Pentecost begins this Sunday at sundown and ends Monday at sundown; effectively encompassing two days. Pentecost is the only holiday of which God commands a countdown. From Passover to the Jewish holiday of Shavuot (Christians call it Pentecost) is exactly 50 days.
3 knowing this first: that there shall come in the last days scoffers, walking after their own lusts
4 and saying, “Where is the promise of His coming? For since the fathers fell asleep, all things continue as they were from the beginning of the creation.” 2 Peter 3:3-4
“Michele Bachmann actually predicted I would bring about the biblical end of days,” Obama told the correspondents, who erupted in roaring laughter. “Now that’s a legacy. That’s big. I mean Lincoln, Washington, they didn’t do that.” – Barack Obama
After salvation in the Lord Jesus, the rapture of the church and the 2nd coming of Christ are the most important topics in the bible. These events mark the end of the church age, the redemption of Israel, and the beginning of the millennial rein of Christ as King on earth in the literal Kingdom of Heaven.
Today arguably, the church has the greatest witnessing tool and greatest opportunity in its history to reach the lost through the teaching of bible prophecy. Bible prophecy will bring people to the feet of Jesus for the testimony of Jesus is the spirit of prophecy itself.
And I fell at his feet to worship him. And he said unto me, See thou do it not: I am thy fellowservant, and of thy brethren that have the testimony of Jesus: worship God: for the testimony of Jesus is the spirit of prophecy. Revelation 19:10
For every prophecy of Jesus’ 1st coming, there are about 8 concerning His second coming. Prophecy helps us to understand the bible’s storyline as a whole with the Cross standing in the middle of it.
17 And he is before all things, and by him all things consist. 18 And he is the head of the body, the church: who is the beginning, the firstborn from the dead; that in all things he might have the preeminence. 19 For it pleased the Father that in him should all fulness dwell; 20 And, having made peace through the blood of his cross, by him to reconcile all things unto himself; by him, I say, whether they be things in earth, or things in heaven. Col. 1:17-20
The rapture of the church and Christ’ second coming is so important that God’s very first prophet Enoch (7th generation from Adam), predicted Christ’s return and was a living testimony to the rapture of the church.
22 And Enoch walked with God after he begat Methuselah three hundred years, and begat sons and daughters: 23 And all the days of Enoch were three hundred sixty and five years: 24 And Enoch walked with God: and he was not; for God took him. Genesis 5:22-24
By faith Enoch was translated that he should not see death; and was not found, because God had translated him: for before his translation he had this testimony, that he pleased God. Hebrew 11:15
And Enoch also, the seventh from Adam, prophesied of these, saying, Behold, the Lord cometh with ten thousands of his saints. Jude 1:14
God has declared the end before the beginning of time and He is in complete control of all. He even knew the plans he had for you before you were born. Take a moment to realize that God has placed you on earth now, in the last days, in perhaps the most exciting time a person could be alive, when it could have been any of the other 6000 years of human history……
Remember the former things of old: for I am God, and there is none else; I am God, and there is none like me, 10 Declaring the end from the beginning, and from ancient times the things that are not yet done, saying, My counsel shall stand, and I will do all my pleasure: Isaiah 46:9-10
Do you know someone that is troubled by the world events of today? Are they uncertain of their future in this ever changing, chaotic world? Point them to the bible and prophecy. Show them the events of today have been prophesied in the Old and New Testament. Tell them Jesus is their only savior from their sins and the eternal security from the calamity of this world.
Remember the words of Paul, in that if any man does not love the Lord, let him be accursed; the Lord is coming.
If any man love not the Lord Jesus Christ, let him be Anathema Maranatha. 1Co. 16:22
Blessed is he that readeth, and they that hear the words of this prophecy, and keep those things which are written therein: for the time is at hand. Revelation 1:3
One of the biggest debates today within the church is the subject of ‘will the church go through the tribulation’? On one side is the belief of a mid-tribulation or post-tribulation rapture. Then their are those that believe in the pre-tribulation rapture of the church. And then there is a large organization that does not even believe there is a rapture. Leading their members astray, they say the words of the Apostle Paul are taken out of context and the word “rapture” is not in the bible.
Israel held national elections just two years ago, but the current Knesset has collapsed and a new election date is scheduled for March 17.
There are some very interesting facts and numbers surrounding the upcoming election, enough to give one pause…will it be their last election under normal circumstances?
Numbers in the Bible carry very specific meanings and the study of biblical numbers is a study all in itself. One can read the excellent book “Number in Scripture:Its Supernatural Design and Spiritual Significance” published in 1921 by E. W. Bullinger for free at this link.
The following facts and numbers are not scripture based except where noted, but yet are very intriguing at the least. Will some of these come to pass? Or is this just all coincidental? Only the Lord knows….
First, a little background on the Knesset.
“As the legislative branch of the Israeli government, the Knesset passes all laws, elects the president, approves the cabinet, and supervises the work of the government through its committees. It also has the power to waive the immunity of its members, remove the President and the State Comptroller from office, and to dissolve itself and call new elections.”
The Knesset numbers 120 members from various parties and are directly elected to four-year terms, subject to calls for early elections (which are quite common). The three largest are:
Likud (“ליכוד”) means “consolidation” or “unification”. It is the largest right-wing party in Israel and was founded by Menachem Begin, the 6th prime minister, in 1973. In 2005, Likud split when their leader, Ariel Sharon, the 11th prime minister, left and formed a new political party, Kadima (“קדימה”, which means “forward”).
Eleven is the number for dissolution. Current PM Netanyahu is member and leader of the Likud party.
HaAvoda (“העבודה”) means “the labor”. It was founded in 1919 while Israel was under British control. It was called “Ahdut HaAvoda” (“אחדות העבודה”), which means “the unity of labor”. It was originally led by David Ben-Gurion, who would later become the first prime minister of Israel.
HaBait HaYehudi (“הבית היהודי”) means “the Jewish home”. It is a right-wing political party led by Naftali Bennet, the current Minister of Economy.
The literal meaning of the Hebrew word for Elections (Bechirot, בחירות) is “Choices”
Facts surrounding current PM Netanyahu are very interesting. He is the first Israeli prime minister born in Israel after the establishment of the state in 1948. Born 21 October 1949 – 17 months after Israel born as nation – seventeen symbolizes “overcoming the enemy” and “complete victory.”
Netanyahu joined the Israel Defense Forces during the Six-Day War in 1967, and became a team leader in the Sayeret Matkal Special Forces unit. He took part in many missions, including Operation Inferno (1968), Operation Gift (1968) and Operation Isotope (1972), during which he was shot in the shoulder. He fought on the front lines in the War of Attrition and the Yom Kippur War in 1973, taking part in special forces raids along the Suez Canal, and then leading a commando assault deep into Syrian territory. He was wounded in combat twice.
Netanyahu – if he wins again, it will be his 4th time elected and 7th straight year of term into 2016. Seven is the number for spiritual perfection.
Four “is emphatically the number of Creation; of man in his relation to the world as created; while six is the number of man in his opposition to and independence of God. It is the number of things that have a beginning, of things that are made, of material things, and matter itself. It is the number of material completeness. Hence it is the world number, and especially the “city” number”.
This is the 33rd government of Israel. Thirty three is connected to a promise or the promises of God. The 33rd time Abraham’s name is used in the Bible is when Isaac, the child of promise, is born to him when he is ninety-nine years old (Genesis 21:1 – 2). The 33rd time Noah’s name is used in Scripture is when God makes a special covenant or promise with him. Thirty-three is also the numeric equivalent of the word AMEN.
It is the 9th government to negotiate with the Palestinians since the signing of the Oslo Accord of 1993. Nine is the number of finality or fulfillment. Perhaps there will be no more negotiations.
The March 17th election date is just 3 days before March 20th Total Solar Eclipse which falls within the latest blood moon tetrad, the last of this century.
The sun shall be turned into darkness, and the moon into blood, before the great and terrible day of the LORD come. Joel 2:31
In any Menorah whether it is a 5, 7, or 9 branch Menorah, Jesus is always in the middle as the servant lamp. Here you have 2 blood moons, a total solar eclipse and then the last 2 blood moons.
12 And I turned to see the voice that spake with me. And being turned, I saw seven golden candlesticks; 13 And in the midst of the seven candlesticks one like unto the Son of man, clothed with a garment down to the foot, and girt about the paps with a golden girdle. Revelation 1:12-13
Between March 20th and April 8th 2024, there are a total of 6 total solar eclipse. The number six symbolizes man and human weakness, the evils of Satan and the manifestation of sin.The time between the first one on March 20th to the last one in April of 2024 is 9 years. Again, Nine is the number of finality or fulfillment.
29 Immediately after the tribulation of those days shall the sun be darkened, and the moon shall not give her light, and the stars shall fall from heaven, and the powers of the heavens shall be shaken: Matthew 24:29
For the total solar eclipse of August 21, 2017, the Jewish calendar equivalent is the 29th of Av, 5777. Three sevens…….and Seven is the number for spiritual perfection. Seven years later, for the last one on April 8th 2024, the Jewish equivalent is 29th of Adar 5784 – Spiritual perfection (7), new beginnings(8), for the world(4). The number 29 is the combination of 20, the number of expectation, and 9, the number of finality or fulfillment.
During the year 5784, the nation of Israel will be 75 years of age. Abraham was 75 years old when God called him out of Haran.
Now the Lord had said unto Abram, Get thee out of thy country, and from thy kindred, and from thy father’s house, unto a land that I will shew thee: 2 And I will make of thee a great nation, and I will bless thee, and make thy name great; and thou shalt be a blessing: 3 And I will bless them that bless thee, and curse him that curseth thee: and in thee shall all families of the earth be blessed. 4 So Abram departed, as the Lord had spoken unto him; and Lot went with him: and Abram was seventy and five years old when he departed out of Haran. Gen. 12:1-4
Could it be the story of Israel begins and ends at 75 years of age? 75 – seven is the number for spiritual perfection, five is the number for divine appointment.
One last amazing parallel. The first Zionist Congress was convened by Theodor Herzl as a symbolic parliament for the small minority of Jewry in agreement with the implementation of Zionist goals. This took place in 1897. Fast forward 120 years and arrive at 2017 or 5777 on the Jewish calendar.
120 is made up of three forties (3×40=120). Applied to time therefore it signifies a divinely appointed period of probation.
And the Lord said, My spirit shall not always strive with man, for that he also is flesh: yet his days shall be an hundred and twenty years. Genesis 6:3
One hundred twenty years after God spoke those words…..His judgment was brought against the world with the Great Flood of Noah……..
Jesus answered, Verily, verily, I say unto thee, Except a man be born of water and of the Spirit, he cannot enter into the kingdom of God. John 3:5
The following was written by Gary Stearman. Enjoy,
As we watch the relentless downward spiral of global society, we recall that biblical prophecy states that the latter days would be marked by a collapse of faith, morality and ethics. The question we’re now asking ourselves is simple: Have we gone beyond the point of no return, or will there be spiritual revival?
No one can really answer this question. God’s plans are His own. But our clear perception in the light of biblical prophecy is that we’ve entered the latter days. Israel is back in the Holy Land, embroiled in an international conflict that precisely matches the Scriptural prophecies. Everywhere, dark occultic and demonic schemes are growing in prominence. Evil genetic experimentation is now a reality. Morality is overwhelmed by shameless behavior. Many Christian writers have illuminated these developments for years.
But for Christians, there is one prophecy that is at the top of the list.It tells us that prior to the Tribulation, something called “a falling away” must come. In the light of many other prophetic developments, this event seems to be in the process of happening at the present time. But we must ask: Is this really true, and how will we know when it has reached completion. In other words, how much worse must things get before Paul’s prophecy is fulfilled?
As we examine the meaning of the term above, we would first note that it seems to be describing a latter-day spiritual collapse. A few months after sending his first letter to the Thessalonians, Paul sent them a second one. It was an update and clarification of that first epistle, which had carefully laid out the doctrine pertaining to the rapture of the church. And it dealt with a specific misunderstanding that had been spawned by deceptive false teachers in the interim period.
Certain “teachers” had entered congregations and had begun to point to the ongoing Roman persecution of Jews and Christians, coupled with a developing revolutionary undercurrent, as being prophetically significant. They taught that the Day of the Lord had already arrived. They were apparently persuading believers that the Tribulation had by that time begun, and that they were currently going through it.
Paul vigorously refuted this mistaken idea, while supporting his original statement that the rapture would come before the Day of the Lord. We believe that this “Day” will begin with seven horrific years of catastrophe.
Like Paul and his early followers, we too live in an increasingly tumultuous world. The constant downpour of new and dramatic anti-Christian developments is a daily reality. The state of Israel has set the stage for a procession of prophetic fulfillments. Bible-believing Christians of our era have honed their anticipation to a fine edge. For decades, we have been searching the Scriptures under the conviction that through them, the Lord will speak words of confidence, comfort and hope in a world that is spinning out of control.
But in a repeat of the way it happened in Paul’s day, there is now an increasing undercurrent of negative teaching, in which some Bible expositors are suggesting that the Day of the Lord will come while Christians are still on the Earth. In fact, many of them are presenting what they interpret as “evidence” of this fact. In other words, the same problem of interpretation that plagued early Christians is alive and well to this day.
Those of us who believe in a pretribulation rapture also live in the moment-by-moment expectation that our “blessed hope” will be realized during our lifetimes. We speak, of course, of our Lord’s promise to come and personally escort us home, as we experience rapture and resurrection. The timing of this event will be a total surprise! This is the doctrine of imminency, taught with great clarity by the Apostle Paul. He believed it, and taught the churches of his own day to live in the light of this blessed expectation … awaiting the Lord’s arrival … which they all believed could come at any moment:
“16 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: 17 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” (I Thess. 4:16,17).
This was followed by Paul’s unequivocal statement that Christians won’t experience God’s coming judgment of planet Earth: “9 For God hath not appointed us to wrath, but to obtain salvation by our Lord Jesus Christ” (I Thess. 5:9).
A Falling Away
Amazingly, these and other assurances written in First Thessalonians weren’t enough for the believers in Thessalonica. Some of them were still being persuaded that the wrath of God had already begun.
In the process of writing his second letter of clarification, Paul gave them (and us) a remarkable clue as to the sequence of events that would come before the Tribulation. Its opening statement is absolutely clear:
“1 Now we beseech you, brethren, by the coming of our Lord Jesus Christ, and by our gathering together unto him, 2 That ye be not soon shaken in mind, or be troubled, neither by spirit, nor by word, nor by letter as from us, as that the day of Christ is at hand. 3 Let no man deceive you by any means: for that day shall not come, except there come a falling away first,
and that man of sin be revealed, the son of perdition” (II Thess. 2:1-3).
The terms of Paul’s clarification are crystal clear. Here, he acknowledges that some of his contemporaries believed that the Day of the Lord (here called “the day of Christ”) has already arrived. Because of false prophecy, mistaken preaching or forged letters, they had become convinced that God’s wrath had fallen upon the world.
At the time this letter was written (in the first century, around AD 51), the reign of Roman Emperor Claudius was nearing its end, marked by debauchery, political deceit and finally, the assassination that brought Nero to power. Claudius had persecuted the Jews, who had previously felt safe in the empire. Both Jews and Christians were shocked and repulsed by increasing debauchery in the imperial household.
Furthermore, Claudius had appointed Herod Agrippa II as king of Chalcis. This dark king was married to his own sister, Bernice. This strange couple had become the focus of gossip throughout the empire. To make matters worse, Agrippa controlled politics and finances at the Temple in Jerusalem. And its priests had long since been corrupted by their unholy political alliance with both Roman and Herodian governance. Jerusalem, itself, had fallen into utter corruption.
Looking at these and other events, it would have been easy to conclude that the vaunted stability of the Roman government was rapidly disappearing. It was being replaced by unscrupulous madmen creating the general conception that danger lurked on every hand. (Nero would soon be in power). The Jewish priesthood was irreversibly corrupt, suggesting that God’s judgment could be near.
Yet, with all this upheaval taking place, Paul still assured the early church that the event that he called “a falling away” had yet to happen. This term is a translation of the Greek apostasia, generally regarded as signifying apostasy from the faith.
We know with historical certainty that this mysterious “falling away” didn’t happen throughout the first century. This period marked the beginning and building of the church, not its demise.
And even throughout the reigns of Nero, Vespasian, Titus and Domition, (AD 54-96) with their infamous and deadly persecutions of the early church, this critical “falling away” didn’t occur.
Instead, there followed a continuing shift of power away from Jewish control of the Holy Land. Finally, in AD 135, the emperor Hadrian presided over the total defeat of Jewish resistance. He renamed Jerusalem as “Aelia Capitolina.” Israel, he called “Syria Palestina.” The diaspora had begun.
During all these events, the “falling away” hadn’t occurred. How do we know this? Because Paul wrote that when it came, it would introduce a chain of events. First, the “man of sin” would be revealed to perform the act of standing up in the Holy of Holies of the Jewish Temple, claiming to be God:
“Who opposeth and exalteth himself above all that is called God, or that is worshipped; so that he as God sitteth in the temple of God, shewing himself that he is God” (II Thess. 2:4).
It seems almost unnecessary to point out that none of these things has happened yet. The “man of sin” has not presented himself as God, or even “a god.” He hasn’t enthroned himself in the Temple of God. Nor did he do this in the first century, before the Temple was destroyed in AD 70. After AD 135, Hadrian placed a pagan statue of Jupiter in the Temple … in a rebuilt version of the Holy of Holies. And he also placed a statue of himself on horseback standing before this obscene idol. But after a short time, it crumbled into history. Historically, this is as close as we can come to finding an example of Paul’s prophecy. From that time to this, no man has ever enthroned himself in the Temple, proclaiming himself as God. And thus the situation has remained throughout the Church Age.
As Paul carefully penned Second Thessalonians, he gave the believers there (and the faithful of our own time) a test scenario. It is comprised of a specific set of instructions for the purpose of determining whether or not the Day of the Lord had come. Given this information, no believer would ever again be able to teach that the Tribulation had already begun.
On the other hand, a non-believer, living in the period following the rapture will be able to use Paul’s letter to affirm that the Day of the Lord has in fact, begun. It will be a simple matter of observing his predicted scenario and applying a little logic.
It would all commence, he said, with the mysterious “falling away.” An immediate question comes to mind. Does the term, “falling away,” apply to society at large, or just to the church? The answer to this question seems simple enough. Those outside the church – the unredeemed – are already in a fallen state. Technically, they are presently apostate in their belief systems. Their only real moral and ethical restraint comes from what little influence they receive from the longstanding cultural traditions of Judeo- Christian teaching.
Societies of the Western world are still deeply influenced by a longstanding Christian ethos. It is faint, to be sure, but still discernable. The believing Church is still a force in society.
However, from the prophecy of the seven churches in Revelation, it is well known that the Church Age will conclude in faithlessness … in growing apostasy. The first of these churches – Ephesus – is the church characterized by Apostolic zeal, as the Gospel is carried to an unbelieving world in the first century after Christ.
The last church – Laodicea – has fallen from the faith, and is in danger of being rejected:
“14 And unto the angel of the church of the Laodiceans write; These things saith the Amen, the faithful and true witness, the beginning of the creation of God; 15 I know thy works, that thou art neither cold nor hot: I would thou wert cold or hot. 16 So then because thou art lukewarm, and neither cold nor hot, I will spue thee out
of my mouth. 17 Because thou sayest, I am rich, and increased with goods, and have need of nothing; and knowest not that thou art wretched, and miserable, and poor, and blind, and naked” (Rev. 3:14-17).
Here, we find the latter-day church, which has come to depend upon its own wealth rather than the power of the Holy Spirit. Technically, it has isolated itself from the central premise and the very reason for the existence of the church: Salvation and the Gospel.
As depicted by one of the Bible’s richest metaphors, Laodicea is in danger of being spat out of the Lord’s mouth! This is the equivalent of being rejected from His body … the body of Christ. In other words, this church is comprised of unsaved people, posing as devout believers. They have wealth, social power, beautiful buildings and a network of business connections. But they don’t have the Holy Spirit.
This idea is reinforced by the closing words of the Lord to this church. He invites them to come and have fellowship with Him. In the language of the church, this would be communion … the Lord’s Supper. His invitation to them is to join Him, in other words, to repent and be saved: “Behold, I stand at the door, and knock: if any man hear my voice, and open the door, I will come in to him, and will sup with him, and he with me.” (Rev. 3:20)
The Door Opens
Immediately following the Lord’s invitation, we arrive at Revelation, Chapter Four, in which we find the metaphor of a door being opened in heaven, and the Apostle John being invited by a heavenly voice to ascend into the heavens, where he receives his amazing apocalyptic Revelation. Many expositors have remarked that this scene is a perfect representation of the rapture.
In other words, we have an affirmation of Paul’s own description of the events that will surround the rapture of the church. The “falling away,” which Paul describes as the delineating marker for the beginning of the Day of the Lord, is identifiable as that time when the majority of the professing church lapses into apostasy.
One could make the case that this has been true several times since the Dark Ages. But it will actually be true in the moment following the departure of the body of Christ – the True Church – from planet Earth. Much of the organized church will remain here after this event, but one thing will radically change. It will be an apostate church that welcomes the social and governmental changes we regard as horrifying. Most of all, they will welcome the Antichrist as the savior of the world:
“6 And now ye know what withholdeth that he might be revealed in his time. 7 For the mystery of iniquity doth already work: only he who now letteth will let, until he be taken out of the way. “8 And then shall that Wicked be revealed, whom the Lord shall consume with the spirit of his mouth, and shall destroy with the brightness of his coming” (II Thess. 2:6-8).
The Holy Spirit, whom Paul identifies as the restraining force holding back the “mystery of iniquity,” will accompany the believing church into the heavens. As Christ’s body of believers is caught up, and the restraint of the Holy Spirit is no longer a factor, Paul’s “falling away” will become an actuality. Then, and only then, can the “man of sin” be revealed.
The numerous Old Testament prophecies about the Day of the Lord will impact the Earth like a string of dominoes, propelling an unprecedented series of catastrophes that will radically alter life on planet Earth.
The “falling away” hasn’t happened yet. But we seem to have arrived at a tipping point, when unbelievers in the church outnumber believers. No man can accurately discern their numbers. But God knows.
– Gary Stearman
Another excellent video with Gary Stearman and Doug Stauffer.