Israel’s petition for the Lord’s return is found in Hosea 6:
1 "Come, let us return to the LORD. For He has torn us, but He will heal us; He has wounded us, but He will bandage us. 2 "He will revive us after two days; He will raise us up on the third day, That we may live before Him. 3 "So let us know, let us press on to know the LORD. His going forth is as certain as the dawn; And He will come to us like the rain, Like the spring rain watering the earth."
[Hos 6:1-3 NASB]
Daniel’s 70th Week ends with Christ’s Second Coming:
"Now at that time Michael, the great prince who stands guard over the sons of your people, will arise. And there will be a time of distress such as never occurred since there was a nation until that time; and at that time your people, everyone who is found written in the book, will be rescued.
[Dan 12:1 NASB]
See also: Rev 19:11-19, Mt 24:36-41, Zech 14:1-9, Isa 11:11, Isa 11:1-5
The earth begins the process of being renovated during the Tribulation period.
Expanding upon the Olivet Discourse, the Tribulation period is most detailed within the Book of Revelation, chapters 6 through 18.
The Book of Revelation:
Within the entirety of the New Testament, this one book poses the most serious and difficult interpretive challenges.
It is the only book within the Bible that promises a special blessing to the reader – Rev 1:3.
Four predominant interpretive approaches have been produced for interpreting the Book of Revelation:
Preterist – everything occurred within the 1st century AD.
Historicist – it is just a panoramic view of church history.
Idealist – it is a timeless depiction of the cosmic struggle between the forces of good and evil. A collection of stories designed to teach spiritual truth.
Futurist – insists that the events described in chapters 6 through 22 are yet future and that those chapters should be understood literally.
Foundational to any understanding of the Kingdom is to capture the chronological order of the Book of Revelation.
It is to be taken at face-value – a literal hermeneutic.
As soon as one says they don't have to interpret the Bible literally, then what in the Bible don't they have to interpret literally? How can one say, "Well I don't interpret prophecy literally, but I interpret everything else literally," on the basis of what? Where are we instructed to change the rules of interpretation between all of the events documented within Scripture?
We must maintain a literal, historical, grammatical contextual hermeneutic of interpretation - that's the only way one can understand the Bible, to take it at its historical, contextual, linguistic face value.
The ‘ordoeschaton’ – the sequence of events within the Book of Revelation:
Introduction and outline (v.19) – the things which you have seen…
Church History – the things which are…
Rapture of the Church and worship in Heaven – the things which will take place after these things…
Daniel’s 70th Week / The Time of Jacob’s Trouble / The Tribulation
The Second Coming and the Battle of Armageddon
The Millennial Kingdom, the Gog/Magog Invasion, the Great White Throne Judgment
Creation of the New Heaven, Earth, Jerusalem, and the Eternal State
Chapters 6 through 18 detail Daniel’s 70th Week.
If studied properly, this one book will take you to virtually every other book within the Bible.
The Book of Revelation is written in ‘code’ and those codes are used consistently throughout the Bible - “Principle of Expositional Constancy.”
The Holy Spirit uses idioms consistently throughout Scripture.
The most important chapters to the 21st-century Christian are chapters 2 and 3 – Christ’s Seven Epistles – the seven letters to the seven churches.
Roughly 20 occurrences of the term “Church” or “Churches” occur in chapters 1 through 3.
The last word of the last verse in chapter 3 is “churches.”
Throughout chapters 4 through 18, Daniel’s 70th Week, the word “church” is never found.
The church does not reappear within the Book of Revelation until chapter 19, Christ’s Second Coming chapter, when it is called in verse 7 the “bride” of the Lamb.
The Book of Revelation is written chronologically and should not be read allegorically.
The chronological sequence and the structure to the Book of Revelation places the Rapture of the Church before Daniel’s 70th Week (the Tribulation period).
The “Four Horsemen of the Apocalypse” found in Rev 6 correlate to the beginning verses within the Lord’s Olivet Discourse.
The argument is that the Olivet Discourse is distinctly “Jewish” and is not speaking to the Church, since the Church will be Raptured before the seals are opened at the start of Daniel’s 70th Week.
See terminology used in Mt 24:14, Mt 24:16, Mt 24:20
In analyzing the “structure” to the four Gospels, one can say that the Gospel of John is written to the Church and we notice that it does not contain the Olivet Discourse.
The Church will be Raptured before Daniel’s 70th Week begins.
The Rapture of the Church:
Let’s be honest, this is one of the strangest subjects in all of Christendom (compared to a virgin birth (Mt 1), talking donkey (Num 22:28), global flood (Gen 6-8), etc.).
Dispel the myth – “the word ‘Rapture’ is not in the Bible” -
“deinde nos qui vivimus qui relinquimur simul rapiemur cum illis in nubibus obviam Domino in aera et sic semper cum Domino erimus”
[1 Thes 4:17 VUL (Latin Vulgate)]
In the Greek, the term is “Harpazo”:
The Harpazo = to be forcibly caught up.
The Rapture is God’s next event within His prophetic plan -
The ‘mechanism’ that ends the Church Age so that God can then complete His plan with Israel.
It concludes the “time of the Gentiles” – Rom 11:25.
No other event must precede the Rapture of the Church.
It is considered “imminent”:
Believers are taught to expect their Savior from heaven at any moment.
Phil 3:20, Titus 2:13, Heb 9:28, 1 Thes 1:10, 4:18, 5:6, Rev 22:20.
This should result in a victorious and purified life (1 Jn 3:2-3).
The Apostle Paul appeared to include himself among those who looked for Christ’s soon return (1 Thes 4:15, 17; 2 Thes 2:1).
Timothy was admonished to “keep the commandment without stain or reproach until the appearing of our Lord Jesus Christ” (1 Tim 6:14).
Jewish converts to Christianity were reminded that “for yet in a very little while, he who is coming will come, and will not delay” (Heb 10:37).
Other events prophesied within Scripture may occur before the Rapture (Is 17:1, Ps 83, etc.), but they are not prerequisites to the Rapture of the Church.
Daniel’s 70th Week is started by a covenant being enforced by a coming world leader (the Antichrist), not by the Rapture of the Church.
The Antichrist will not be revealed until after the Rapture of the Church (2 Thes 2:6-9).
The most popular “Rapture” views include:
One question we must ask within this Eschatological debate is: “Are we looking for Christ or are we looking for the Antichrist?”
We must also ask “what is our blessed hope?”:
11 For the grace of God has appeared, bringing salvation to all men, 12 instructing us to deny ungodliness and worldly desires and to live sensibly, righteously and godly in the present age, 13 looking for the blessed hope and the appearing of the glory of our great God and Savior, Christ Jesus,
[Titus 2:11-13 NASB]
Is your “blessed hope” the Rapture or the Second Coming?
The Promise: John 14:1-3
The Process: 1 Thessalonians 4:13-18
The Purpose: 1 Corinthians 15:50-55
The Prophetic Profile: 2 Thessalonians 2
The Promise: I will come again and receive you to Myself…
The Process: Caught up in the clouds to meet the Lord in the
The Purpose: Resurrection bodies! Flesh and blood cannot
The Bride returns with Christ at His Second Coming (19:11).
The Jewish Wedding Model
The structure of the four gospels
No mention of resurrection during the Second Coming
John Walvoord’s book, The Rapture Question, provides 50 reasons.
The “Saints” and Their Timing:
Jude: one of four half-brothers of Christ (Mt 13:55, Mk 6:3).
He distinguishes himself from the Apostles (v.17).
The only NT book devoted exclusively to confronting “apostasy” (defection from true Biblical faith).
Emphasis is for Believers to contend for the faith.
14 And Enoch also, the seventh from Adam, prophesied of these, saying, Behold, the Lord cometh with ten thousands of his saints, 15 To execute judgment upon all, and to convince all that are ungodly among them of all their ungodly deeds which they have ungodly committed, and of all their hard speeches which ungodly sinners have spoken against him.
[Jude 1:14-15 KJV]
Enoch “walked with God” and he was taken directly to heaven without having to die (Gen 5:24, Heb 11:5).
Enoch, before the Flood, prophesied not just about wicked apostates (Jude 3-13), but also about Christ’s Second Coming in judgment (Col 3:4, 1 Thes 3:13).
Stop and think about how someone represented in Genesis 5 prophesied not about the First Advent of Christ, but about the Second Advent of Christ.
Rev 19:14 tells us that Believers will accompany Christ at His Return.
Angels are also certainly in view within this prophecy and angels are the executioners of God at His Second Coming (Mt 13:39-41, 49-50, 24:29-31, 25:31, 2 Thes 1:7-10).
What do we know?
We know the Lord’s coming is sure. (Rev 19:11-14)
We know who will accompany the Lord. (the Saints, the Holy Ones)
We know the purpose of His coming. (To execute judgment)
We know the result of the Lord’s coming. (ungodly convicted of their works of ungodliness).
We know who will be judged. (“All”)
He’s coming to judge the earth Ps 96:13
…all nations Joel 3:12, Mt 25:32
…with their cities Mt 11:22, 12:41
…every man, living or dead 2 Tim 4:1, 2 Thes 1:7-9
…fallen angels (v.6) Isa 24:21
…and demons Mt 8:29
We must ask “who are the Saints and where do they come from?”:
Believers of all the ages. (all dispensations)
Order of First Resurrection:
Jesus Christ (the First Fruits – 1 Cor 15:20, 23).
The Church (they that are Christ’s at His Coming – 1 Cor 15:23).
Old Testament Saints (Dan 12:2, Isa 26:19).
Tribulation Saints (Rev 13:7, Rev 20:4).
Saints from the Millennial Kingdom (implied given the chronology of the Book of Revelation).
The Prophetic Profile of 2 Thessalonians 2:
The “Ordoeschaton” – the order of last things:
…the coming of our Lord Jesus Christ and our gathering together to Him,
The Rapture of the Church?
…the day of the Lord…
Daniel’s 70th Week
…the apostasy comes first, and the man of lawlessness is revealed…
Some argue that “apostasy” is actually “departure”, then the Antichrist is revealed.
…he takes his seat in the temple of God, displaying himself as being God.
The Abomination of Desolation – the mid-point of the Tribulation period.
…what restrains him now…
The Holy Spirit working through the Church.
…he who now restrains will do so until he is taken out of the way.
The Holy Spirit is removed, but indwells the Believer = the Rapture of the Church.
Then that lawless one will be revealed…
The Antichrist is revealed after the Rapture of the Church.
Scripture speaks to three “Judgments” being within our prophetic future:
Righteousness – (2 Tim 4:8) – for those who loved His appearing.
Life – (Jms 1:12, Rev 2:10) – for those who have suffered for His sake.
Rejoicing – (1 Thes 2:19) – for those who win souls.
Incorruptible – (1 Cor 9:24-25) – for those who press on stead-fastly.
Glory – (1 Pet 5:4) – for those who fed the flock.
12 “Areas of Judgment” found in Scripture:
Will there be others? – I’m sure there will...
How we treat other believers (Heb 6:10, Mt 10:41-42).
How we exercise our authority over others (Heb 13:17, Jms 3:13).
How we employ our God-given abilities (1 Cor 12:4, 11, 2 Tim 1:6, 1 Pet 4:10).
How we use our money (1 Cor 16:2, 2 Cor 9:6-7, 1 Tim 6:17-19).
How we spend our time (Ps 90:12, Eph 5:16, Col 4:5, 1 Pet 1:17).
How much we suffer for Jesus (Mt 5:11-12, Mk 10:29-30, Rom 8:18, 2 Cor 4:17, 1 Pet 4:12-13).
How we run that particular race which God has chosen for us (1 Cor 9:24, Phil 2:16, 3:13-14, Heb 12:1).
How effectively we control the old nature (1 Cor 9:25-27).
How many souls we witness to and win to Christ (Prov 11:30, Dan 12:3, 1 Thes 2:19-20).
How we react to temptation (Jms 1:2-3, Rev 2:10).
How much the doctrine of the Rapture means to us (2 Tim 4:8).
How faithful we are to the Word of God and the flock of God (Acts 20:26-28, 2 Tim 4:1-2, 1 Pet 5:2-4).
New Heavens, New Earth, New Jerusalem:
After the Great White Throne Judgment of Rev 20.
Then I saw a new heaven and a new earth; for the first heaven and the first earth passed away, and there is no longer any sea.
[Rev 21:1 NASB]
The New Jerusalem
9 Then one of the seven angels who had the seven bowls full of the seven last plagues came and spoke with me, saying, "Come here, I will show you the bride, the wife of the Lamb." 10 And he carried me away in the Spirit to a great and high mountain, and showed me the holy city, Jerusalem, coming down out of heaven from God, 11 having the glory of God. Her brilliance was like a very costly stone, as a stone of crystal-clear jasper.
[Rev 21:9-11 NASB]
The Apostle John was told to measure the city:
12,000 furlongs (stadia) cubed (Rev 21:16).
If taken as 606ft (measures differed in Biblical times) the city would be about 1,400 miles cubed.
A cube? [The Holy of Holies was a cube.]
Some commentators, however, argue that the same measurements provided can be used to create a pyramid.
When all of this is said and done, every person who has had a “positive volition” towards God throughout the ages will be placed into their resurrected (glorified) bodies and will enter the eternal state where they will dwell with God Himself for all of eternity.
Those who have had a “negative volition” towards God, the unsaved, will be cast into the Lake of Fire, also in their resurrected bodies, where their torment will be eternal:
"The Son of Man will send forth His angels, and they will gather out of His kingdom all stumbling blocks, and those who commit lawlessness, and will throw them into the furnace of fire; in that place there will be weeping and gnashing of teeth. "Then THE RIGHTEOUS WILL SHINE FORTH AS THE SUN in the kingdom of their Father. He who has ears, let him hear.
[Mat 13:41-43 NASB]
The “marching orders” for the Church are clear:
So Jesus said to them again, "Peace be with you; as the Father has sent Me, I also send you." And when He had said this, He breathed on them and said to them, "Receive the Holy Spirit.”
[Jhn 20:21-22 NASB]
but you will receive power when the Holy Spirit has come upon you; and you shall be My witnesses both in Jerusalem, and in all Judea and Samaria, and even to the remotest part of the earth."
[Act 1:8 NASB]
And He said to them, "Go into all the world and preach the gospel to all creation." He who has believed and has been baptized shall be saved; but he who has disbelieved shall be condemned.
[Mar 16:15-16 NASB]
and that repentance for forgiveness of sins would be proclaimed in His name to all the nations, beginning from Jerusalem.
[Luk 24:47 NASB]
"Go therefore and make disciples of all the nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and the Son and the Holy Spirit, teaching them to observe all that I commanded you; and lo, I am with you always, even to the end of the age."
[Mat 28:19-20 NASB]
Let us be obedient to His calling and labor to assist in His harvest so that as many as possible can be granted the privilege of entering the Kingdom of our Lord. Maranatha!
Topics not elaborated upon within this Presentation:
Are we living in the Last Days?
Traditional European Antichrist Theory vs. Islamic End Time Theory
The Mark of the Beast
Prophetic items on our near horizon:
Psalm 83 War
Isaiah 17 – Destruction of Damascus
The Gog/Magog Invasion
Historic writings/positions regarding the Millennial Kingdom and the Rapture