In my Father’s house are many mansions: if it were not so, I would have told you. I go to prepare a place for you. And if I go and prepare a place for you, I will come again, and receive you unto myself; that where I am, there ye may be also. (John 14:2-3)
An old Gospel song that goes by the same title talks about “a mansion just over the hilltop in that bright land where we’ll never grow old.” The singer dreams of having a “gold one that is silver lined.” Does that not seem somewhat esurient to covet the riches of heaven? I admit that the thought did not occur to me until recently.
When I think of a mansion, I imagine the $5 million (or more) homes of the super-rich or the palaces of royalty. Somehow, I do not think that is exactly to what Jesus referred when He spoke the words of our beginning verse above.
Consider this. “Heaven” as described in Revelation 21-22 enjoys a perfect environment much like that of the Garden of Eden that God originally created. So perfect was that environment, that the first couple could run around naked and not worry about getting sunburned, rained on, or frost bitten. Furthermore, all their nutritional needs were provided. It was a perfect place. Their only shelter were the stars above (and oh, how the stars must have sparkled at night in the pollution-free sky!). There was no need for any kind of building for shelter, much less a mansion.
Heaven will be like that, I think. No mansions of gold with silver trim. Before ending His earthly ministry, Jesus promised that in His Father’s house – only ONE house – are many mansions. That word in the Greek is monē, which means “a staying, abiding, dwelling, abode.” If Jesus meant some kind of building, He could have used the word “castle” – Greek parembolē meaning something like a fortress. Or, He could have used the word “palace” – Greek aulē, meaning “a yard (as open to the wind); by implication a mansion: – court, ([sheep-]) fold, hall, palace.” However, Jesus used the word monē promising that we would have a place to stay and He has many places to stay and dwell for those who follow Him.
Sadly, we too often derive our “theology” from the songs we sing rather than from the Word of God. Next time you hear that old Gospel song, put that golden mansion out of your mind and be happy that Jesus has given you a place in His Father’s house.
Reader, if you are unsure of your eternal abode, please read my page on “Securing Eternal Life.” Jesus has a reservation for you in His Father’s house, but you have to take Him up on His invitation.
 “Mansion Over the Hilltop” by Ira Stanphill, 1949.
… and said unto them, Occupy till I come. (Luke 19:13)
As I wrote last week, “For many years now, I come to this time of year with a heightened sense of expectation.” More than ten years ago, I learned about the Feasts of the Lord. By His death, burial and resurrection, Jesus fulfilled first three spring feasts, and Pentecost fulfilled the fourth feast. The last three fall feasts remain unfulfilled, and the Feast of Trumpets comes first in that series. The Feast of Trumpets is significant because it heralds the new year. It is also a holy convocation announced by the blowing of trumpets that summons the people to the Temple.
The connection with the Feast of Trumpets and the Rapture of the Church comes by way of deduction derived from 1 Corinthians 15:51-52; 1 Thessalonians 4:16-17; and Revelation 4:1. These passages speak of the sound of a trumpet preceding the Rapture of the Church, so it seems logical that the call could come at the first fall feast that remains unfulfilled.
Although it might seem like a reasonable conclusion, the fact remains that nothing in Scripture tells us when the Rapture will take place. The Bible gives no signs to signal the Rapture. Instead, the Bible (the New Testament) teaches that the Rapture is imminent; it can happen at any time without warning. Jesus said, “Therefore be ye also ready: for in such an hour as ye think not the Son of man cometh. Who then is a faithful and wise servant, whom his lord hath made ruler over his household, to give them meat in due season? Blessed is that servant, whom his lord when he cometh shall find so doing” (Matthew 24:44-46, emphasis mine).
In a different place, Jesus relayed a parable of a “A certain nobleman [representing Himself] went into a far country to receive for himself a kingdom, and to return. And he called his ten servants, and delivered them ten pounds, and said unto them, Occupy till I come” (Luke 19:12-13, emphasis mine). Our “nobleman,” Jesus Christ, has gone to receive His kingdom and He has promised to return (John 14:1-3). We do not know when. In the meantime, He has commanded, “Occupy till I come.”
Another Rosh HaShanah, the Feast of Trumpets, came and went again, and the trumpet did not sound to call us home, but Jesus did not tell us when He would return. He just told us to watch, wait, and occupy until He comes. When He does come for us, He expects to find us taking care of His business. What will He find us doing?
The Rapture is imminent. It comes without warning and without signs. However, the Second Coming does have signs, and we see many of the signs falling into place. The greatest of these signs is the miraculous rebirth of the nation of Israel. As the signs of the last days increase in number and intensity, we know the time is near, and if the Second Coming of Christ is near, the Rapture is closer. Are you ready? Are you occupied in the task He has given you or are you distracted by the cares of the world? He did not come last Tuesday, or Wednesday, but He may come today. How will He find you?
Behold, I shew you a mystery; We shall not all sleep, but we shall all be changed, 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. (1Corinthians 15:51-52)
We hear a lot about the Rapture lately, but a lot of confusion exists about what the Rapture is and when it is supposed to take place. Some critics deny the Rapture claiming, that the word “rapture” is not in the Bible. However, the word “Bible” is not in the Bible, nor is the word “Trinity,” yet no Christian would deny these terms. To be clear, while the English word “Rapture” cannot be found in the Bible, its Greek root is. “To the church in Thessalonica, [Paul] wrote: ‘For this we say unto you by the word of the Lord, that we which are alive and remain unto the coming of the Lord shall not prevent [i.e., “go before”] them which are asleep. 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: 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 4:15-17, emphasis mine). The Greek word translated ‘caught up’ is harpazō, which means ‘to seize, carry off by force’ or ‘to snatch out or away.’ That word is further translated into Latin as rapturo [rapiemur] from which we get our word ‘rapture.’”
Paul also describes the purpose of the Rapture to the Corinthians when he says, “that flesh and blood cannot inherit the kingdom of God; neither doth corruption inherit incorruption” (1 Corinthians 15:50). Our corrupt and sinful bodies cannot enter into heaven; therefore, they must be changed into incorruptible, sinless bodies. “Behold, I shew you a mystery; We shall not all sleep [i.e., “die”], but we shall all be changed, 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. For this corruptible must put on incorruption, and this mortal must put on immortality” (1 Corinthians 15:51-53, emphasis mine).
Jesus promised the Rapture. “Let not your heart be troubled: ye believe in God, believe also in me. In my Father’s house are many mansions: if it were not so, I would have told you. I go to prepare a place for you. And if I go and prepare a place for you, I will come again, and receive you unto myself; that where I am, there ye may be also” (John 14:1-3). About 60 years after His ascension, Jesus dictated seven letters to John, the last living of His apostles. The sixth letter was addressed to the Church of Philadelphia to whom Jesus said, “Because thou hast kept the word of my patience, I also will keep thee from the hour of temptation, which shall come upon all the world, to try them that dwell upon the earth” (Revelation 3:10). Many scholars see the seven churches (real churches existing in John’s time) as representative of the characteristics of the Church throughout different epochs in church history. The Philadelphian Church represents the “evangelical” church that sprang up around the end of the 18th century and will continue to the Rapture. The Rapture will fulfill Jesus’ promise to keep them “from the hour of temptation – i.e., trial, testing, tribulation – that is to come upon all the earth”
So, the concept of the Rapture finds solid support in Scripture although some will still try to explain it away.
Some still conflate the Rapture with the Second coming. These are two separate events. The Rapture takes place before the seven-year Tribulation; the Second Coming is when Jesus returns to establish His Kingdom on earth at the end of the Tribulation. At the Rapture, the Church is taken to meet Jesus in the air; at the Second Coming, Jesus will set His feet on Planet Earth.
Many signs accompany the Second Coming: wars, rumors of wars, pestilences, famines, earthquakes, etc. Perhaps the greatest sign of all is the miraculous revival of the nation of Israel as predicted by the Old Testament prophets, but particularly by Ezekiel in his vision of the valley of dry bones. This prophecy came true on May 14, 1948 when Jews from all over the world returned to the land promised to them by God to became a nation once again.
However, there are no signs for the Rapture. About the Rapture, Jesus said. “But of that day and hour knoweth no man, no, not the angels of heaven, but my Father only” (Matthew 24:36). However, as His Second Coming approaches we observe those signs rapidly increasing in frequency and intensity. America is rapidly vanishing from the scene as a superpower. That means that Israel is losing her strongest ally, and she will be left to face her enemies alone. Again, the Prophet Ezekiel predicts an invasion of Israel from a confederation of nations on her northern border. Already, those armies are staging in Syria – Russia, Turkey, Iran and their allies. With the USA out of the way, nothing will stop them from falling into God’s trap. Ezekiel foretells that Israel, left alone, will be defenseless against the invasion; however, God will intervene in such a way that no one, especially Israel, will doubt the power of God.
The Gog of Magog war described above will probably take place after the Rapture, but because we see the stage already being set, we can infer that the Rapture is not too far off. Consider the weakened condition of the USA. Then think about millions of American Christians suddenly vanishing. The majority of Christians are solid citizens who work and pay taxes contributing to the national economy. Think of the impact to the economy when these millions are suddenly gone! Many Christians serve in the military and in police forces. What happens when they disappear? What about healthcare workers, nurses, doctors, medical technicians? With the plandemic already stressing hospital staffing, what happens when many more of these are gone? There are also many solid Christians in positions of leadership at different levels of government. Imagine what will happen when all these people are taken out in the Rapture! Our already weak America will be in total chaos and capable of only making a weak protest, “Art thou come to take a spoil? hast thou gathered thy company to take a prey? to carry away silver and gold, to take away cattle and goods, to take a great spoil?” (Ezekiel 38:13).
We are very near that point now. For many years now I come to this time of year with a heightened sense of expectation. Monday evening, September 6 begins Rosh HaShanah, the Feast of Trumpets. Jesus fulfilled the first four “Feasts of the Lord” – Passover, Unleavened Bread, First Fruits, and Pentecost – at His First Coming. The last three fall feasts have not been fulfilled. The next one is the Feast of Trumpets; therefore, I believe (and I could be wrong) that the Rapture will take place at Rosh HaShanah. At that feast, trumpets were blown calling all the congregation of Israel to assemble. So, it is a “calling in” or a “gathering” of the congregation. Earlier I cited 1 Thessalonians 4:16, where “the trump of God” will sound, and we shall be gathered to Him in the air. The Feast of Trumpets is also known as the feast where “no man knows the day or the hour.” That is because it is based on the first sighting of the new moon; therefore, it is observed over two days because it is not known exactly when the new moon will appear. For those reasons, it makes sense to me that the Rapture can take place during the Feast of Trumpets.
Given the sudden and rapid decline of the USA, the general turmoil around the world, the rise of globalists seeking to rebuild the Tower of Babel (metaphorically speaking), and the increase in end-times signs, I feel this week (Monday evening to Wednesday evening) would be a good time for the Rapture to take place. I am not making any predictions; I am only saying that it seems like a good time for it, in my opinion.
How about you reader? If Jesus were to call His children home, would you be ready? If you are not sure, please read my page on “Securing Eternal Life.”
Humble yourselves therefore under the mighty hand of God, that he may exalt you in due time: Casting all your care upon him; for he careth for you. (1 Peter 5:6-7)
With all the COVID shutdowns, mask mandates, and constant browbeating about taking experimental and unproven injections, it seems that many have become convinced that the government propaganda is really intended for our wellbeing. After all, realizing that the lockdowns caused great financial burdens on families throughout the nation, our government stepped in and sent money to almost every family. I even received a check even though I did not need it. Then when job losses lingered, our government provided generous unemployment checks to all those affected by the lockdowns they imposed. So generous were the unemployment benefits, that when things started to open up, and businesses needed workers, few were willing to go back to work because the unemployment checks were better the money they could earn working.
What a wonderful caring government we have that wants to take care of its people! It matters not at all that the government has no money to just give away. The government has no means by which to produce wealth. It only has what money it takes from taxpayers, and here in America, the number of taxpayers continues to decline while freeloaders increase. What the government cannot collect from taxpayers, it just arbitrarily and indiscriminately prints to make up the difference. But, the people do not care, as long as they have they have beer money and some left over for groceries. Why, they do not even have to pay their rent because big brother will take care of that too.
So, if big brother says to take a shot because it is for your own good, they are more than happy to get in line for their turn. However, these who believe their government values their wellbeing, are blissfully ignorant of a human flaw that makes those in positions of power avaricious of greater power. One way they achieve greater power is to appease the masses by providing carefree sustenance and a sense of equity among all. “You will own nothing, and you’ll be happy.”
But do not be fooled. The government does not care about you. The government wants to control you, and you are happily going along with it. You wear your mask when told to and even when not told to, just make sure no one gets offended. You line up and take your jab as every good comrade, I mean citizen, should. What you do not know is that the mask is useless against the Coronavirus, or any virus for that matter. In fact, Dr. Fauci said that at the very start of the plandemic. Another bit of information kept from you are the number bad outcomes from the injections – miscarriages in pregnant women, neurological problems which are irreversible, blood clotting, heart problems and even death. These facts are recorded and made public by the CDC, but your government cares so much about you that it does not want to worry you. Just take the jab and trust your government.
This last week provided us with a perfect example of how much our government cares about its people. In a sudden, though not unexpected, move, our President decided to pull all of our troops out of Afghanistan. I do not know of many who believe we should have been there as long as we have been. Russia spent many years in that place and accomplished nothing. So, why did we think we could do better? Once we got Osama Bin Laden, we should have pulled out in an orderly manner, of course. However, there are those that profit from war and they “support” politicians that support them. “Oh! The tangled webs we weave!” Our government makes a big to-do about our fallen and wounded heroes, but if it really cared about them, it would not keep sending them off to fight senseless wars. And what about the wounded families at home? They get a folded flag and a litany of pointless platitudes. Our people honor their heroes more than the government does. Many non-profit organizations provide for the needs of our fallen and wounded warriors, while our government cares more for illegal border crossers (potential Democrat voters) than for our own service men and women.
So suddenly, and without warning our troops are withdrawn from Afghanistan without first removing our civilians that are in that country, or those Afghanis that assisted our troops. They have been left to their own resources to get themselves to the extraction point through a gauntlet of Taliban rebels.
I will reserve further comment about this bone-headed operation. It really churns my innards. One can find no greater proof than this that your government cares nothing for its people. Britain, France, Germany, and others went right in and rescued their people, but not the “superpower” with the greatest military in the world.
You know what? Your government does not care about you. Who cares about you? God does, and the sooner you get a grip on that great truth, the happier you will be. God loves you so much, that He took on human flesh, lived a sinless life, and gave His life to cover your sins. And if you will place your faith and trust in Him, He has secured a place for you in His presence for eternity. Your government has not done that for you! If you do not know Him, please read my page on “Securing Eternal Life.”
The bows of the mighty men are broken, and they that stumbled are girded with strength. (1 Samuel 2:4)
Unless you have completely isolated and insulated yourself from the outside world (and I would not blame you if you have; sometimes I wish I could completely detach from the constant flow of bad news), you know that Afghanistan has fallen into a complete state of chaos. Our puppet president, Joe Biden ordered a rapid withdrawal of our troops from that God-forsaken country. Granted, the move should have been made long ago – like shortly after we killed Osama Bin Laden. However, there is a right way and a wrong way to withdraw and he picked the wrong way.
Our government keeps making the same mistakes in these fruitless campaigns. The first is the foolish notion that we can go into a country and turn it into a “little America.” The Afghani culture has been around for thousands of years. What arrogance makes us think that we can go in there and teach them “our” ways overnight? If any change is to take place it must come from within and not imposed from without.
The second mistake our government keeps making is assuming that the enemy will respect our “rules of engagement.” We want our soldiers to “fight nice” and “play fair.” The Taliban perceives that as weakness. Furthermore, we are on their turf. They know every nook and cranny and can hide where our most sophisticated electronic surveillance systems cannot find them. They also have an abundance of patience and can wait us out indefinitely. They are defending their turf and we are the invaders.
Plenty of other problems could be listed in this fool’s errand, but the result remains that our nation is on display before the entire world as a big loser. The big and mighty superpower of the United States of America has been wadded up and tossed aside by a second-rate army of barbarians like a paper tiger as China gleefully refers to us.
Our enemies flex their muscles while our leaders vomit out a litany of incoherent excuses for the embarrassing debacle. China will soon take over Taiwan and warns us to stay out of it. Iran is ramping up their production of high-grade uranium for making nuclear weapons. Israel knows that it can no longer depend on America to have its back against its enemies. As a result, Russia has ordered Israel to stop aerial bombardment of Syria. That allows Iran to bring in weapons to attack Israel from the north. Ezekiel 38-39 predicts that Israel will be attacked from the north, and that it will be defenseless against the attack. The stage is set. Israel cannot depend on the U.S, and the armies led by Gog of Magog are moving into place. According to Ezekiel, Israel’s only help will come from God.
Does Russia fear the U.S.? Not a chance! They boast of hypersonic missiles for which the U.S. has no defenses. Our NATO allies have lost all faith in America, the paper tiger. In less than one week, America has become irrelevant and insignificant in the world. Yes, we may roar like a vicious tiger, but the roaring of a paper tiger means little.
It saddens me to see the suffering and desperation of the Afghani people. Christians are being beheaded. Muslim women are being beaten and raped. Little 12-year old girls are being taken as “wives” for the Taliban animals. I feel sad for the Christians, but at least they get a quick trip into the presence of our Lord. But these poor Muslims are lost and hell bound. I pray that through all of this some will come to the Lord.
It also saddens me to see America fall from its former place of prestige. However, this must be. America is not in end-times prophecy. It cannot be. Israel cannot be dependent on a superpower for protection. They need to come to the realization that their only help must come from God. They are not at that point yet.
While I am troubled by what I see, I am all the more encouraged knowing that our Lord’s return is very near. And if the Lord’s return is near, that means that the Rapture of the Church is even closer. If the paper tiger is weak now, think how much weaker it will become when millions of God’s people suddenly disappear in a “twinkling of an eye.” If you think things are chaotic now, just wait until the U.S. loses almost one-third of its population! I am ready for that!
Reader, are you prepared for what is ahead? You can miss the major mess if you attach yourself to the Savior. If you want to know how to do that, read my page on “Securing Eternal Life.”