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Prophecy in Review
Prophecy - Signs
Wednesday, October 30, 2013
Pete Garcia

There are basically two aspects when studying the Prophetic texts of Scripture.  First, there is the text itself, and what they convey about an event.  The second aspect has to deal with the timing of said events.

Most Pre-Tribulation believers have no issue with the first part, but the second part usually tends to stump even the best of us.  Even the most gifted among us will be the first to admit, there is still a lot about the end times that we don’t know. 

Let me expound on some thoughts from “The Rapture Window”.

1.  There is a plan and an appointed time for the Rapture to happen.  It might be imminent to us, because we are not God, but the event itself is no surprise to God. 

a.  In the military, if you keep your plans to yourself, you keep that information, ‘close-hold’ and that is what our God, the master strategist, is doing.  He hides His plans in plain sight, but it takes the Holy Spirit to ‘reveal’ the plan in the Word, which is why Satan can never figure it out.

2.  God causes the strong delusion to happen to those who have rejected God’s free gift of Salvation.  He does not cause the strong delusion to happen to those who are ignorant of this Salvation.

a.  Similar to the ‘blindness’ that Satan uses on in the people of this age, God will presumably, allow that blindness to become a permanent sealing, in the Tribulation.

3.  The scoffers only come out after something is brought to light, not before.  The return of Christ was veiled to man for around 14 centuries so the subject was almost a non-issue.  Once it came back to the forefront of discussion, also came those who would mock it, including those within Christendom.

4.  The last two letters written to the final two churches in Revelation 2-3, are Philadelphia (remnant believers) and Laodicea (lukewarm and apostate) church.  We can see that happening today as the increasing pressure on believers is to depart from the faith. From Chuck Missler, via Don Koenig. Source

Paul wrote 13 epistles, of which, three have duplicates (Timothy, Thessalonians, and Corinthians), which means there were 10 epistles to 10 different audiences.  Of that 10, three were personal, (Timothy, Philemon, and Titus), which leaves seven letters to seven churches. 

a.  Jesus had seven parables in Matthew 13, of which, can be overlaid over His seven letters in Revelation 2-3.  Along with Paul’s, they portray the progression of the Church in its various stages.

b.  To Philadelphia, we can link the Pearl of Great Price, and Thessalonians, where the Doctrine of the Rapture is first unveiled.

c.  To Laodicea, we can link the parable of the Dragnet, and Paul’s letter to the Colossians.  Notice the ‘casting’ out, is similar to the vomiting out.

Here is what we don’t see

  • We don’t see a great Western power that resembles in any way, the United States in the last days.  Which begs the question, what happens to us and when?
  • We don’t see events lined up chronologically, except for in Revelation.  But that doesn’t tell us when a Psalm 83, Isaiah 17, or Ezekiel 38-39 war will occur.
  • We don’t see the Church beyond Revelation 3:22 until the very end in Revelation 19, when she returns with Christ in the air.
  • We don’t know how much time transpires between the Rapture and the start of the tribulation*

Here is what we know

I think part of the reason that Jack Kinsella was such a great writer and teacher of the Prophetic word, was because of the time he spent in law enforcement.  Biblical eschatology, like the scene of a crime, is prone to leaving clues around…and this world is one gigantic crime-scene.  A good detective or investigator arrives to the scene of the crime, and then takes it in as a whole and first looks for things that seem out of place.

1.  We know that of that day and hour (speaking of the Rapture), no man knows.  But Paul did say we were sons of the light, and of the day, and in that light, we would recognize the season so as not to be caught ‘unawares’.  (1 Thessalonians 5:1-11)

2.  Although there were those who were anticipating the arrival of the Messiah, the only people who knew the when of the arrival of the ‘One born King of the Jews’, were the Wise men from the east (Magi).  They presumably learned this from their predecessors who got it from the Prophet Daniel.  So the Gentiles believed and followed the sign to Joseph and Mary’s house (not a manger anymore), and the religious leaders of the day, who should have known the season, never even bothered to investigate it.  (Matthew 2:1-12)

3.  We know that the Rapture is an appointed time.  Nothing is happenstance to God. (Isaiah 46:9-10) The time of the Rapture is not based on an event or blood-moon, but based on a set number of Gentiles that will be brought into the Church to make up the Bride of Christ. (Rom 11:25

4.  We know that the Rapture and the Second Coming are NOT the same event. 

5.  We know that according to Daniel, that after the Rapture, there is at least seven years (360 day years) remaining on God’s prophetic calendar.*

6.  This time has come to be known as ‘The Tribulation’ because it will be a time when God pours out at least 21 Judgments on the earth and those who are left to inhabit it.  But it also called the ‘time of Jacob’s trouble’ and ‘the Day of the Lord’ in the Old Testament, and serves two primary purposes: discipline Israel, and utterly destroy the gentile kingdoms of the world.  It mentions the last half of those 7 years or the last 3 ½ years as: times, time, and half a time, 42 months, or 1260 days.

7.  We know at some future point, there is at least one war (prior to Armageddon) which is where the Gog and Magog coalition come against Israel. (Ezekiel 38-39).  This war could be preceded by or in conjunction with a Psalm 83 and Isaiah 17 event(s).

8.  We know at the end of that time, Christ will return at the 2nd Coming to defeat the Antichrist, the False Prophet, and Satan (as well as the armies of the world) at Armageddon ushering in the ‘sheep and goat’ judgment and Christ’s millennial reign. (Matthew 25, Revelation 20)

History’s Not Finished

Just because God has seven years remaining for Israel, doesn’t mean that there is only seven years left in total.  Let me quantify that for a second. 2 Chronicles 36:20-21

From Gracethrufaith:

The Bible contains four such periods in Israel’s history. Each one was actually longer than 490 years, but some scholars believe that for various reasons God didn’t count some of the time in each of the periods.  I won’t go into all the details here, but the four periods are, 1) Abraham to the Exodus, 2) the Exodus to the First Temple, 3) the First Temple to the edict of Artaxerxe’s and 4) the edict of Artaxerxe’s to the 2nd Coming.

The 490 year period during which the Israelites failed to keep the Sabbath for the Land and incurred a 70 year penalty in Babylon was the third one.  It ended when Persian King Artaxerxe’s Longimonus gave Nehemiah permission to rebuild the walls of Jerusalem in 445 BC (Nehemiah 2:1-9).  The King’s edict also began the count on the fourth period (known as Daniel’s 70 weeks) which is the one we’re in now (Daniel 9:24-27).

So Israel was brought up to that final 483rd year (of the 490 year windows) with their Messiah hanging on the cross.  He was cut off and Israel’s prophetic clock stopped.  None of the events in Daniel 9:27 (or that final week) were completed within the following 40 years after the cross and till the destruction of Jerusalem.  

The Jew’s 1,878 year Diaspora began when the Roman’s sacked Jerusalem and their temple in 70AD.  It wasn’t General Titus’s intent to destroy the Temple, but because Caesar Vespasian (former General and Titus’s father) left three legions behind (full of Arabs and Syrians) who hated the Jews; you can see why the Temple was destroyed. (Tacitus, Book 5, 1.)  In 130-135AD, the Jews revolted against Emperor Hadrian in the Bar Kokhba Revolt, but ultimately lost everything and were scattered to the four winds.  From the 8th century until today, the Al Aqsa Mosque (Dome of the Rock) has sat atop the Temple Mount and has acted as a stalwart reason why they couldn’t rebuild there.  

The first two periods of 490 years, pre-dated and led up to the creation of King Solomon’s Temple.  The second two periods of 490 years include the Jewish Temple, and this is why Jesus, after pointing out that the Temple would be destroyed (Matt. 23:37-24:2), then points to a future temple in which an “Abomination of Desolation” would occur. (Matt 24:15) The “Abomination of Desolation” then acts as a prophetic fulcrum, balancing the first 3 ½ years of the 70th week of Daniel, with the last 3 ½ years.  The Apostle Paul reiterates this idea in 2 Thessalonians 2:4 in that this man of lawlessness will set himself up in a future temple proclaiming himself to be God.

At no point in Israel’s history from the time of Abraham till today has there ever been unaccounted time.  But the only time that seems to matter, or count towards the prophetic clock, is when they are in a covenant relationship with God…which today they are not, nor where they after Christ’s crucifixion.  From 1948 until today seems to be in keeping with the 75 year period between the birth of Abraham and the promise that was given to him by God.

Seeing that we are at 65 years since the rebirth of Israel, it would seem that the fullness of the Gentiles occurs during the 75 year window from 1948.  This is supported by:

  • Abraham was 75 years old when he received the promise from God. (Genesis 12:4)
  • Jesus said that ‘that generation would not pass away’ until all these things are complete. (Matthew 24:32-34)
  • The length of a generation varies, but Moses said that men would typically live between 70-80 years (Psalm 90:10), then we are cut off (die) and ‘fly away’.
  • There are seven billion people alive today, seven being the number of completeness—or fullness.

After the Rapture

We can know that the Rapture is near, because we are already seeing the things necessary for the Tribulation to occur, such as:  technological advancements in computers, communications, weapons of mass destruction, and the national alignments such as the European Union, Mediterranean Union (Revived Roman Empire), Magog alliance (Russia/Iran/Turkey), and the Shanghai Cooperation Organization (Kings of the East).  Furthermore, it would seem that all the “Tribulation” events are triggered by the Rapture.  We know that:

  • The Rapture has to occur before the Antichrist (man of lawlessness) can be revealed. (2 Thessalonians 2:7)  This confirms the order of events from Revelation 3:22-4:2.
  • The Antichrist is revealed in the first Judgment (Seal 1, rider on the white horse)
  • The Antichrist can’t rise to power until he is revealed, or he is revealed in the process of rising to power. 
  • The Antichrist declares himself to be God in the Temple of God (Abomination of Desolation). (2 Thessalonians 2:4)
  • The “Abomination of Desolation” can’t occur, until there is a Temple rebuilt that has a ‘Holy of Holies’.

So if all these things have to be completed before a generation passes away (70-80 years), then the Rapture would have to happen at least two-three years before the Tribulation would begin in earnest, which will be addressed in next week’s article.  Until then…

Maranatha!

About Pete Garcia

Last week: The Dark Tower



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