By Dr. Andy Woods
Sugar Land Bible Church
My previous articles commenced a series on the rapture of the church. We began with the question, “What is the Rapture?” This question can best be answered by noting ten truths about the rapture from 1…
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Never heard of that. The Bible is clear. The main passage in the Bible that mentions the “mark of the beast” is Revelation 13:15-18. Other references can be found in Revelation 14:9, 11, 15:2, 16:2, 19:20, and 20:4. This mark acts as a seal for the followers of Antichrist and the false prophet (the spokesperson for the Antichrist). The false prophet (the second beast) is the one who causes people to take this mark. The mark is literally placed in the hand or forehead and is not simply a card someone carries.
The mark of the beast will be something given only to those who worship the Antichrist. The mark of the beast will be an end-times identification required by the Antichrist in order to buy or sell, and it will be given only to those who worship the Antichrist.
Many good expositors of Revelation differ widely as to the exact nature of the mark of the beast. Besides the implanted chip view, other speculations include an ID card, a microchip, a barcode that is tattooed into the skin, or simply a mark that identifies someone as being faithful to the Antichrist’s kingdom. This last view requires the least speculation, since it does not add any more information to what the Bible gives us. In other words, any of these things are possible, but at the same time they are all speculations. We should not spend a lot of time speculating on the precise details.
The meaning of 666 is a mystery as well. Some have speculated that there was a connection to June 6, 2006—06/06/06. However, in Revelation chapter 13, the number 666 identifies a person, not a date. Revelation 13:18 tells us, “This calls for wisdom. If anyone has insight, let him calculate the number of the beast, for it is man’s number. His number is 666.” Somehow, the number 666 will identify the Antichrist. For centuries Bible interpreters have been trying to identify certain individuals with 666. Nothing is conclusive. That is why Revelation 13:18 says the number requires wisdom. When the Antichrist is revealed (2 Thessalonians 2:3-4), it will be clear who he is and how the number 666 identifies him. God bless you!!! :):)
The MARK ….
The Genesis Timeline (30): Prophecy & The Year 2014!
This is interesting!!!
Watch this for news of 2014….
Tuesday, August 6, 2013
Jesus said we would not know the day or the hour of his return but we would know the season. The word has given us many examples of what to look for in the end times and they are happening NOW! Jesus said to be watchful, vigilant and to not be caught sleeping when he returns! Jesus said that when…
Here we go
Rapture signs and Rosh Hashanah 2012
JESUS IS COMING! ALL THE SIGNS HE HAS GIVEN ALONG WITH CONFRIMATIONS ARE POINTING TO HIS SOON RETURN. IT IS TIME NOW TO DO AS GOD INSTRUCTED NOAH AND HIS FAMILY IN GENESIS 7: “GET ON THE ARK”. GOD GAVE NOAH 7 DAYS WARNING WHEN DESTRUCTION WOULD BEGIN AND HAD HIM ON THE ARK PRIOR. GOD IS ALSO NOW GIVING CLEAR INSTRUCTIONS FOR HIS BRIDE TO ENTER THE ARK AND WILL SHOW THEM EXACTLY WHEN THE RAPTURE AND SUDDEN DESTRUCTION WILL OCCUR.
Luke 17:26: “Just as it was in the days of Noah, so also will it be in the days of the Son of Man.”
Check out more great informative and inspiring videos from Jebling4’s YouTube channel!
Sunday, September 16, 2012
By Ryan Jones
Western powers and several of their Middle East allies have deployed an enormous naval fleet to the Persian Gulf just days after Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu again suggested that his country may soon…
“For as the lightning flashes in the east and shines to the west, so it will be when the Son of Man comes.” – Matthew 24:27
Prophetic words: Watch Now..
That is the Post Tribulation Rapture which really is the least scriptural of all of them. “Rapture” is a term used by Christians to explain an event described by the Apostle Paul who wrote: “But we do not want you to be uninformed, brethren, about those who are asleep, so that you will not grieve as do the rest who have no hope. For if we believe that Jesus died and rose again, even so God will bring with Him those who have fallen asleep in Jesus. For this we say to you by the word of the Lord, that we who are alive and remain until the coming of the Lord, will not precede those who have fallen asleep. For the Lord Himself will descend from heaven with a shout, with the voice of the archangel and with the trumpet of God, and the dead in Christ will rise first. Then we who are alive and remain will be caught up together with them in the clouds to meet the Lord in the air, and so we shall always be with the Lord. Therefore comfort one another with these words” (1 Thessalonians 4:13–18, emphasis added).
The Greek term meaning “caught up” is harpazo, which means to seize suddenly or snatch. In Latin the word is rapio, which means to seize and carry away; it is from this Latin word that the term “rapture” comes.
Paul teaches that Christ will come at some future point in time for those who belong to Him. Those who are the “dead in Christ” will experience their resurrection first and be gifted with glorified bodies when He comes. Those believers in Christ who are alive at that time will then be instantly transformed from their earthly state to their eternal state, and will not experience death. Instead, they will be caught up to be with all those who have previously gone on to be with the Lord and be transferred to heaven. Paul speaks about this generation of believers who will not taste death when he says, “Behold, I tell you a mystery; we will not all sleep, but we will all be changed” (1 Corinthians 15:51).
There is no debate among Bible scholars as to whether there will be a rapture, but much discussion has occurred over when the rapture will occur. There have been five main theories put forward as to the timing of the rapture and they all surround what is known in prophetic biblical teaching as the “tribulation” period, which is mentioned by Christ in Matthew 24 and described in great detail in Revelation 4–19. The five hypotheses are:
1. Post-tribulation – believers are raptured at the end of the tribulation period, when Christ returns in judgment (cf. Revelation 19).
2. Pre-wrath – believers are caught up somewhere between the sixth and seventh seals described in Revelation.
3. Mid-tribulation – living believers are taken in the middle of the tribulation period.
4. Partial rapture – only faithful believers are taken to be with Christ at the beginning of the tribulation, with unfaithful Christians being left to endure it.
5. Pre-tribulation – believers are caught up to be with Christ before the tribulation begins.
Before any arguments are given to support one of these positions, it should first be understood that sincere and learned believers can be found holding to each one of these theories. However, when Scripture is examined as a whole, the pre-tribulation rapture position appears to have the most biblical evidence in its favor.
The pre-tribulation view states that, at present, all believers are living in the Church age, which has no specified time period given to it in Scripture. At some point in the future, Christ will return for His Bride, the Church, and evacuate believers from earth before the start of a seven-year period in which God will pour out His wrath on an unbelieving world. The tribulation will climax with the bodily return of Christ, after which He will establish a perfect reign that lasts 1,000 years. Once that reign has concluded and one final rebellion crushed, God creates a new heaven and earth and the eternal state begins.
The pre-tribulation rapture position holds that just as Jesus had two aspects to His first coming – suffering and glory – there will be two aspects to His second coming: love and judgment. But what biblical evidence is there to support such a position?
First, the tribulation period described in Scripture is a time specifically set aside by God to once again deal with Israel in particular, and as such, it does not concern the Church. Of it, the prophet Jeremiah said: “‘Alas! for that day is great, There is none like it; And it is the time of Jacob’s distress, But he will be saved from it” (Jeremiah 30:7, emphasis added). Daniel, who was given the prophetic timetable of the end times, records the vision given him this way: “Seventy weeks have been decreed for your people and your holy city, to finish the transgression, to make an end of sin, to make atonement for iniquity, to bring in everlasting righteousness, to seal up vision and prophecy and to anoint the most holy place” (Daniel 9:24, emphasis added).
These two Old Testament statements match up perfectly with the revelation given to John the Apostle. In chapters 1–3 of Revelation, the Church is named or referred to 19 times; however, in chapter 4, John is told: “Come up here, and I will show you what must take place after these things” (Revelation 4:1). From chapter 4 to chapter 19, which covers in detail the future tribulation period, the Church is never referenced. Commencing with Christ’s return in chapter 19 and ending with chapter 22, the Church is once again mentioned 7 more times, and it is only in reference with the Church returning with Christ, not being caught up to be with Him. Paul confirms this when he writes about the rapture: “so that He may establish your hearts without blame in holiness before our God and Father at the coming of our Lord Jesus with all His saints [those who have already died]” (1 Thessalonians 3:13, emphasis added).
This makes sense as the Church is referred to in Scripture as the Bride of Christ – those who He has rescued and saved from wrath and punishment. In fact, about this, Paul says: “For they themselves report about us what kind of a reception we had with you, and how you turned to God from idols to serve a living and true God, and to wait for His Son from heaven, whom He raised from the dead, that is Jesus, who rescues us from the wrath to come” (1 Thessalonians 1:9-10, emphasis added). Later in 1 Thessalonians, Paul says: “For God has not destined us [the Church] for wrath, but for obtaining salvation through our Lord Jesus Christ” (1 Thessalonians 5:9, emphasis added).
The imagery of the Jewish wedding ritual is on full display in the end times and rapture event, when Christ comes to claim His Bride. Jewish marriage contracts were binding, with the parents usually arranging the marriage (choosing the bride) and the Father or the groom paying a bridal price or dowry for the bride, which also included various gifts. The betrothal then occurred, where the bride and groom both gave gifts to each other. This wedding imagery portrays what Christ has done for us. The Father has selected/chosen (elected) a Bride for His Son. The Son has paid the ultimate price for His Bride and has secured her forever. He has also given gifts to His Bride (spiritual gifts) and is now preparing for the wedding.
After the betrothal, the groom would return to his father’s house to prepare a house and wedding chamber for his bride. He would return for his bride at an unexpected moment, so the bride had to be ready constantly. When he returned, he would take his bride back to his father’s house to the chamber he had prepared. He and his wife would then stay there for seven days. When they emerged, a great wedding feast would occur. Jesus alludes to this series of events when He told His disciples, “If I go and prepare a place for you, I will come again and receive you to Myself, that where I am, there you may be also” (John 14:3).
This imagery dovetails perfectly with the events described by the prophet Daniel. The Bride of Christ will be taken away for seven years (the 70th week of Daniel, which corresponds to the tribulation period), and after that Christ and His Bride will return to earth so that Christ may set up His kingdom amidst a great celebration.
The New Testament never portrays the Bride of Christ (the Church) ever experiencing the wrath of God. Instead, Jesus tells His followers to escape what is to come: “Be on guard, so that your hearts will not be weighted down with dissipation and drunkenness and the worries of life, and that day will not come on you suddenly like a trap; for it will come upon all those who dwell on the face of all the earth. But keep on the alert at all times, praying that you may have strength to escape all these things that are about to take place, and to stand before the Son of Man” (Luke 21:34–36, emphasis added).
In the book of Revelation, Christ tells the faithful church at Philadelphia that “Because you have kept the word of My perseverance, I also will keep you from the hour of testing, that hour which is about to come upon the whole world, to test those who dwell on the earth” (Revelation 3:10, emphasis added). The Greek words translated “keep from,” tereo and ek mean to “guard out of.” The faithful church of Philadelphia is a type of the faithful, true believing Church which will be present during the days before the Tribulation and be removed before it begins. Clearly one cannot be “kept from” something that they are called upon to endure.
Believers are not only Christ’s Bride, but also God’s ambassadors here on earth. Paul confirms this fact when he says: “Therefore, we are ambassadors for Christ, as though God were making an appeal through us; we beg you on behalf of Christ, be reconciled to God” (2 Corinthians 5:20). In biblical times (and currently today as well), ambassadors were recalled when it was time to make war upon an enemy.
The absence of the Church after the rapture leads to the breakout of lawlessness and the unveiling of the Antichrist. Paul discusses this truth when he writes: “Let no one in any way deceive you, for it will not come unless the apostasy comes first, and the man of lawlessness is revealed, the son of destruction, who opposes and exalts himself above every so-called god or object of worship, so that he takes his seat in the temple of God, displaying himself as being God. Do you not remember that while I was still with you, I was telling you these things? And you know what restrains him now, so that in his time he will be revealed. For the mystery of lawlessness is already at work; only he who now restrains will do so until he is taken out of the way” (2 Thessalonians 2:3–7, emphasis added). When all the possibilities are examined, only the absence of the Church adequately explains the “he” who is taken out of the way so that lawlessness may be given full reign upon the earth.
One last piece of biblical evidence that supports a pre-tribulation rapture is the sheep and goats judgment, which occurs immediately after Christ’s return, described by Jesus: “All the nations will be gathered before Him; and He will separate them from one another, as the shepherd separates the sheep from the goats; and He will put the sheep on His right, and the goats on the left. Then the King will say to those on His right, ‘Come, you who are blessed of My Father, inherit the kingdom prepared for you from the foundation of the world’” (Matthew 25:31-34). If all Christians were raptured when Christ descended in judgment (cf. Revelation 19), there would be no “sheep” left on the earth to separate from the goats. But there would be believers on the earth if a rapture had occurred 7+ years beforehand.
Some have tried to say that a pre-tribulation rapture is a relatively new teaching of the Church, and therefore should be dismissed. However, such is not the case. A sermon that has survived from Ephraem the Syrian (306-373 AD), fully describes a pre-tribulation rapture: “All the saints and elect of God are gathered, prior to the tribulation that is to come, and are taken to the Lord lest they see the confusion that is to overwhelm the world because of our sins.”
So in conclusion, there is no debate of whether or not a rapture will occur; the Bible is clear on that question. As to when the rapture will take place, no one knows the exact timing of the event. Jesus confirms this in Luke when He says, “You too, be ready; for the Son of Man is coming at an hour that you do not expect” (Luke 12:40).
This simple statement also validates the pre-tribulation rapture position. If Christ came at any time for His Church other than before the tribulation, the Church would obviously expect His coming. The events recorded in Christ’s Olivet discourse (Matthew 24) and in the book of Revelation would be hard to miss. The presence of the Antichrist, the tribulation, and all the global celestial occurrences prophesied to occur would signal to all believers alive at that time that Christ’s return was near.
But instead, Jesus says He’ll come at a time when no one thinks He will. This concept of imminence sends a message to the Church to keep herself ready at all times, living in a way that glorifies God. Further, this truth produces thankfulness and comfort for all believers, which is how Paul ends his remarks concerning the rapture: “Therefore comfort one another with these words” (1 Thessalonians 4:18). God bless you!!! :):)
URGENT MESSAGE FROM THE JERUSALEM PRAYER TEAM:
…Very Urgent Prayer Request—Massive Troop Movements Reported in Israel
I have received an email from a friend and supporter of the Jerusalem Prayer Team who lives in Jerusalem with an urgent message about massive troop movements underway in Israel. The scale of the mobilization is like nothing this family has seen in more than twenty years in the Jewi
sh state. They have seen massive armored columns being moved toward the front lines, additional air and missile defense batteries being put in place, and buses filled with soldiers making the trip to the Western Wall for prayers prior to being deployed.
As I have been telling you, we are now in the window of the most likely time for an Israeli strike on Iran’s nuclear program, and it appears that pieces are being put in place right now in preparation. One of the members of this dear family is a former special forces soldier, so he understands full well the difference between routine maneuvers and serious preparations for war. This could be the beginning of the most critical war in Israel’s history. Please join me in urgent prayer for the defense of Israel and the Jewish people.
Decisions are being made in Israel right now regarding the future and how they will respond to Iran’s continuing nuclear program. If America chooses to stand on the sidelines—or even worse actively hinders Israel from doing what must be done—we are placing ourselves on the wrong side of God’s prophetic Word. And no matter what our nation’s leaders do, we must do all that we can to support Israel and the Jewish people