Instantly Changed and Caught Up - By Mark A. Becker - https://www.raptureready.com/2022/06/19/instantly-changed-and-caught-up-by-mark-a-becker/
This article is a survey of the resurrection/rapture of the bride of Christ as found in Scripture. Our aim is an attempt to better understand the uniqueness of the resurrection/rapture of the church with the Scriptures as our guide.
Before we begin, we should preface this study with the following: “Resurrection/resurrected,” as used in this article, refers only to those who will receive eternal, glorified bodies, as our Lord Jesus Christ did.
Illustrations of the Rapture
When it comes to the translation of Enoch, I believe we see a beautiful first fruit picture of the rapture of the body of Christ, as the church is made up of both Jew and Gentile, and we can all trace our lineage back to Enoch through Noah. With Elijah, as an Israelite, I believe we see a beautiful first fruit picture of the translation of the 144,000 Israeli evangelists back to heaven with Yeshua at the midway point of the Tribulation.
Both Enoch’s and Elijah’s translations are unique, and though they are representations of the above events, as we shall see, they are not perfect.
We also have other resurrections and ascensions in Scripture to compare; namely, Jesus Christ, the 144,000 Israeli evangelists, and the Two Witnesses. Let’s take a look at all of these and see if there are any patterns we can ascertain.
Patterns for the Rapture?
Let’s examine these resurrections and translations and see if we can find any patterns that may be helpful in our study of the resurrection/rapture of the church.
“Jesus, when he had cried again with a loud voice, yielded up the ghost. And, behold, the veil of the temple was rent in twain from the top to the bottom; and the earth did quake, and the rocks rent; And the graves were opened; and many bodies of the saints which slept arose, And came out of the graves after his resurrection, and went into the holy city, and appeared unto many” (Matthew 27:50-53).
Here’s what I said in Resurrections and The Marriage Supper of The Lamb regarding this special event:
A possibility on this event is that these resurrected saints were not in glorified, resurrected bodies. They were most definitely recognizable, but I would suggest they were in a temporary spiritual-type body that all Christians for the last 2,000 years have been given in heaven at death, when they are absent from the body and present with Christ (2 Corinthians 5:8).
(We’ll have more on these temporary spiritual bodies later in this article.)
This event would seem to be for witnessing purposes only. I postulate that after their appearing as witnesses of a future resurrection to their loved ones and friends, they would have returned to Sheol to wait for the Lord to escort them to heaven when He led captivity captive:
“Wherefore he saith, When he ascended up on high, he led captivity captive, and gave gifts unto men. (Now that he ascended, what is it but that he also descended first into the lower parts of the earth? He that descended is the same also that ascended up far above all heavens, that he might fill all things)” (Ephesians 4:8-10).
I would be remiss if I neglected in pointing out another possibility; that these resurrected saints were, in fact, in their eternal resurrected bodies and were a part of Christ being a first-fruit offering to the Lord.
“For as in Adam all die, even so in Christ shall all be made alive. But every man in his own order: Christ the first-fruits; afterward they that are Christ’s at his coming” (1 Corinthians 15:22-23).
If this second possibility is correct, then these saints would have to have been those that had died during Christ’s earthly ministry, as they would have had to put their faith and trust in Him; an opportunity no Old Testament saint had the luxury of doing until Jesus descended to Sheol to proclaim His sacrifice for sins to the God-fearing dead in Abraham’s bosom, or Paradise (Luke 16:19-31).
Elijah’s and Christ’s ascensions into heaven were witnessed by other believers. This will not be the case at the rapture, as there will be no believers to witness this event, as all of them will be taken together.
As noted below, the only time that any unbeliever will witness a resurrection, as revealed to us in Scripture, will be at the resurrection and ascension of the Two Witnesses in the middle of the Tribulation. No unbelievers, as recorded in Scripture, ever saw Christ in His resurrected state. The reason for this is simple: Faith.
“But without faith it is impossible to please him: for he that cometh to God must believe that he is, and that he is a rewarder of them that diligently seek him” (Hebrews 11:6).
Only Elijah is said to have ascended with fiery chariots and horses.
Only Christ had free access to heaven and earth and spent 40 days teaching His disciples before He ascended before them in a cloud.
The Two Witnesses will have somewhat similar circumstances to our Lord’s death, burial, and resurrection – yet Christ ascended in the presence of believers only, and the Two Witnesses will ascend in the presence of their enemies (Revelation 11:12). In addition, The Two Witnesses will not be buried as Jesus was. Finally, the Two Witnesses will not stay on the earth after their resurrection as Yeshua did but will be immediately taken to heaven and will not return.
What is the one common thread that unites all of these resurrections and/or ascensions/translations? They are all different! None of them is just like another, and there is no set pattern between any of them.
Though the translations of Enoch and Elijah are often considered illustrations of the rapture of the church, they are not to be considered exact archetypes of our “blessed hope.” Nor could they be because, again, the rapture of the church was not only to be a unique event in the plan of God but was also an unknown mystery to even the prophets of the LORD in the Tanakh (Old Testament).
In our attempt to put together what the Scripture says about the details concerning the rapture of the body of Christ, we should begin our examination with 1 Corinthians 15:51-52.
“Behold, I shew you a mystery; We shall not all sleep [die], but we shall all be changed, In a moment, in the twinkling of an eye, at the last trump: for the trumpet shall sound, and the dead shall be raised incorruptible, and we shall be changed“ (1 Corinthians 15:51-52). (emphasis mine)
The Greek word for “moment” is 823 ἄτομος “atomos” and is where we get our English word for “atom.” “Atomos” means moment, from 1/A “not” and 5114 /tomṓteros, “to cut” – properly, not able to cut (divide) because too small to be measured, like a “split second”; an “instant; an indivisible moment of time, too short to measure” (Souter). Indivisible (an “atom” of time) — moment. [Definitions from Biblehub.com]
And, of course, “the twinkling of an eye” is self-explanatory, in and of itself.
We also need to take into consideration that Paul is referring to two separate groups within 1 Corinthians 15:51-52, which he expounds upon in more detail in 1 Thessalonians 4. The two different people groups – both members of the bride of Christ – are as follows:
“For this corruptible must put on incorruption, and this mortal must put on immortality” (1 Corinthians 15:53).
What ‘Change’ Do the Dead in Christ Experience?
One may ask how exactly the dead in Christ will be changed. The answer lies in what the dead appear to be when they die and are taken to heaven. We know that to be absent from the body is to be present with the Lord (2 Corinthians 5:8). Therefore, do we have any idea what that looks like? We do! One example in each Testament.
Samuel – 1 Samuel 28
In the story of Saul’s traveling to enquire of a woman with a familiar spirit (contact with demons masquerading as human spirits of the dead) in Endor, we see that Samuel was conjured up at Saul’s request.
Here’s a partial account:
“Then said the woman, Whom shall I bring up unto thee? And he said, Bring me up Samuel. And when the woman saw Samuel, she cried with a loud voice: and the woman spake to Saul, saying, Why hast thou deceived me? for thou art Saul” (1 Samuel 28:11-12).
The reason that the woman with the familiar spirit “cried with a loud voice” when she saw Samuel was because she knew it was not her familiar spirit that she was in regular contact with that would masquerade as the deceased human spirit asked for by her client.
We read on:
“And Saul perceived that it was Samuel, and he stooped with his face to the ground, and bowed himself. And Samuel said to Saul, Why hast thou disquieted me, to bring me up?” (1 Samuel 28:14b-15a).
The reader can read the entire account in 1 Samuel 28 for themselves. But suffice it to say, Samuel was allowed by God to come up from a place called Sheol. What we learn from this account is that people in their spirit/soul complex have a recognizable form upon death. What kind of a temporary spiritual body this is that houses our spirit/soul complex can only be known by the Lord.
The Rich Man and Lazarus – Luke 16
When people died, before the sacrifice of Christ, all went to a place called Sheol, as we noted above. In Sheol, which is believed to be a spiritual enclosure residing in the center of the earth, there are two compartments. We learn of this in Christ’s famous exposé of The Rich Man and Lazarus in the gospel of Luke.
Here’s what we learn about these two compartments:
“And it came to pass, that the beggar died, and was carried by the angels into Abraham’s bosom: the rich man also died, and was buried; And in hell he lift up his eyes, being in torments, and seeth Abraham afar off, and Lazarus in his bosom” (Luke 16:22-23).
Notice that the Rich Man not only recognized Lazarus, but he even recognized Abraham, who he had never seen before!
“And he cried and said, Father Abraham, have mercy on me, and send Lazarus, that he may dip the tip of his finger in water, and cool my tongue; for I am tormented in this flame. But Abraham said, Son, remember that thou in thy lifetime receivedst thy good things, and likewise Lazarus evil things: but now he is comforted, and thou art tormented. And beside all this, between us and you there is a great gulf fixed: so that they which would pass from hence to you cannot; neither can they pass to us, that would come from thence” (Luke 16:24-26).
These two locations – both in Sheol – that had “a great gulf fixed” between them are commonly referred to as hell, hades, and/or torments, where the unsaved dead go, and Abraham’s Bosom or Paradise, where the saved dead went to before Christ’s sacrifice.
Yeshua told the thief on the cross who accepted Christ, “Today shalt thou be with me in Paradise” (Luke 23:43).
After Christ’s sacrifice and resurrection, He took those in Paradise with Him into heaven:
“Wherefore he saith, When he ascended up on high, he led captivity captive, and gave gifts unto men. (Now that he ascended, what is it but that he also descended first into the lower parts of the earth? He that descended is the same also that ascended up far above all heavens, that he might fill all things)” (Ephesians 4:8-10).
This is why Paul could say that, even though he lived for the rapture, he had no fear of physical death.
“For to me to live is Christ, and to die is gain. But if I live in the flesh, this is the fruit of my labour: yet what I shall choose I wot not. For I am in a strait betwixt two, having a desire to depart, and to be with Christ; which is far better: Nevertheless to abide in the flesh is more needful for you” (Philippians 1:21-24).
Paul also saw Paradise when he went to the third heaven (2 Corinthians 12:4).
The Dead in Christ’s Resurrection and the ‘Change’ of Those Alive
Thus, when we die, we will join the others in heaven in what appears to be some sort of temporary spiritual body awaiting our resurrection with the uniting of our spirit/soul complex with a new, glorious and everlasting body. Our Lord will bring those that are dead in Christ with Him at the resurrection/rapture for this union with their resurrected eternal bodies.
“But I would not have you to be ignorant, brethren, concerning them which are asleep, that ye sorrow not, even as others which have no hope. For if we believe that Jesus died and rose again, even so them also which sleep in Jesus will God bring with him” (1 Thessalonians 4:13-14).
For the dead in Christ, their “change” seems to be that of putting on this new body.
(For an excellent read on this topic, please see Randy Nettles’ article that includes John Wesley’s work The Resurrection of the Dead: 1 Corinthians 15:35).
For those alive at the rapture of the church, we will be instantaneously “changed” from mortal to immortal. There will be no body left on the earth, as our old bodies will be instantly changed into new bodies, just as the decayed and scattered molecular bodies of the dead will be resurrected. The “when” this might take place in this process, we will consider at the conclusion of this article.
Both groups of people are essentially changed, yet in differing ways.
All of this – “the dead shall be raised incorruptible, and we shall be changed” – will be done, “In a moment, in the twinkling of an eye, at the last trump.” It is the transformation of our bodies – the dead putting on their new and glorified, eternal bodies, and those still alive on earth who will be transformed into their new and glorified, eternal bodies – that will be instantaneous.
But what about our meeting together in the clouds? Will this, too, be instantaneous?
For this part of our study, we will visit 1 Thessalonians 4.
“For this we say unto you by the word of the Lord, that we which are alive and remain unto the coming of the Lord shall not prevent them which are asleep. For the Lord himself shall descend from heaven with a shout, with the voice of the archangel, and with the trump of God: and the dead in Christ shall rise first: Then we which are alive and remain shall be caught up together with them in the clouds, to meet the Lord in the air: and so shall we ever be with the Lord” (1 Thessalonians 4:15-17). (emphasis mine)
I was very interested in looking into the Text Analysis of verse 17 and was very intrigued by its rendering. Here it is:
“Then we the living remaining, together with them, will be caught away in [the] clouds for [the] meeting of the Lord in [the] air; and so always with [the] Lord we will be.”
From this rendering, we see that the dead, who will rise first, will evidently rise with us to meet the Lord in the air. This brings an interesting question into play: Will the unsaved on earth see the resurrected dead when their bodies rise and are united with their spirit/soul complex? Answer: We don’t know.
Remember, Christ’s resurrected body, at times, not only appeared differently to others (Luke 24:13-33), but He also “vanished out of their sight” (Luke 24:31), as well as appeared at will (John 20:26). Though our everlasting, glorified bodies will have physical elements to them, they are, in fact, spiritual and are not subject to the natural laws of the universe.
So, in a supplemental answer to our question, it’s entirely up to God and evidently known only to Him whether or not the unsaved world will see the dead in Christ resurrected when their new bodies rise. But we do know that the dead in Christ’s uniting with their risen eternal bodies will be in an atom of time. And from the text, there is no reason to believe that the entire process – from the rising of the dead to our being caught up together to meet Christ in the air – will be anything but a very rapid procession of events.
The Greek word for “caught up” is 726 ἁρπάζω “harpazó” (translated in Latin to “rapturo” for which we get our commonly used word “rapture”) and means, properly, seize by force; snatch up, suddenly and decisively – like someone seizing bounty (spoil, a prize); to take by an open display of force (i.e. not covertly or secretly). From a derivative of haireomai; to seize (in various applications) — catch (away, up), pluck, pull, take (by force).
From the first part of the definition of “harpazó,” we can see that our being taken out of the world will not be in a “twinkling of an eye” as our change will be. Yet, with descriptions such as “seize[d] by force, snatch[ed] up, suddenly and decisively,” we should expect this event to be very rapid. I often think of a magician whose “hands are quicker than the eye.”
But, if we were to take into account the latter half of “harpazó’s” definition, we should at least consider that this snatching away could very well be with “an open display of force – not covertly or secretly.”
Therefore, it wouldn’t be unrealistic to suspect that the unbelieving world will have a glimpse of this translation and that they may behold a brief sighting of the rapture, and maybe even a quick glimpse of the rising dead. For me, I might liken it to seeing a supersonic aircraft jetting across the sky at a speed greater than the speed of sound, or a burst of a lightning strike.
I expect that our translation will be similar to that of Philip when he baptized the Ethiopian eunuch:
“And when they were come up out of the water, the Spirit of the Lord caught away [harpazó] Philip, that the eunuch saw him no more: and he went on his way rejoicing” (Acts 8:39). (emphasis mine)
How Much Time Between the Two?
We have covered extensively the following two passages in other articles, and these would include: Jesus Was the First to Teach the Rapture! and The Paralambánō of Matthew24:40-41 & Luke 17:34-36. Consequently, we will not be covering again the overwhelming evidences and logical rationale for these passages speaking clearly of the rapture of the church in this article. But, if the reader is interested, they can access the articles above, showing the truth of this joyful reality.
But we will again give the definition for the Greek word translated “taken” in these passages. Let’s take a look at these two Scriptures.
“I tell you, in that night there shall be two men in one bed; the one shall be taken, and the other shall be left. Two women shall be grinding together; the one shall be taken, and the other left. Two men shall be in the field; the one shall be taken, and the other left” (Luke 17:34-35). (emphasis mine)
The parallel passage can be found in Matthew:
“Then shall two be in the field; the one shall be taken, and the other left. Two women shall be grinding at the mill; the one shall be taken, and the other left. Watch therefore: for ye know not what hour your Lord doth come” (Matthew 24:40-42). (emphasis mine)
The Greek word for “taken” – as in “one taken and the other left” – in Matthew 24:40-41 and Luke 17:34-36 is 3880 παραλαμβάνω “paralambánō” (from 3844/pará, “from close-alongside” and 2983/lambánō, “aggressively take”) and means to take (receive) by showing strong personal initiative. To receive near, i.e., Associate with oneself (in any familiar or intimate act or relation); by analogy, to assume an office; figuratively, to learn — receive, take (unto, with). 1. To take to (cf. παρά, IV. 1), to take with oneself, to join to oneself: τινα, an associate, a companion. 2. To receive something transmitted.
It’s truly amazing how the definitions of “paralambánō” and “harpazó” correspond and seem to mirror each other!
“Paralambánō” – for “one shall be taken, and the other left” – is exactly the same word Christ uses for “receive” in John 14:1-3:
“Let not your heart be troubled: ye believe in God, believe also in me. In my Father’s house are many mansions: if it were not so, I would have told you. I go to prepare a place for you. And if I go and prepare a place for you, I will come again, and receive you unto myself; that where I am, there ye may be also.” (emphasis mine)
With this information in mind – specifically, the “one shall be taken and the other left” portions of our passages – we wanted to point out an obvious observation with a couple of questions.
If someone believes that those in the body of Christ who are alive on earth and are changed “in a moment, in the twinkling of an eye” are to be present on the earth for an undetermined amount of time before they are “caught up” to “meet the Lord in the air,” then why are they – in Matthew 24:40-41 and Luke 17:34-35 – participating in everyday activities? If they had already obtained perfect, eternally resurrected bodies, why would they need to be sleeping, grinding at the mill, or working in the field with others?
Answer: They wouldn’t. They would be serving the Lord and trying to save as many souls as possible before the Lord caught them up. At least I know I would be!
Obviously, we will not be instantly changed and walking the earth for any amount of time before the catching up of the living bride of Christ. So where does this leave us?
Three Possibilities Concerning the Order of Being Instantly Changed and Caught Up
We are left with only three options available to us when it comes to being Instantly Changed and Caught Up:
Where do I stand on this issue? Actually, the title of this article would seem to betray me! I find myself leaning toward #1 because it would make sense to me that we would have our change immediately after the dead in Christ have their “change,” when they are united with their resurrected eternal bodies. But I must confess that it really doesn’t matter to me one way or the other. Either one of these options is just fine with me!
I pray you have enjoyed our little survey in trying to better assess what the resurrection/rapture of the bride of Christ will look like for the church.
Whether we die and are forever with the Lord, or whether we live and are taken in the rapture of the church and are forever with the Lord, the hope and prayer of every believer is just to be together with the Lord forever! And in both cases – to the glory of God the Father, His wonderful Son, and the indwelling Holy Spirit – we will be forever with our beloved Lord and Savior, Jesus Christ!
May we all continue to be Answering the Call of The Great Commission and giving an answer to every man and woman who so desperately needs Jesus and asks us, “Why Am I Here and What Is It All About?”
Keep reaching the lost for Christ while we still have time.
Love, grace, mercy, and shalom in Messiah Yeshua, and Maranatha!
➢ Email: email@example.com
Lessons From the Ukraine for Israel - 'No One Will Come' – Dr. Martin Sherman - https://www.prophecynewswatch.com/article.cfm?recent_news_id=5439
Recently, I attended a dinner at which the keynote speaker was Yossi Cohen, the former director of Mossad. Cohen's wide-ranging and thoughtful address focused on the impact of global events on Israel's security.
Although he touched only briefly on the war in Ukraine, what he said was significant and incisive. After giving a brief tour d'horizon of the combined military might of NATO--on both sides of the Atlantic--he made the poignant observation that, despite NATO's awesome power, "no one came to save even one Ukrainian baby."
Indeed, for Ukrainians, the situation must be particularly galling. After all, it is has been barely 20 years since the Budapest Memorandum was signed, in which Russia, the U.S. and the U.K. pledged to refrain from threatening or using military force or economic coercion against Ukraine if the country gave up its nuclear weapons. They also pledged--among other things--to respect Ukraine's independence and sovereignty according to its then-current borders.
Clearly, there have since been blatant Russian violations of the Memorandum, notably the 2014 annexation of Crimea and then the 2022 invasion of Ukraine.
Western democracies are unreliable
In a caustic review of Ukraine's fate--and the chain of events that led up to it--Erielle Davidson of George Mason University berated the Memorandum's "stark failure" and noted the "host of lessons that might be drawn from its collapse."
She wrote, "Western democracies are unreliable and fickle. International agreements involving the abdication of strategic assets in exchange for vague 'assurances' of undefined future support are not worth the paper they are written on."
"Ukraine, despite having a strong historical foe on its borders, made real sacrifices for the fanciful Western ideal of denuclearization," she noted. "But once it paid that price, those who had pushed for the deal largely hung the nation out to dry."
Extending the scope of her analysis, Davidson continued, "Ukraine is not the only country the U.S. and European countries have insisted make dangerous concessions for paper peace with an undemocratic, bellicose neighbor."
Davidson went on to trace the significance of the events in Ukraine for Israel.
She observed that "the entire blueprint of Western democracies' approach to the Israeli-Palestinian conflict" has been to "push the Israelis to cede strategic territorial depth in the hopes that governments run by terrorists will behave. In exchange, Israel would ride a brief wave of Western plaudits and vague assurances of assistance if the Palestinians were to seek to destabilize or attack the smaller Israel."
"An Israeli deal with the Palestinians would surely be met, like the Budapest Memorandum, with fanfare and goodwill in the short term," she stated. "The world, supposedly, would have become a more peaceful place. But little-remarked upon are the long-term consequences for the party that sacrificed its own security policy on the altar of quixotic Western delusions."
Davidson asserted, "Ukraine's concessions in the 1990s are hardly remembered today. ... Thus, the Ukrainian war also represents the failure of a Western peace process--a failure that our ally Israel should certainly remember when an unchastened American and European foreign policy establishment inevitably asks Jerusalem to repeat Kiev's mistakes."
The failure of international guarantees
In a paper entitled "When International Agreements Utterly Failed," David Makovsky, a distinguished fellow at the Washington Institute, analyzed the events that led to the 1967 Six-Day War, which erupted after Egypt closed the Straits of Tiran to Israeli navigation. This was a critical blow to Israel, which at the time relied on strategic oil imports from Iran supplied via the Straits.
Israel believed it had secured a guarantee of freedom of navigation through the Straits from the U.S. and the international community in 1957 when it withdrew its forces from the Sinai Peninsula after the 1956 Sinai campaign. Moreover, Israel declared that any future closure of the Straits of Tiran to Israeli shipping by Egypt would be considered a clear casus belli. Despite this warning, on May 23, 1967, Egyptian President Gamal Abdel Nasser ordered the closure of the Straits to Israeli vessels.
Israel dispatched Foreign Minister Abba Eban on an urgent trip to Paris, London and Washington to urge the international community to reopen the Straits and thus avoid war. But Eban encountered an apathetic, obtuse and cynical international response. For example, even though French President Charles De Gaulle conceded that a commitment had been made to Israel to keep the Straits open, he curtly dismissed the pledge, declaring, "That was 1957 ... now it's 1967."
No guarantee can guarantee a guarantee
Israel's strenuous diplomatic efforts to persuade the Western powers to pressure Cairo to reopen the Straits proved fruitless. Then Egypt began mobilizing forces along Israel's southern border, triggering the preemptive Israeli strikes on Egyptian positions and airfields that began the Six-Day War.
In his paper, Makovsky remarked, "We should not forget one of the enduring lessons learned from the run-up to the conflict. Namely, that agreements need to stand on their own merits and cannot be based on abstract international guarantees about the future." He lamented, "When the political context changed ... the guarantees evaporated."
Clearly, this vividly underscores the merits of Henry Kissinger's characterization of the anarchic international system: Sovereign nations have the right to change their minds at will, making any international agreement or pledge ephemeral by its very nature.
Indeed, as Israeli Prime Minister Menachem Begin once reportedly remarked to U.S. Secretary of State Cyrus Vance a decade later, "In the whole world, there is no guarantee that can guarantee a guarantee."
No one will come...
For Israel, the message is stark and unequivocal: It must remember that should it cede vitally important strategic territory at the behest of foreign governments, it could well tempt its adversaries to launch a deadly assault on it, because it would be far more vulnerable and exposed than before.
Moreover, Israel should remember that it can expect scant support from other countries, which will be reluctant to come to its aid. For, as Yossi Cohen warned in his address, if Israel is attacked, it must be prepared for the possibility that "no one will come."
In Ezekiel 38 we read how this prophetic statement that "no one will come" will indeed come to pass. The prophet Ezekiel foresaw a future invasion of Israel by Russia, Iran and others that leads some nations (Sheba/Dedan) to only issue a verbal protest. No military help comes for Israel from the nations except for God himself who is victorious in destroying the invading armies.
Fishing for Gog – Terry James - https://terryjamesprophecyline.com/2022/06/27/fishing-for-gog/
Probably the most near-term prophecy scheduled for fulfillment besides the Isaiah 17 predicted destruction of Damascus is the Gog-Magog assault on Israel.
The Rapture of the church, of course, continues to be in the mix of all the prophetic stage-setting on the horizon of these last days. It has always been an event that is without a specific prophetic signal that precedes its occurrence. However, the Rapture is not without signs that it could happen at any moment.
Despite some seminary declarations that Luke 21:28 is not a Rapture signal, I disagree.
And when these things begin to come to pass, then look up, and lift up your heads; for your redemption draweth nigh.
To any student of Bible prophecy from the pre-Trib view, the evidence is overwhelming. We see all the signs for the Tribulation beginning to come to pass. And God’s Word says that when we see this very thing happening–all these things beginning to come to pass—we are to look up, for Jesus is coming to save us out of that terrible time to come (read Revelation 3: 10).
We see the wickedness in the world that makes this generation like that of the days of Lot. We have violence and evil like in the days of Noah. Evil men and seducers are growing worse and worse. There is a globalist onslaught that is setting the stage for Antichrist and his regime of terror. There is apostasy, even in the formerly conservative, evangelical churches, with the leadership of those bodies embracing things we would never have thought they would accept.
To sum it up: In every direction we look, all is set for the next phase of Christ’s Second Coming and the Tribulation that will precede that magnificent event.
Israel is front and center, and is hated by the vast majority of the world’s countries, as witnessed by UN votes involving God’s chosen nation.
So, with all this as a prologue, we can now look at a specific prophecy that is in view, based upon accumulating evidence. That is the coming Gog-Magog assault on Israel.
The stage is being set for that catastrophic attack. It’s catastrophic not for God’s chosen nation, but for the attackers—and for the rest of the world.
God, through Ezekiel the prophet, tells of the coalition that will invade Israel to take “great spoil.” We have determined after much study by prophecy scholars that the chief nations that will coalesce to attack Israel—by today’s names—will be Russia, Iran, Turkey, and others. But, God, according to the prophecy in Ezekiel chapters 38 and 39, will hold the world in general responsible as well. At least He will seemingly punish other nations as well as the one he will almost totally decimate when they attack.
Thou salt fall upon the open field: for I have spoken it, saith the Lord God. And I will send a fire on Magog, and among them that dwell carelessly in the isles: and they shall know that I am the Lord. (Ezekiel 39:5–6)
So what evidence is there that this most profound prophecy is in view for fulfillment, perhaps in the very near future? It involves the term “great spoil” in the Ezekiel prophecy.
When the attack takes place, the leaders of the nations watching apparently will only send a weak diplomatic note of protest. It sounds very much like the weakness we see now in the American government and in that of the EU and others.
Sheba, and Dedan, and the merchants of Tarshish, with all the young lions thereof, shall say unto thee, Art thou come to take a spoil? hast thou gathered thy company to take a prey? to carry away silver and gold, to take away cattle and goods, to take a great spoil? (Ezekiel 38: 13)
At the moment, because of the Biden administration going into green insanity by shutting down America’s oil-producing industry, Russia has gained greatly in the producing and selling of petroleum and natural gas. Nations of Europe, in particular, are in a critical juncture regarding having natural gas to fuel its needs. Russia is providing the natural gas needed to supply needs in the UK and other nations.
But now, the little Jewish state, Israel, doesn’t look so diminutive in terms of nation-states. They have found and harnessed massive gas reserves and petroleum reserves. The following story gives some details.
Today, Israel’s gas reserves are so rich that they can supply not only Israel, but Europe as well. And that’s precisely what happened on Wednesday when Israel, and the European Union signed a natural gas agreement. The agreement was forged in Cairo as Egypt as the gas will flow via Egypt’s pipelines. Signing this trilateral agreement is Europe’s solution for replacing the Russian gas imports it has relied on for decades.
Western Europe is trying to distance itself from Russia including economic boycotts. This phenomenon provided Israel with a rare opportunity to provide natural gas once provided by the Kremlin.
Ursula von der Leyen, president of the European Commission said in a joint press conference with Israeli Prime Minister Naftali Bennett in Jerusalem on Tuesday: “With the beginning of this war and the attempt of Russia to blackmail us through energy, by deliberately cutting off the energy supplies, we decided to cut off and to get rid of the dependency on Russian fossil fuels, and to move away from Russia and diversify to trustworthy suppliers,” adding that “It is an outstanding step bringing our energy cooperation to the next level.” (“Israel to supply natural gas to Europe and its connection to a blessing from Deuteronomy,” by David Sidman, Israel 365news 2021 June 16, 2022)
They give the Scripture in Deuteronomy is as follows.
For Hashem your God will bless you as He has promised you: you will extend loans to many nations, but require none yourself; you will dominate many nations, but they will not dominate you. (Deuteronomy 15:6)
God’s Word says He will put hooks in the jaws of the leader of the attacking coalition. It is more than proper, I think, to wonder if Israel’s great oil and gas reserves might be the bait the Lord will use in hooking this evil leader in, bringing Gog’s forces down to be all but totally destroyed on the mountains of Israel.
All of this means the Rapture must be very near occurring, as I and many others believe the Gog-Magog attack will take place after the Rapture of the Church.
Here is how to be ready for going to be with Jesus in that glorious call He makes to the Church He loves and died for on the cross at Calvary.
That if thou shalt confess with thy mouth the Lord Jesus, and shalt believe in thine heart that God hath raised him from the dead, thou shalt be saved. For with the heart man believeth unto righteousness; and with the mouth confession is made unto salvation. (Romans 10:9–10)
Global Famine Is Not Just A Theoretical Scenario Anymore - by Michael Snyder - http://theeconomiccollapseblog.com/global-famine-is-not-a-theoretical-scenario-any-longer/
The head of the United Nations just warned that we are heading into an “unprecedented global hunger crisis”, and people are already dropping dead of starvation in Africa. For months I have been documenting the signs that severe food shortages were on the way, and now they have begun. Of course, there are many reasons why we are facing such a dire situation. Weather patterns have gone completely haywire all over the planet, the COVID pandemic has played havoc with global supply chains, and the war in Ukraine is greatly restricting the flow of agricultural resources out of one of the key breadbaskets in the entire world. Unfortunately, what we have experienced so far is just the tip of the iceberg.
On Friday, UN chief Antonio Guterres publicly warned that there will be an “unprecedented global hunger crisis”…
The world faces the prospect of a mass starvation “catastrophe” driven by unprecedented food shortages, U.N. chief Antonio Guterres warned Friday.
Guterres pointed to the conflict in Ukraine as exacerbating disruptions caused by “climate change, the coronavirus pandemic and inequality” to produce an “unprecedented global hunger crisis” already affecting hundreds of millions of people.
According to Google, “unprecedented” means “never done or known before”.
In other words, Guterres is saying that what we are heading into will be unlike anything that any of us have ever seen.
And he is also openly admitting that 2023 “could be even worse” than 2022…
“There is a real risk that multiple famines will be declared in 2022,” he said in a video message to officials from dozens of countries gathered in Berlin. “And 2023 could be even worse.”
Actually, I think that it is safe to say that 2023 will definitely be worse than 2022 based on the information that we currently have.
Of course things have already gotten really bad in some parts of the globe. In Somalia, one deeply suffering mother has already lost four of her children to starvation in 2022…
No mother should have to lose her child. Owliyo Hassan Salaad has watched four die this year. A drought in the Horn of Africa has taken them, one by one.
Now she cradles her frail and squalling 3-year-old, Ali Osman, whom she carried on a 90-kilometer (55-mile) walk from her village to Somalia’s capital, desperate not to lose him too. Sitting on the floor of a malnutrition treatment center filled with anxious mothers, she can barely speak about the small bodies buried back home in soil too dry for planting.
That is one of the saddest things that I have read in a very long time.
If reading that doesn’t make you incredibly sad, you should check to see if you still have a heart.
What is even more tragic is that countless others will soon starve to death in Somalia, and conditions have also greatly deteriorated in Ethiopia and Kenya…
More than 200,000 people in Somalia face “catastrophic hunger and starvation, a drastic increase from the 81,000 forecast in April,” a joint statement by U.N. agencies said Monday, noting that a humanitarian response plan for this year is just 18% funded.
Somalia isn’t alone. In Ethiopia’s drought-affected regions, the number of children treated for the most severe malnutrition — “a tip of the crisis” — jumped 27% in the first quarter of this year compared to last year, according to UNICEF. The increase was 71% in Kenya, where Doctors Without Borders reported at least 11 deaths in a single county’s malnutrition treatment program earlier this year.
I have always warned that it would be the poorest parts of the globe that would be hit the hardest.
But as the food shortages intensify, western nations will feel the pain as well.
The biggest problem is all the food that is not going to be grown this year. Many fertilizer prices have approximately tripled from a year ago, and that is going to dramatically impact agricultural production all over the planet…
Over the coming months, a major challenge will be access to fertilizers which may impact food production across many crops in different regions. Fertilizer prices surged in March, up nearly 20% since January 2022 and almost three times higher compared to a year ago. Russia and Belarus are major fertilizer exporters, accounting for 38% of potassic fertilizers, 17% of compound fertilizers, and 15% of nitrogenous fertilizers.
Here in the United States, many farmers have gone ahead with normal planting despite the high fertilizer prices, but now extreme drought is ruining crops all over the western half of the nation.
For example, just check out what is happening in Kansas. The following comes from NPR…
ELIZABETH REMBERT, BYLINE: Usually, Kansas is known for its fields of waist-high golden wheat. But this year, the blistering conditions have withered some of the crop into short, patchy straw. Standing in one of his fields in northwest Kansas, Chris Tanner wonders if it’ll even make it through harvest.
CHRIS TANNER: I mean, like, this head down here, there’s going to be nothing in it. It’ll blow out the back of the combine. You can see the seeds kind of exposed there. It’ll shatter out even before we get here.
REMBERT: It’s fields like these leading industry groups to predict a 100 million bushel drop in Kansas’ wheat harvest this year. That’s 30% less than last year’s harvest.
And as I discussed last week, conditions are even worse in Colorado and Texas.
So buckle up and hold on tight, because things will soon start getting really crazy.
Before I end this article, there is one more thing that I wanted to mention. In Oregon, authorities are bracing for an “explosion” of crop-devouring insects…
The Oregon Legislature last year allocated $5 million to assess the problem and set up a Mormon cricket and grasshopper “suppression” program. An additional $1.2 million for the program was approved earlier this month.
It’s part of a larger effort by state and federal authorities in the U.S. West to deal with an explosion of grasshoppers and Mormon crickets that has hit from Montana to Nevada. But some environmental groups oppose the programs, which rely on the aerial spraying of pesticides across large swaths of land.
This is a problem that has really been growing in recent years, and one rancher that was interviewed described the outbreaks that he has experienced as “truly biblical”…
Rancher Skye Krebs said the outbreaks have been “truly biblical.”
“On the highways, once you get them killed, then the rest of them come,” he explained. Mormon crickets are cannibalistic and will feast on each other, dead or alive, if not satiated with protein.
It seems like we get more bad news about U.S. food production with each passing day.
Unfortunately, most Americans still don’t seem to grasp what is happening.
If farmers and ranchers don’t produce our food, there won’t be anything to buy at the grocery store.
We have never faced anything like what we are dealing with now, and this crisis is only going to intensify in the months ahead.
Daily Jot: A prophetic exhortation from Africa - Bill Wilson – www.dailyjot.com
Pastor William Agbeti, Daily Jot ministry partner in Ghana, West Africa, wrote this prophetic warning and exhortation for the Church in America: The body of Christ is in crisis as reflected by the universal church’s current state of lethargy! Lethargy may be defined as “lack of divine power and passion.” Lethargy is also as “a pathological state of sleepiness or deep unresponsiveness and inactivity” to and in issues affecting mankind. Take the sad case of the body of Christ in America, a country considered in recent years past as the beacon of truth, home of democracy, the last post of hope and the bastion of revivalism! Today, it is a pale, miserable shadow of itself and this is representative of the global situation in Christendom.
What we in Africa see happening to the church in America is two-fold: First, false teachers who are “wolves in sheep skins” have broken and entered into our ranks. Many Christians receive, even embrace, false teachings. Many of these false teachings are based on scriptures taken out of context to build, project and buttress personal opinions. Some are replacement theologies to please men and build cults. Others are wrong teachings from zealous men without knowledge, these being half-baked Christian leaders without any solid foundational training, who use bits and pieces of scripture, here and there, to weave a labyrinth of lies to further personal agendas. Of course, there are also those who have genuine zeal to teach, but teach wrong doctrines because they teach without knowledge! All this has greatly harmed the body of Christ, leaving the majority of the brethren in a state of stupor; not knowing what to do or who to believe!
Secondly, the pulpits of the false teachers and leaders have become open platforms that orchestrate embarrassing public theatrical programs witnessed and shunned by the world, leading to mass avoidance of the church and an unprecedented loss of souls to the world. Both of these occurrences constitute and are caused by one and the same problem–false teachings and false teachers! Can the situation be salvaged? Yes, when Christ eventually comes the second time and even now there is an answer. The answer is both found in the Old Testament and re-echoed in the New Testament: 1 Chronicles 12.32: “And of the children of Issachar, which were men that had understanding of the times, to know what Israel ought to do; the heads of them were two hundred; and all their brethren were at their commandment.”
Acts 17:11 says, “Now the Berean Jews were of more noble character than those in Thessalonica, for they received the message with great eagerness and examined the Scriptures every day to see if what Paul said was true.” What America and the world needs now are men that scripturally understand the times, and know what to do about what’s going on, so everyone will listen to them! This is because we seem to be in a period of famine of the Word. God seemingly is no longer speaking to us. Would you be “a child of Issachar”, “a citizen of Berea” and “a man with zeal and knowledge” to help salvage the situation? All it takes are few hundreds of men, a remnant of true believers, to disrupt the world! Join this move. You can make a difference!
Daily Devotion: He Will Be There - by Greg Laurie – www.harvest.org
This I declare about the LORD: He alone is my refuge, my place of safety; he is my God, and I trust him —Psalm 91:2
https://harvest.org/resources/devotion/he-will-be-there/ - Listen
As a pastor, I’ve done far too many funeral services for children. I’ve looked at parents sitting in the front row and tried to find the right words to bring comfort to them. Before our son Christopher went to Heaven, I would walk away from those services thinking, “I hope this never happens to me because if it did, I don’t think I could handle it.”
But then one day it did happen to me. And we were the parents sitting in the front row at the funeral service. Here’s what I can tell you: No matter what you go through, God will be there for you and with you.
Maybe you’ve seen someone going through a hardship and thought, “I don’t think I could handle that.” You don’t have the strength you need now to deal with that yet. But God will give you what you need, when you need it—not necessarily before and certainly not after.
God doesn’t always deliver us from our circumstances. God doesn’t always take the problems away. But we can glorify Him despite our problems.
Then there are times when God allows hardship in our lives so that He can step in and deliver us from it, and people will be amazed. Maybe the Lord wants to heal you of something or deliver you from something. A disability can turn into an ability when we place it in God’s hands. A disadvantage can turn into an advantage.
Have you had a tragedy or problem in your life that has gotten your attention? Call out to the Lord, and He will save you. In some instances, He may even rescue you.
Wherever you are in life, God is ready to step in and bring comfort to you. He’s ready to bring hope to you. But you must come to Him.
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"Folks, it's all beginning to unravel. America is in more danger of falling than at any time in its history. But I believe Bible prophecy predicts this very decline. From this point on, we believers have to get serious. We are going to face discouragement, disillusionment and, most certainly, persecution in the time between now and the Rapture. But don't be discouraged or disillusioned. The coming turmoil will provide us unrivaled opportunities to share the good news of the Gospel. So be ready to share your faith and your hope with those who need Christ. We still have time to reap a great harvest of souls for God's kingdom!" - Hal Lindsey
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