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The Rapture

correspondence: gw@groenhart.net

THE RAPTURE, THE FINAL CHAPTER.

In writing this article there has been a lot of views exchanged with brothers and sisters having very different opinions on the matter. That has been a very fascinating process. Those who did not present the usual articles written by others, but their own vision on things from the Holy Spirit, did contribute a lot to this article.  This article is the result of a study of the books written by the prophets and not a prophesy in itself. The conclusions and extrapolations represent personal expectations of developements. (edit 3-6-2011, because of some reactions i have received claiming me to be a false prophet)

In the past six months there has been a development in many brothers and sisters that can at best be described around the theme of what is often called the Rapture of the Church. A somewhat misleading choice of words, as there are many present in the Churches who will be denied by Yeshua, not to be known by Him. A better choice of words would be the Rapture of the body of Christ. The big question is when this will happen. And the next big question will be who will take part in it.

Many have "prophesized" about the event according to calculation models derived from what Daniel has written. Many of those occasions have been announced and passed without the Rapture taking place. In this article a prophetic line is followed that we can pick up in many places in the Scriptures and that gives a better placement of this event. Let us do this in Isaiah.

THE BURDEN OF IRAQ (BABEL/BABYLON)

In the book of Isaiah we find verses that are beyond any doubt connected to the present conflict in Iraq. Chapter 13 of the book is dedicated to the burden of Babylon, the present Iraq.

Isaiah 13:4 Hark, a tumult in the mountains, like as of a great people! Hark, the uproar of the kingdoms of the nations gathered together! The LORD of hosts mustereth the host of the battle.

Never before in Iraqi history this has happened. Only in the present conflict we may speak of kingdoms of nations. Thirty-five nations were supporting the invasion in one way or another. Actively at least two kingdoms of nations, the USA and the UK. Possibly Australia may be viewed as such also. Presidents, other rulers and nations are called kings and kingdoms in the Bible. And he writes more:

Isaiah 13:3 I have commanded My consecrated ones, yea, I have called My mighty ones for mine anger, even My proudly exulting ones.

Since the beginning of the conflict there was a great deal of exultation from especially the USA concerning the swift wrapping up of things and the victory to be achieved. Up till now (five years after the beginning of the conflict) things proved to be less rosy. And he writes still more:

Isaiah 13:17 Behold, I will stir up the Medes against them, who shall not regard silver, and as for gold, they shall not delight in it.
Not to be bought by the material seductions (the leaders at least are not) of the western civilization indeed. Buying peace is no option. If one tries its money gone quick. They have their own agenda.

Isaiah 13:18 And their bows shall dash the young men in pieces; and they shall have no pity on the fruit of the womb; their eye shall not spare children.

A fitting description of terrorism.

Isaiah 13:19 And Babylon, the glory of kingdoms, the beauty of the Chaldeans’ pride, shall be as when God overthrew Sodom and Gomorrah.
Isaiah 13:20 It shall never be inhabited, neither shall it be dwelt in from generation to generation; neither shall the Arabian pitch tent there; neither shall the shepherds make their fold there.

By those last verses we know that this prophecy has not happened yet. That would not be something to have slipped by our attention unnoticed. Of great importance in discerning these events is that earlier in this chapter these verses are preceded by:

Isaiah 13:5 They come from a far country, from the end of heaven, even the LORD, and the weapons of His indignation, to destroy the whole earth.
Isaiah 13:6 Howl ye; for the day of the LORD is at hand; as destruction from the Almighty shall it come.
 

THE DAY OF THE LORD.

We see in Isaiah 13: 5 and 6 that the destruction of the whole earth is connected with the present situation in Iraq and the day of the Lord is announced as at hand. Historical knowledge from amongst other sources the Bible makes known to us the following:

Genesis 10:8 And Cush begot Nimrod; he began to be a mighty one in the earth.
Genesis 10:9 He was a mighty hunter before the LORD; wherefore it is said: ‘Like Nimrod a mighty hunter before the LORD.’
Genesis 10:10 And the beginning of his kingdom was Babel, and Erech, and Accad, and Calneh, in the land of Shinar.

In Babel the foundation was laid of what we call civilization nowadays. Biblicly spoken the civil structure and form of the turning away from God got it's starting point there. The judgments of God will also start there. How that will happen we can find in the book of Revelation where the destruction of Babylon is described.

Revelation 16:18 And there were voices, and thunders, and lightnings; and there was a great earthquake, such as was not since men were upon the earth, so mighty an earthquake, and so great.
Revelation 16:19 And the great city was divided into three parts, and the cities of the nations fell: and great Babylon came in remembrance before God, to give unto her the cup of the wine of the fierceness of his wrath.
Revelation 16:20 And every island fled away, and the mountains were not found.
Revelation 16:21 And there fell upon men a great hail out of heaven, every stone about the weight of a talent: and men blasphemed God because of the plague of the hail; for the plague thereof was exceeding great.

By these verses we see that the consequences of the judgment over Babylon are not restricted to Babylon alone. The cities of the (surrounding) nations will fall also. The day of the Lord will begin with the judgment of Babylon. Descriptions directly described as part of that day we find in many places in the Bible. First in Isaiah then in Ezekiel, followed by Joel, Amos and Obadia, Sephaniah and Malachi of the Old Covenant prophets.
In the New Covenant the day of the Lord is mentioned in Acts (cited from the old covenant), the first letter to the Corinthians, the first and second letter to the Thessalonians and the second letter from Peter and in the book of Revelation. All in all reason enough to give it our full attention. More so because this day is heralded by Isaiah as being close at hand. The words used to describe this day lead us to many more places in the Bible where we can find this event described sometimes without the literal mentioning of the day of the Lord.
 

Isaiah 13:9 Behold, the day of the LORD cometh, cruel, and full of wrath and fierce anger; to make the earth a desolation, and to destroy the sinners thereof out of it,
Isaiah 13:10 For the stars of heaven and the constellations thereof shall not give their light; the sun shall be darkened in his going
forth, and the moon shall not cause her light to shine.
Isaiah 13:11 And I will visit upon the world their evil, and upon the wicked their iniquity; and I will cause the arrogance of the proud to cease, and will lay low the haughtiness of the tyrants.
Isaiah 13:13 Therefore I will make the heavens to tremble, and the earth shall be shaken out of her place, for the wrath of the LORD of hosts, and for the day of His fierce anger.
Joel 2:2 A day of darkness and gloominess, a day of clouds and thick darkness, as blackness spread upon the mountains; a great people and a mighty, there hath not been ever the like, neither shall be any more after them, even to the years of many generations.
Amos 5:20 Shall not the day of the LORD be darkness, and not light? Even very dark, and no brightness in it?
Zephaniah 1:15 That day is a day of wrath, a day of trouble and distress, a day of wasteness and desolation, a day of darkness and gloominess, a day of clouds and thick darkness,
Zephaniah 1:16 A day of the horn and alarm, against the fortified cities, and against the high towers.
 
Malachi 3:19 For, behold, the day cometh, it burneth as a furnace; and all the proud, and all that work wickedness, shall be stubble; and the day that cometh shall set them ablaze, saith the LORD of hosts, that it shall leave them neither root nor branch.

We can find descriptions that are associated with the day of the Lord in:

Revelation 6:12 And I beheld when he had opened the sixth seal, and, lo, there was a great earthquake; and the sun became black as sackcloth of hair, and the moon became as blood;
Revelation 6:13 And the stars of heaven fell unto the earth, even as a fig tree casteth her untimely figs, when she is shaken of a mighty wind.
Revelation 6:14 And the heaven departed as a scroll when it is rolled together; and every mountain and island were moved out of their places.

Islands could in all probability be a term used in reference to the tectonic plates of the Earthcrust (edit 24-4-2011)


Matthew 24:29 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:

Where the Scriptures lead us in these associations we may follow.
 

THE RAPTURE AND THE DAY OF THE LORD.

The words of Yeshua Jesus Christ:

Matthew 24:30 And then shall appear the sign of the Son of man in heaven: and then shall all the tribes of the earth mourn, and they shall see the Son of man coming in the clouds of heaven with power and great glory.
Matthew 24:31 And he shall send his angels with a great sound of a trumpet, and they shall gather together his elect from the four winds, from one end of heaven to the other.

The words given to Paul:
 

1 Corinthians 15:50 Now this I say, brethren, that flesh and blood cannot inherit the kingdom of God; neither doth corruption inherit incorruption.
1 Corinthians 15:51 Behold, I shew you a mystery; We shall not all sleep, but we shall all be changed,
1 Corinthians 15:52 In a moment, in the twinkling of an eye, at the last trump: for the trumpet shall sound, and the dead shall be raised incorruptible, and we shall be changed.
1 Corinthians 15:53 For this corruptible must put on incorruption, and this mortal must put on immortality.
 
1 Thessalonians 4:16 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:
1 Thessalonians 4:17 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.
1 Thessalonians 4:18 Wherefore comfort one another with these words.
 

The words given to John:
 

Revelation 7:13 And one of the elders answered, saying unto me, What are these which are arrayed in white robes? and whence came they?
Revelation 7:14 And I said unto him, Sir, thou knowest. And he said to me, These are they which came out of great tribulation, and have washed their robes, and made them white in the blood of the Lamb.
Revelation 7:15 Therefore are they before the throne of God, and serve him day and night in his temple: and he that sitteth on the throne shall dwell among them.
Revelation 7:16 They shall hunger no more, neither thirst any more; neither shall the sun light on them, nor any heat.
Revelation 7:17 For the Lamb which is in the midst of the throne shall feed them, and shall lead them unto living fountains of waters: and God shall wipe away all tears from their eyes.
 
And so the Biblical references to the Rapture are clear. As brothers and sisters we may comfort, support and encourage each other with it. Many have a vision that refers to a more or less classical theory that places the rapture before, in the midst or after what is called the great tribulation. Some even place it after the 1000 years of the Kingdom.

None of these possibilities match with all biblical references and the emerging actual developments in the world. Furthermore they are all centered around an expression that is used only once in the Bible in Dutch translations and is absent in the translation of the Jewish Publication Society (1916) I have used for this article. Still it has taken a prominent place in most, if not all, discussions and theories about the subject.

The expression THE great tribulation.

Revelation 7:14 And I said unto him, Sir, thou knowest. And he said to me, These are they which came out of great tribulation, and have washed their robes, and made them white in the blood of the Lamb.

The bickering amongst Christians over a rapture before, after, or in midterm of this tribulation seems to center itself around the use of the word THE, in connection with tribulation mentioned in the Bible. Furthermore I have not seen many theories about that tribulation associated with the day of the Lord even though such is clearly justified by comparing the book of Isaiah chapter 13 with the book of Revelation chapters 6, 16, 17 and 18. Both books describe events connected with the judgment of Babylon.
 
What emerges out of these texts is a much clearer view of the place in time for both the Rapture and the day of the Lord (judgment day). A place that is hopefully understandable and acceptable enough for all Christians to end the division that was created by the deep disagreements about the subject.
Where in the book of Isaiah 13:6 the day of the Lord is heralded as being at hand we see in the book of Revelation 6:18/21 (with repeated descriptions in chapter 16, 17 and 18) the form of events to come in the judgment of Babylon. Those texts lead us to, amongst other places, 
Revelation 6:12 where the event is placed in the prophesies of the seals, the trumpets and the plagues. We may also add to that what is written in Matthew 24: 29/31.
These texts clearly promote the understanding of how the Rapture and the events of the day of the Lord are tied in with developments in the region of Iraq, Iran and Israel in the past five years.
 
THE BIBLE AND THE NEWS.

Headlines in the news of the past five years confirm the vision. All participants described by Isaiah are at the moment (November 2008) in the positions described by him. The military situation is as written more than 2700 years ago by Isaiah and is drawing near to a fulfillment of the verses 14 to 19 of chapter 13.

Isaiah 13:14 And it shall come to pass, that as the chased gazelle, and as sheep that no man gathereth, they shall turn every man to
his own people, and shall flee every man to his own land.
Isaiah 13:15 Every one that is found shall be thrust through; and every one that is caught shall fall by the sword.
Isaiah 13:16 Their babes also shall be dashed in pieces before their eyes; their houses shall be spoiled, and their wives ravished.
Isaiah 13:17 Behold, I will stir up the Medes against them, who shall not regard silver, and as for gold, they shall not delight in it.
Isaiah 13:18 And their bows shall dash the young men in pieces; and they shall have no pity on the fruit of the womb; their eye shall not spare children.
 
Although veiled by speculative news items in the media about the plans of Iran (the Medes) and what they are trying to achieve, there can be a clear understanding that they are trying to revive the glory of the former Babylonian empire under Median rulership. And while at it, they want to make it the most powerful empire on earth with influence in all country's of the world. 
 
Something similar is happening in Europe for the former Greece and Roman empires. Those empires (Babylonian and Roman) are described in the book of Daniel as the kingdoms of the north and south. Historically seen, all conflicts in the regions of Europe, the Balkan and the Middle East are placed against the background of these power struggles.

Thanks to the information delivered to us by the Bible over the span of ages we can see right through the veils of deception wrapped around the ambitions of the powerful of this earth. By what is written in the Bible and looking at the actual developments as described in the news we may conclude that it will probably be no longer than half a year before Iran will deploy their plans for Iraq in the form of a large scale attack. Directly followed or in combination with an attack on Israel. And it would be a realistic expectation to picture a worldwide surge in this period of that other Arabic activity, terrorism. The current state of affairs (December 2008) is the developing and supplying stage to make that large scale attack possible.

The seismic information available also shows something is about to happen. The whole earth moans and sighs, and we can see labor signs in the past 60 years of increased earthquakes in the region. As well in magnitude as in frequency. From 1900 to 1950 there were 17 quakes measuring 6.0 on the scale of Richter In the period of 1950 to 2000 they count 47. From 2000 to January 2008 there were 18 of them. A pattern of increase measured all over the world.
 
The crises in economics and politics, although seemingly just more of the same we have seen in decades before, are also mounting in severity. The situation at whole can only be clearly seen and weighted when we view all of these factors against the background of information provided in the Bible.
 
THE HEIGHT OF TRIBULATION.

Keeping the things written above in mind, we see the plan of the adversary of God in the form of war- and crisis threats to stimulate a global government and to seize control over Israel and Jerusalem, to reign from there. In reality there is no nuclear threat for those places because they are to valuable to destroy.

What we do see is the military/strategic situation showing more and more troops and equipments are positioned around Israel. More country's are getting openly involved. Developments in all areas discussed in this article are mounting to an height that, viewed by the momentum of the whole, cannot be placed far in the future. The whole is like a stone that rolls from a mountainside. There is no stopping it.

The Bible tells us this situation will be disrupted by an act of God Himself. By doing so He shortens the time where His opponent can bring his plans, more or less unhindered (us people sure have not hindered him enough), to fruitition. The one world government will not be a government that gloriously waves it's flag over the nations that became rich by oppression and corruption at the cost of third world countries and an underclass of the world population. Instead it will govern over what was sown in through the ages. A chaotic rubble instead of a world that could have been so beautiful.
 

Isaiah 13:19 And Babylon, the glory of kingdoms, the beauty of the Chaldeans’ pride, shall be as when God overthrew Sodom and Gomorrah.
Isaiah 13:20 It shall never be inhabited, neither shall it be dwelt in from generation to generation; neither shall the Arabian pitch tent there; neither shall the shepherds make their fold there.

Revelation 16:18 And there were voices, and thunders, and lightnings; and there was a great earthquake, such as was not since men were upon the earth, so mighty an earthquake, and so great.
Revelation 16:19 And the great city was divided into three parts, and the cities of the nations fell: and great Babylon came in remembrance before God, to give unto her the cup of the wine of the fierceness of his wrath.
Revelation 16:20 And every island fled away, and the mountains were not found.
Revelation 16:21 And there fell upon men a great hail out of heaven, every stone about the weight of a talent: and men blasphemed God because of the plague of the hail; for the plague thereof was exceeding great.

In Christian circles there is a long time assumption that the words "great tribulation" are to be connected with the world government of the antichrist. That is understandable because the tribulation that is now present in large parts of the world could not be associated with the abovementioned verses from the book of Revelation, and placed in this time by the developments in Iraq as mentioned by Isaiah. The writings in Matthew 24 shed a bright light on all of these verses. It mentions "the tribulation of those days". There is lots of that present, and more to come shortly. The government of the antichrist is just a part of the whole.

The abomination of desolation, mentioned again in this chapter (first spoken of in Daniel 11:31) does not require a Temple rebuilt to become manifest. This abomination spoken of by Daniel has been positively identified with the acts of Antiochus IV Ephiphanes who brought war to the city of Jerusalem in the times of the Maccabees. The abomination may be understood as something connected with the next conflict that will carry war (this can be viewed as an abomination of desolation in itself) to Jerusalem again. It could be some sort of symbol or sign that will be a statement that the antichrist will make his seat of power there as a foreshadow of rebuilding the Temple.

The first three and a half year of the one world government of the antichrist are being described in the Bible as a government of peace. There is little alternative for that, for there will be little resources left to make war with. It will be a management of crises. And it will be in this time that the antichrist will present himself as the idol of the religion he will use. He will pose as the "bringer of peace" and the "healer of this world". Are we as Christians going to live to see that?
 

How we may read the words "Immediately after the tribulation of those days" in the context of this article may be clear by what follows directly, "shall the sun be darkened, and the moon shall not give her light,". Those are literally the effects of the seismic events that will precede it. That will not take years. It will take at most a couple of months. These verses can also be interpreted spiritually, but one interpretation does not cancel the other I should say. So we will see the beginning of it.


SHALL THE SUN BE DARKENED, AND THE MOON SHALL NOT GIVE HER LIGHT.
 

The Rapture may be placed shortly after the quake mentioned in Revelations. After at most a couple of months after such an event the sky will be darkened by the volcanic activities that will accompany it or follow shortly afterward. Many big volcano's and volcanic area's are, or have been recently, on yellow or orange alert because of their active status. All of them have increased quake activity during the past decades. Even those considered dormant like lake Taupo. And after quakes we can expect see eruptions follow.

To illustrate what this means, next some parts of descriptions from the eruption of the Tambora in 1815. This is by wide agreement the biggest seismic event extensively recorded by man so far.

Tambora erupted in 1815 with a rating of seven on the Volcanic Explosivity Index, making it the largest eruption since the Lake Taupo eruption in AD 181. The explosion was heard on Sumatra island (more than 2,000 km or 1,200 mile away). Heavy volcanic ash falls were observed as far away as Borneo, Sulawesi, Java and Maluku islands. The death toll was at least 71,000 people (perhaps the most deadly eruption in history), of whom 11,000–12,000 were killed directly by the eruption, the often-cited figure of 92,000 people killed is believed to be an overestimate. The eruption created global climate anomalies; 1816 became known as the Year Without a Summer because of the effect on North American and European weather. Agricultural crops failed and livestock died in much of the Northern Hemisphere, resulting in the worst famine of the 19th century.

The 1815 eruption of the Tambora volcano is generally considered as the largest and most violent volcanic event in recorded history. An estimated 150 km3 of volcanic material was released (the approximate equivalent to 16,000 Hiroshima bombs or eight times greater than the 1883 Krakatau eruption). It was an explosive central vent eruption with pyroclastic flows and a caldera collapse, causing tsunamis, and extensive land and property damage. It had a long-term effect on global climate. The eruption shot 400 million tons of sulfuric gases into the atmosphere, causing global cooling and creating what historians call "The Year Without a Summer”.

This only moderately compares to the descriptions given in Revelation. The magnitude of the quake to come will be off the present measuring scales. One can only conclude that by comparing the above to:

Revelation 6:12 And I beheld when he had opened the sixth seal, and, lo, there was a great earthquake; and the sun became black as sackcloth of hair, and the moon became as blood;
Revelation 6:13 And the stars of heaven fell unto the earth, even as a fig tree casteth her untimely figs, when she is shaken of a mighty wind.
Revelation 6:14 And the heaven departed as a scroll when it is rolled together; and every mountain and island were moved out of their places.
Revelation 18:8 Therefore shall her plagues come in one day, death, and mourning, and famine; and she shall be utterly burned with fire: for strong is the Lord God who judgeth her.
Revelation 18:9 And the kings of the earth, who have committed fornication and lived deliciously with her, shall bewail her, and lament for her, when they shall see the smoke of her burning,
Revelation 18:10 Standing afar off for the fear of her torment, saying, Alas, alas, that great city Babylon, that mighty city! for in one hour is thy judgment come.
Revelation 18:11 And the merchants of the earth shall weep and mourn over her; for no man buyeth their merchandise any more:
Revelation 18:12 The merchandise of gold, and silver, and precious stones, and of pearls, and fine linen, and purple, and silk, and scarlet, and all thyine wood, and all manner vessels of ivory, and all manner vessels of most precious wood, and of brass, and iron, and marble,

WHO WILL BE RAPTURED?

There is a very simple answer to that. Everybody that believes in Yeshua Jesus Christ will be kept by that faith. By faith you are part of His body and will be part of the rapture. There are passages in the scriptures that indicate that those too young to make a choice will be a part of it too.
John 3:16 For God so loved the world, that he gave his only begotten Son, that whosoever believeth in him should not perish, but have everlasting life.
John 3:17 For God sent not his Son into the world to condemn the world; but that the world through him might be saved.

But also see the warnings in this article. There are exceptions.


MOTIVATION AND WARNINGS.

Dear (and not so dear) precious people. It may be clear that with events on that scale we can only prepare ourselves in a limited way. Still there is a lot possible. My hope and my prayers are also for the people in the present generations who where up till now unable to see Yeshua Jesus Christ as their Messiach and Savior. Those who were not able to see His place and function in history and in what will happen shortly. God is real, Yeshua Jesus Christ is real, and their Word, the Bible is real. That is, in the first place, what I want to make clear to you all.

John 14:6 Jesus saith unto him, I am the way, the truth, and the life: no man cometh unto the Father, but by me.
John 14:7 If ye had known me, ye should have known my Father also: and from henceforth ye know him, and have seen him.

Yeshua Jesus Christ is not only the way to the Father. He is also the way out of the tribulation the prophets of God have told us about through the ages as a warning and a contemplation.

In writing this, my first and most important intention is to make you think about, and hopefully, recognize the sacrifice of Yeshua as a gesture of  Love and compassion, by shedding a somewhat different light on the situation than is normally done. It might convince you to accept another perspective on God and Yeshua, to enable you to recognize Him and give Him your heart.
The only thing needed for that as a starter is fulfilled by speaking His name Yeshua Jesus Christ in recognition of the sins you have done in your life. What those sins where you can simply check by the following rules. 
 

1   I am the LORD thy God, which have brought thee out of the land of Egypt, out of the house of bondage.  Thou shalt have no other gods before me. Thou shalt not make unto thee any graven image, or any likeness of any thing that is in heaven above, or that is in the earth beneath, or that is in the water under the earth:
2  Thou shalt not bow down thyself to them, nor serve them: for I the LORD thy God am a jealous God, visiting the iniquity of the fathers upon the children unto the third and fourth generation of them that hate me; And shewing mercy unto thousands of them that love me, and keep my commandments.
3  Thou shalt not take the name of the LORD thy God in vain; for the LORD will not hold him guiltless that taketh his name in vain.
4  Remember the sabbath day, to keep it holy. Six days shalt thou labour, and do all thy work: But the seventh day is the sabbath of the LORD thy God: in it thou shalt not do any work, thou, nor thy son, nor thy daughter, thy manservant, nor thy maidservant, nor thy cattle, nor thy stranger that is within thy gates: For in six days the LORD made heaven and earth, the sea, and all that in them is, and rested the seventh day: wherefore the LORD blessed the sabbath day, and hallowed it.
5  Honour thy father and thy mother: that thy days may be long upon the land which the LORD thy God giveth thee.
6  Thou shalt not kill.
7  Thou shalt not commit adultery.
8  Thou shalt not steal.
9  Thou shalt not bear false witness against thy neighbour.
10 Thou shalt not covet thy neighbour's house, thou shalt not covet thy neighbour's wife, nor his manservant, nor his maidservant, nor his ox, nor his ass, nor any thing that is thy neighbour's.

By those commandments you, who did not believe until now, can understand that your greatest sin to begin with was not recognizing the God of Abraham, Isaac, Jacob and Israel. The rest I leave up to you.

Mark 3:28 Verily I say unto you, All sins shall be forgiven unto the sons of men, and blasphemies wherewith so ever they shall blaspheme:

And please do not think that you as a non-believer are the only one who needs repentance, or that I want to make you a member of a particular church in writing this article.
 

COME OUT OF BABYLON.

That is in any possible way an advice to take seriously. Everyone with a western or Christian background will be slaughtered there!! That is a warning that can be given for some time to come before the killings announced in Isaiah 13: 15 and 16 will take place.

Isaiah 13:14 And it shall come to pass, that as the chased gazelle, and as sheep that no man gathereth, they shall turn every man to his own people, and shall flee every man to his own land.
Isaiah 13:15 Every one that is found shall be thrust through; and every one that is caught shall fall by the sword.
Isaiah 13:16 Their babes also shall be dashed in pieces before their eyes; their houses shall be spoiled, and their wives ravished.
Isaiah 13:17 Behold, I will stir up the Medes against them, who shall not regard silver, and as for gold, they shall not delight in it.
Isaiah 13:18 And their bows shall dash the young men in pieces; and they shall have no pity on the fruit of the womb; their eye shall not spare children.

To everyone reading this it is a call to spread this warning. Specially for those with connections, friends or relatives who are living there at the moment. Save your (their) lives, go out of there. As soon as possible.

And then there is the Babylonian aspect in the churches. It is just as serious. For you who have been awakened to the reality of Yeshua Jesus Christ there is this warning. Do not move yourselves from a bad situation to one that is worse. With all windows and doors closed you will be heard by God when you go to Him in prayer to talk to Him. That is enough for Him to start working in your life and to keep you in the times to come by your faith in Yeshua. And please do not do this in the first church you might walk into. The adversary of God has taken most of them and you can end worse there then where you began if you do so.
 

John 14:6 Jesus saith unto him, I am the way, the truth, and the life: no man cometh unto the Father, but by me.
John 14:7 If ye had known me, ye should have known my Father also: and from henceforth ye know him, and have seen him.
 

Your relation with God is a personal relation to begin with. Encouragements in the Bible to experience this together with brothers and sisters are best not to be taken without necessary caution. The "go out of Babylon" is a message that also applies to churches. A warning not to go in there is fully justified.
 

Matthew 7:21 Not every one that saith unto me, Lord, Lord, shall enter into the kingdom of heaven; but he that doeth the will of my Father which is in heaven.
Matthew 7:22 Many will say to me in that day, Lord, Lord, have we not prophesied in thy name? and in thy name have cast out devils? and in thy name done many wonderful works?
Matthew 7:23 And then will I profess unto them, I never knew you: depart from me, ye that work iniquity.

In practice, every organization of churches that i know of lifted up teachings of man about Love and Grace above the laws and the love for God. Just by leaving the sabbat (the fourth commandment) out of their practice. And those that keep the sabbat are surpassing the Grace that was offered to us by the sacrifice on the cross by connecting some sort or another teaching that those who keep it (the laws) are the chosen ones of God with exclusion of all other believers.
That has never been the message of the gospel. These widespread teachings can only be upheld by reading the Bible in a very selective way. As an example by skipping the following verses.

Matthew 5:18 For verily I say unto you, Till heaven and earth pass, one jot or one tittle shall in no wise pass from the law, till all be fulfilled.
Matthew 5:19 Whosoever therefore shall break one of these least commandments, and shall teach men so, he shall be called the least in the kingdom of heaven: but whosoever shall do and teach them, the same shall be called great in the kingdom of heaven.

Through these verses we may understand that both groups have their place in the kingdom of heaven. As well as the commandments. Note that Yeshua speaks about "these least of commandments". A different choice of words than:

Matthew 22:37 Jesus said unto him, Thou shalt love the Lord thy God with all thy heart, and with all thy soul, and with all thy mind.
Matthew 22:38 This is the first and great commandment.
Matthew 22:39 And the second is like unto it, Thou shalt love thy neighbour as thyself.
Matthew 22:40 On these two commandments hang all the law and the prophets.
That those who profess Love and Grace exclusively can go too far in this may be understood by the following:
Matthew 7:22 Many will say to me in that day, Lord, Lord, have we not prophesied in thy name? and in thy name have cast out devils? and in thy name done many wonderful works?
Matthew 7:23 And then will I profess unto them, I never knew you: depart from me, ye that work iniquity. (=lawless works, injustice)

The ones that keep an eye at the laws can make too much of it and miss salvation.

Matthew 5:20 For I say unto you, That except your righteousness shall exceed the righteousness of the scribes and Pharisees, ye shall in no case enter into the kingdom of heaven.

Teaching and upholding the commandments of God en learning them seriously does give us the knowledge that we almost unavoidably (nowadays even more so then in earlier times) transgress them. To look at the laws to know where we have transgressed and better our lives in the future and also looking at the examples that Yeshua and the Apostles gave us by their lives helps us see the balance between Grace and Law. It is a teaching that seems to have disappeared in most of the churches. The laws have been scrapped and grace is promoted as fulfillment of it.
 

Romans 7:1 Know ye not, brethren, (for I speak to them that know the law,) how that the law hath dominion over a man as long as he liveth?
 

One can understand also the balance between Grace and Law by:

Matthew 5:2 And he opened his mouth, and taught them, saying,
Matthew 5:3 Blessed are the poor in spirit: for theirs is the kingdom of heaven.
Matthew 5:4 Blessed are they that mourn: for they shall be comforted.
Matthew 5:5 Blessed are the meek: for they shall inherit the earth.
Matthew 5:6 Blessed are they which do hunger and thirst after righteousness: for they shall be filled.
Matthew 5:7 Blessed are the merciful: for they shall obtain mercy.
Matthew 5:8 Blessed are the pure in heart: for they shall see God.
Matthew 5:9 Blessed are the peacemakers: for they shall be called the children of God.
Matthew 5:10 Blessed are they which are persecuted for righteousness’ sake: for theirs is the kingdom of heaven.
Matthew 5:11 Blessed are ye, when men shall revile you, and persecute you, and shall say all manner of evil against you falsely, for my sake.
Matthew 5:12 Rejoice, and be exceeding glad: for great is your reward in heaven: for so persecuted they the prophets which were before you.

And keep in mind that to break a law one must be in dire straits. Breaking a law should always be useful to God or to save oneselve from being cornered by the enemy. Our freedom to do so should not be taken lightly and used for personal comfort just because it is so much easyer.

Blessed with this knowledge we can walk through life together with Yeshua Jesus Meschiach and the Father. They have provided a way to be saved from the worst (not the antichrist but the coming judgments of God). And that is the good news, the Light that shines through all darkness and tribulations.

1 Thessalonians 1:10 And to wait for his Son from heaven, whom he raised from the dead, even Jesus, which delivered us from the wrath to come.
1 Thessalonians 5:9 For God hath not appointed us to wrath, but to obtain salvation by our Lord Jesus Christ,...........................
 

PRACTICAL PREPARATIONS FOR WHAT IS ABOUT TO HAPPEN.

So there will be a very great quake with volcanic activity in the middle of oil land. One that will have it's impact on all surrounding country's. All Christians will see that too according to what is written in Matthew 24:29.

Matthew 24:29 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:.............

These signs have been described in several places in the book of Revelation immediately after the announcement of the quake. Transport lines, railroads and airfields, sea routes and roads will be directly affected. There will be an acute energy crisis. With global coordinated efforts (the ideal situation to form a global crisis government) this can be countered fairly quick. But at least we will have a number of months of scarcity and disruption. Having a stock of supply in the form of a couple of months of necessity's to supplement shortages caused by disrupted logistics and production is showing common sense. Also for believers. The presigns of the rapture will take some time to spread over the globe. Some weeks, or at most a couple of months.

There is still some time left to prepare. Resources are still available and we have been warned in time (like almost 2000 years up front. I am only repeating.) At the moment (early December 2008) troops are being withdrawn from Iraq to Afghanistan. At the same time logistics for the Alliance army are being disrupted. In a couple of simple attacks some 300 trucks have been burned that were used to supply the army from Pakistan. We will see more of that as a prelude to a large scale attack in Iraq by Iran. The last event before the prophesized quake will take place.

For what will happen after the rapture no amount of normal preparation is possible. The only thing that will keep one through that is repentance and calling the name of Yeshua Jesus Christ, as well for those who do not believe now as for those who malpractice their faith as described earlier in this article.
 

Jeremiah 25:17 Then took I the cup of the LORD’S hand, and made all the nations to drink, unto whom the LORD had sent me:
Jeremiah 25:18 Jerusalem, and the cities of Judah, and the kings thereof, and the princes thereof, to make them an appalment, an astonishment, a hissing, and a curse; as it is this day;
Jeremiah 25:19 Pharaoh king of Egypt, and his servants, and his princes, and all his people;
Jeremiah 25:20 and all the mingled people; and all the kings of the land of Uz, and all the kings of the land of the Philistines, and Ashkelon, and Gaza, and Ekron, and the remnant of Ashdod;
Jeremiah 25:21 Edom, and Moab, and the children of Ammon;
Jeremiah 25:22 and all the kings of Tyre, and all the kings of Zidon, and the kings of the isle which is beyond the sea;
Jeremiah 25:23 Dedan, and Tema, and Buz, and all that have the corners of their hair polled;
Jeremiah 25:24 and all the kings of Arabia, and all the kings of the mingled people that dwell in the wilderness;
Jeremiah 25:25 and all the kings of Zimri, and all the kings of Elam, and all the kings of the Medes;
Jeremiah 25:26 and all the kings of the north, far and near, one with another; and all the kingdoms of the world, which are upon the face of the earth. --And the king of Sheshach {According to ancient tradition, a cypher for Babel.} shall drink after them.
Jeremiah 25:27 And thou shalt say unto them: Thus saith the LORD of hosts, the God of Israel: Drink ye, and be drunken, and spew, and fall, and rise no more, because of the sword which I will send among you.
Jeremiah 25:28 And it shall be, if they refuse to take the cup at thy hand to drink, then shalt thou say unto them: Thus saith the LORD of hosts: Ye shall surely drink.
Jeremiah 25:29 For, lo, I begin to bring evil on the city whereupon My name is called, and should ye be utterly unpunished? Ye shall not be unpunished; for I will call for a sword upon all the inhabitants of the earth, saith the LORD of hosts.
 
Joel 2:12 Yet even now, saith the LORD, turn ye unto Me with all your heart, and with fasting, and with weeping, and with lamentation;
Joel 2:13 And rend your heart, and not your garments, and turn unto the LORD your God; for He is gracious and compassionate, long-suffering, and abundant in mercy, and repenteth Him of the evil.
Joel 2:14 Who knoweth whether He will not turn and repent, and leave a blessing behind Him, even a meal-offering and a drink-offering unto the LORD your God?
Joel 2:15 Blow the horn in Zion, sanctify a fast, call a solemn assembly;
Joel 2:16 Gather the people, sanctify the congregation, assemble the elders, gather the children, and those that suck the breasts; let the bridegroom go forth from his chamber, and the bride out of her pavilion.
Joel 2:17 Let the priests, the ministers of the LORD, weep between the porch and the altar, and let them say: ‘Spare thy people, O LORD, and give not Thy heritage to reproach, that the nations should make them a byword: wherefore should they say among the peoples: Where is their God?’

AFTERWORD.

In this article many things have been brought to your attention. Thinking it over and putting it to practice will lead to more unity in the Body of Christ. That is of extreme importance for the credibility of the gospel.

John 17:21 That they all may be one; as thou, Father, art in me, and I in thee, that they also may be one in us: that the world may believe that thou hast sent me.

It is my prayer and hopefully yours too that we may give hands and feet to this unity.

Shalom.
G.W.Groenhart

19th of November 2008.  Translated 9th of December 2008.

 

edition notes 24 of april 2011

Though this article has been read numerous times since posted no one yet has pointed out to me personally that the content stating rapture before the last trumph is not in accordance with all scripture. My guess is that has something to do with the strong case the old covenant makes. That and the words Yeshua spoke in the new covenant. That presents for the strong statements made in this article. In my humble opinion we may take all of Revelation (and the whole Bible too ofcourse) to be a chronological correct report, if only for the constant chopping it up from all the wrong scources that strenghtened me to approach it as such. And this approach checked out. Besides making the best of sense, to my surprise it yielded an extra.

To be somewhat short on it: this approach made it clear to me that some of the new Covenant was tinkered with. A few manipulative changes in the first letter to the Corinthians and Revelation with the clear goal to obscure the hope and comfort the Rapture may be for us.  What we have discovered sofar is that the moment of the Rapture should not be related to (the) tribulation, pre, post or in the middle, but to the wrath and judgement for this world. The day of the Lord. We will see the beginning of that. A test of faith not diminished by any foreknowledge. That period is assigned for the large harvest described in several places in the scriptures. Amongst them is Matthew 22. That chapter is often misinterpreted as the Jews not being worthy and the heathens taking their place. Not so for these days. Nowaday christianity in the form of constitutional denominational churches is not worthy. Shredding the unity our Saviour so pressingly prayed for in John chapter 17 by claiming no one gets saved exept members of their clubs, doing the works of lawlessness and bombarding the world with false prophesies earns them tribulation or hell. And instead the workers will be sent to the crossroads to invite others in their place. Not the glorious revival the charismatics are led to hope for but a sad expression of the state nowadays churches are in. They did not heed the warnings given in the letters to the angels of the seven churches very well.

And then there is Revelation 16:18 that shreds the chronological consistency by placing the quake of Babylon at the end of the wrathperiod of God when all of His anger is spent. I do not like it but i can not escape the conclusion there is something amiss with the chronology in this chapter of Revelation. Those last verses seem to be more appropriatly placed if they were the opening verses of chapter 17. A reminder for us readers at the end of the descriptions of the wrath of God of how it will begin and detailing it more than other mentionings of the event. But basicly the chronology of it disturbs the overall chronology of Revelation as a whole and gave food for the pre and after discussions and many, many wild theories of how the future of Christians will be shaped. Together with the announcement in the first letter to the Corinthians that the rapture will take place at the sounding of the last trumphet it disrupts the smooth running for those who are convinced on the basis of other texts and/or their awareness of Gods Love that the rapture will take place before the wrath of God pours out.

That placement of the rapture in the letter of Paul at the last trump (in the letter of the Thessalonians it is mentioned as "the trump of God") is not consistent with the placement of the quake that precedes it in Revelation 16 after the pouring of the wrath. And both placements are not consistentwith the prophesies of Jesaja chapter 13. Further the placement of the quake in Revelation 16, as well as the placement in the letter of Paul are not consistent with the placement of the babylon quake in Revelation 6 at the opening of the sixth seal before the wrath of God hits this world. That there will sound a trumph we can also read in Matthew chapter 24 but there is no reference to one of the seven trumps of Revelation in there. And in the chronology of revelations throughout the Bible we find in Matthew 24 the connection with the actuality of the prophesies of Jesaja 13 concerning the war in Iraq, the announcement of the Day of the Lord (preceeded by the mentioning of the quake there) and the rapture that follows immediatly after that. So the Christ teaches. And that makes a picture fully compatible with Revelation 6 and 7 when shortly after the mentioning of the quake there is the desription of the uncountable multitude of christians who washed their robes white in the blood of the Lamb taken away out of tribulation. Furthermore the placement of the rapture in the letters of Paul contradicts the statement in those same letters that christians are not to undergo the wrath (the judgement over this world, no judgement at all for christians is not promoted in other parts of the scripture) of the Lord. And that about sums up the inventory of contradictionary statements in the Bible.

Should we conclude then that the Bible is not trustworthy because of those contradictions? On the contrary i'd say. This article shows that the Word of God weeds out the tinkering done to sow discord and exposes where that is done and for what purpose. So dear brothers and sisters be not divided over these things. We can fully trust our Saviour Yeshua Ha Maschiach, Jesus the Christ and His Word for us. 

Shalom.


 

 

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