While many Christians are oblivious to the gospel, don't know much about scripture
or don't care. Talk of prophecy, signs and the coming of the Lord should
be on every Christian's mind. Not only are we commanded by Jesus to "watch" and be on the alert and be ready for His return (Matthew 24) but also those that are looking for His
coming will receive a crown.
My dad told me recently that
my Great-Great-Great Grandmother used to talk about the coming Rapture of the Church. She
and others in the family would pray each morning and read about the Rapture in their Bible.
While the Rapture didn't occur in my Great-Great-Great Grandmother's lifetime,
it seems certain that it will occur in mine.
1. Jesus said, the Gospel would be preached to the entire world and then the end would come. Matthew 24:14
We are at or very near to this occurring. What is left to be done will be done by the Jews during the Tribulation period. 144,000 Jewish missionaries will be working and a great multitude of people will come out of the Tribulation period. This multitude is mixed, both Jew and Gentile for every tribe nation and tongue will be there. (See the book of Revelation)
2. Jesus said in a parable about a fig tree (largely agreed to by scholars that He was referring to Israel) that the generation that see's Israel becoming a nation again
and Jerusalem re-taken
will not pass away before all these things take place. (Tribulation, Armageddon
and Jesus coming physically to Jerusalem etc.)
3. Israel became a nation again in 1948 and Israel took Jerusalem back in
1967. This is significant as the Jews were scattered mostly as slaves around
the world by the Roman's after Jerusalem was taken in A.D. 70. They were oppressed and murdered for centuries, millions were killed. But God kept a remnant alive.
If Jesus' generation clock begins when Jerusalem was retaken then people that were
born just prior to this in 1967 would be over 43 years old now in 2010. If
one adds 7 years of tribulation plus 1 or more years leading up
to the start of the tribulation
then the generation would be in their 50's before the tribulation would
be over. If Jesus' generation clock started when Israel became a nation in
1948 then the generation
is already over 60 years old today without taking into account the tribulation
and any lead up period to the tribulation beginning. Potentially placing the
generation in their 70's at a minimum before the tribulation would
3a While there's a lot of unsettled debate on the length of a generation. Some Bible scholars have pointed out that if one uses the Gospel of Matthew chapter 1 as a reference and divides 42 generations and years from Abraham to Christ (42 into 2160 years) then it's just under 52 years to a generation. Also, if one takes the 77 generations listed from Adam to Christ (4000 years / 77 generations, it's around 51.9 years) If a 52 year number for a generation not passing away were to be used, and if the clock starts in June 1967 and if the Rapture occurs before the tribulation begins, then it's possible the Rapture would occur before, during or near the year 2012.
(1967 + 52 years - 7 years tribulation = 2012) I don't know if this 52 year average is meant to be the exact number Jesus meant to use concerning that generation "shall not pass away", but the Scripture here cannot be discounted. Jesus' return seems very near, even at the door based on other signs having been fulfilled along with news events occuring on Earth and in the heavens.
4. Jerusalem is a cup of trembling for the world and world leaders. Zechariah
(daily if not hourly headlines concerning Israel and a forced peace process.
Just recently, Syria and Lebanon announced that they want our current President
Obama to make (force)
the peace with Israel). Additionally, those taking over the Middle East, such as in Egypt and perhaps Libya and others, have chanted that they are going to Jerusalem. The world leaders want to force this peace, and dictate to Israel that they will give up their land to those that have sworn to exterminate them if given the opportunity. The Bible speaks about this and the judgement that will fall on those that are involved in this land grab.
5. Jesus said that just before His coming there would be a big increase in
Earthquakes, size of earthquakes and volcanic activity, waves roaring. Basically
people will be perplexed about the weather report. (Jesus said it will be like
birth pangs) Luke 21:25, Matthew 24:7 We are seeing a huge rise in frequency and
intensity. Offsite link: USGS Significant Earthquakes and News Headlines Archive: Indonesia 2007, Chile 2010, Haiti 2010, New Zealand 2011, Japan (2011), China and the list goes on and on. Just how many epic and killer Tsunami's, hurricanes, tornadoes, earthquakes & volcano eruptions occuring in a short span of time does it take for God to get the world's attention?
6. The world economy is crumbling and many nations are on the verge of economic, social, and political collapse.
(How convenient for The Antichrist when he takes power. Many
have speculated and claim that there is a group of world leaders, businessmen
etc. that are bringing nations to destruction for evil if not Satanic purposes. Others have
suggested that members of opposing political parties (as well as shadow like group really dictating how things will be to the politicians and governments. A group made up of bankers, businessmen, rulers and political figures.) have worked together,
playing good cop bad cop without citizens really realizing it. Politically, corrupted members of each political party taking turns,
inching nations toward destruction and eventual world control.)
7. The Antichrist is pretty much already set up to take control of the world.
Most, if not all, of the "heavy lifting" as I heard one person say,
has already been done for him by his surrogates.
8. Wars and rumors of wars escalating. Matthew 24:6: Large armies listed,
200 Million soldiers will be formed. Revelation 9:16 (China alone could field a 200 million man army today.)
There's internet talk of a "planned" war
in 2012 that will spread around the world.
Also a famous investor / writer, Marc Faber (Doom Boom and Gloom Report) said that the dollar will collapse
they'll go to war." A world war with nations crumbling (economically,
morally, and spiritually) will cause people to roll over and
let a world dictator take control as long as they are promised peace and
9. World groups, leaders and nations (Europe) have already turned over power
to world organizations.
They have given up their sovereignty and the USA may be on the verge of this
as well. There's talk that our current president in the USA has been giving
orders to Europe and they have regular video conferences. (Apparently, our
current president thinks he's going to be the world ruler. While he fits most of the descriptoins of the Anti-Christ figure, the jury is still out whether he's the Animal mentioned in scriptures. I don't know who the Antichrist is, but if I were to guess, it may be someone in one of the big family-like group photo's they take at G-20 or G-8 leadership summit meetings. The one's with the presidents and leaders in 5-6 rows an arm length apart. Someone with a military bent, good looking etc. Regardless, we should be much more concerned with seeking God and telling others about Him then wondering who the Anti-Christ could be. The Anti-Christ probably won't be fully revealed until after the rapture of the church anyway, based on some interpretations of Scripture.)
10. The world is filled with Violence. (like the days of Noah) Luke 17:26,
11. Russia (Gog) and Persia (Iran) and now China (Kings of the East) are political friends, making it clearly
possible in the near future they will attack Israel fulfilling this major Biblical
prophecy. Iran's leaders' almost daily announce their hatred and make it
clear they plan to destroy Israel. It's clear that
Iran wants to, plans to and will lead an attack
when they can do so. Turkey will also be part of the armies coming against Israel. Turkey doesn't have much oil but does control water. Turkey has cut off water to oil producing states until the oil rich countries made a deal with them. (March 2014 – Recent events with Russia in Crimea seem to be prophetic as well. Russia will be brought down to Israel soon by the looks of it.)
12. Israel has few if any friends left to help them, and will be forced into a peace agreement with the world and Anti-Christ leader. A peace pact would give them breathing room and protection, plus allow them to sell their natural resources and gas supplies. They may even be forced to take their walls down for a time. It's not entirely clear in scripture when, but perhaps sometime during the middle of the tribulation Gog attacks Israel with Persia, Libya and many others. They come against a land living securely without walls according to the Bible.
13. Coming peace in Israel. Israel announced just recently that they have
known reserves of 122 Trillion cubic feet (Trillion with a T) of natural gas. They also have a massive amount
of oil as well, that they can start pumping. Making it possible that soon
the coun===================================================== will
be awash with money, enough to perhaps buy off their enemies if need be. The
Bible says that Gog and Iran will
come against Israel, a land of unwalled villages, without gates or bars.
This war with Gog, coming from the far north (Russia) could come either just
Tribulation or after the Antichrist makes a peace pact with Israel.
This peace in Israel hasn't occurred yet, but it could be coming soon.
14. The Jewish temple is waiting, ready to be rebuilt. The Jews in Israel
have practically everything ready, they can put it together in weeks I believe.
Men have even been training for their priestly duties. Also, some have said
that many elements needed for the new temple, including gold and special spices
and ingredients specified in the Bible, were buried
2000 years ago and uncovered recently for just this occasion. Even the rigid Biblical requirements of finding a red heifer without spot or any other color that has never been used for work is being raised by farmers and very close to meeting all the requirements to usher in the temple.
15. The great falling away and apathy of the church as predicted in the Bible.
This has happened and seems to be accelerating all over the country in thousands of churches. Tickling Ears
One semi-famous seeker sensitive pastor said in front of 2000 pastors that they
are jackass' for wanting to go deeper into teaching the Bible in church on
Sunday. I don't believe many of the pastor's walked out that heard that spoken
but they all should have headed for the door! Most churches have only a single service throughout the week now. It's difficult to find a church with a night service on Sunday or mid-week, when that was quite common only 15 years ago.
16. An increased number of people saying things like "the Rapture / Tribulation
isn't going to happen or won't happen anytime soon,
people were wrong in the past about the timing and I don't see it happening
now." This is prophesied in the Bible.
17. Mystery Babylon, the Daughter of Babylon apparently revealed to be the United States. The current President of the United States has made it clear that he will not respond to attack from other nations or terrorist, even nuclear attack. The destruction of Babylon in a day is prophecied in scripture. A nation divided by rivers, full of images, a nation that doesn't need anything due to abundant treasures (or resources) and a strong military. Key information can be found in the last chapters of Jeremiah about the Daughter of Babylon. God hid some infomation there concerning the nation. Jeremiah's prophecy seems to be going in and out of talking about Babylon (a great city and nation of the ancient world, now located in Iran) and another Babylon, (the daughter of Babylon, present day America.) The Daughter of Babylon is a war hammer, is on many waters, ascends to Heaven (space flight), and Jeremiah prophecied its destruction. Revelation chapter 17 tells us the anti-Christ and 10 kings that rule over the world will destroy it — they hate it. This is part of God's plan for judgement.
18. Technology exists to cheaply mark, track and monitor everyone
as well as record every transaction on everyone in the world. Television and
internet can show what is happening on the other side of the world instantly and people can be monitored in their homes,
workplaces, vehicles and in every nook and cranny of their lives if a government
chose to do so. Cell phone tracking and spying technology as well as spy satellites themselves in Earth orbit can help track people down and
control even those in out of the way places. Purchasing transactions and monitoring can be controlled virtually anywhere in the world today if a government wanted to force it.
Practically everyone living in out-of-the-way places could be rounded up and forced into controlled
cities or prison camps in less than a year or two
if a world government really wanted to make it happen. Those forced into camps
could be required to stay there until they worship the world leader and
take The Mark. If they refuse, they could be denied, rights, travel, comfort and even food. Ultimately those that refuse will likely suffer beheading as is mentioned in the book of Revelation. Beheading happens to be the preferred method
of capital punishment by Muslims. No other religion seems to practice that except them. Is it a coincidence that Islam is being pushed
by world leaders all around the globe right now? I don't think so.
19. The Mark of the Beast 666 very near.
The world leaders that get together in the Bilderberg Group
have said that they have a plan to mark everyone in the world by 2017.
The Bible says that everyone that wants to buy or sell will have to take
a mark in their right hand or forehead. Small and great, rich and
poor, slave and free, everyone will be required to take the mark. If
these leaders will be working to accomplish this plan and if they keep this
and if this is the Mark of the Beast -- then 2017 would likely
be during the tribulation period. Perhaps it would even be near
the middle of the 7 year tribulation period. However, the clock starts when
The Antichrist signs the peace pact with Israel, not when they start marking. The Bible seems, to me,
to hint that by the last half of the Tribulation, most people have
been marked that will be marked. For God will send plagues on them
that received The Mark and worshipped the beast. But don't take my word for
it. Read Revelation yourself and see what it says.
Based on the expressed desire of
these leaders to mark everyone in the world by 2017 and even
more so based on what the Bible says about the signs pointing to the return of Christ and how they are
fulfilled or in sight right now,
it seems the Rapture is imminent.
Are you ready? Today's the day to accept Jesus as Lord and believe
in your heart that He rose from the grave!
Let me be clear, accepting Jesus as Lord, means accepting
Jesus as God. (YHWH, Romans 14:8-14, 1 Corinthians 8:6, Colossians 2:8)
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why I believe the rapture will occur before the Tribulation begins or early in the Tribulation period:
Enoch was removed from the earth prior to judgement (the
flood) Many have said that they think Enoch was a example
of what God will do at the last days. Noah and his family as well as Lot were also removed to a place of safety before judgement came.
It makes absolutely no logical sense for the rapture to occur at the end or very near the end of the tribulation. All the believers that are living go up to meet The Lord in the air and that would leave NONE on earth to go into the millenium period. There will be very few that make it to the end alive in Christ but there will be some. Additionally, we also read in 2 Thessalonians 2:10-12, about God sending strong delusions on those that did not believe. So they will believe what is false. There must be a moment when people that did not believe will receive that strong delusion to accept the Mark of the Beast. It seems to me that would be at or near the start of the Tribulation and after the Rapture of the church..
A mid-Tribulation rapture would put Jesus' bride "The Church"
at risk. That seems strange to think the Bride of Christ
would be subjected to such judgement before the Bridegroom
takes her. Instead God evacuates the Church leaving perhaps the apostate still left in the church buildings to be relentlessly destroyed by the Anti-Christ and to believe the lie or have the strong deluding influence come upon them, mentioned in II Thessalonians.
4. The church isn't mentioned in Revelation after the beginning chapters. However, the nation of Israel is active during the tribulation account in Revelation. Especially the Jews that make up the 144,000 that are sealed. This 144,000 will witness around the world. Perhaps, very large numbers will accept Christ during the tribulation through the efforts of the 144,000 and through other means. One minister I heard said he thinks even a billion souls could accept Christ during the tribulation
5. I believe the anti-christ and coming world government will do all they can to entice, persuade and mark as many as possible in the beginning parts of the tribulation. They will use the news media, internet, schools and groups to trick, prod, entice and persuade people to foolishly take the Mark. Perhaps they will give away lavish prizes and vacations, money, homes jobs or vehicles to people that foolishly take the mark and worship Satan's messiah, The Beast early on. It will likely be a full fledged assult on those that are on the fence or against taking the mark as well. Some may be fooled, but many will see through this, investigate and put their faith in Jesus. Yes, at the cost of their lives, but their treasure will be in heaven.
6. The book of Revelation is an ordered book, the most ordered book in the Bible. In the book of Revelation, The Church of Jesus Christ is seen and represented by 24 elders on 24 throwns closest to God's thrown. This event happens during or before the tribulation period begins. The 24 elders are seated and crowned and they have bodies. John is later introduced to the Tribulation Beheaded Martyrs as well as another group (a great multitude) that comes out of the tribulation period. A mixed multitude (both Jews and Gentiles) and John doesn't recognize a single one of them. They are not the church but obviously died, in Christ, during the tribulation period. The church is in heaven during the Tribulation and possibly get there before the Tribulation even starts.
7. "...shall descend from heaven..." (1st Thessalonians chapter 4) totally rules out a Post Tribulation Rapture of the Church. This is because, Jesus will be on earth at that time.
8. Jesus said in so many words that when He comes people will be "eating, drinking, marrying and giving in marriage" As described in the Bible, the Tribulation period will be a very difficult time on anyone still living. Jesus described conditions which lead me to believe this occurs before things get too bad.
Tips when studying or defending the Rapture of the church with other "Christians"
Some Christians believe the Rapture happens much later based on what they read in the Bible and attempt to persuade if not lambaste others on this subject.
Post Tribulation Rapture believers often quote JOB 14:12 saying, in so many words, Job will be in the grave until the end.
Here are verses Post Trib Rapture believers quote:
"So man lieth down, and riseth not: till the heavens be no more, they shall not awake, nor be raised out of their sleep." (Job 14:12)
"O that thou wouldest hide me in the grave, that thou wouldest keep me secret, until thy wrath be past, that thou wouldest appoint me a set time, and remember me!" (Job 14:13)
"If a man die, shall he live again? all the days of my appointed time will I wait, till my change come." (Job 14:14)
Proponents of a Post Tribulation Rapture say Job's statements prove the Rapture doesn't happen until after the Tribulation or even after the Millenium period.
The Post Trib advocates may also reference something that was said to Daniel as well. (Daniel 12:11-13.. But go thou thy way till the end be: for thou shalt rest, and stand in thy lot at the end of the days..)
A question to ask to determine if these verses apply:
Are Job or Daniel part of the church age? No, they are not church age saints. It appears to me that only the church age believers are raptured.
Caution: if you point this obvious fact out to Post Trib believers, they probably will not talk with you again for this tends to weaken their Post Trib argument.
I recommmend you study this and not simply take my word on the matter.
Job's statement may be very accurate for him, but not for church age believers.
2. Another favorite scripture passage relied on by late or Post Tribulation believers is 2nd Peter 3. I'll quote from an email I received from a strong advocate of the Post Tribulation Rapture but will not give his name.
"No one rises until the heavens be no more as described in 2 PE 3:10 … the heavens shall pass away with a great noise, and the elements shall melt with fervent heat, the earth also and the works that are therein shall be burned up." Please note that Post Trib believers skip the verse, in this passage, where Peter mentions that the Day of the Lord is like 1000 years. Peter gives a long list of things that will occur
during that 1000 years. But the Post Trib Rapture believers make it sound like everything happens in the last 24 hour day. This is indefensible. The fact of the matter is, 2nd Peter 3 defines the time as "like 1000 years."
"2nd Peter 3:8 But, beloved, be not ignorant of this one thing, that one day is with the Lord as a thousand years, and a thousand years as one day."
"2nd Peter 3:10 But the day of the Lord will come as a thief in the night; in the which the heavens shall pass away with a great noise, and the elements shall melt with fervent heat, the earth also and the works that are therein shall be burned up."
3. Many have questions about the Last Trump or Last Trumpet. Some have incorrectly speculated or believe it is the last trumpet sounded by an angel in Revelation. This is incorrect and has caused some to mistakenly think the Rapture of the church happens very late in the Tribulation period.
The Last Trumpet of 1st Thessalonians 4 explained what the Last Trump is. — offsite link:
Shorewood Bible Church Rolling Meadows, IL http://www.shorewoodbiblechurch.org/Real/062710e.mp3 This trumpet is not a trumpet of Revelation. For this trumpet is not given to an angel. This trump, is the trump of God! This trumpet sounds twice at the rapture of the church. The first blast, the dead in Christ rise. The second blast, the Last blast; the Last Trump, both the dead who have just risen and those that are living go up together to meet the Lord in the air.
In Exodus 19:16 this trumpet sounded as well. God Himself will make a personal appearance in the air to get His church. He is not sending someone, He (Jesus) is coming for me.
The King is coming. Are you ready?