Friday, January 31, 2014

And you have forgotten the exhortation which speaks to you as to sons:“ My son, do not despise the chastening of the LORD, Nor be discouraged when you are rebuked by Him; For whom the LORD loves He chastens, And scourges every son whom He receives.” Hebrews 12:5-6
Hear now what the LORD says:“ Arise, plead your case before the mountains, And let the hills hear your voice. Hear, O you mountains, the Lord’s complaint, And you strong foundations of the earth; For the LORD has a complaint against His people, And He will contend with Israel. Micah 6:1-2

Do not rejoice over me, my enemy; When I fall, I will arise; When I sit in darkness, The LORD will be a light to me. I will bear the indignation of the LORD, Because I have sinned against Him, Until He pleads my case And executes justice for me. He will bring me forth to the light; I will see His righteousness. Then she who is my enemy will see, and shame will cover her who said to me, “ Where is the LORD your God?” My eyes will see her; Now she will be trampled down like mud in the streets. Micah 7:8-10

Now all these things happened to them as examples, and they were written for our admonition, upon whom the ends of the ages have come. 1 Corinthians 10:11

These are only a few scriptures revealing the chastening of the Lord. He chastens us as individuals and He chastens nations. The Old Testament pattern is seen in all the books of the prophets. The prophets warn. If the nation refuses to repent the curse is released. Deut 28 and Lev 26 God waits for understanding and repentance. If there is no repentance additional curses are released. This is the law of the universe of God Almighty. Rebellion causes the curse to be released. Repentance brings mercy and grace. This is how God speaks to nations today. Micah 7:8-10 above is a great example. The Lord wants His people to turn to Him and when they do he sets them on a rock.

In a lesser way the Lord operates this way in our personal lives. The unpleasant events and people we come across in our daily lives are a form of chastisement. This is how the Lord changes us into his image. This is how He works his nature into us. We have to deal with these things and seek Him out for guidance. It is often a painful experience and reveals our impatience, weakness, and sinfulness. Without this working in us we can never become like Him. It is learning to hear and obey.

Most of the time we want to run away from this chastening in our lives. We don’t want to go through this unpleasant period. To move forward in the Lord we have no choice but to cry out to Him and go through it. In time these things become a source of joy as the Lord’s plan is worked in us and in the situation. This is the way of the Holy Spirit in our lives. Every event and personality in our lives is purposeful in God. This is working out our salvation in fear and trembling.
 Therefore, my beloved, as you have always obeyed, not as in my presence only, but now much more in my absence, work out your own salvation with fear and trembling; Philippians 2:12

NEW TESTAMENT EXAMPLES OF CHASTENING...Then one of them, named Agabus, stood up and showed by the Spirit that there was going to be a great famine throughout all the world, which also happened in the days of Claudius Caesar. Acts 11:28 A famine was coming upon the world. This was a chastisement of God. What did God' people do? They took a collection to send to the church at Jerusalem. God taught them a lesson in giving. Was God also warning those in Jerusalem to relocate? The temple would soon be destroyed.

Jesus answered and said to them, “Destroy this temple, and in three days I will raise it up.” John 2:19 Jesus prophesied the destruction of the Temple and Jerusalem because the majority of the Jews refused to believe. This was a severe chastisement on the nation. Later many people probably remembered Yeshua's words at the time and repented and came to salvation.

In Acts 5:1-11 we see another example of severe chastisement on Ananias and his wife Sapphira for lying to God about the price of land they sold and keeping back part of the price. They were not required to give this money but were deceitful in the way they did it, promising to give, but hiding some away for themselves. This was a stern rebuke. They were lacking in God's character. We have not seen this fear of God today--but a day is coming when we will.

We have no problem today understanding the love of God. He is a God of love--but He also can become angry. This part of God’s nature is very misunderstood today. God hates sin. He gave His only son to give us access to his forgiveness. A price must be paid for sin and God has provided a way for us through Jesus’ sacrifice on the cross. That is love unfathomable. God’s justice demanded a penalty for our sin and He has made us a way to return to Him.

When Adam fell from grace the eternal plan of God was temporarily thwarted by Lucifer. God demands holiness and is repelled by sin. Lucifer knew this and thought he had defeated God’s plan for man. The rebellion was underway but God had a plan. The sacrifice of Jesus’ blood on the cross would pave the way for man’s return to God. It satisfied God’s demand for justice and bestowed upon us the righteousness that God demands. This is the meaning of John 3:16

NATURAL DISASTERS AS CHASTISMENT...From the chamber of the south comes the whirlwind, and cold from the scattering winds of the north. By the breath of God ice is given, and the broad waters are frozen. Also with moisture He saturates the thick clouds; He scatters His bright clouds. And they swirl about, being turned by His guidance, that they may do whatever He commands them on the face of the whole earth. He causes it to come, whether for correction, or for His land, or for mercy. Job 37:9-13

God will speak through the weather to get a nation’s attention. The United States is a nation that has been given much by God and much is demanded of us. In these days of apostasy in our nation God is using the weather to get our attention.

Hurricane Katrina...Katrina formed on August 23. 2005. It was the 12th storm of the year. August 23-29 was also during the month of Elul, the repentance month on the Jewish calendar. As America treats Israel, God speaks to America.

On August 23rd the last Israeli settlers in Gaza where removed according to a policy established by the United States. That was the day the storm formed.

Events after the storm mirrored those of Gaza:
Jews evacuate Gaza --Americans evacuate New Orleans

Gaza settlers provided temporary shelter--Americans provided shelter in Superdome

Gaza settlers who refused to move held out on roofs of home--Americans who wanted rescue or refuse removal held out on their roofs.

Gaza Jews banned from returning--Many Americans never returned to New Orleans

Gaza homes bulldozed--Many homes in New Orleans bulldozed

Tombs of Jews removed from Gaza--Many tombs in New Orleans disturbed and upturned by flood waters

Is God trying to tell America something? Are these just random events?

The judgment on New Orleans also had to do with pagan carnivals like the Southern Decadence Festival which was scheduled for Aug 31-Sept 5. Katrina was a warning to decadent living. (Deut 22:5 and Lev 18:2) Was God telling some of His people to relocate? Perhaps.

Voodoo is also popular in New Orleans. Voodoo means “snake spirit” and practices snake dancing. Voodoo spirits are water spirits empowered by wetlands and bayous called Cymbees. Cymbees Andezo means 2 waters. Two waters come together in New Orleans: The freshwater Mississippi and the salt water Gulf of Mexico.

Katrina means to purify. In Greek mythology there was a goddess known as Hekateros which means “each of the two”. This is the voodoo spirit of witchcraft, tombs, demons, and the underworld. (Deut 12:10-13) In ancient Rome a feast for Hekateros was held on the 29th of each month. Katrina hit on August 29th. Everything God does has a purpose.

Katrina was God’s warning to the people of New Orleans and our nation. Has the message been heard? Often we miss the purpose of God in our lives. I believe God may have been warning some Christians to leave that area. Many people did not return to the area. It is possible the Lord was relocating some people for a reason only He knows. Most of the time we want to rebuild and go back but there are times God may be telling us to get up and go. This is what he told Abraham.

God’s ways are far above ours. In Job 38 the Lord chastises Job. He asks Job if he can understand creation, if he can tell God how things work, and for what purposes. Job has no answer. We cannot put God into our box. He moves in a sovereign way. Chastisement is God's way of getting us to understand His ways. This can be very personal--you and Him.

GOD’S ETERNAL LAW...Everything God does comes from a heart of love. What is the end result of the terrible times described in the book of Revelation? The end result is the glorious New Jerusalem and the rule of God in the world and universe. Why are there great tribulation, war, and death? The reason is man’s rebellion against God. It is man’s refusal to repent and turn back to God. Rev 9:20-21 The day of the Lord will be a terrible day. There will be no forgiveness--it will be a time of judgment. It will be the day of the fear of the Lord.

Persecution will come to God's people...but we are not destined for God's wrath!

In Deut 28 and Lev 26 God has established His method of operation towards nations and individuals. We are to obey His commandments. When we walk this way we are blessed and prosper. When we turn from this way we pay the price--as individuals and as a nation. This is why Peter warns us in 1 Peter 4:17 to walk accordingly. This is why Paul tells us to work out our salvation with fear and trembling. God chastises His people because He loves us. It is His way of building His character in us as we live out our daily lives.

1 John 5:2-3 By this we know that we love the children of God, when we love God and keep His commandments. For this is the love of God, that we keep His commandments. And His commandments are not burdensome.

We are not to use love as an excuse to walk in sin. Let us allow the Lord to work in our lives and to recognize His chastisement as His love for us. There are many things He may be trying to tell us. Recognizing this way of His communicating with us is vital.

Job 5:17 “ Behold, happy is the man whom God corrects; therefore do not despise the chastening of the Almighty.


Thursday, January 30, 2014

You shall observe My judgments and keep My ordinances, to walk in them: I am the Lord your God. You shall therefore keep My statutes and My judgments, which if a man does, he shall live by them: I am the Lord. Lev 18.4-5
Seven times a day I praise You, Because of Your righteous judgments. Ps 119.164

I will praise You with uprightness of heart when I learn Your righteous judgments. Ps 119.7

We are to understand that all God’s judgments are righteous. Psalm 119 is all about the Torah and God’s righteous judgments.

My son, if you receive my words, And treasure my commands within you, So that you incline your ear to wisdom, and apply your heart to understanding; Yes, if you cry out for discernment, and lift up your voice for understanding, if you seek her as silver, and search for her as for hidden treasures;

Then you will understand the fear of the Lord, And find the knowledge of God. For the Lord gives wisdom; From His mouth come knowledge and understanding; He stores up sound wisdom for the upright; He is a shield to those who walk uprightly; He guards the paths of justice, And preserves the way of His saints. Then you will understand righteousness and justice, Equity and every good path. Proverbs 2.1-9

God’s judgment and righteousness are always connected. That is what these verses in Proverbs show us. All of God’s judgments are righteous--sometimes we do not understand and are mistaken in thinking the judgment is not righteous. The big picture is expressed in Ps 9.8...He shall judge the world in righteousness, and He shall administer judgment for the peoples in uprightness.

We should not become angry with God if we do not understand what He is doing.

And I heard the angel of the waters saying:
“You are righteous, O Lord, The One who is and who was and who is to be, Because You have judged these things. For they have shed the blood of saints and prophets, And You have given them blood to drink. For it is their just due.”
And I heard another from the altar saying, “Even so, Lord God Almighty, true and righteous are Your judgments.” Rev 16.5-7

All judgment was not nailed to the cross--there is still some to come. All God’s judgments are righteous and have an eternal purpose.

The entirety of Your word is truth, And every one of Your righteous judgments endures forever. Ps 119.160

God’s judgments have deep meaning in the course of eternity.

Thy mercy, O Lord, is in the heavens; and thy faithfulness reaches unto the clouds. Thy righteousness is like the great mountains; thy judgments are a great deep: O Lord, You preserve man and beast.

They are designed to help us govern our ways. The judgment brings blessing or cursing. God wants us to do things His way--the righteous way--and to stop blaming others for our trouble.

The fear of the Lord is clean, enduring for ever: the judgments of the Lord are true and righteous altogether. More to be desired are they than gold, yea, than much fine gold: sweeter also than honey and the honeycomb. Moreover by them is thy servant warned: and in keeping of them there is great reward. Ps 19.9-11

And ye have forgotten the exhortation which speaketh unto you as unto children: "My son, despise not thou the chastening of the Lord, nor faint when thou art rebuked of him: For whom the Lord loveth he chasteneth, and scourgeth every son whom he receiveth. If ye endure chastening, God dealeth with you as with sons; for what son is he whom the father chasteneth not?" Hebrews 12.5-7

We are warned and taught through the chastisements of the Lord. Often we want to blame the adversary for our troubles, but often the Lord is chastening us for our attitude. We need to understand the difference! God chastens us as individuals and as a nation. When the nation turns away from God He will sometimes chasten the nation through nature.

God thunders marvelously with His voice; He does great things which we cannot comprehend. For He says to the snow, ‘Fall on the earth’; Likewise to the gentle rain and the heavy rain of His strength. He seals the hand of every man, that all men may know His work. Job 37.5-7

From the chamber of the south comes the whirlwind, And cold from the scattering winds of the north. By the breath of God ice is given, and the broad waters are frozen. Also with moisture He saturates the thick clouds; He scatters His bright clouds. And they swirl about, being turned by His guidance, That they may do whatever He commands them on the face of the whole earth. He causes it to come, Whether for correction, Or for His land, Or for mercy. Job 37.9-13

Katrina, Sandy, and Athena were God’s chastening to our nation and specific areas. His desire is that people will turn back to Him and repent. It is His way of getting our attention. Sometimes Christians will be hurt by these destructive storms. God may be telling them to relocate because this area is not where He wants them. See Lot as an example.


1. Eternal Judgment
- John 3.14-16...And as Moses lifted up the serpent in the wilderness, even so must the Son of Man be lifted up, that whoever believes in Him should not perish but have eternal life. For God so loved the world that He gave His only begotten Son, that whoever believes in Him should not perish but have everlasting life.

Grace and salvation. Jesus saves us from eternal judgment. Acts 4.12...Nor is there salvation in any other, for there is no other name under heaven given among men by which we must be saved.”

God wants us to practice righteousness by right living, but this eternal righteousness and salvation is imputed by Jesus--it is not earned!

Then I saw a great white throne and Him who 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, standing before God, and books were opened. And another book was opened, which is the Book of Life. And the dead were judged according to their works, by the things which were written in the books. The sea gave up the dead who were in it, and Death and Hades delivered up the dead who were in them. And they were judged, each one according to his works. 14 Then Death and Hades were cast into the lake of fire. This is the second death. And anyone not found written in the Book of Life was cast into the lake of fire. Rev 20.11-15 Only Jesus blood and salvation gets us written in the book of life. The wicked dead rejected God’s word. Eternal judgment is “heaven or hell.”

2. Wrath Judgment Gen 6.5-9...Then the Lord saw that the wickedness of man was great in the earth, and that every intent of the thoughts of his heart was only evil continually. And the Lord was sorry that He had made man on the earth, and He was grieved in His heart. So the Lord said, “I will destroy man whom I have created from the face of the earth, both man and beast, creeping thing and birds of the air, for I am sorry that I have made them.” But Noah found grace in the eyes of the Lord. This is the genealogy of Noah. Noah was a just man, perfect in his generations. Noah walked with God.

These wrath judgments are unto death. Noah obeyed God’s word (Torah) and was saved. The others experienced God’s end-time wrath--death. The same happened with Lot in the story of Sodom and Gomorrah. Gen 19.23-29

God delivers the righteous from wrath:For if God did not spare the angels who sinned, but cast them down to hell and delivered them into chains of darkness, to be reserved for judgment; 5 and did not spare the ancient world, but saved Noah, one of eight people, a preacher of righteousness, bringing in the flood on the world of the ungodly; 6 and turning the cities of Sodom and Gomorrah into ashes, condemned them to destruction, making them an example to those who afterward would live ungodly; 7 and delivered righteous Lot, who was oppressed by the filthy conduct of the wicked 8 (for that righteous man, dwelling among them, tormented his righteous soul from day to day by seeing and hearing their lawless deeds)— 9 then the Lord knows how to deliver the godly out of temptations and to reserve the unjust under punishment for the day of judgment, 10 and especially those who walk according to the flesh in the lust of uncleanness and despise authority. They are presumptuous, self-willed. They are not afraid to speak evil of dignitaries….2 Peter 2.4-10

For God did not appoint us to wrath, but to obtain salvation through our Lord Jesus Christ…1 Thess 5.9

Then I looked, and behold, a white cloud, and on the cloud sat One like the Son of Man, having on His head a golden crown, and in His hand a sharp sickle. And another angel came out of the temple, crying with a loud voice to Him who sat on the cloud, “Thrust in Your sickle and reap, for the time has come for You to reap, for the harvest of the earth is ripe.” So He who sat on the cloud thrust in His sickle on the earth, and the earth was reaped.

Reaping the Grapes of Wrath...Then another angel came out of the temple which is in heaven, he also having a sharp sickle. And another angel came out from the altar, who had power over fire, and he cried with a loud cry to him who had the sharp sickle, saying, “Thrust in your sharp sickle and gather the clusters of the vine of the earth, for her grapes are fully ripe.” So the angel thrust his sickle into the earth and gathered the vine of the earth, and threw it into the great winepress of the wrath of God. Rev 14.14-19

3. Temporal Judgment This is a judgment that leads or should lead to repentance. 1 Cor 11.32...But when we are judged, we are chastened by the Lord, that we may not be condemned with the world. God uses situations and people as a means of chastisement and a way of smoothing out the rough areas in our character. This is His manner of teaching us.

God disciplines us in order that we should not be condemned! It is God’s loving parental way of moving us in the direction we should go. This is God’s way. Remember the children of Israel knew His acts, but Moses knew His ways! God wants us to know Him in a deeper way. This may take a lifetime of learning to hear His voice. He desires simple obedience. This will lead to BIG things!

He made known his ways to Moses, his acts to the people of Israel. Ps 103.7

Tomorrow: The Chastening of the Lord


Wednesday, January 29, 2014

Lamentations, called ‘ekhah (“alas”) in Hebrew, after its initial word, commemorates the destruction of the First Temple in 586 BC. It is the Bible’s primary literature of destruction and became the paradigm for later Jewish literature of destruction. Lamentations is a form of mourning for a destruction that was to become a linchpin in Jewish history and religious thought. Lamentations eternalizes the destruction, thereby helping to make it a central event in the Jewish memory.

The five chapters are five separate poems, each with a distinctive tone and theme. All of the poems accept the biblical theology that the disaster is God’s punishment for Israel’s sins. The Babylonians are never mentioned by name. It is God who is responsible for the destruction. There is never any doubt about God’s power, and it is this power, and also His mercy, that the poet calls on for help in their present plight.

The recitation of Lamentations takes place on Tish’ah be’av, the 9th of Av (July or August), which commemorates the destruction of the first and second Temples, 586 BC and 70 AD, and around which the commemoration of other Jewish destructions and catastrophes have happened. When reading the prophets we should always try to understand them in their historical (that time), personal (our lives), and prophetic (future) context.


1.1-11 The city is described as a woman widowed, abandoned, and shamed.
1.1-3 Alas! The city sits alone. Once a princess among the nations, now weeping in great sorrow. All her allies have betrayed her, Judah has now gone into exile and harsh oppression. These verses point out that her idolatry and pursuit of allies, rather than her husband, the Lord, have left her desolate. Her oppression recalls her harsh treatment by the Egyptians long ago.

1.4-6 Once busy streets are now empty of pilgrims to the Temple, for the Temple is destroyed and the people are gone. The Lord has afflicted her for her sins. Gone from Zion is all joy.

1.7-11 Now only sorrow and woe with none to help her. Again the sin of the people is acknowledged. Her uncleanness indicates her ritual impurity. The Temple has been violated as a woman is sexually violated. The people sigh as they look for something to eat. They have sold all their treasures, just to find something to eat.

1.12-22 Jerusalem calls out for sympathy. The imagery of war--fire and nets--explains God’s actions against Judah. The yoke of submission is used to show the sins of the people. Like wine in a winepress the blood has been squeezed out of them. With no comforter, their mourning cannot be completed. The Lord is in the right, because they have disobeyed Him. The people admit they were wrong. The enemy is no more righteous than they are and also deserves punishment.

Imagine America defeated by her enemies. We have to forage for food, we have no electric service, no TV. There are no sports to watch. We go to our ruined homes and weep, there is martial law and curfew. Our life of ease is now over it is very painful. During the day we bargain for food and at night just lay around depressed. Life as we know it is over. Our enemies from Iran, Russian, and China mock us. We are prisoners in our own country as our enemies now have occupied our country. Hard to image isn’t it? That is what it would be like.

We have a tendency to overlook the Old Testament prophets and water down their content. Why would God give us so many books relating to destruction and suffering? He is a God of Love is He not? We like to emphasize the love side of God and ignore His angry side. Surely this word is not for us today. God would never do this to us, we have Jesus.

Jesus Himself spoke of difficult days in Matthew 24. What God is telling us in these books is that He hates sin and cannot tolerate it in His church. He is telling us that we need to take our walk with Him seriously and to obey His commandments. We all have a tendency today to live our faith in a casual fun loving way. There is a time for fun and God does not deny us that, but we have spent so much time trying to make Christianity appeal to everyone that we have watered down the message and allowed all sorts of “idolatry” into the church.

Many churches incorporate new age philosophy and pagan customs into the church as they try to make it appeal to the masses. You can’t take new age and pagan rituals, put the name of Jesus on it, and expect the Holy Spirit to be part of that. God wants us to come out of that. We are to be a peculiar people, a people unto the Lord. Our worship should reflect the instruction we find in the Bible, not the customs of the world. There is way too much entertainment, rock and roll, and new age philosophy in our assemblies. So, much that it is near impossible to hear the true voice of the Lord. He who has ears to hear and eyes to see will understand.

Even though this is harsh, God does love us and deals with each of us in a very personal way. The Lord allows us to experience difficulties in our personal lives so that He can transform us into His image. We spend much of our time trying to escape His dealings with us. If we can learn to yield to His wisdom we will develop a deep relationship with Him. Only then do we really begin to understand His great love towards us. Then we can minister to others in love.

The other thing to remember is that all of the terrible things that happened to Israel and Judah were because of disobedience to God. They refused to walk in His ways. They sinned out rightly and arrogantly. They were, therefore, judged harshly. We do not have to experience such harsh judgment if we love Him and walk according to His commands. We are not destined for wrath, but to obtain salvation. (1 Thess 5.9) Wrath comes upon the children of disobedience. (Colossians 3.6) The Book of Revelation reveals what is coming to those who refuse to repent and turn towards the Lord. We are not exempt from the persecution of man, only the wrath of God, if we walk in His ways.

When sinful men and women repent God immediately shows mercy and compassion on them. If we are walking with the Lord then we will be prepared to instruct repentant people in the way in which God desires them to walk. The question is: Are we prepared? That is what these books of the prophets are saying to us today. They are harsh and use colorful language, but the Lord is telling us that we have a great inheritance and a serious work to perform. Let’s get to it!


2.1-22 In chapter one the tone was one of despair and mourning, now the tone is angry. God is depicted as an angry enemy who destroyed Jerusalem with violent force.
2.1-9 God has made the Temple like an abomination. This is because idolatry was an abomination and they were worshipping the sun, sacrificing their children, and practicing fornication in their religious rites. The “horn of Israel” all it’s might and power has been consumed. There are no more feasts and festivals, rather the enemy has raised a shout of exultation over them! God is measuring the wall of the city, not to build, but to destroy it. The king is in captivity and the prophets have nothing to say.

2.10-19 The survivors bewail their suffering. The elders are devastated and wail. Children cry and ask their mothers for food. The prophet weeps at what he sees. The people are denounced for listening to the false prophets who told them they were living righteously, rather than expose their sins to them. They could have been restored if they would have repented, but they preferred to listen to the deception. All their enemies hiss and sneer at them now. They have waited for a long time to see this day!

2.20-22 The prophet calls out for divine compassion. Mothers are eating their children things are so terrible! Days are spent burying the dead. There is no sanctuary.

Imagine America’s large cities in ruins like the pictures of Germany after World War Two. Imagine trying to get your life back to normal. There is the smell of death all around. You weep all day because you know that this was brought on by the nation’s sin. You wish you could go back and right all the wrongs you did--but it is too late. The enemy who is occupying the land is harsh and shows little pity. Clean up will take years and then what? The future seems bleak with no hope. You just want to get through the day and fall on your bed or wherever it is you sleep. As you fall asleep you stomach growls with hunger.


3.1-66 Reflection is mixed with lament; hope alternates with despair. A Job-like individual crying out to God in his suffering, trying to provoke a response from God. The male voice represents a survivor, perhaps going into exile. He may also be thought of as the collective voice of the people.
3.1-9 The man laments on God’s personal dealings with him. The rod of the Lord has tried him. He feels walled in and weighed down with chains, his prayers go unanswered. Have you ever felt this way? What was the end result? It should be a better relationship with the Lord and a deeper understanding of His ways.

3.10-20 He continues to share how God is dealing with him. He has been shot with arrows, people laugh at him and mock him (for his faith), he has forgotten what happiness is. This is a man under the dealings of God. This is us going to work and dealing with a miserable co-worker, a lousy boss. God puts you in that position to work something out of you, and then, back into you. It is miserable to experience, but if we persevere and understand what is happening to us, God will impart Himself into us!

3.21-24 This man understands what is happening to him. He has hope because he understands God is transforming him into a new creature, he is putting on the new man. (Col 3.10) This man is walking in the spirit as an overcomer. God’s grace is sufficient.

3.25-39 The Lord is good to those who trust Him. Wait (bear with it) patiently for the Lord to work out in your life what He desires. Understand that each of us must go through certain things alone. Sitting alone in the Lord’s chastisement of love. (Hebrews 12.6) Putting your mouth to the dust is accepting discipline. Accept suffering, for a time, with patient trust. God afflicts only in response to human misconduct. In other words, the Lord is molding us into His image through our trials.

3.40-48 We are exhorted to let the Lord search and examine us. Lift up your heart, confess your rebellion so that you can be healed. At times we feel abandoned and just want to turn away and do what we want to do. The Lord is reaching out His hands in love and beseeching us to trust in Him. He will cleanse us from our sin. We know this in our mind, but we need to understand it in our hearts. Weeping takes place at night, but joy comes in the morning! Psalm 30.5

3.49-66 His eyes flow with tears, he feels overwhelmed by the situation. He cries out to God, and is told not to fear! He is hanging on--soon he will be made new. He cries out for God to deal with his adversaries. By asking God to pursue his enemies he is calling for God to reestablish justice in the world and in his personal life.

Have you been experiencing things you don’t understand in your life? Have you been saying, “Why me, Lord, don’t they understand?” Are you struggling with family, job, friends, feelings of hurt, despair, no one understanding you? Hallelujah! God is doing great things in your life--call out to Him and let Him work. You are being tried like gold in the fire!

CHAPTER FOUR: THE DESCRIPTION OF THE SIEGE OF JERUSALEM4.1-10 The prophet contrasts between former grandeur and wretched present. Gold and gems are cast away as worthless objects. This symbolizes how the people of Jerusalem now feel. They are compared to jackals, the vilest of scavenger animals, and ostriches which are known for neglect of their young. Children are starving and are too weak to cry. Jerusalem’s slow agony in the siege is worse than the sudden destruction of Sodom, a quick death would be preferable. It is so bad that mothers cook their children for food!

4.11-16 Their misery is divine chastisement. Fire has burned the city. Even foreign kings are shocked that God would let Jerusalem’s enemies conquer them so brutally. Prophets and priests are singled out for blame for not being righteous and misleading the people. They are now shunned like lepers. The Lord has turned His back in sorrow and cannot look.

4.17-22 Jerusalem’s allies (Egypt) cannot help them. The Lord’s anointed, the kings and princes, cannot help as the nation has lost her independence. Her enemies are told to exult while they can--they too will be judged for their iniquity. A final word of encouragement to Israel in the last verse.

This chapter symbolizes how a sinful life destroys us. Man rebels and does want he wants, refusing to obey God’s laws. The end result is misery--and even then many are too hardened to repent! How many times have you met this type of person? We reap what we sow. The Book of Revelation constantly repeats that men refused to repent no matter how bad things got. God would prefer we repent, but divine justice must prevail. There is a point of no return for the unrepentant. Judgment begins at the house of God--get with God and repent now alone with Him.

CHAPTER FIVE: AN APPEAL TO GOD TO TAKE NOTE OF THEIR SUFFERINGS5.1-18 The institutions of society have been broken down. Families lack the head of the house, inheritances are lost, the elite are no more, economic deprivation is widespread, so is violence in the streets. Rebelliousness against God brings only calamity. There is no music in the land, only hard work and toil. Woe to us that we have sinned! The remnant are now repenting.

5.19-22 The people recognize the Lord and praise Him. They ask to not be forgotten, but plead for the Lord to take them back and renew them as days of old. The last verse says, “truly you have forgotten us,” and is a plea to be remembered. It is Jewish custom when reading Lamentations to repeat verse 21 after 22 in order to have a positive ending.

Of course the Lord will forgive and restore. A remnant always emerges. What we often fail to realize when we talk about the remnant is that the remnant usually has gone through difficult times because they were disobeying God. They had to go through suffering in order to be cleansed of their sin. The remnant become purified after they learn their lessons well. The remnant is always a small residue of believers who have experienced difficulties before they come out shining.

Next: God's Righteous Judgments

Tuesday, January 28, 2014

The name Zephaniah means “The Lord Hides” or “The Lord has Hidden.” The name indicates confidence in the power of God to hide His worshipper in time of danger.
Probably of royal descent, Zephaniah prophesied during the reign of good king Josiah between the fall of Ninevah and the Babylonian attack on Judah. Under Josiah administration of the Law and worship of the Lord had been revived briefly, but the people still practiced idolatrous customs in secret. Perception of this hypocrisy stirred the young prophet to action. The king joined the prophet in a reform movement, but the evil tide rolled on. The increase of wickedness and disobedience towards God led to God’s using Nebuchadnezzar as the rod of His anger. When reading the prophets we should always try to understand them in their historical (that time), personal (our lives), and prophetic (future) context.

1. Announcement of doom 1.1-9 The day of the Lord’s wrath
The prophet identifies himself and immediately begins prophesying the wrath of God. The Lord is going to sweep away everything--man and beast, birds of the sky, and fish of the sea. Even mankind will be destroyed from the face of the earth. The Lord is going to stretch out His arm against Judah and Jerusalem because they are worshipping Baal. The people go up to the roofs of their homes and worship the host of heaven and swear by the god Malcham. They have forsaken the Lord for their idols.

The translation suggests a scenario of universal destruction. It can be interpreted this way or as pointing to the total destruction of a particular area--Judah and Jerusalem. In Zephaniah’s day he was prophesying and warning the people that judgment was coming unless they changed their ways. In that day they were sacrificing their children to the fire, worshipping idols, and eating at pagan tables. If we do not walk in His ways God cannot stand it. He first sends warnings, but as the people become more and more depraved, destruction comes.

We can relate these verses easily to the Book of Revelation and the end of the age. Prophetically, Zephaniah is seeing that time. It is a time when the apostasy is so great, and the threat to Israel and the Jews so destructive, that the return of Jesus Christ is imminent. We see the duality of prophecy in this light. We can also see that the Apostle John was well versed in the imagery of the ancient prophets. This is the time of the Tribulation.

1.7-9 The day of the Lord is approaching--be silent. The Lord is preparing a feast and His guests must be purified. The officials and rulers of the nation are going to be punished. Everyone who is lawless, deceitful, and violent will be punished.

The judgment of the Lord is a terrible thing. It indicates a total lack of repentance and sorrow on Judah’s part. God would not take such action if there was repentance--but the people refuse. The imagery of a feast indicates the total destruction that is coming. This destruction will purify the remnant who survive--they will turn back towards God in true sorrow. This is what revival really is--repentance and sorrow for sin--then we are revived.

2. Description of doom 1.10-18

In this day there will be a loud outcry from the wealthy areas of Jerusalem as all trade and finance will come to a halt. The Lord is going to search Jerusalem with lamps and will punish those who say, “The Lord will do nothing, good or bad.” Their wealth is going to be plundered and their homes laid waste. They will be building homes and planting vineyards that they will never enjoy.

We see the imagery of the social and financial fabric of the nation collapsing. The Lord is searching Jerusalem with a lamp--the lamp and light of His word--and finds no righteous people. The people are at ease and mock, saying that the Lord will do nothing. Soon they will realize their grave mistake. All will be destroyed by the Babylonians. Again we see images of Revelation chapters 17 and 18 when Mystery Babylon falls. Duality of prophesy. Again we see the world as in the time of the end.

1.14-18 The great day of the Lord is swiftly approaching. It is a bitter day. A day of the wrath of God, trouble, distress, calamity, desolation, darkness, gloom, and clouds. It is a day of the trumpet and alarm. People will be distressed and stumble like blind men. Because of their sin the people are doomed. Their silver and gold will not be able to save them on the day of wrath. All will be consumed.

The day of wrath finally comes. It is a terrible day. It is the day of the trumpet. This is why it is important to understand the Feasts of the Lord. The day of the trumpet is the fulfillment of the Feast of Trumpets--Yom Teruah. This is the final warning prior to the Day of Atonement. This is how it will be at the end of the age. There will be trumpets of warning--then the Day of Atonement or the wrath of God. For those who refuse to repent it will be too late then.

How can God’s people know what time it is and what to do? Understand the Feasts of the Lord and keep them. This is the beginning of wisdom. We again, see the imagery of the Book of Revelation 17, 18, and 19. What is the Lord telling us? He desires we live righteously and obey His commands. We should be developing our personal relationship with the Lord so that we can hear His voice. We need to return to Him and His ways. We need to “hide” in Him.

3. The last chance for repentance 2.1-4 The scope of divine judgment

The nation is shameless and their sin is obvious--they are told to gather together before the fierce anger of the Lord overtakes them. Those who have obeyed God’s law and are meek are told to seek the Lord and they may find a hiding place during the time of wrath. Gaza and Ashdod, enemies of Judah are told they too are going to experience the judgment of God.

This is what the Feast of Trumpets (Yom Teruah) represents--the final warning trumpet prior to judgment. Now is the time to repent, now is the time for God’s people to seek shelter under His wings. The time has come. Those who truly walk with the Lord are not destined for wrath, but to salvation. The wrath of God is judgment on sin--persecution is another thing altogether. We can expect persecution, but we are not destined to wrath. Some of those who are truly seeking Him will find a “hiding place in the Lord”.

4. Against the nations and their gods 2.5-15

Now the nations surrounding Judah are given notice of their coming judgment. In these judgments the prophet indicates that Lord will restore His people Judah and they will plunder their enemies. Verse 11 points out how these enemy nations will be humbled by the Lord. Babylon thought in their hearts that they alone were great, but God tells them she is going to be wasted.

Today we see Israel surrounded by her ancient enemies just as in the day of Zephaniah. In that day the Lord eventually returned the Jews to their land and their enemies were no more--Babylon was destroyed. Verse 11 points out that the Lord does not want to destroy nation after nation, but that the purpose is to have these nations recognize His sovereignty and bow down to Him. Every knee shall bow, every tongue confess, that Jesus Christ is Lord. At the end of the age this will be reality as all Israel is saved and the millennial reign of Christ is ushered in.

5. Against the overbearing city 3.1-13 Jerusalem’s sin and redemption

The city of Jerusalem is filthy and polluted. She has been disobedient and has not learned her lesson. She has not received correction and has not trusted in the Lord. The leaders are like preying wolves, the judges are corrupt, the prophets are reckless and faithless, and the priests profane the holy. The Lord, however, is in the midst of all this unrighteousness--He does no wrong and issues faithful judgment every day. All His judgments are righteous.

The nation is beyond hope--lawlessness reigns. It is a picture of a corrupt and lawless society. Warnings were given and no heed paid. The Lord is still in the midst of the nation--He is righteous and just--but that is exactly why He must bring His judgment. God requires righteousness of the nation and cannot tolerate their sin their any longer.

3.6-7 The wrong doers know no shame. The Lord has destroyed other nations and His people did not get the point. They continued to sin and practice corruption. They did not learn their lesson.

3.8-13 The Lord exhorts His people to wait for Him. He is going to bring the nations together and pour out His indignation upon them. Wickedness will be consumed. In that day Judah will no longer be ashamed for all their sins--the proud and haughty will no longer be among them. They will be humble and find refuge in the Lord. The remnant of Israel will do no wrong and speak no falsehood--they will lie down and rest in the Lord.

We always talk about “the remnant” without understanding what the remnant is. The remnant is what is left over. The remnant are those who have been chastised and tried like gold. They are purified in the heat of tribulations. They are the ones that will shine--but first they have to be sifted like wheat. That is who the remnant are. They have been tried and are walking with the Lord.

6. Joy to Jerusalem 3.14-20 - Ultimate supremacy of Israel

Shout for joy fair Zion! Rejoice fair Jerusalem with all your heart! The Lord has annulled the judgment against you and has swept away your enemies. The Lord is in the midst of thee, you shall not see evil anymore.

Those who are left have learned their lesson. They have returned to the Lord. There is joy and comfort now. In our lives the Lord will chastise us in specific areas and change us from glory to glory--if we allow Him. Being changed from glory to glory is not always glorious--it can be painful--we are dying to self. The remnant are those who have yielded to the Lord and allowed Him to change them from glory to glory. There is ultimately great joy in this as we understand what is happening to us.

3.16-20 In that day it shall be said to Zion, “Have not fear, let not your hands be slack.” The Lord is in your midst, He will save, rest in His love, and joy over you with singing. He will remove those who have afflicted and reproached you. He will gather those who are sorrowful for a solemn assembly. He will gather and make you a name and a praise among all people of the earth, turning back your captivity.”

This is the day of restoration. This is the millennial kingdom time. The Lord brings salvation--it is not by power nor by might, but by His spirit--the arm of the Lord brings salvation. It will be a new world order--God’s order. Verse 18 in the Hebrew is difficult to translate, but it indicates that the people were deprived of the festivals. What festivals? The Feasts of the Lord (Lev 23.1) are the feasts that will be celebrated in the millennium. Many today do not understand the meaning and prophetic fulfillment of these feasts. It is time to understand.

This is Israel’s hope--the return of Messiah Yeshua. This will be the time when their enemies are finally destroyed and the earth is the Lord’s and the fullness thereof. We see many prophetic images in these passages. We have an inheritance in God beyond our finite understanding.

Next: Book of Lamentations

Monday, January 27, 2014

The author is the only person named Haggai in the Old Testament. His name means “festive” or “festal.” He is mentioned by Ezra (Ezra 5.1; 6.4), but nothing is known of his personal life. Haggai was the first post-exilic prophet who ministered to the remnant that had returned from the Babylonian captivity. His prophecy is clearly dated in 520 BC, the second year of Persian King Darius.
Haggai was sent by God to awaken the people from their lethargy to undertake the restoration of the temple in Jerusalem after Persian King Darius gave them permission to return and rebuild. His prophecy begins with the restoration of the temple, but goes on to describing the Lord Jesus Christ, the future establishment of God’s kingdom, the judgment of God on ungodly world powers, and the blessing awaiting nations that willingly return to God. When reading the prophets we should always try to understand them in their historical (that time), personal (our lives), and prophetic (future) context.

1. Rebuke of Indifference 1.1-6 - The people are urged to build the temple, call to serious reflection.

In the second year of Darius, on the first day of the sixth month, the word of the Lord came through Haggai the prophet to Zerubbabel, the Governor, and Joshua, the High Priest. The Lord sees that the people in the land think the time has not come to rebuild the temple. They are comfortable in their own homes while the House of God lies in ruins. The Lord tells them they have sowed much and reaped little, eaten without being satisfied, clothed themselves but are not warmed, and what they earn does not purchase much.

The year is 520 BC, it is the sixth month, the month of Elul, and it is the first day of the month. In ancient times kings issued decrees on the new moon, or the first day of the month. It is interesting to note that the month of Elul is an important month on God’s calendar. This is a month of reflection and the sounding of the warning shofar (trumpet) that the Feast of Trumpets (Yom Teruah) and the Day of Atonement (Yom Kippur) are approaching. Prophetically the month of Elul is a preparatory month for the festivals that occur in the next month--Tishri--The feasts of Trumpets and Day of Atonement, serious end time rehearsals. In the month of Elul the shofar is blown each day as a warning that the Feast of Trumpets is approaching.

The fact that this word comes to Haggai at this time is prophetically important in the historical and prophetical context. The Lord, through Haggai, is warning the people that they are too comfortable and need to wake up to the work the Lord has for them to do. Their religious life and culture cannot function properly without the temple services. They have been complacent. The trumpets of Elul are a wake up call. God cannot return to their lives without a temple. Note that Solomon’s Temple was dedicated at the Feast of Tabernacles 1 Kings 8.

Today the Lord is calling His people to rebuild their temples. We are His temple, He lives within us. We need to seek the Lord in a deeper way so that His temple (our bodies) will be holy and consecrated to Him. God is restoring all things and the trumpets of Elul should be recognized as a wake up call to prepare ourselves. Momentous times are directly ahead of us. Prophetically in our day the Laodicean church is an example of the church today. Rev 3.14-22.

2. Israel’s chastening from God 1.7-11

The Lord continues to chastise His people. “Go up to the hills, get timber, rebuild my house and I will look on it with favor and be glorified,” they are told. They have been expecting much, but doing little. The Lord says he has “blown” on what they have labored for--blown it away in the wind. The Lord’s House is in ruins while they all run to the comfort of their own homes. That, they are told, is why it does not rain and drought conditions are in the land.

The Lord is chastising His people for their lack of motivation. He is using the weather to chastise them. Now He has sent His word through the prophet Haggai. The trumpets of Elul are blowing! In our personal lives we often get comfortable with things the way they are. Sometimes we get caught up in the cares of life and our spiritual life suffers. The Lord knows this happens and sends us someone or something to rouse us up and return us to Him. “Rise up, my fair one, and come away!” Prophetically the exhortation to the Laodicean church (Rev 3.18-22) is what the Lord is saying to His church today. The temple service must be restored for the people to prosper. So our temple must be in order.

3. Obedience of the nation 1.12-15

Zerubbabel, Joshua, and all the people respond to the word Haggai is giving. “I am with you declares the Lord”, he tells them. The people are aroused and begin to work on rebuilding the temple on the twenty fourth day of the month of Elul, just before the beginning of the month of Tishri.

The people respond and begin to work! This is what the Lord desires of us. When we hear Him call get up and get to work. There is much to be done. Ask the Lord how you can prepare for the work He is calling you to do. Prophetically we see how the Philadelphia church in Revelation acted as an example for us today. Rev 3.7-13

4. Encouragement for building 2.1-5 - The glory of the new temple

On the twenty-first day of the seventh month (Tishri) another word from the Lord is given to the people through Haggai. He asks them who among them saw the glory of the first temple? How does this temple compare? It must seem as nothing compared to the first temple. Zerubbabel, the Governor, Joshua, the High Priest, and all the people are exhorted to be strong and take action! The spirit of the Lord is in their midst--God is with them in this endeavor.

The 21st of Tishri would have been the last day of the Feast of Tabernacles (Sukkot). The Feast of Tabernacles is a joyous seven day feast that follows the Feast of Trumpets (Warning Blasts) and the Day of Atonement (Wrath, redemption, and judgment of God). The people have heard the trumpet, they have taken the word seriously as the times require, and they have celebrated the undertaking during Sukkot (Tabernacles).

This book is prophetic towards the end time. Historically the people have heard the warning trumpet (Haggai, the meaning of the month of Elul, and Yom Teruah), they have responded positively by taking the warning seriously (Feast of Trumpets), and have repented of their casualness (Day of Atonement), and then joyously celebrated the Feast of Tabernacles before beginning the work of restoration. This is a symbol or type of how the Lord wants His people to react and be prepared to endure the tribulation and persecution at the end of the age. Then His glory will be revealed to the world in His temple--we are the temple, His body!

5. Promise of future glory 2.6-9

The Lord promises in a little while He will shake the heavens and the earth, the sea, and all the nations. The precious things of all the nations will flow here and fill His Temple with His glory! The silver and the gold belong to the Lord and this latter House will be greater than the former one declares the Lord.

Historically the Lord was promising His people blessing in this new temple. This temple would become the place where Jesus would be dedicated and teach during His ministry. The glory of all nations would come to hear Him. Prophetically it is a picture of the temple we are becoming in the Lord. All will be shaken at the end of the age and the Millennial Kingdom will be a time when the earth is filled with the knowledge and glory of the Lord. In the New Jerusalem the Lord becomes the temple. Rev 21 All governments and their systems are being shaken today!

6. Clean and unclean in Levitical matters 2.10-14 - Unfaithfulness reproved

On the twenty-fourth day of the ninth month (Kislev) in the second year of Darius, the word of the Lord again comes to Haggai. The Lord tells Haggai to get a ruling from the priests on some Levitical issues. The Lord is testing them on their knowledge of clean and unclean. Their answers are satisfactory and show proper knowledge. They have responded faithfully and are experiencing the Lord’s blessing on their efforts.

This divine communication comes on the 24th of Kislev, three months to the day from when the people began the joyous work of rebuilding the temple after the Feast of Tabernacles. This date would later become significant as the eve of the celebration of Hanukkah which begins on 25 Kislev. This pronouncement would begin the purification of the temple or any altar that had been established prior to completion of the temple. The Lord desires our temple (bodies) are pure and dedicated to Him. We are not to tolerate sin in our lives--we are to be pure in heart.

Hanukkah is the Festival of Lights that would later celebrate the victory of the Maccabees over Antiochus in 167 BC.

This festival celebrates the Menorah burning for eight days with a one day supply of oil. Jesus is the light of the world and He was conceived by Mary on the 25th of Kislev. God has an appointed time for every prophetic event. Jesus would later proclaim these truths in this physical temple. John 8.12; John 10.22-39

7. The application of these truths 2.15-19

Now the Lord tells the people to think back on how nothing they did prior to beginning the rebuilding of the Temple profited them. They were defiled because of their disobedience. They experienced no yield from all their labor--they were struck with mildew, blight, and hail. They are told from this day onward, the 24th of Kislev, they will prosper because they are obeying. The temple service will bring their lives back into God’s proper balance. Their “dress rehearsals” (of the end time feasts) have brought them blessings!

This applies to our walk. If we are in tune and obeying the Lord and walking in His Torah, obeying His commands (1 John 5.1-3) we will be blessed and our lives will prosper. If we constantly kick against the pricks we will struggle. Our hearts must be pure and circumcised. If our hearts are right God will bless us in our work and lives. God desires to bless His people even in difficult times--we are to abide in Him and defeat sin in our lives through obedience to Him and the word. This as we know is an ongoing process.

8. God’s future blessing for Zerubbabel 2.20-23 - The coming of the ideal age

The word of the Lord comes a second time to Haggai on the 24th of Kislev. He speaks to the Governor, Zerubbabel, telling him that the Lord is going to shake the heavens and the earth, will overturn the thrones of kingdoms, and destroy the might of the nations. God will overturn their chariots and drivers each by the sword of their brothers. On that day, Zerubbabel, the servant of the Lord, will be a signet--one chosen by God.

Historically the Lord is declaring that this temple will see or witness the shaking of the nations. As mentioned earlier this is where Jesus would teach, where He would be dedicated. This would be an earth shaking event. Zerubbabel’s faithfulness in rebuilding will make this all possible. Zerubbabel also represents the lineage of King David and our Lord Jesus Christ and His lineage with David. When we came to know the Lord it shook our world!

Prophetically in our time, a generation will see the shaking of the earth and the establishment of the Millennial Kingdom. The power of the nations will be overturned as they fight against each other and the Lord’s people at Armageddon. It’s not by might or by power, but by my spirit says the Lord. The end of the age will culminate in the return of God’s signet--the Lord Yeshua! All of this is what we rehearse when celebrating the fall feasts of the Lord: Trumpets (Yom Teruah), Day of Atonement (Yom Kippur), and Tabernacles (Sukkot). The sound of the last trumpet, the redemption of God’s people (and wrath on the wicked), and the wedding feast of the Bride and Groom.

Saturday, January 25, 2014


First Half - Matt 24.9-13
1. Persecution
2. False prophets

3. Increase in sin

4. Jews who survive end of tribulation are saved, 1/3 survive. Zech 13.8-9

5. Gospel proclaimed as testimony. Rev 7.1-8 144,000 Jews proclaim loudly.

Second Half - Matt 24.15-28
1. Abomination of Desolation is set up--AntiChrist on throne proclaims he is God.

2. Flight from land by the Jews. Constant turmoil, world wide anti-Semitism. Rev 12

Warnings about fleeing at this time:

A. Women should pray not to be pregnant.

B. Not to have to flee in winter, wadi’s fill in winter rain and storms make travel difficult

C. Not to have to flee on Sabbath, transportation will be limited.

3. World wide anti Semitism Rev 12

4. Only 1/3 of Jews survive (Zechariah 13.7-9). Time will be cut short, it will not exceed 1260 days.

5. False Messiah’s--don’t listen to rumors of where He is--every eye will see!

6. False Prophets with Satanic power and signs and wonders

7. Rumors of return--don’t come out of hiding, every eye will see Him when He comes.

8. Place--Where carcass is vultures will be there. Where the body of Jews or nation is the vultures or Gentile armies will be.

There are periods of darkness during the tribulation. One period before, three during, and one after. This is total darkness on the earth. The sign of His second coming will be the Shekinah Glory dispersing the darkness all over the world at His coming.

At some point Israel is re-gathered back into the land. This is not a rapture. Types of Elect: Church, Angels, Nations

Isaiah 27.12-13; Matt 24.31 - Final gathering trumpet. Is this a gathering of the nation of Israel and the meeting in the air of saints? A simultaneous event perhaps? Also see Mark 13.27 and Deut 30.4-5. This is a final restoration of surviving saints and Jews. The resurrected would be Abraham, Isaac, Jacob, and many other O.T. prophets. Even amidst great tribulation there are areas of normalcy, Matt 24.37-39.

Exhortation--Look up redemption draws close (Luke 21.28). The generation of Jews who accept Jesus as Messiah will trigger His return. Since the destruction of the temple in 70 AD this has not occurred.

There will be a final Holocaust that begins after the Antichrist declares himself to be God. This will be Satan’s final attempt to eliminate the Jewish people. The “generation” that sees the abomination of desolation will also see the return of Messiah 3.5 years later when they accept Him. There are 1260 days from Abomination until the 2nd coming--the days will be shortened for the elect’s sake--it will be exactly 1260 days and cut short right there!

When the leaves on the fig tree (Israel) and the other trees (Gentiles) are both green then these things are nigh, even at the door.

Finally every place it says "Jews" includes those grafted in. The "called out" one new man will be persecuted just as the physical nation of Jews is persecuted. There is a duality here. The followers of Yeshua will be persecuted along with the physical nation we call Israel. We will both be on Satan's destruction list--but for the elect's sake the days will be shortened. It will not go one day over the appointed day. (This may be the final 1260 days and not one day more.)

The scripture says that there will be those who are alive at His coming (1 Thess 4.15-18). That indicates that for some there will be a place of hiding. Take comfort in that. There are many scriptures speak of a hiding place (Zephaniah 2.1-3; Isaiah 49.2; Ps 83.3). We don't have all the answers but we know God is working towards an end that will bring forth a new beginning.

I pray this exhaustive study of the end of the age has been eye opening and instructive.

Friday, January 24, 2014

Part Eight
10 Jewish Expectations of the end times and how they relate to the ekklesia:

1. Final ordeal and confusion - (Jacob’s Trouble) - The time of the tribulation.

2. Elijah as a precursor reappears - One of the two witnesses of Revelation.

3. Coming of Messiah - does not mean everything ends, but final wars are fought (Armageddon).

4. Last Assault on the hostile powers - Armageddon.

5. Through Messiah the destruction of hostile powers - The second coming. Revelation 19.11-20

6. Renewal of Jerusalem - Jerusalem established as the millennial capital.

7. Gathering of the dispersed - God’s people re-gathered.

8. Kingdom of Glory established in the Holy Land - Millennial Kingdom, Ezekiel’s Temple.

9. Renewal of the whole world - Teaching the nations during the millennium.

10. General Resurrection of the dead - What we would call the first resurrection when Yeshua returns.

It is all about the Land - As we are grafted in we also share an inheritance. The land is the current modern day issue. Ezekiel 40 - 48 describes the millennial temple and future boundaries of the land of Israel.
* Jeremiah 16.18 God says it is His land.

* It is given unconditionally. Gen 15. God can bring His people back whenever He decides: Ps 105.8-11

* Sin against the land leads to exile. Numbers 35 bloodshed pollutes. Lev 18 Land vomits out.
2 Chronicles 36.20-21 fulfill word until the land fulfills it’s Sabbaths.

* Ps 137 Exile from land is spiritual death. Ps 126

* Messianic promises are land based. No concept of a blessed future for Israel outside of the land.
The fate of the land and the people are tied together.

* Replacement Theology is false teaching. Tribes will return. Deut 29.28. Nations will come to Jerusalem Isaiah 2.

Isaiah 11 peace between nations.

* Current state of affairs until the restoration of all things. Act 3.19

* Isaiah 60.10 foreigners build the walls of Jerusalem. Isaiah 62.4 married (espoused) to the land.
The return to the land is for a wedding ceremony! No longer a widow Is 62.5

* Ezekiel 40-48 speaks of a future temple in Jerusalem.

* Israel in the world is a sign spoken against. Zech 12-14 world wide hostility towards Jerusalem.
God’s Kingdom will advance--it will be physical, not just spiritual.

* A temple is in the earthly kingdom--Ezek 43.7 It is an earthly and heavenly temple that will never be destroyed.

* In Jewish rabbinic tradition sin deprived Adam of the glory of God. What was the world like before sin?

* There is a tangible world coming when Messiah will rule. This life is not about going to heaven and
 playing harps-- it is about functioning in a new world.

* Amos 3.1-3 Judgment goes along with temporal blessings.

As we can see there are striking similarities between Judaism and Christianity concerning the end of the age. There is nothing in Jewish eshcatology that talks about special treatment or a "rapture" of any people group. John's view of the end of the age in the Book of Revelation parallels Jewish beliefs in the world to come. That is because John was a Jew and understood eschatology from a Judaic understanding.

My contention and challenge to the "church" is that if we are grafted into Israel then we also share in the promises to physical Israel. That is exactly what scripture indicates. Jewish eshatology is what John is sharing in his vision in Revelation.

If you understand the fall feasts; Trumpets, Day of Atonement, and Tabernacles (along with the meaning of the month of Elul and the ten days of Awe) you see that the Book of Revelation chronologically follows this order. (Review the December 2013 postings on this blog of the book of Revelation)

God is calling His people out. He is calling them out of Judaism (to rebirth in Yeshua as Messiah is what I mean) and out of the apostate church as He creates "one new man" under one Rabbi--Yeshua! Our rabbinic authority will be under our Elohim thru Rabbi Yeshua. There is only unity when we understand what is truth. Jews are coming to Yeshua and Christians are coming back to understanding Hebraic roots--this is the one new man. We are coming to this understanding of who we are.

God is bringing us together in this hour. We both will need to evaluate our current pet beliefs and doctrines allowing Yeshua to bring us together under His Headship. He is the Head of the "called out" and He is building His Temple. It is exciting to see how we will come together. I know one thing for sure--it will not be easy and many will stand against it--but it will be.

Tommorrow: Part 9 - Tribulation Outline and final thoughts

Thursday, January 23, 2014

Part Seven
The Parable of the Wheat and the Tares and More

“But of that day and hour no one knows, not even the angels of heaven, but My Father only. But as the days of Noah were, so also will the coming of the Son of Man be. For as in the days before the flood, they were eating and drinking, marrying and giving in marriage, until the day that Noah entered the ark, and did not know until the flood came and took them all away, so also will the coming of the Son of Man be. Then two men will be in the field: one will be taken and the other left. Two women will be grinding at the mill: one will be taken and the other left. Matt 24:36-41
When the Lord appears after many days of tribulation, this is when He takes His church and separates the wheat from the chaff. This would have to be a post tribulation rapture. This is the final great harvest. The righteous go with the Lord, the unrighteous are left behind in the fiery battle that takes place. Thus one will be taken and the other left (to destruction). The following parable explains things clearly:

Another parable He put forth to them, saying: “The kingdom of heaven is like a man who sowed good seed in his field; but while men slept, his enemy came and sowed tares among the wheat and went his way. But when the grain had sprouted and produced a crop, then the tares also appeared. So the servants of the owner came and said to him, ‘Sir, did you not sow good seed in your field? How then does it have tares?’ He said to them, ‘An enemy has done this.’ The servants said to him, ‘Do you want us then to go and gather them up?’ But he said, ‘No, lest while you gather up the tares you also uproot the wheat with them. Let both grow together until the harvest, and at the time of harvest I will say to the reapers, “First gather together the tares and bind them in bundles to burn them, but gather the wheat into my barn.” Matt 13:24-30

The meeting in the air takes place at this time. This speaks of a post tribulation rapture--our “translation” takes place when the Lord returns and gathers the wheat and tares. 1 Thess 4:16-18 This scripture witnesses with phase four above. The unrighteous are left to suffer the fiery battle and the righteous meet the Lord in the air. The Lord comes with his army in Rev 19.11-21. The unrighteous or tares are left to wrath at this time. The wheat is taken into the barn (we meet in the air) and the unrighteous are left to experience the wrath of God (burned).

More Witnesses:…and to give you who are troubled rest with us when the Lord Jesus is revealed from heaven with His mighty angels, in flaming fire taking vengeance on those who do not know God, and on those who do not obey the gospel of our Lord Jesus Christ. These shall be punished with everlasting destruction from the presence of the Lord and from the glory of His power, when He comes, in that Day, to be glorified in His saints and to be admired among all those who believe, because our testimony among you was believed. 2 Thessalonians 1.7-10

Again this is Revelation 19.11-21 when the Lord comes in power. We see Him coming in flaming fire and taking vengeance on those who do not repent (wicked).

Deuteronomy 4.29-31 an Old Testament Witness: But if from thence thou shalt seek the LORD thy God, thou shalt find him, if thou seek him with all thy heart and with all thy soul. When thou art in tribulation, and all these things are come upon thee, even in the latter days, if thou turn to the Lord thy God, and shalt be obedient unto his voice; (For the Lord thy God is a merciful God;) He will not forsake thee, neither destroy thee, nor forget the covenant of thy fathers which he sware unto them."

Jesus never says anything about His people being “raptured” out. He only warns us to be ready to suffer and go through difficult times. What is our hope? Our final resurrection and meeting Him in the air on the last day is our great sustaining hope. Then we all will be rewarded by ruling and reigning with Him in the millennial kingdom.

How are the dead raised? 1 Corinthians 15.35-49:35 But someone will say, “How are the dead raised? And with what kind of body do they come?”  You fool! That which you sow does not come to life unless it dies; and that which you sow, you do not sow the body which is to be, but a bare grain, perhaps of wheat or of something else. But God gives it a body just as He wished, and to each of the seeds a body of its own. All flesh is not the same flesh, but there is one flesh of men, and another flesh of beasts, and another flesh of birds, and another of fish. There are also heavenly bodies and earthly bodies, but the glory of the heavenly is one, and the glory of the earthly is another. There is one glory of the sun, and another glory of the moon, and another glory of the stars; for star differs from star in glory.
So also is the resurrection of the dead. It is sown a perishable body, it is raised an imperishable body; it is sown in dishonor, it is raised in glory; it is sown in weakness, it is raised in power; it is sown a natural body, it is raised a spiritual body. If there is a natural body, there is also a spiritual body. So also it is written, “The first MAN, Adam, BECAME A LIVING SOUL.” The last Adam became a life-giving spirit. However, the spiritual is not first, but the natural; then the spiritual. The first man is from the earth, earthy; the second man is from heaven. As is the earthy, so also are those who are earthy; and as is the heavenly, so also are those who are heavenly. Just as we have borne the image of the earthy, we will also bear the image of the heavenly. 1 Corinthians 15.35-49

When we rule and reign with Christ for the thousand years we will be spiritual beings. We no longer have a mortal body. All things are become new!

The Last Enemy Destroyed
But now Christ is risen from the dead, and has become the firstfruits of those who have fallen asleep. For since by man came death, by Man also came the resurrection of the dead. For as in Adam all die, even so in Christ all shall be made alive. But each one in his own order: Christ the firstfruits, afterward those who are Christ’s at His coming. Then comes the end, when He delivers the kingdom to God the Father, when He puts an end to all rule and all authority and power. For He must reign till He has put all enemies under His feet. The last enemy that will be destroyed is death. For “He has put all things under His feet.” But when He says “all things are put under Him,it is evident that He who put all things under Him is excepted. Now when all things are made subject to Him, then the Son Himself will also be subject to Him who put all things under Him, that God may be all in all. 1 Corinthians 15.20-28 (Psalm 8.6) Note this all happens "at the end."

The Mystery of Resurrection 1 Corinthians 15.50-58 Now I say this, brethren, that flesh and blood cannot inherit the kingdom of God; nor does the perishable inherit the imperishable. Behold, I tell you a mystery; we will not all sleep, but we will all be changed, in a moment, in the twinkling of an eye, at the last trumpet; for the trumpet will sound, and the dead will be raised imperishable, and we will be changed. For this perishable must put on the imperishable, and this mortal must put on immortality. But when this perishable will have put on the imperishable, and this mortal will have put on immortality, then will come about the saying that is written, “DEATH IS SWALLOWED UP in victory. O DEATH, WHERE IS YOUR VICTORY? O DEATH, WHERE IS YOUR STING?” The sting of death is sin, and the power of sin is the law; but thanks be to God, who gives us the victory through our Lord Jesus Christ. Therefore, my beloved brethren, be steadfast, immovable, always abounding in the work of the Lord, knowing that your toil is not in vain in the Lord.

At the last trumpet the dead in Christ will be raised to reign and rule with Him in the Kingdom of God. This is the first resurrection at his coming with his angels (army) in Revelation 19.11-21.
This is when we meet the Lord in the air. There is no “secret” rapture--the Lord only returns once--that’s when we meet him in the air.

The Great Apostasy  Now, brethren, concerning the coming of our Lord Jesus Christ and our gathering together to Him, we ask you, not to be soon shaken in mind or troubled, either by spirit or by word or by letter, as if from us, as though the day of Christ had come. Let no one deceive you by any means; for that Day will not come unless the falling away comes first, and the man of sin is revealed, the son of perdition, who opposes and exalts himself above all that is called God or that is worshiped, so that he sits as God in the temple of God, showing himself that he is God. 2 Thess 2.1-4

Paul is now telling believers to not be deceived. If he is telling us not to be deceived that indicates that we will be going through the tribulation, for that day will not come unless the falling away comes first... Do you not remember that when I was still with you I told you these things? And now you know what is restraining, that he may be revealed in his own time. For the mystery of lawlessness is already at work; only He who now restrains will do so until He is taken out of the way. And then the lawless one will be revealed, whom the Lord will consume with the breath of His mouth and destroy with the brightness of His coming. The coming of the lawless one is according to the working of Satan, with all power, signs, and lying wonders, and with all unrighteous deception among those who perish, because they did not receive the love of the truth, that they might be saved. 2 Thessalonians 2.5-10

Paul continues to describe this time of deception:
The Day of the Lord...
But concerning the times and the seasons, brethren, you have no need that I should write to you. For you yourselves know perfectly that the day of the Lord so comes as a thief in the night. For when they say, “Peace and safety!” then sudden destruction comes upon them, as labor pains upon a pregnant woman. And they shall not escape. But you, brethren, are not in darkness, so that this Day should overtake you as a thief. You are all sons of light and sons of the day. We are not of the night nor of darkness. Therefore let us not sleep, as others do, but let us watch and be sober. For those who sleep, sleep at night, and those who get drunk are drunk at night. But let us who are of the day be sober, putting on the breastplate of faith and love, and as a helmet the hope of salvation.   For God did not appoint us to wrath, but to obtain salvation through our Lord Jesus Christ…. 1 Thessalonians 5.1-9

Paul tells us we know that the day of the Lord comes as a thief in the night and we should be prepared mentally, physically and spiritually for that time of trouble.

“Now learn this parable from the fig tree: When its branch has already become tender and puts forth leaves, you know that summer is near. So you also, when you see all these things, know that it is near—at the doors! Assuredly, I say to you, this generation will by no means pass away till all these things take place. Heaven and earth will pass away, but My words will by no means pass away. Matt 24:32-35
The nation of Israel is the fig tree. The Lord is talking about a generation of Israeli’s and believers that will see it all. All the events will happen to that appointed generation.

GOD PROTECTS THE RIGHTEOUS - Happy is the man whom God corrects, despise not the chastening of the Lord…From six troubles He will deliver you, even in seven evil will not touch you. In famine He will redeem you from death, and in war from the power of the sword. “You will be hidden from the scourge of the tongue, and you will not be afraid of violence when it comes. "You will laugh at violence and famine, and you will not be afraid of wild beasts. “For you will be in league with the stones of the field, and the beasts of the field will be at peace with you. "You will know that your tent is secure, for you will visit your abode and fear no loss. Job 5:17-24 We will experience difficult days, but we will not fear…the peace of God will be upon us.

Finally Isaiah 26.19-21 The Lord will comfort us and find us a hiding place.

Your dead shall live; Together with my dead body they shall arise. Awake and sing, you who dwell in dust; For your dew is like the dew of herbs, And the earth shall cast out the dead.

Take Refuge from the Coming Judgment...Come, my people, enter your chambers, And shut your doors behind you; Hide yourself, as it were, for a little moment, Until the indignation is past. For behold, the LORD comes out of His place To punish the inhabitants of the earth for their iniquity; The earth will also disclose her blood, And will no more cover her slain.

Our refuge is in the Lord. We will experience difficult times and some will be martyrs--but others will not die and will be alive at His coming!

“And preaching the gospel to that city, and having made many disciples…and that through much tribulation we must enter into the kingdom of God.”
Acts 14:21-22


Wednesday, January 22, 2014


Part Six
These things I have spoken to you, that in Me you may have peace. In the world you will have tribulation; but be of good cheer, I have overcome the world.” John 16.33
I do not pray that You should take them out of the world, but that You should keep them from the evil one. John 17.15 Is that clear? Not take them out of the world!

“But take heed to yourselves, lest your hearts be weighed down with carousing, drunkenness, and cares of this life, and that Day come on you unexpectedly. For it will come as a snare on all those who dwell on the face of the whole earth. Watch therefore, and pray always that you may be counted worthy to escape all these things that will come to pass, and to stand before the Son of Man.” Luke 21.34-36

Remember the word that I said to you, ‘A servant is not greater than his master.’ If they persecuted Me, they will also persecute you. If they kept My word, they will keep yours also.” John 15.20

“These things I have spoken to you, that you should not be made to stumble. They will put you out of the synagogues; yes, the time is coming that whoever kills you will think that he offers God service. And these things they will do to you because they have not known the Father nor Me. But these things I have told you, that when the time comes, you may remember that I told you of them….” John 16.1-4

And Jesus came and spoke to them, saying, “All authority has been given to Me in heaven and on earth. Go therefore and make disciples of all the nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit, teaching them to observe all things that I have commanded you; and lo, I am with you always, even to the end of the age.” Amen. Matt 28.18-20

The great commission expires at the “end of the age.” That is when Jesus returns with his army and the dead and remaining saints meet Him in the air. Jesus warns us of a coming persecution and that we should not be surprised when it happens. He never says we are taken out prior to tribulation.


And Jesus answered and said to them: “Take heed that no one deceives you. For many will come in My name, saying, ‘I am the Christ,’ and will deceive many. And you will hear of wars and rumors of wars. See that you are not troubled; for all these things must come to pass, but the end is not yet. For nation will rise against nation, and kingdom against kingdom. And there will be famines, pestilences, and earthquakes in various places. All these are the beginning of sorrows. Matt 24:4-8 These events are taking place now. Revelation chapters 1 thru 6

PHASE TWO “Then they will deliver you up to tribulation and kill you, and you will be hated by all nations for My name’s sake. And then many will be offended, will betray one another, and will hate one another. Then many false prophets will rise up and deceive many. And because lawlessness will abound, the love of many will grow cold. But he who endures to the end shall be saved. And this gospel of the kingdom will be preached in all the world as a witness to all the nations, and then the end will come. Matt 24:9-14
These events are taking place in some nations, but for the most part are yet to take place on a large scale. The gospel will be preached during this time.

PHASE THREE  “Therefore when you see the ‘abomination of desolation, spoken of by Daniel the prophet, standing in the holy place” (whoever reads, let him understand), “then let those who are in Judea flee to the mountains. Let him who is on the housetop not go down to take anything out of his house. And let him who is in the field not go back to get his clothes. But woe to those who are pregnant and to those who are nursing babies in those days! And pray that your flight may not be in winter or on the Sabbath. For then there will be great tribulation, such as has not been since the beginning of the world until this time, no, nor ever shall be. And unless those days were shortened, no flesh would be saved; but for the elect’s sake those days will be shortened.
The Lord is speaking of events in Jerusalem that take place during the time of the antichrist. This may be previewed in Zechariah 12 - 14. 

“Then if anyone says to you, ‘Look, here is the Christ!’ or ‘There!’ do not believe it. For false Christ’s and false prophets will rise and show great signs and wonders to deceive, if possible, even the elect. See, I have told you beforehand. “Therefore if they say to you, ‘Look, He is in the desert!’ do not go out; or ‘Look, He is in the inner rooms!’ do not believe it. For as the lightning comes from the east and flashes to the west, so also will the coming of the Son of Man be. For wherever the carcass is, there the eagles will be gathered together. Matt 24:15-28
The lightening from the east may be interpreted as the sun rising in the east (dawn) and light growing brighter as the day goes on--in other words these events will take place just as the sun rises, until the final mega event--the coming of the Lord. If believers were “gone” Jesus would not have to warn us not to be deceived.

PHASE FOUR  “Immediately after the tribulation of those days the sun will be darkened, and the moon will not give its light; the stars will fall from heaven, and the powers of the heavens will be shaken. Then the sign of the Son of Man will appear in heaven, and then all the tribes of the earth will mourn, and they will see the Son of Man coming on the clouds of heaven with power and great glory. And He will send His angels with a great sound of a trumpet, and they will gather together His elect from the four winds, from one end of heaven to the other. Matt 24:29-31 (See Revelation 19:11-16 . Many chapters in Isaiah also speak of the gathering of the elect.)

These are Jesus’ own words. He never says, “Don’t worry, you will be taken out prior to this happening.”


Tuesday, January 21, 2014

Part Five
All Christians know that the foundation of our faith is that we are saved by grace and faith in Jesus’ sacrificial death on the cross. Beyond that, however, few Christians understand the next foundation block of our faith. That block is the resurrection of the dead. Paul said, in 1 Corinthians 15.12-21:
“Now if Christ is preached that He has been raised from the dead, how do some among you say that there is no resurrection of the dead? But if there is no resurrection of the dead, then Christ is not risen. And if Christ is not risen, then our preaching is empty and your faith is also empty. Yes, and we are found false witnesses of God, because we have testified of God that He raised up Christ, whom He did not raise up—if in fact the dead do not rise. For if the dead do not rise, then Christ is not risen. And if Christ is not risen, your faith is futile; you are still in your sins! Then also those who have fallen asleep in Christ have perished. If in this life only we have hope in Christ, we are of all men the most pitiable. But now Christ is risen from the dead, and has become the first fruits of those who have fallen asleep. For since by man came death, by Man also came the resurrection of the dead.

As you read allow the word to speak for itself.

If Jesus has not risen from the dead our faith is futile. It is worthless. The resurrection of the dead is a key foundational block of our faith. If there is no resurrection our faith is no different than any other religion or belief. It is important to understand the resurrection and the timing of this event. If we understand what the word says about this event we also will begin to understand the book of Daniel and Revelation.

And many of those who sleep in the dust of the earth shall awake, some to everlasting life, some to shame and everlasting contempt. Dan 12.2

At that time Michael shall stand up, the great prince who stands watch over the sons of your people; and there shall be a time of trouble, such as never was since there was a nation, even to that time. And at that time your people shall be delivered, every one who is found written in the book. And many of those who sleep in the dust of the earth shall awake, some to everlasting life, some to shame and everlasting contempt. Those who are wise shall shine like the brightness of the firmament, and those who turn many to righteousness like the stars forever and ever.
“But you, Daniel, shut up the words, and seal the book until the time of the end; many shall run to and fro, and knowledge shall increase.” Dan 12.1-4 Now go to Revelation 19.11-21 and read.

This understanding, according to Daniel 12.1-4 is closed until the time of the end. This book is now being opened to our understanding in these last days. This is the time of many running to and fro and knowledge increasing.

Satan Bound 1000 Years   Then I saw an angel coming down from heaven, having the key to the bottomless pit and a great chain in his hand. He laid hold of the dragon, that serpent of old, who is the Devil and Satan, and bound him for a thousand years; and he cast him into the bottomless pit, and shut him up, and set a seal on him, so that he should deceive the nations no more till the thousand years were finished. But after these things he must be released for a little while.

The Saints Reign with Christ 1000 Years  And I saw thrones, and they sat on them, and judgment was committed to them. Then I saw the souls of those who had been beheaded for their witness to Jesus and for the word of God, who had not worshiped the beast or his image, and had not received his mark on their foreheads or on their hands. And they lived and reigned with Christ for a thousand years. But the rest of the dead did not live again until the thousand years were finished. This is the first resurrection. Blessed and holy is he who has part in the first resurrection. Over such the second death has no power, but they shall be priests of God and of Christ, and shall reign with Him a thousand years. Revelation 20.1-6

According to Revelation 19.11-21 Jesus returns with His armies from heaven and the wrath of God is poured out on an unrepentant world. Those who are alive at His coming will meet Jesus in the air just after the dead in Christ are resurrected. This is the first resurrection at the Lord’s second coming.

Satanic Rebellion Crushed
 Now when the thousand years have expired, Satan will be released from his prison and will go out to deceive the nations which are in the four corners of the earth, Gog and Magog, to gather them together to battle, whose number is as the sand of the sea. They went up on the breadth of the earth and surrounded the camp of the saints and the beloved city. And fire came down from God out of heaven and devoured them. The devil, who deceived them, was cast into the lake of fire and brimstone where the beast and the false prophet are. And they will be tormented day and night forever and ever.

The Great White Throne Judgment Then I saw a great white throne and Him who 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, standing before God, and books were opened. And another book was opened, which is the Book of Life. And the dead were judged according to their works, by the things which were written in the books. The sea gave up the dead who were in it, and Death and Hades delivered up the dead who were in them. And they were judged, each one according to his works. 14 Then Death and Hades were cast into the lake of fire. This is the second death. And anyone not found written in the Book of Life was cast into the lake of fire. Revelation 20.7-15

This is the second resurrection or white throne judgment. The first resurrection was those who have truly accepted Christ down through the ages and reign and rule with Him for the thousand years. Those who lived through the tribulation are included in the first resurrection. The second resurrection (death) is the final judgment of everyone else who has lived on the earth throughout history.

The Comfort of Christ’s Coming  But I do not want you to be ignorant, brethren, concerning those who have fallen asleep, lest you sorrow as others who have no hope. For if we believe that Jesus died and rose again, even so God will bring with Him those who sleep in Jesus. For this we say to you by the word of the Lord, that we who are alive and remain until the coming of the Lord will by no means precede those who are asleep. For the Lord Himself will descend from heaven with a shout, with the voice of an archangel, and with the trumpet of God. And the dead in Christ will rise first. Then we who are alive and remain shall be caught up together with them in the clouds to meet the Lord in the air. And thus we shall always be with the Lord. Therefore comfort one another with these words. 1 Thessalonians 4.13-18

Here we see that those who are alive and remain until His coming are caught up in the air after the resurrection of the dead. This event takes place in Revelation 19.11-21 through Revelation 20.1-5. This is at the end of the age. There is only one second coming!

Jesus said that these things will happen on the “last day”. The last day is the final day at the end of the age when he comes with His army of angels and resurrected saints!“This is the will of the Father who sent Me, that of all He has given Me I should lose nothing, but should raise it up at the last day. And this is the will of Him who sent Me, that everyone who sees the Son and believes in Him may have everlasting life; and I will raise him up at the last day.” John 6.39-40

No one can come to Me unless the Father who sent Me draws him; and I will raise him up at the last day.” John 6.44

Whoever eats My flesh and drinks My blood has eternal life, and I will raise him up at the last day. John 6.54

Martha said to Him, “I know that he will rise again in the resurrection at the last day.” John 11.24

We see clearly here, according to Jesus’ own words, that this event takes place at the end of the age, the last day. Now where does Jesus ever say that believers are “raptured” prior to the end of the age? These scriptures show clearly that the rapture or meeting in the air takes place at the end of the age. (Rev 19.11-21)

Tomorrow: Part 6 - Jesus' Own Words -  the Olivet Discourse.