair and despondency will reach levels never imagined. Many will take their own lives. Many others will be killed by rampaging and marauding groups or individuals taking advantage of the chaos.
Government services at all levels will be incapable of responding to the dread and danger rampant in every community. Resources, particularly emergency aid will be stretched beyond its breaking point. Those left behind (still alive) will literally be on their own. People who have never had to struggle at this level of survival mode or emergency will be challenged as never before. Most will not know what to do, what has happened or understand why, because they are not familiar with biblical prophecy and scripture.
Others may realize what has taken place but won’t understand the immediate or long-term ramifications. If the fallout effects from the Rapture aren’t enough to contend with, those with weapons or access to weapons will go into survival or aggressive modes and no-one will be safe. Sadly stated, those left behind will be on their own. These extreme situations will eventually be dulled by the one who steps up to take control with promises of restoring peace and safety.
Those in authority will advance a variety of explanations as to what happened and why so many ‘others’ are gone. Their promises and excuses will mollify the masses still alive, but the worst is yet to come, for God will have turned His back on all but the Israelites.
When will the Rapture happen? This is the End Times’ quintessential question because its occurrence will literally affect every person on the planet. The Rapture will remove from earth all who have chosen to believe in Jesus as the Christ, whether dead or alive. Its purpose is to save all believers from the inevitable Last Days events and prevent them from experiencing the terrible consequences. When will it come to be? “No one knows the day or hour” (Mk 13:32, Mt 24:36).
Remember, when the Rapture happens if you’re left behind the first thing you must do is described for you here; Romans 10:9-13, 17! Go there now:
When will the Rapture occur? Join me next time in Part 5 for the answer.
‘Do or Die’ may sound ominous, but rightly so. The final three and one-half years of the seven-year Tribulation period will be like no other time in human history (Mt 24:21). God has ‘drawn a line in the sand’ from which there will be no return. It starts with a blast of the fifth trumpet at the “mid-tribulation” point when the treaty between Israel and her enemies from the ‘Ezekiel War’ is finally confirmed and accepted by all parties.
After the certified treaty is accepted the seventh seal is opened on the scroll in heaven and there is silence in heaven followed by a cataclysmic warning to the earth (Rev 8:1-5). The fifth trumpet is sounded. During this short time Israel will be invaded and conquered and the Two Witnesses will be killed (Rev 11:7-8). The Antichrist will assume power, occupy the Third Temple, have his image erected in the space of the ‘mercy seat’ (Mt 24, Dan 12:11), declare his authority and (most importantly for those who are still not followers and devotees of his), have his false prophet (the ‘one world’ religion leader) declare institution of the “Mark of the Beast” worldwide (Rev 13:16-17). This will literally be the final eternal life or death decision required by every individual alive.
Let me say this again. This is God’s ‘line in the sand.’ Every living person on the planet who accepts and takes the “Mark of the Beast” is declaring their commitment to worship the antichrist and Satan as their god. For this declared acceptance each and every one with the ‘Mark’ will be condemned to eternal damnation with Satan, the Antichrist, and the False Prophet.
All those who deny and refuse to take the Mark of the Beast will be hunted and killed during this three and one-half year period. There will be no other options. You take the ‘mark’ or are marked for death. In addition to the tyrannical and dictatorial worldwide rule by the Antichrist, the Wrath of God by ‘Last Days’ events will continue and intensify, also taking many lives.
It will be during these years that trumpets 5, 6 and 7 are blown with the plagues and ‘Bowls' 1, 6 and 7 are poured out upon the earth’s inhabitants. Just the thought of this devastation should be bone chilling. The death and destruction globally will be horrific and terrible. Most of the world’s remaining populace will be killed by the armies of the Antichrist or by the consequences of the “Wrath of God” plagues.
If you do not take the Mark of the Beast, believing in Christ or not, most likely you will be killed. If you take the Mark it’s likely you will be killed by the destruction and environmental calamity wrought upon the earth by God’s decrees. If you are still alive towards the end of this period and prior to the battle of Armageddon (Rev 16:16), you will most likely be killed by the massive army moving from east to west toward Megiddo.
Accepting and taking the ‘mark’ will not guarantee your life will be saved. It will however guarantee your absence from God eternally and your spiritual damnation. This final three and one-half years will be focused on the redemption and spiritual reconciliation of the Jews still alive who recognize and declare Jesus as their Messiah. God will leave all those not Jewish to their fate of captivity or death (Rev 13:10). God will no longer have time for ‘church age’ believers and converts. His entire focus will be on salvation of the Jews still alive who choose to accept Jesus as the Messiah.
When the fifth trumpet sounds and the abyss is opened whereby the demons of Satan are let loosed upon the earth, the Antichrist will assume power as the inhabitants of the world must accept his dictatorial rule and through him, Satan as their god, or go into hiding in an attempt to survive every day for the following forty-two months.
Join me next time when we explore what happens to Christians and new believers before the mid tribulation fifth trumpet blast in, “Where did all the ‘Jesus Freaks’ go”?
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