The following information is taken from the e-book series:
BABYLON RISING: And The First Shall Be The Last
A Quick Review:
The primary verse everyone uses to describe the Rapture is in 1 Thessalonians:
The phrase "caught up" comes from the word "harpazó" in Greek [Strong's 726]. It literally means, to "seize or snatch up, suddenly and decisively." That is where we get the whole idea of a Rapture. And there is a companion passage of Scripture to this one, again written by Paul that we must also take into consideration.
These two passages of Scripture tell us how and when this "catching up" event takes place. Paul gives us a great deal of detail to know exactly what to expect. Thus, all of the following points must be present in order for us to consider the Rapture to be taking place:
In order for the Rapture to occur, it must happen this way and in no other fashion, for this is how the Holy Spirit revealed the order of events to Paul in the Scriptures.
CLICK HERE for a pop-up window that will keep the above list handy as we move forward in this blog.
The Rapture Riddle itself is contained within all of the descriptions given about the Last Days by the Prophets and Apostles and indeed by Yeshua Himself. It appears that the answer to this riddle is hidden for us in Yeshua's Olivet Discourse, thus giving us the master key for unlocking all prophecies concerning End Time events. Therefore, using His discourse as our guide, we must dive into the Scriptures and explore a number of clues that hopefully, by the end of this blog will enable us to solve The Rapture Riddle together!
Here are the ten clues that I believe will help us solve this riddle:
The Bible tells us that all Scripture is inspired by God:
The NIV renders the phrase "given by inspiration of God" as "God-breathed." The Scriptures were written by men, under the inspiration - or breath - of God. But I submit to you that some of the Scriptures go even beyond that. Many believe that the Torah was personally dictated to Moses by God in the wilderness! If this is true, then the words contained in the first five books of the Bible come directly from the mouth of God as a dictation rather than an inspiration. That is not meant to cast doubt on the "inspired" works, but rather to show more direct, personal interaction on the part of God in laying the foundation of our faith through his great prophet Moses. There is no question that the Torah is unique in many ways. By studying it, I believe we will see why the Holy Spirit appears to "agree" with all views of the Rapture given above. So, let's start there!
Consider the following parallels between the books of Exodus and Revelation (Note: the plagues that did/do not affect God's people are highlighted in blue):
As you can see, with the exception of gnats and flies the plagues listed in the Book of Revelation are virtually identical to those of the Book of Exodus. Of course, where Revelation lacks gnats and flies, Exodus lacks massive earthquakes, mountains and asteroids falling out of the sky and some of the other horrors of The Seven Year Tribulation Period. But you get the point. The similarities are definitely there! Revelation appears to depict an amped up replay of Exodus! So, if the plagues are so similar, might not the escape from them be as well?
In the Nimrod, Abraham, the Pharaohs and Moses blog, we learned that he first Anti-Christ, Nimrod, who was known to the Egyptians as Osiris had died. Shortly after that, the cult of Osiris began to take root. Then a Pharaoh arose that did not remember Joseph. This Pharaoh thought of himself as a god. He thought he was a reincarnation of Osiris and thus the second Anit-Christ figure began to persecute the people of God. If the thesis of this e-book is true - that Nimrod will rise again and the first shall be the last Anti-Christ - then Revelation really is an exact repeat of Exodus.
It is God's final war against the same Egyptian gods of antiquity that He fought once before, with Osiris-Nimrod leading the assault. But in the coming Apocalypse, I suspect we will see an all out assault of all of the ancient gods (Sumerian, Egyptian, Greek, Norse, Mayan, Hindu... all of them!) coming against our God. Satan is going to unleash everything he's got. But this is not something God is worried about. His victory is just as assured in our day as it was in the time of the Exodus.
Another parallel in the Book of Revelation is that we are talking about a marriage. In the Building a Pure Nation and Exodus and the Promised Land (coming soon) blogs , I showed you how God chose a nation for Himself. He chose a group of people that He would call His own. But it went deeper than that. God chose a bride for Himself. It wasn't just a "Law" that was given to Moses and the Israelites. It was a marriage covenant. God married Israel in the Exodus! He chose them and they agreed to make Him their God and husband.
In the Book of Exodus, the nation of Israel was rescued from the clutches of the false gods of this world. She was "saved" from Egypt. She went through the waters of the Red Sea and came out the other side, having avoided a "tribulation" at the hands of the Egyptians. And then God took Moses to the top of Mt. Sinai and presented the marriage vows to His new bride.
When put like that, it is not hard to see some amazing parallels between the Book of Exodus, Yeshua's "Parable of the Ten Virgins" and the events written about in the Book of Revelation. What if that is not just a coincidence? What if we are looking at a literal repeat of Exodus? What if we are about to participate in a second or Final Exodus? If so, what will that look like and how will it happen?
Let's take a closer look at the "Parable of the Ten Virgins." Many scholars believe that these "virgins" are bridesmaids and not the Bride. These are usually Pre-Tribbers who believe the Church (the Bride) has gone up already and contend that these are those who will be able to join her later as Tribulation Saints - those who "get saved" during the Tribulation Period. While I understand that view, I have several points of contention:
I believe this parable could just as easily be a representation of the plurality of the Church/Bride. In other words, all Believers are considered to be the Bride. The Church is not a building or a religion. She is a collective body of many. Paul confirms this idea in his first letter to the Corinthians:
Therefore, I submit that based on the striking lack of evidence for any other mention of a bride*  in this parable, the allegory could be saying that these "virgins" who are pure, are all in fact Christians (making up the body of the Bride) awaiting the return of Yeshua, their Groom. This is certainly not meant to be taken as some endorsement of polygamy, but rather to consider the Bride as a collective entity of many represented as one in the sense that Paul described above.
This concept would be akin to an entire nation being represented by the name of one man, such as Israel. Israel was the changed name of Isaac's son, Jacob. But the name also represents the entire nation of people descended from him. Thus many are represented by one title. And just as the Hebrew nation was divided into two distinct entities being represented as the northern kingdom of Israel (that was foolish) and the southern kingdom of Judah (that was initially wise - though ended up being just as foolish), so too this parable could be saying something similar about the Church/Bride being represented as wise and foolish virgins. And if you let that comparison sink in for deeper consideration, you will find some very interesting parallels indeed!
Assuming this plural interpretation is true, and these "ten virgins" are all Believers, what's the deal with only five having oil in their lamps and being prepared to go with the Groom and five not being ready?
This entire e-book sprung from a desire to understand the Master's statement in Matthew 24:37, "As it was in the days of Noah, so it will be at the coming of the Son of Man." Notice He made that statement after concluding His entire breakdown of Last Days events. In fact, He concluded His entire speech regarding the Last Days with verse 35, stating, "Heaven and earth will pass away, but my words will never pass away." That statement refers to what the Apostle John records in the second to the last chapter of the Book of Revelation:
The Prophet Isaiah also makes reference to this, as does the Apostle Peter:
That event happens after the final millennium, at the end of the 7th proverbial "day" of God's 7,000 year time table. So, Yeshua had given the entire description of End Times events by the time He wraps up with verse 35 of Matthew's Gospel. Therefore, the next verse leads me to believe that the "that day" that He was referring to is the day Heaven and Earth passes away! Look at it for yourself:
Taken in the context of His entire discussion, it seems to me that "the day and hour" no one knows any thing about, except the Father is the day that He (the Father) decides to start everything all over again! This quote is different from the similar statement Yeshua makes in the Parable of the Ten Virgins story. We'll get to that one in a minute. But what makes this quote different is that in this case ONLY the Father alone knows about THAT day. Could it be that we've misunderstood that verse? I hear everyone always quoting it whenever discussions of the Rapture are brought up and predictions are made. And yet, everything else about Matthew 24 seems to imply that we can and should know about the "Signs of the Times" and be prepared for them. Paul seems to have understood this as well:
Folks, this is extremely important!! Yeshua told us what to expect and what to look for. And to further elaborate, notice what He said in Matthew 24:43 (KJV),
Yeshua told us in advance what was going to happen and who the Anti-Christ was, is and will be. Paul said that there was no need to write to the Thessalonians about times and dates, implying that they understood what was coming and how it would happen.
This brings us to another oft quoted but usually misunderstood statement, and that is that the Messiah will come "like a thief in the night." That phrase was a known Jewish idiom in Yeshua's day - and it always applied to the slothful, sleeping and unprepared individual, not to those who were watching, waiting, obedient and prepared.
The idiom, "like a thief in the night" refers to a practice associated with the Temple and the altar. Most Christians have no clue about this because we are programmed to be "New Testament, Bible Believers!" I have recently come to realize just how deceptive and damaging that ideology truly is.
To us, when we hear the term "Old Testament" we somehow consider it to be old, out of date and no longer needed. That is not the case. We have to realize that whenever the Apostles and early Christians were "searching the Scriptures" concerning the Messiah, they were not reading the New Testament! That did not exist! They were living the New Testament at that time and later wrote about it for our benefit. So, when they were "searching the Scriptures," they were studying the Torah and other scrolls that later became known as the Old Testament! Thus, it is actually the Old Testament that tells us who the Messiah is!!
By focusing only on the New Testament, we have lost so much in terms of our understanding of God, His Son and the ultimate plan for mankind. Realizing this, I can no longer consider myself to be a "New Testament, Bible Believing Christian" but rather a "FULL Testament, Bible Believing follower of Yeshua!"
By studying the Torah (as the First Century Believers did), we can learn a lot - including the meaning behind the oft quoted, "thief in the night" idiom. It comes from the Book of Leviticus:
Notice the repeated statements that the fire must not go out! This was a command of God. So, the priests had to take it very serious! A tradition was therefore developed involving the priest of the night watch and the High Priest. Early in the morning, before dawn, the High Priest would return to the Temple to prepare everything for the daily sacrifices. He did so in a stealthy manner in order to "check on" the night priest to ensure he had done his job right.
Consider what this on-line source has to say about this issue:
In the above passage of Leviticus, we learn that they are to put on linen (highly flammable) clothes, with linen garments that clung close to his body. This was serious business! And this is what Yeshua means to emphasize in the time of Great Tribulation when He said,
From reading the Torah, we can get a much greater understanding of lots of things concerning the Messiah, including some of the idioms used in reference to the Last Days, like coming "as a thief in the night." The obvious implication is that we are to be awake, sober and alert so that when our High Priest, King and Bridegroom returns, we are ready for Him - which brings us back to the Parable of the Ten Virgins.
This parable is directly related to the previous statement made in Matthew 24:37 concerning the days of Noah. After making the connection to Noah's time, the Master gives several analogies for us to consider. And I think we should pause and look at one of them for a moment, because it will expose another lie that many of us have believed.
Looking at this passage, how many of you were taught that this is an example of the Rapture; that all of a sudden, the person next to us may simply disappear, or that you will be that person and the other person next to you will be left wondering what happened to you when the Rapture mysteriously takes you away? If you thought this way, go back and re-read those verses again, because that's not what the Master is saying!
He says people didn't realize what was happening until it was too late and the Flood waters took them away. Who? The bad people were the ones who were taken! The good ones (Noah and family) were left! Yeshua is warning you not to be in the camp of those who will be unprepared for His coming - those who will be taken away, this time by fire! Again, we see Him telling the foolish to keep watch because they won't know what day the Lord is coming. Noah and his family knew. They were prepared and thus they went into the place of safety and were spared the judgment.
Let us now look at the beginning of Matthew 25. Here the Master tells us the Parable of the Ten Virgins:
Here again, it was to the foolish virgins that the Master made the statement to watch because you (who? the foolish) know not the day nor the hour! The others were ready!
Note also that this is the other "day and hour" quote I mentioned above. This one is different from the one we looked at ealier concerning the destruction and renewal of the Heavens and the Earth though. The first quote referred to no one but the Father knowing about "that day" - the day Heaven and Earth will pass away. This quote is in reference to the return of the Son of Man. But here again, we can look to the Torah to understand yet another Hebrew idiom.
There is a time wherein no man knows the day or the hour. It is called Rosh haShanah (AKA: Yom Teruah, "The Day of the Awakening Blast," the Feast of Trumpets - Yom HaDin, "Day of Judgement," Yom HaZikkaron, "Day of Remembrance" and Yom HaKeseh, "Day of the Hiding or Hidden Day") and it is found in the Torah's Book of Leviticus:
Notice that this is a day marked with the blowing of trumpets (shofars). That is what is supposed to mark the Master's return and it is also what heralds the return of a Jewish bridegroom who is coming for his bride.
But there is a reason why it is a day and hour that no one knows. The Hebrew day and year both are marked by the moon (as opposed to the sun). In order to know when the new year began, two witnesses were required to go out and see if the new moon has risen.
The Feast of Trumpets (Rosh haShanah) is celebrated over a two day period. In the Bible times, they didn't have computers to tell them in advance when the moon would come up, how it would look and where it would be on the horizon. They had to physically go out and look for themselves to see if they could find the first minute sliver of the waxing new moon. This is why it is the only day that "no man knows the day or the hour."
In this case, the two designated witnesses were the ones who verified the beginning of the new year by the observance of the new moon. Of course, they knew the "time and the season" they were in and they were able to make a determination down to the two day timeframe. I believe we are going to be able to do the same thing based on this particular holiday because as we will see shortly, all of God's plans for mankind have and will be centered around His Seven Feasts. And I have to believe this is part of the reason for the Two Witnesses of the Book of Revelation being here in the first place - to help us know the time of our Lord-Bridegroom's return.
Something else I find extremely interesting is that Jewish tradition says Adam was created on Rosh haShanah and Stellarium (a free software that enables you to view stellar alignments throughout history) seems to suggest that Yeshua (the Second Adam) was also born around this same time! The strange thing for Americans (especially) to take note of concerning this timeframe is that it usually occurs sometime in our month of September. And the stellar alignment that seems to perfectly fit the description of what the "Wise Men" may have seen happens on September 11th (imagine that!) in 2 BC.
This animated gif shows some amazing things in the early morning heavens. Here, I have the time set for 5AM. If the atmosphere and ground plain views were turned on, you would just barely see the sun about to come up over the eastern horizon. The planet Jupiter would still be visible, looking like a "star in the east" - visible even in early morning daylight.
Jupiter is known as the "king planet." Venus is known as the "queen planet." Beginning early in August of 2BC, Venus chases her king. As the waning moon crosses over the two planets around the 12th of August, the two overlap. This would have been a very bright alignment! Around the 15th of August, Venus leaves her king and is joined by Mercury (the messenger of the gods). These two head for the constellation Virgo (the virgin).
Meanwhile, Jupiter, the "king planet" literally parks and sits over Regulus, the "king star," which is in the paw of Leo, the "king constellation!" Again, this would have been a very bright alignment and a extremely significant sign to the ancient astronomers.
Finally, on September 11th, 2 BC, we see the waxing sliver of a new moon under the feet of Virgo, who is now "clothed with the sun" shining brightly in her belly, with Mercury and Venus at her head. And if we consider the nine bright stars of Leo plus the planets Jupiter, Venus and Mars at and above her head, we have an exact match to the description John gives in Revelation 12:1-2! Thus, I believe the heavens declare that the true birth date of Yeshua was September 11th, 2BC.
September is the seventh month (Tishri) of the Hebrew calendar and judging by the sliver of a new moon, September 11th, 2 BC very well could have been on Rosh haShanah. So, could it be that Yeshua will return on his birthday? If so and you are one of those Christians who celebrates His birthday on the day that the Anti-Christ was born (December 25th) you'll probably miss it! This is yet another reason (among many) that I believe proves Christians need to not have anything to do with "Christmas." It is a day of deception and it has nothing to do with our Savior or His real birthday! It is a day that will keep you in darkness and lead you astray concerning the days to come.
If God is indeed on a 7,000 year time clock and we are at the close of the 6th "God day" of human existence, then it makes sense that the clock will move to start the next millennium on Adam/Yeshua's birthday. So, for those who would like to be prepared, I will help you out here. Since Jewish holidays are based on lunar cycles, they don't always happen on the same day on our western calendar every year. Therefore, here are the dates (from chabad.org) for Rosh haShana this year and the next few years:
Click the play button to the left for a fantastic audio teaching about the Feast of Trumpets/ Yom Teruah/ Rosh haShanah. I think it is good to know this stuff, because I believe beyond any shadow of a doubt, that Yeshua will return for His bride during this two day celebration.Whether that's going to be this year, next year, 2015 or beyond, I do not know and wouldn't presume to set a date. But it would behoove us to be prepared for each of the above dates until He does return. If He doesn't return by 2015, look up the dates for the following years and continue to watch and wait. This prevents us from being in the group who "know not the day or the hour" and thus will be found completely unprepared for His return. I don't know about you, but I want to be in the group of the "wise virgins" who were watching, waiting and prepared!
Now, concerning the "wise virgins" in the parable, notice Yeshua says that they took oil in their vessels with their lamps. What is that all about anyway?
Oil is often associated with the "anointing" or the Holy Spirit. We are known as "clay vessels" in the Potter's hands. Believers have the Holy Spirit within their vessels, so what's going on with those who don't have enough in this parable? If we view this as a salvation issue, we have problems. As noted above, how can one be a Believer without the Holy Spirit? You can't! Notice that Yeshua said the foolish virgins took their lamps, but no oil with them. But of the wise, He said that they took oil in their vessels with their lamps. The focus in both cases seems to be not so much on the person but on the lamp.
Maybe there's another way to look at this. What if the parable is talking about oil in terms of an "anointing" - or in this case, a lack thereof? Meaning, they are carrying lamps without an anointing or the fuel necessary to illuminate (or understand) the lamp.
So what do the lamps represent? It has become my strong belief that the lamp represents two things: the complete Bible, which is meant to be a lamp unto our feet and a light onto our path and the Menorah, which was the seven-branched candelabrum used in the Temple that was another vessel that was full of oil.
In The Seven Feasts of God blog (coming soon), I mention how each of the Feasts are symbolized by each branch of the Menorah. If you'd like to learn more, here is another good source of information on them. They are also summed up in Leviticus 23. Essentially, from Creation to Eternity, God's entire plan is ingeniously woven into and revealed through the nature and timing of these seven annual Feasts. Each one is like a "dress rehearsal" to prepare us for the "Big Show," with each Feast represented as different "acts" in God's Divine Play. To know the Feasts is to know your "lines" and the parts we are to play in the Master's Script. The lead actor is Yeshua. He knows His lines well. And He plays His part exactly according to the Script.
On Mt. Sinai, God gave Moses the Script and commanded the people to learn it and practice it. If they did, they would know the timing and exact nature of each of God's Divine Acts, and most notably the works of Yeshua. The names and dates of each Feast are:
Everything God did in the Bible, lined up with those Feasts! Thus, everything Yeshua did also had to line up! Therefore, if history and the Bible have anything to say to us, it is that the future "Acts" of our Messiah will also line up with God's Feasts. Yeshua fulfilled each of the Spring Feasts (the first 3) and His Spirit came and fulfilled Pentecost. We are still waiting for the fulfillment of the Fall Feasts (the last 3).
As noted above, the first one we are to be waiting for is the Feast of Trumpets. And what talk on the Last Days would be complete without repeated references to trumpets? One such event being the "harpazó" (or what some call the Rapture) that Paul wrote about in 1 Thessalonians 4:16,17! But which trumpet are we talking about there? Paul refers to it as "the trump of God." So, although the Feast of Trumpets has a lot of trumpet blasts going off, those are trumpets being blown here on Earth. They are not the "trump of God" in Heaven.
The Book of Revelation reveals at least seven notable trumpets (of judgment) going off in Heaven, plus one more at the time of the Final Harvest. One of these trumpets will herald our "Rapture" to meet the Lord in the air. But the first thing I want to point out here is that there is NO mention of a Heavenly trumpet blast going off at the beginning of, or before The Seven Year Tribulation Period! So, that would seem to be one automatic disqualification of a Pre-Tribulation Rapture view. But that doesn't mean there won't be an Exodus or a hiding away at the beginning of the Tribulation - possibly heralded by Earthly trumpets on the Feast of Trumpets, during Rosh haShanah! It is after all a "rehearsal" that is even known as "the day of hiding"!
If my theory is true, then the five "wise virgins" are Believers with "illuminated lamps" - celebrating the birth of the Messiah, possessing the understanding of the Seven Feasts of God as laid out in the Torah and knowledgeable in both the Old and New Testaments of their Bibles, thus having a lamp that has shown them the way.
I believe this represents those who worship God in "Spirit and in Truth." I think most Believers have the Spirit but they lack the full measure of Truth that comes only from God's COMPLETE revelation as given in both Testaments! Only by understanding both can we be sober, awake and knowledgeable about what is to come. In other words, we are to be watching and ready for when our High Priest sneaks up on us like a "thief in the night" to check and see if we've been obedient and kept the fire burning!
Here is another interesting parallel to ponder. If we think of the lamp as the Torah and the oil as the Holy Spirit, consider the similarities of God's work during the Exodus as compared to the work of Yeshua:
Here we see that the oil of the Son's work illuminates the lamp of the Father's work! I could write a lot more about this, but I think just that simple comparison reveals much. Study the Torah and the Feasts to understand more and to clearly see what Yeshua did to fulfill so much of the work His Father began with the Israelites in their time of Exodus and wanderings in the wilderness. I promise, if you do, you will will become very excited by what you discover! And I believe you will be better prepared for the days ahead - as opposed to those who are asleep, unaware and not ready. They will be found unprepared in that day.
As we saw above, in the Book of Exodus, God married Israel. In the Book of Revelation, His Son is about to marry His Bride, the Church. So, clue #4 in this riddle is that we are talking about marriage! But according to Yeshua's parable, not everyone will be "ready" for the Bridegroom. Only five of the "ten virgins" are ready to go "in" (to some place) and five remain outside. Therefore, the parable seems to indicate that only some of the Bride of Christ will be ready. But let's look a little closer at the order of events in a typical ancient Jewish wedding.
It is easy to see how Yeshua has already done the first two in this list. We are waiting for number three. Isn't it interesting that the groom usually returned at night? Hence we have another anology that seems to hint toward the whole idea of two witnesses looking for the new moon at night, the trumpet heralding of the Jewish new year and the birthdays of Adam and Yeshua, with a Jewish day beginning at sundown. But how are we to interpret this in light of the Last Days? Herein lies an interesting dilemma and a difficult clue to figure out in this Rapture Riddle.
I'll address what I believe is a solution to these problems shortly.
For now, I want you to notice that both Yahweh and Yeshua began their work with a marriage. God announced that He was taking a people to be His own and married Israel. Thus, the work of pointing others to God began on this Earth. Yeshua's public ministry began at the Wedding of Cana. I don't have time to go into that here, but I suspect there is something significant in that story - especially since the narrative of John 2 picks up the story on day three of the wedding celebration - and in the days prior to that, Yeshua got baptized and was out gathering His newly recruited disciples! I'm telling you, it never stops. The more you look into this stuff, the more you find! Now I understand why John concluded His Gosepel by saying:
At any rate, the Scriptures are clear in stating that the Messiah's ministry will end with the marriage of He and His Bride in the Last Days - a time that also appears to be designed to draw God's original bride (Israel) back to Him as well. When we look at the Scriptures in this light, it becomes very obvious that the entire Bible should be viewed as one long, romantic and very dramatic love letter!
Something I have become more and more fond of doing in recently months is looking into the Old Testament to find answers to issues in the New Testament and trying to find confirmations of things that were said by the writers of the New Testament in the writings of the Torah and those of the Prophets. When you do that - just as the Bereans did - you find the answers were there all along.
Here is something else that I think we must take into consideration: in John 14:15, our soon to return Bridegroom said, "If you love me, you will keep my commandments." Yeshua is described in John 1:14 as the Word that "was made flesh and dwelt among us." In John 14:9, He told His Apostle Philip that He and His Father were one and the same. Hebrews 1:3 tells us that the Son was the exact, expressed image of the Father. And in John 10:30, Yeshua declared to the Jews at the Temple, "I and my Father are one." Therefore, whatever the Father said in the Old Testament would have to apply when Yeshua said, "If you love me, you will keep my commandments." Yahweh's commands were also Yeshua's! So, how do we prove our love for our Groom? By keeping the Torah!
I'm not talking about legalism here. Legalism teaches that you must keep the Law in order to be saved. Actually, the Torah contradicts that notion. The Israelites (God's bride to be) were saved FIRST, then given the Law - which was really God's marriage covenant; the written contract that tells us about His character. Thus, it makes sense that the returning Groom would be looking to see who loves Him! He has kept His side of the covenant. It makes sense that He would want us to do the same. The "wise" who have "oil in their lamps" certainly fit that description!
Further, the Book of Hebrews gives us another clue that goes along with this one.
This is a very interesting concept. Paul says in several places in his epistles that we are made righteous through Christ.
Our righteousness comes from Christ and through Him alone. We can not add to that. However, the Book of Hebrews refers to us as "being made holy." Holiness is a process that we can add to or subtract from. That does not affect our righteousness, but it does show our obedience and our desire to be more Godly - in other words more like Him. For to become holy is to become sanctified or set apart. How do we do that? We do that by doing what God calls holy and set apart. He is the sanctifier, the one who sets things apart and makes them holy. Thus, we can become more holy by doing what He commanded us to do!
Our Torah study guide puts it like this:
Christ made us righteous. We make ourselves more holy by doing His commands, thus proving our love for Him for He is holy. The Groom is looking for a Bride without spot (righteous) or wrinkle (holy) and free of blemishes (pure).
When He returns for such a Bride, what will happen next?
The wise fit the description of being righteous, holy and pure. Thus they get to go with the Groom. I believe this brings us back to Rosh haShanah and one of the other names it is known by: Yom HaKeseh, "Day of the Hiding or Hidden Day." Let's look at Yeshua's parable again, this time focusing on the moment the "wise virgins" go with Him:
When thinking about the previous statement Yeshua made in Matthew 24:37, I believe this reveals something extraordinary. Notice it says "and the door was shut." Considering the fact that this story follows the Master's statement that the Last Days will be like the days of Noah, that phrase really jumped out at me!
In both cases, the Lord shuts the door. And here's the kicker! According to verse 10, they were in the Ark for seven days prior to the Flood beginning!
Here we are told that God's people went into a place of safety for seven days before His judgment fell on the wicked. The Seven Year Tribulation Period is known as the 70th Week of Daniel; a week consisting of seven days, symbolizing years! Seven days in both cases, followed by the destruction of the wicked. It's an exact repeat - against the exact same adversaries!
Many try to point to Old Testament Scriptures for proof of Rapture-like scenarios. But most of those examples actually better support this thesis of an "Exodus" to a Goshen-like place of safety for those who are obedient and ready, rather than support any view of a Pre-Tribulation Rapture.
There really are only two examples of a true Rapture in the Old Testament, and those are Enoch and Elijah's supernatural removal from the planet. All other examples reference some form of an Exodus to a place of safety on the earth!
For instance, the story of Noah's Ark shows God's people in a place of safety, both before the Flood and during it. In both cases, they remained here on the Earth! Noah and his Ark were not Raptured!
Another example often given involves the story of Lot, his family and Sodom and Gomorrah. Even before the destruction of those cities, we see a foreshadow of the same principle at work. When the people of Sodom wanted to impose themselves onto Lot and his angelic visitors, the angels protected Lot. Notice what happened:
Here again we see the same terminology used. God's people were saved by being pulled inside of something. The door was then shut and a judgment fell on those left outside! As the story progresses we see that Lot and his family were not "Raptured out" before God rained down judgement on the entire cities of Sodom and Gomorrah. No. They were escorted to a place of safety!
I believe there are many other Scriptures that support the idea of people going into a place of safety during a time of trial, tribulation, judgement and wrath. Here are some other examples that illustrate this principle:
Prophetically speaking, the "Day of the Lord" is a reference to the Last Days all throughout the Bible. Therefore, the seeking the Lord and seeking righteousness part sounds like a reference to people who are "prepared" and who will be hid - just like Noah and his family were - in a place of safety during that time. Note also what the Psalmist wrote:
Many like to attribute the rest of that Psalm to a prophecy concerning the Messiah. And while verses 11 and 12 did apply to Him, at no time during Yeshua's ministry did a thousand fall at His left and ten thousand at his right. At no time in the Gospels did we see all of the calamity mentioned in this chapter. So, while some of it did apply then, I believe a reasonable case can be made that the rest will apply to those hidden during the Day of the Lord.
We can not think of this in terms of a Rapture though because no one is going up to meet the Lord in the clouds as Yeshua is not even going to be in the clouds until after the tribulation of those days. Therefore, I submit that we should view this as an "Exodus" for the "wise" or a "hiding away" to a place of safety before it all begins.
But exactly where is that place of safety? If we are to continue with the wedding analogy, it would have to be in the Father's house. This is because in the Jewish wedding ritual, after the groom returns for his bride, he takes her back to his father's house where the huppah is located. It is there that the marriage is consummated in a place secluded from the rest of the environment. It is an intimate setting between the married couple. In a physical sense it is where the two become united as one through sexual intercourse. What that looks like with Christ I don't know and quite frankly don't care to speculate. But if we are to view this as a marriage as the Scriptures clearly state that we should, then it is at this time that the righteous, pure and holy "wise virgins" who represent one glorious Bride without spot or wrinkle will enter into a place of union with our Bridegroom.
Our natural assumption is that the Father's house is in Heaven. And that may be true. But consider this: there are more than 200 references in the Old Testament to the "house of the LORD (LORD=YHVH)" and all of them are terrestrial based references to the Temple. There are 87 references in the Bible to the "house of God." Again, most of these refer to the Temple in Jerusalem. However there are two of those 87 that stand out to me: one written by Moses dealing with Jacob's Ladder and his dream, the other written by the Apostle Peter.
Here Moses writes that Jacob (who became Israel) declared that the place called Bethel was the house of God and the stone that he set up as the pillar was too! Why? Because that's where God was! God is everywhere. He lives in every part of the Universe and beyond. Thus, everything is God's house. It is where He lives. This brings us to Peter's statement:
We know that in a New Testament sense, God lives in our hearts. Thus, we now refer to our own bodies as the Temple - and the temple is a temple because it is a "house of God." The temple and God's house are one and the same.
Therefore, I submit that this should perhaps give us pause to reconsider Yeshua's words when He said in John 14:1-3:
Where is Christ? Well, He is seated at the right hand of the Father in Heaven, but He is also in the heart of every Believer. And a Believer is here on earth, but we are also seated with Him in the Heavenly realm!
Notice how Paul says "in Christ." When reading the writings of Paul, you will see him use that term a lot, as well as "Christ in us." I think there is something to this. And if we go back to the wedding analogy, this certainly shows a sense of extreme unity - a merging of two becoming one. Thus, I am beginning to think that what many have called a Pre-Tribulation Rapture is really a hiding away in Christ. What will that look like? Perhaps it will be similar to what happened when the Jews tried to kill Yeshua before His time:
He was standing right in front of these people. There was a good sized crowd engaged in heavy discussion with Yeshua - all eyes focused on Him - and yet He disappeared and they were unable to stone Him. This same thing happened again in John 10:30-39. Looking at those verses I could not help but wonder if the same thing may happen to the "wise virgins" before the Tribulation?
A few years ago a movie came out based on a novel called, The Celestine Prophecy. I am fully aware of the "New Age" themes in the story and I don't agree with the concepts of Evolution that are put forth. But I do believe there are some elements in the story that are quite profound nonetheless. One of them being the concept that love can build on love and amplify to the point that we can essentially "vibrate out" of this realm and move into a Heavenly realm. In the movie, this idea is beautifully depicted in a scene showing a man and a young girl sitting across from eachother. Both are simply "projecting" love onto the other. As they do, their "energy" amplifies until they both "phase out." This revelation is referred to as the "Nineth Insight" in the story. At the end of the story, we see how this concept plays out in a time of potential tribulation:
Again, I do not agree with the Evolutionary concepts, but if we apply this visual to what we know from Scripture - that God is love and that Yeshua demonstrated His great love for us by dying for us - and if we demonstrate our love back to Him by keeping His commandments, I think the above scene may illustrate what happens when the "wise" go in with the Bridegroom and the door is shut. Inside, the Bride and Groom will exchange love, building upon love in an amazing unity. The marriage is thus consummated.
Then, the Groom will leave the Bride in her place of safety and bliss for seven days (the seven year, 70th Week of Daniel) as He goes to prepare the world for their honeymoon - cleansing it from all sin and unrighteousness once and for all!
Is that exactly what will happen? I don't know. But I think such a concept is well supported by Scripture. It can not be considered a Rapture because such an event would not fit all of the required points listed earlier concerning what has to happen for it to be considered as the "catching up" of the Saints at the end of the Tribulation. Therefore, in order for the Parable of the Ten Virgins to be true and to be reconciled by all Jewish marriage customs (that the Bible seems to agree with), something like this is required because in the parable, the wise go in not up!
If that's what happens to the wise virgins, what happens to the foolish? Where will they be and what will happen to them? That question brings us to the sixth clue.
As clearly stated above, I can see a Pre-Tribulation Exodus or hiding away to an earthly place of safety for those who are wise and prepared like the five virgins who were ready when their Groom returned. I can see those faithful and obedient Saints who watched and waited, knowing the signs and the seasons, being the ones dwelling in a place of safety right from the start.
Meanwhile, the other Saints who were not prepared will have to take a stand for truth, having to go through a time of tribulation. Perhaps as they are obedient, they too may enter the place of safety as Zephaniah 2:3 says. But it seems to me that it is more likely that they may end up being those who will be greatly honored as the Tribulation Martyrs (Rev. 6:9-11, Rev. 14:12-13).
During the first 3.5 years of the Tribulation we see the ministry of the Two Witnesses and the 144,000 virgin male Jews who are doing stuff, both during that time and afterwards as well. I believe that all Seven Seals and at least six if not all of the Seven Trumpets take place in the first half of The Seven Year Tribulation Period. Looking at the first four Trumpets, it appears that the Two Witnesses actually have the power to make much of those things happen!
I would think it very wise for all Tribulation Saints to find a way to get close to those two! Hang close to them, and you won't be touched - at least up until the Fifth Trumpet sounds (which is when Apollyon rises out of the Abyss). But if these Saints are in Jerusalem, Yeshua still makes a way of escape for them. He says that they will be safe if they flee into the mountainous wilderness. We'll look at that more closely in a minute.
After the Fourth Trumpet blows an eagle flies and announces that the next three Trumpets are "Woes."
An eagle takes flight screaming, "Woe! Woe! Woe!" - in other words, what's about to happen next is not good folks! Things are about to get really bad, really quick. Then, the Fifth Trumpet blows, and the spirit of Apollo ascends back into its former host body - Nimrod. Thus, empowered by the dragon himself, the Anti-Christ will rise. And his first order of business is to kill the Two Witnesses!
For a season the Beast prevails against the saints, probably killing many. But then, God steps in. Daniel describes the Anti-Christ as a horn:
John seems to confirm this in Revelation:
The same Greek word "harpazó" that Paul used is used here in reference to Yeshua when He ascended into Heaven:
The woman in Revelation 12 is Israel and by extension, the Saints who may be in Israel at that time. They are the ones who will be able to see the abomination of desolation standing in the holy place.
Those who are in Judea seem to be the ones who find an escape. The rest of the Saints left on the planet may not be so fortunate.
Though the system of the Beast may be in operation for a time prior, the Beast man does not arise until the mid-point in the Tribulation period according to John in the Book of Revelation. Yeshua says they that shall see this man rise and stand in the holy place should flee to the mountains for a period of 1,260 days, which is 3.5 years or "a time, times and half a time." Thus, comparing all these Scriptures we can see that the Anti-Christ reigns as the Beast for 3.5 years. And when he rises (see Revelation 9:11), a war breaks out in Heaven. The dragon (Lucifer) is then cast out of Heaven to the Earth.
Here we see that the dragon can't get to those who are hidden in the mountainous wilderness, so he turns his sight to war against the rest of the Saints. But notice, these Saints are now keeping God's commandments! So, apparently the Tribulation has served as a time of chastisement that turned their hearts back to doing what they should have been doing all along - obeying the commands (Torah) of God. They have oil in their lamps now! But both the dragon and his Beast are after them:
If that's not good enough reason to want to have oil in your lamps before all of this happens (as in now), I don't know what is! I don't know about you, but I'd very much like to be hidden in a "place of safety" at that point. But still, God gives great honor to those who endure to the end:
Now, let's look at how this Beast is able to rise in the first place.
At the mid-point, Michael, the Arch-Angel stands up and the Two Witnesses are killed. That is actually what enables Apollyon to rise and Lucifer to pull out all the stops. Prior to that, the horrors that will follow were restrained. Yes, I believe Michael the Arch-Angel is the one who is the "restrainer" spoken of by Paul (not the Holy Spirit as many believe to be the case). Compare Paul's words with those of Yeshua  in Daniel 12:
One of the problems I had with the Pre-Tribulation Rapture view involved the whole idea that the Holy Spirit is the "restrainer" and thus the Church is what is actually holding back the End Times. The general consensus in that view is that the Devil and his Anti-Christ can not rise to power while we are here. Well, I agree that the Church is supposed to have the power described in verses like these:
I simply do not see it these days. And I'll bet if you are honest with yourself, neither do you. In fact, during the six years I was a missionary, I often found myself having debates with Believers who DON'T believe those verses and who claim such power passed away with the Apostles, thus promoting the false doctrine of Cessation. Apart from the Charismatic denominations, the vast majority of the Church today believes that non-sense! But even the Charismatics have their issues living in this [authentic] Divine power. So, what sort of "restrainer" is the Church really being?
Further, Yeshua asked if He would find faith on the earth when He returns. Apparently, not. Paul descibes a great falling away that will precede His coming.
The word translated here as "falling away" is "apostasia" [Strong's # 646] It means a defection from truth, a falling away, a forsaking of the former. Therefore, Paul is saying again that the Church is anything BUT a powerful force to be reckoned with. It is full of the elect that have likely been deceived. I will address this further in The Coming Great Deception blog (coming soon... in more ways than one).
Why are churches and hospitals FULL of the sick and dying, hopelessly oppressed and depressed? If anyone in your family or circle of friends is sick or dying, there is all the proof you need that the Church is woefully lacking in the use of the power and authority given to it. No one goes to the elders of the Church for healing as James 5:13-15 says we should. Everyone goes first to CVS and then to the hospital if the over the counter drugs don't work. That's just a fact!
How many people do you know that have medicine cabinets literally loaded with all the pills they need to take on a daily basis? If the Church was so "spirit filled" and powerful why the need for so much pharmacia? I submit that it is because, by in large, the 21st Century Church looks NOTHING like Yeshua. It is not practicing John 14:12. If it were, I might be inclined to buy the argument concerning the Holy Spirit filled Church being the restrainer. No, the Church today is very much in the "apostasia" Paul wrote about.
But even if that were true that the Church is the restrainer, what good is that power to resist evil if we are all taken out at the moment resistance is MOST NEEDED??? It does the world no good at all for us to be able to withstand the gates of Hades, but be taken out in a Rapture at a time when that power will be needed most!
Many Scriptures clearly state that the Anti-Christ prevails over the Saints! This is most strikingly obvious at the opening of the Fifth Seal. To refer to those martyred souls under the altar the way most Pre-Tribbers do (that these are those who are somehow saved during the Tribulation - without the Holy Spirit) is a gross mistake! That idea is based purely on assumption and is not backed by Scripture! No. To even be a Saint in the Biblical sense is to be a Believer in the Son of God. To be a Believer, requires the presence of the Holy Spirit! You can't be a Believer without Him! So the whole concept of the Church being Raptured out (taking the Holy Spirit - restrainer - with them), and there still being Tribulation Saints makes no sense at all! Therefore, I submit that the only Saints that Revelation 6:9-11 could be referring to are those who remained during the Tribulation as a result of being "left behind" in the Parable of the Ten Virgins scenario and/or those who got saved as a result of those who got left behind ministering the Gospel of the Kingdom to them.
Note also that the idea of persecuted and dying Saints during the Tribulation Period is not a reference to the wrath of God - of which we are not appointed. It is referring to the wrath of Anti-Christ - of which we are appointed. Yeshua clearly stated that we WILL suffer persecution and death, just as He did.
This "pie in the sky" ideology of a Pre-Tribulation Rapture - wherein the Saints just need to wait for some miraculous snatching away and thus they won't suffer persecution and death - is false and not supported by the words of Yeshua or any other Scripture! In fact, it is directly contrary to what has been spoken concerning the Saints... especially in the Last Days.
One of the primary dangers of the Pre-Tribulation Rapture view is that it creates an environment of total apathy! I can't tell you how many Christians I know who have the general attitude of, "Good thing we won't be here to deal with any of that." while singing, "I'll fly away old glory, I'll fly away..." in every Church service. I believe the Pre-Trib view was created by Lucifer specifically for that reason - to eliminate all potential threats. No one that I know who holds the Pre-Trib view is even remotely prepared to deal with the days ahead.
By contrast, when I talk about a Pre-Tribulation Exodus or a hiding away into a place of safety, that's only for those who are laboring to enter God's rest. It's not for everyone.
I think the New Living Translation really helps us to understand this:
All of God's words are important! Both Testaments should be studied and adhered to, for both reveal who Yeshua is and both reveal God's heart toward man and our responsibilities as His children. Those who are obedient, watching and waiting are rewarded. Those who are not will have to go through the Tribulation. But in the chastisement of that Tribulation, many will become obedient and thus shine as heroes, having endured to the end.
OK. I'll put the soapbox away now.
Suffice it to say, the restrainer is not the Holy Spirit but rather it is Michael the powerful protecting angel of Israel. It is only after he steps away that the Anti-Christ is able to enter the Holy Land and do what he does there.
In the following passage of Scripture, Paul clarifies some things that certainly appear to stand in direct opposition to the Pre-Tribulation Rapture view:
He says that the "gathering to meet Him" (commonly called the "Rapture" according to 1 Thes. 4:16,17) will not happen until after the man of sin is "revealed," opposes God and sits in the Temple. This does not happen until the mid-point of The Seven Year Tribulation Period after Michael, the restrainer steps out of the way. I don't know how much clearer the text could be.
Immediately after that, the Fifth Trumpet blows and Apollyon Rises. He then kills the Two Witnesses. At that point we have some more familiar wording to analyze and consider.
On the surface, this looks like clear evidence for a Mid-Tribulation Rapture - at least for the "dead in Christ." I might buy the argument that the "we who are alive and remain" could go up too, if it weren't for those other nagging Scriptures that talk about Saints seeing Him in the End, AFTER the Tribulation of those days when He comes in the clouds and all the Scriptures we've already covered concerning the Saints who fall prey to the dragon and his Beast during his 3.5 year reign of terror at the end of The Seven Year Tribulation Period. But is the case of the dead in Christ rising really a reference to a Rapture? No. It is not. Though similar, it is a different word altogether.
The word translated as "rise" is the Greek word anistémi [Strong's #450]. It means to raise up as in a resurrection: to rise from the dead. Do they rise and also get "caught up" (harpazó) at this time? Not necessarily. But it could be that they do indeed go up to Heaven at this point. If so, I believe it will only be the "dead in Christ" because the rest seem to be still on the Earth as noted in all of the previous clues. The harpazó of the living can only come when all points line up according to Scripture for them to do so.
Claiming other Scriptures like "we are not appointed unto wrath" is a strong argument against any Believers remaining beyond the first half of the Tribulation. Assuming this is true and the living Saints follow the dead ones in this Mid-Tribulation "rising," then the Saints that will go up in the Post-Tribulation scenario may be the wise virgins who are still here, hidden in a place of safety - just prior to the final Judgment of Fire that cleanses the earth. Even Daniel seems to be describing that same scenario, while also seeming to bear witness to the events associated with the Seventh Trumpet blast.
Daniel says everyone whose name is found written in the book will be delivered. That's pretty straight forward (though it doesn't necessarily mean a Rapture needs to take place in order for them to be "delivered"). But then, he makes the interesting statement concerning the wise who will shine like the brightness of the heavens. Are those the same as the "wise virgins" Yeshua spoke of during the Olivet Discourse? Remember, this is after all Yeshua who was the One also speaking in Daniel 12, so it very well could be. Does that "shining" happen here on earth? I don't know.
What I do know is the remaining 3.5 years on earth are going to be an absolute nightmare of horrors! All hell is loosed as is the wrath of God. But assuming my thesis is correct regarding the wise, due to the fact that they were "hidden" they too would have still escaped the wrath of God as stated in Isaiah 26:20 and Zephaniah 2:3 even though they would have still been here on the earth during that time. And thus, to be reconciled with Daniel 12:1-3, perhaps this "shining of the wise" will happen in the end as they are transformed in the twinking of an eye:
The major problem with the Mid-Tribulation Rapture view is that Christ is not in the clouds at this point. He doesn't descend from Heaven in the clouds until the end. Another issue is the fact that the Beast is able to make war with and kill the Saints who are not protected in the Judean wilderness. Both of these facts seem to stand in direct opposition to a Rapture of the living happening at this time.
Thus, it is my belief that the "dead in Christ" may rise and go up with the Two Witnesses similar to the first fruits offering of the Saints that arose when Yeshua died and went with Him to Heaven after He arose three days later and ascended (privately) back to the Father.
This ascension is not the same as the one written about in the Book of Acts, which was a public affair that happened 40 days later. The ascension spoken of by Yeshua to Mary in the garden was a different and private event in which Christ ascended with His First Fruits Offering of the previously departed Saints and went to Heaven where He received His glorified body - the one in which He returned in and appeared to His disciples.
Thus, I believe that if anything happens at the mid-point to go along with the ascension of the Two Witnesses it will be similar to this First Fruits Offering. And the timing is right for just such a thing to occur as an exact repeat of the Gospel account, especially if the initial return of the Groom happens on Rosh haShanah, which is a Fall Feast. If we count 3.5 years from that point, we find ourselves in the Spring Feast Season! Thus, it very well could be that the Two Witnesses are killed on the same day Yeshua was! And their resurrection would also correspond with His, thus the raising of a First Fruits Offering would fit quite nicely into this scenario.
So, if the harpazó of the living does not happen at the mid-point, when does it happen? We only have one choice left and that leads us to the nineth clue.
Now we find ourselves looking at the Post-Tribulation Rapture scenario. We must again remember that Yeshua likened His return to the days of Noah. Looking back at the Noah account of Genesis, I want you to notice something else. After the seven days, the Ark was lifted up and the bad guys were wiped away! Thus, some of God's people were in a place of safety for seven days (which could be compared to years in Daniel's 70th Week of Tribulation). Then, they got "lifted up" just before the bad guys got wiped away. This sounds an awful lot like a Post Tribulation Rapture concept to me!
Again, remember what Yeshua said in the Olivet Discourse:
This is an exact match! After the Tribulation, the Son of man appears in the clouds, there's a great trumpet blast and the angels go out to harvest! At this point, the 144,000 are still on the earth as are new Saints that may have become Believers as a result of their ministry and of course those Saints who have survived the wrath of Lucifer and his Beast. And we also may have still on this earth, those who have been in the "secret place" of safety, hidden away. All need to be removed before the final, fiery judgment cleanses the earth of all evil.
Who are these "few" who are left alive at the End of Days?
Who in the world could be singing praises at that point in the Great Tribulation? I believe it refers to those who were spared having to experience the horrors of it (the ones who were "hidden in the day of the Lord's anger") and those who emerged victorious in spite of those horrors.
Regarding the latter, it must be noted that no Saint is killed as a result of God's wrath. The ones who are killed are killed as a result of the dragon's wrath. And just like in the Exodus account, there were some plagues/judgments that the people of God had to endure, but there were others they were protected from. The same thing will happen during The Seven Year Tribulation Period.
In fact, to support the Pre-Wrath Rapture view, we see in Revelation 15, that it appears all of the Saints are in Heaven just before God pours out the Seven Bowl Judgements (which may indeed be at the very end of the second 3.5 years). These are the ones that Isaiah may be referring to:
It is after this that those seven angels go forth and pour out the bowls of God's wrath. Then in Revelation 19, we hear more songs of victory in Heaven.
All said and done, when analyzing all Rapture views, I believe the only one that truly fits every single required point noted at the beginning of this blog is the Post-Tribulation scenario. But for the sake of clarity, I prefer to look at it the way Yeshua does: it is a harvesting of the wheat that has been separated from the tares.
In summary, I believe if we change the way we think and make an adjustment to the typical terminology concerning the different views of Rapture-like events, to a Pre-Tribulation Hiding, a Mid-Tribulation Rising and a Post-Tribulation Harvest, I think that we may have just solved "The Rapture Riddle."
Here is a simplified chart showing Scriptures that I believe support my reconciled take on all Rapture views:
Finally, the following question must be answered, "When does the marriage of the Lamb take place?"
Contrary to what many teach, Revelation reveals that it is not at the beginning of or during The Seven Year Tribulation Period. Technically speaking the marriage began two thousand years ago when Christ "purchased" us with His blood and sealed the covenant of our union at the cross. He then left to go and prepare a place for us. So, in the strictest sense, we are already married. But the consummation of that marriage has yet to take place, as does the seven day celebration feast.
Revelation 19 picks up after two full chapters that describe the final judgment on Babylon, the Harlot, Beast and False Prophet. After that, there is great rejoicing in Heaven for the Lord's victory over all His enemies. Then it says:
This "marriage supper of the Lamb" is generally taught by Pre-Tribbers as taking place during The Seven Year Tribulation Period. I would have to agree with that - at least in terms of the traditional Jewish wedding ceremony. There is a seven day feast that takes place after the Bride and Groom consummate the marriage in the huppah. What I find very interesting about this is that we see an honoring of the Saints in every direction:
Once the marriage celebration finally concludes, the Bride is revealed without her veil and all of Heaven rejoices. Then it is as if our Groom says, "Hang on honey. I've got one more thing to do before our Honeymoon." He leaves, and then returns looking like a true "Knight in Shining Armor." Our Bridegroom "shows off" by dressing up in full Battle Dress Uniform, mounted on a beautiful white warhorse! And He goes forth to utterly destroy all who have ever harmed His Bride, so that she need never fear again!
Note: The "armies of God" are the Hosts of Heaven, which are the angels - not the Saints as many try to say!
Note: I believe this vesture is worn to set the record straight. Yeshua is going up against an imposter who also goes by that same title, "King of kings, Lord of lords," Osiris-Nimrod!
Satan is then bound and cast into the Abyss. The New Jerusalem descends to earth, the Millennial Reign of Christ begins and like any good story ends, "We live happily ever after!"
It may not happen exactly as I've described, but I believe that I am on the right track in understanding how all of these views can be reconciled in a scenario that (at least to me) seems to be supported by numerous texts of Scripture. Regardless, I think it would be "wise" for all of us "virgins" who are awaiting the return of our Bridegroom, to get prepared and to be sure our lamps are full of oil!
For me and my house, we believe the oil represents the Holy Spirit. And the lamp represents the Menorah. The Menorah represents the Feasts of God - all of which provide a "dress rehearsal" before the final performance. Messiah already played out the Spring Feasts, fulfilling each of them in all that they represented. He still has yet to do the Fall Feasts. By understanding, knowing and practicing what each represent, I believe we are using the Holy Spirit's oil to keep our lamps full and lit. In my opinion, this is living in Spirit and in Truth. This is being prepared and obedient. This is being ready for the Bridegroom, so that we can dwell in safety within the Ark of God's protection for seven days... as it was in the days of Noah, when God shut the door and the righteous were spared, while the wicked perished.
The next blog will discuss The Seven Year Tribulation Period >>
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