Tag Archives: End-Times Prophecy

The White Horse

And I saw when the Lamb opened one of the seals, and I heard, as it were the noise of thunder, one of the four beasts saying, Come and see. (Revelation 6:1)

The first sight[1] John saw when the risen Christ summonsed him to heaven was the vision of God on His throne.[2] In His right hand, God held a scroll written on the front and back and sealed with seven seals.[3] The scroll represents the deed to the earth that was lost in the Garden of Eden.[4] No one in heaven or earth was found worthy to take the scroll and break open the seals[5] except for “the Lamb slain from the foundation of the world.”[6]

In order to understand what John saw, we need to look back to the law of the kinsman-redeemer.[7] This law allowed a close relative to buy back land lost for whatever reason so that the land would remain in the name of the family. The book of Ruth[8] serves as a good example of this law in practice. Ruth, a Moabite, followed her mother-in-law, Naomi, to Bethlehem after the loss of her husband and father-in-law. Naomi’s husband, Elimelech, had owned land in Bethlehem, but Naomi could not redeem the land because of her status as a woman. The book of Ruth is a short four chapters, so to sum up the account in brief, Boaz, a close relative, took a shine to Ruth and agreed to marry her and redeem the property that had been lost. (There is more to the story, but I will leave it to the reader to research the details.)

Carrying this idea to the scene John witnessed in heaven, we understand the loss of earth’s possession through Adam’s sin. The Lamb, who is the Second Adam,[9] is the kinsman-redeemer that has the legal right to buy back the lost property by virtue of His shed blood on the cross. “And he came and took the book out of the right hand of him that sat upon the throne” (Revelation 5:7).

Up to this point, the tense of John’s record is present tense, i.e., the time of John’s writing. At the opening of Chapter 4, he is called up to heaven. Many excellent end-times biblical scholars see John’s call up to heaven as a “type” of the Rapture of the Church, because the Church is no longer mentioned on earth and is not seen again until she returns to earth following the KING OF KINGS and LORD OF LORDS.[10] From the opening of Chapter 6, the tense changes to future.

“And I saw when the Lamb opened one of the seals, and I heard, as it were the noise of thunder, one of the four beasts saying, Come and see” (Revelation 6:1). The opening of each of the seals brings judgment upon the inhabitants of the earth. The first seal brings the rider on a white horse.

“And I saw, and behold a white horse: and he that sat on him had a bow; and a crown was given unto him: and he went forth conquering, and to conquer” (Revelation 6:2). Many mistake the rider on the white horse to be Christ. They come to this conclusion from His description in Revelation 19. “And I saw heaven opened, and behold a white horse; and he that sat upon him was called Faithful and True, and in righteousness he doth judge and make war” (Revelation 19:11) However, here the Lamb, with the scroll in hand, releases the rider on the white horse; He cannot be both the One who releases and the one released. The fact that it is Christ releasing this judgment and all those that follow demonstrates that He is ultimately in full control of all that takes place.

So, who is the rider on the white horse? Without going into all the various opinions, the best possible explanation is that this one is the Antichrist, aka, the son of perdition,[11] the little horn,[12]the prince that shall come,[13] the abomination of desolation,[14] and the beast.[15]

The identity of Antichrist will be revealed at the beginning of the seven-year Tribulation. Christians should not waste their time and effort trying to identify the one that will fill that role. Christians will not be on earth when he makes his appearance because the Church has been raptured at this time.[16] His appearance will go unnoticed by most of the world, but for those left behind who have some familiarity with biblical end-times prophecy, he will be recognized when he affirms a treaty that will bring peace to the nation of Israel. “And he shall confirm the covenant with many for one week: and in the midst of the week he shall cause the sacrifice and the oblation to cease, and for the overspreading of abominations he shall make it desolate, even until the consummation and that determined shall be poured upon the desolate” (Daniel 9:27, emphasis mine). This act begins the Tribulation in earnest for seven years (one week).

The first rider comes mounted on a white horse which symbolizes a conqueror. Notice that the rider holds a bow, but he carries no arrows. The crown he wears is a stephanos – a victor’s crown or wreath – that is “given” to him. He does not take it by force, but rather by diplomatic means. The Prophet Daniel describes him as a big talker: “And he shall speak great words against the most High” (Daniel 7:25). Through the eloquence of his speech, he convinces the rulers of ten nations to cede power to him, or perhaps they unilaterally agree that he is the best man for the job of ruling the world. He has a bow indicating military power, but the fact that he has no arrows suggests that he conquers without using the military power accessible to him.

Even now the world prepares for the coming of a one-world leader. One does not need to search very hard to hear the term “One-World” proclaimed by government leaders all over the world including those in our own “land of the free.” Our own government is little-by-little ceding the sovereignty of our nation to the United Nations. Recently, President Biden gave up authority to the World Health Organization (WHO). “These proposed amendments are written to strengthen the organization’s ability to unilaterally intervene into the affairs of nations merely suspected of having a ‘health emergency’ of possible concern to other nations. If these amendments are approved, the WHO will have the power to declare an ‘international health emergency,’ nullifying the powers of nation states.”[17]

For many years now, the U.N. has had plans in place to divide the world into 10 regions.[18] The cabal of the uber-rich elites of the world that gather in Davos, Switzerland, make up what is known as the World Economic Forum. This group has grand plans for setting up a one-world government, and they do not hide their intent. They publish their plans on their website[19]  and offer access to their meetings on video which one can watch on their website.

The world is primed for Antichrist. The late Belgian Prime Minister, Paul-Henri Spaak once said, “We do not want another committee, we have too many already.  What we want is a man of sufficient stature to hold the allegiance of all people, and to lift us out of the economic morass into which we are sinking. Send us such a man, and be he god or devil, we will receive him[20](emphasis mine)

The white horse is saddled and the rider is ready to mount. In a speech at the COP26 meeting in Glasgow, Scotland, on November 1, 2021, Prince (now King) Charles, speaking on the topic of global warming, said, “Here we need a vast military-style campaign to marshal the global private sector. With trillions at his disposal far beyond global GDP, and with the greatest respect beyond even the governments of the world’s leaders, it offers the only real prospect of achieving fundamental economic transition”[21] (emphasis mine). Who is he that needs “trillions at his disposal”? Do the UN, the WEF, and the WHO already have a leader in mind waiting in the wings?

The Antichrist is already in the world and preparing to take his place in this great cosmic drama. We cannot know who he is. In fact, he probably does not know himself. However, the stage is being set. As we see all of these things falling into place, true Christians can know that our Lord and Savior will soon shout, “Come up here!” and we will rise to meet Him in the air. I am not looking for Antichrist, the rider on the white horse. I am looking for Jesus Christ. Are you ready to meet Him? If not, please read my page on “Securing Eternal Life.”

Notes:


[1]  “The First Sight” — The First Sight | Ernie’s Musings (erniecarrasco.com)

[2]  Revelation 4:2-5

[3]  Revelation 5:1

[4]  Genesis 3

[5]  Revelation 5:3

[6]  Revelation 13:8

[7]  Leviticus 25:24-27

[8]  Ruth 1-4

[9]  Romans 5:12-21

[10]  Revelation 19:11-14

[11]  2 Thessalonians 2:3

[12]  Daniel 7:8

[13]  Daniel 9:26

[14]  Daniel 11:31; 12:11; Matthew 24:15

[15]  Revelation 13:1

[16]  John 14:1-3; 1 Corinthians 15:51-54; 1 Thessalonians 4:13-18; 2 Thessalonians 2: 1-12; Revelation 4:1-2

[17]  Biden’s Amendments Hand U.S. Sovereignty to the WHO – Liberty Counsel (lc.org)

[18]  UN Divides the World into 10 Regional Groupings: The UN Divides the World into 10 ‘Regional Groupings’ (nuclearsuntan.blogspot.com) There is a link to the UN article in this article, but access was denied because I did not have permission. That alone is suspicious.

[19]  The World Economic Forum (weforum.org)

[20]  Christians Together : EU architect would welcome God or the Devil.

[21]  (4) WATCH: Britain’s Prince Charles gives statement at COP26 climate summit in Glasgow – YouTube

Leave a comment

Filed under Apologetics, Bible, Christianity, Current Events, End Times, Eschatology, Rapture, Second Coming of Christ, Theology

The Peace of Jerusalem

Pray for the peace of Jerusalem: they shall prosper that love thee. (Psalm 122:6)

In Sunday School, our pastor is leading us through a study from John Owen’s book, Rules for Walking in Fellowship.

Owen was by common consent the weightiest Puritan theologian, and many would bracket him with Jonathan Edwards as one of the greatest Reformed theologians of all time. Born in 1616, he entered Queen’s College, Oxford, at the age of twelve and secured his M.A. in 1635, when he was nineteen. In his early twenties, conviction of sin threw him into such turmoil that for three months he could scarcely utter a coherent word on anything; but slowly he learned to trust Christ, and so found peace. In 1637 he became a pastor; in the 1640s he was chaplain to Oliver Cromwell, and in 1651 he was made Dean of Christ Church, Oxford’s largest college. In 1652 he was given the additional post of Vice-Chancellor of the University, which he then reorganized with conspicuous success. After 1660 he led the Independents through the bitter years of persecution till his death in 1683. —J. I. Packer[1]

In our pastor’s absence, I was asked to bring this Sunday’s lesson from the book. It is indeed a very good lesson entitled “Bearing One Another’s Burdens,” which is the 15th chapter in Owens’ book. At the end of the lesson, Owens gives directions on how to apply the principles in the lesson. For the first direction, Owens says, “A proper valuing, strong desire, and high esteem of the church’s prosperity, in every member of it (Ps. 122:6)” – (emphasis mine).

I do not know a lot about John Owens other than he was and is a highly regarded reformed theologian and Puritan preacher. I do not know what his views were on eschatology (the study of end times), however, in the quote above, his use of Psalm 122:6 in connection to the church is misapplied.

I do not want to disparage such a great man of God as John Owen, but the verse, when taken literally as it should be, is speaking of Jerusalem not the Church. A parallel between Jerusalem and the church can certainly be drawn here in the form of allegory, but to make a direct connection cannot be supported if one takes the words of Scripture literally. Jerusalem/Israel is not the Church, nor is the Church Jerusalem/Israel.

In Owens’ defense, he was living at a time when Israel did not exist and had not existed for over 1500 years. Many theologians of that time believed that God had rejected Israel for their rejection of their Messiah and that the Church had replaced Israel. However, not all theologians took that position. Those that did not hold to that “replacement theology” believed that God would restore Israel in the end times. They came to this conclusion from the clear, literal teaching of the Old Testament prophets. I do not know to which camp Owens belonged, so I will withhold judgement.

I will, however, attempt to point out the error in “replacement theology” as concisely as possible. When one studies the Old Testament prophets, one quickly finds God’s repeated promises to (1) scatter Israel to the four corners of the earth, (2) to draw them back into their own land, (3) to restore the nation of Israel once again, and (4) to save the remanent of Israel in the “latter days.” The following is just a small sample of God’s promises to Israel.

And the LORD shall scatter you [Israel] among the nations, and ye shall be left few in number among the heathen, whither the LORD shall lead you. (Deuteronomy 4:27)

And it shall come to pass, that as the LORD rejoiced over you [Israel] to do you good, and to multiply you; so the LORD will rejoice over you to destroy you, and to bring you to nought; and ye shall be plucked from off the land whither thou goest to possess it. And the LORD shall scatter thee among all people, from the one end of the earth even unto the other; and there thou shalt serve other gods, which neither thou nor thy fathers have known, even wood and stone. And among these nations shalt thou find no ease, neither shall the sole of thy foot have rest: but the LORD shall give thee there a trembling heart, and failing of eyes, and sorrow of mind: And thy life shall hang in doubt before thee; and thou shalt fear day and night, and shalt have none assurance of thy life: In the morning thou shalt say, Would God it were even! and at even thou shalt say, Would God it were morning! for the fear of thine heart wherewith thou shalt fear, and for the sight of thine eyes which thou shalt see. (Deuteronomy 28:63-67)

And it shall come to pass, when all these things are come upon thee, the blessing and the curse, which I have set before thee, and thou shalt call them to mind among all the nations, whither the LORD thy God hath driven thee, And shalt return unto the LORD thy God, and shalt obey his voice according to all that I command thee this day, thou and thy children, with all thine heart, and with all thy soul; That then the LORD thy God will turn thy captivity, and have compassion upon thee, and will return and gather thee from all the nations, whither the LORD thy God hath scattered thee. If any of thine be driven out unto the outmost parts of heaven, from thence will the LORD thy God gather thee, and from thence will he fetch thee: And the LORD thy God will bring thee into the land which thy fathers possessed, and thou shalt possess it; and he will do thee good, and multiply thee above thy fathers. And the LORD thy God will circumcise thine heart, and the heart of thy seed, to love the LORD thy God with all thine heart, and with all thy soul, that thou mayest live. (Deuteronomy 30:1-6)

And it shall come to pass in the last days, that the mountain of the LORD’S house shall be established in the top of the mountains, and shall be exalted above the hills; and all nations shall flow unto it. And many people shall go and say, Come ye, and let us go up to the mountain of the LORD, to the house of the God of Jacob; and he will teach us of his ways, and we will walk in his paths: for out of Zion shall go forth the law, and the word of the LORD from Jerusalem. And he shall judge among the nations, and shall rebuke many people: and they shall beat their swords into plowshares, and their spears into pruninghooks: nation shall not lift up sword against nation, neither shall they learn war any more. (Isaiah 2:2-4)

The remnant shall return, even the remnant of Jacob, unto the mighty God. For though thy people Israel be as the sand of the sea, yet a remnant of them shall return: the consumption decreed shall overflow with righteousness. (Isaiah 10:21-22)

Fear not: for I am with thee: I will bring thy seed from the east, and gather thee from the west; I will say to the north, Give up; and to the south, Keep not back: bring my sons from far, and my daughters from the ends of the earth; Even every one that is called by my name: for I have created him for my glory, I have formed him; yea, I have made him. (Isaiah 43:5-7)

Behold, these shall come from far: and, lo, these from the north and from the west; and these from the land of Sinim. Sing, O heavens; and be joyful, O earth; and break forth into singing, O mountains: for the LORD hath comforted his people, and will have mercy upon his afflicted. But Zion said, The LORD hath forsaken me, and my Lord hath forgotten me. Can a woman forget her sucking child, that she should not have compassion on the son of her womb? yea, they may forget, yet will I not forget thee. Behold, I have graven thee upon the palms of my hands; thy walls are continually before me. (Isaiah 49:12-16)

No weapon that is formed against thee shall prosper; and every tongue that shall rise against thee in judgment thou shalt condemn. This is the heritage of the servants of the LORD, and their righteousness is of me, saith the LORD. (Isaiah 54:17)

And they shall build the old wastes, they shall raise up the former desolations, and they shall repair the waste cities, the desolations of many generations. And strangers shall stand and feed your flocks, and the sons of the alien shall be your plowmen and your vinedressers. But ye shall be named the Priests of the LORD: men shall call you the Ministers of our God: ye shall eat the riches of the Gentiles, and in their glory shall ye boast yourselves. (Isaiah 61:4-6)

Who hath heard such a thing? who hath seen such things? Shall the earth be made to bring forth in one day? or shall a nation be born at once? for as soon as Zion travailed, she brought forth her children. Shall I bring to the birth, and not cause to bring forth? saith the LORD: shall I cause to bring forth, and shut the womb? saith thy God. Rejoice ye with Jerusalem, and be glad with her, all ye that love her: rejoice for joy with her, all ye that mourn for her: (Isaiah 66:8-10)

At that time they shall call Jerusalem the throne of the LORD; and all the nations shall be gathered unto it, to the name of the LORD, to Jerusalem: neither shall they walk any more after the imagination of their evil heart. In those days the house of Judah shall walk with the house of Israel, and they shall come together out of the land of the north to the land that I have given for an inheritance unto your fathers. (Jeremiah 3:17-18)

I will scatter them also among the heathen, whom neither they nor their fathers have known: and I will send a sword after them, till I have consumed them. (Jeremiah 9:16)

And I will gather the remnant of my flock out of all countries whither I have driven them, and will bring them again to their folds; and they shall be fruitful and increase. And I will set up shepherds over them which shall feed them: and they shall fear no more, nor be dismayed, neither shall they be lacking, saith the LORD … Therefore, behold, the days come, saith the LORD, that they shall no more say, The LORD liveth, which brought up the children of Israel out of the land of Egypt; But, The LORD liveth, which brought up and which led the seed of the house of Israel out of the north country, and from all countries whither I had driven them; and they shall dwell in their own land. (Jeremiah 23:3-4; 7-8)

There are more. Ezekiel 36 speaks of the scattering and regathering of Israel to and from the nations. Ezekiel 37 presents Israel as a valley of dry bones that God brings together and raises up into a mighty army. In that chapter, God also promises that the “two sticks” (Judah and Israel, the divided kingdoms) will reunite as one.

All of these prophecies deal with the nation of Israel, not the Church. Why is this important? It is important because the integrity of God is at stake. If God can break His covenant with Israel, what guarantee is there that He will keep His promises to the Church? Face it, the “Church” these days these days is not a pristine virgin!

Therefore, because God is faithful, He will keep His promises to Israel and to the Church as well. Israel and the Church are two separate entities, but salvation is the same for both. When the psalmist, David, says “Pray for the peace of Jerusalem,” there is only One Peace that can effectively apply and that is the Prince of Peace, the Lord Jesus Christ.[2]

So, in a way, Owens was correct in applying the psalm to the Church by way of allegory, but not in a literal sense. We are to pray for the “Peace of Jerusalem” because only He can bring true peace to the world. When we pray for the “Peace of Jerusalem,” we pray that the Lord will soon come and set up His kingdom on earth. “Thy kingdom come. Thy will be done in earth, as it is in heaven” (Matthew 6:10). As for the Church, the kingdom, in part, has already come and dwells within the heart of every believer and the Church as a whole by way of the Holy Spirit who gives us peace. Then, one day, perhaps very soon, we will enjoy His physical kingdom here on earth along with our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ. I can hardly wait!

Dear reader, do you know the Prince of Peace? If not, please read my page on “Securing Eternal Life.”

Notes:


[1]  About | John Owen

[2]  Isaiah 9:6

1 Comment

Filed under Apologetics, Bible, Christianity, End Times, Eschatology, Religion, Second Coming of Christ, Theology

Perilous Times

This know also, that in the last days perilous times shall come. (2 Timothy 3:1)

At our Gideon camp meeting this Saturday, our Scripture reading was 2 Timothy 3. A visitor to our meeting commented how the passage sounded a lot like today. The way he said it was as if he had never heard that passage before. That is not surprising. Many Christians today live day to day unaware of what is going on around them. It is understandable. Life is full of activities that need to get done. Between work and family, who wants to spend time keeping up with world events when the news can be so depressing if it can be trusted at all? So, spending free time on entertainment of one kind or another is the preferred choice for spare-time activities.

Pastors that do not preach on end-times prophecy only add to the lack of awareness of most Christians. While the congregants may perceive the growing darkness in our country, they do not associate it with the “last days.” They may just assume that these days are no worse than those in the past;[1] many think that we are just more aware of them due to worldwide media coverage. While that may be partially true, the rapid worldwide moral decline is more pervasive, more diverse, and more rampant than anything the world has ever experienced except, perhaps, for the days of Noah or the days of Lot.[2]

So, what did our Gideon visitor hear that sounded so much like today? Paul said that the “last days” would be perilous (i.e., difficult, dangerous, furious) times.[3] Paul goes on to explain what he means by that. He says, “men shall be lovers of their own selves.” Surely men (and that includes women) have always been somewhat egocentric – thinking of themselves ahead of anyone else. But have we ever seen it to the extent that we see it now?

Paul goes on to list other characteristics of “last days” people. They are “covetous” – that is they are avarice, they love money and material possessions particularly when those things belong to someone else. That also includes someone else’s husband or wife.

“Last days” people are “boasters.” They like to “puff themselves” up about their possessions or achievements whether real or presumed. Closely related to that is “pride.” The Greek word here is huperēphanos, i.e., “showing one’s self above others, overtopping, conspicuous above others, pre-eminent.”[4] In other words, they think more highly of themselves than they ought.[5]

“Last days” people are “blasphemers,” “speaking evil, slanderous, reproachful, railing, abusive”[6] of all things pertaining to God. We see blasphemy everywhere these days, in entertainment, in “science,” and in politics (one particular party that has a donkey as its mascot comes to mind). “Last days” people violate the fifth of the Ten Commandments,[7] which says to honor father and mother; they are disobedient to parents. Going along with that, they are “unthankful” either to God or to their parents or anyone who has benefitted them. They are “unholy,” i.e., impious and wicked. “Holy” means to be “set apart,” especially for the service of God. These people are just the opposite.

Paul continues. “Last days” people are “without natural affection,” that is, “unsociable, inhuman, unloving.”[8] The most glaring evidence for this is the abortion issue these days. These “last days” people do not care about human life. They willingly murder unborn babies even up to the moment of birth, and many advocate for infanticide up to two years of age. At the same time, they want to save the panda, the polar bear, the whale, the planet, etc. – “without natural affection.”

“Last days” people are “trucebreakers.” They are untrustworthy. They lie without shame. They are “false accusers.” Think of the many “righteous” people that have been falsely accused by the FBI lately, while those that are true lawbreakers are set free. Paul says that “last days” people are “incontinent.” By that, he means that they lack self-control. Think of the many instances where we see on the news mobs breaking into stores taking anything they want. Think of angry, left-wing protestors that shout down opposing voices and refuse to listen to reason. Think about those that violently attack unsuspecting victims in public and in broad daylight. That last group, Paul defines as “fierce” meaning “not tame or savage.”

“Last days” people are “despisers of those that are good.” They “call evil good, and good evil; that put darkness for light, and light for darkness; that put bitter for sweet, and sweet for bitter!” (Isaiah 5:20). To end the list, Paul names other characteristics synonymous with those already listed. “Last days” people are “Traitors, heady, highminded, lovers of pleasures more than lovers of God” (2 Timothy 3:4).

Dear reader, does that not sound like the world in which we live? The visitor to our Gideon prayer meeting surely thought so. This is not just true within our nation, but it permeates the entire world, which is why we hear of wars and rumors of wars[9] worldwide. These things have not always been this way. They are much more pervasive today, and they are converging together all at once. That is the major difference between now and then.

We are living in the “last days,” and it is only a matter of time before the Lord says that it is enough, and He puts a final end to it all. Dear reader, are you prepared to meet the Savior when He comes to clean up this mess? If not, please read my page on “Securing Eternal Life.”

Notes:


[1]  “Things Have Always Been This Way!” — Things Have Always Been This Way! | Ernie’s Musings (erniecarrasco.com)

[2]  Matthew 24:37-39; Luke 17:28-29

[3]  2 Timothy 3:1-4

[4]  Thayer’s Greek Definitions

[5]  Romans 12:3

[6]  Thayer’s Greek Definitions

[7]  Exodus 20:12

[8]  Thayer’s Greek Definitions

[9]  Matthew 24:6-7

Comments Off on Perilous Times

Filed under Apologetics, Christianity, Current Events, End Times, Eschatology, Politics, Pro-life, Second Coming of Christ, Theology

Again, Are We There Yet?

And ye shall hear of wars and rumours of wars: see that ye be not troubled: for all these things must come to pass, but the end is not yet. (Matthew 24:6)

Last Sunday evening, September 25, 2022, was Rosh HaShanah,[1] the Feast of Trumpets. For the first time in many years, I was no longer excited about that event. In the past, this time of year elevated my anticipation for our Lord’s return to snatch up His Bride, the Church. Because the Lord fulfilled the first four spring feasts (Passover, Unleavened Bread, First Fruits, and Pentecost) and has not fulfilled the last three fall feasts (Trumpets, Atonement, and Tabernacles), it made sense to me that the Feast of Trumpets (the next on the calendar) was the perfect time for the Lord to sound the trumpet and call us home.

“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” (1 Corinthians 15:51-52, emphasis mine).

“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 4:16-17, emphasis mine).

So, it seemed to me, that the Feast of Trumpets was the perfect time for Jesus to take His Bride to His Father’s house. However, for the last twenty or so years, I have been disappointed (but not discouraged) every year when Rosh HaShanah came and went because the Rapture did not take place. Recently, Amir Tsarfati[2] convinced me that the Feasts are intended for Israel, not for Christians. Jesus will fulfill all the fall feasts but at His Second Coming, when He returns at the end of the seven-year Tribulation as King of Kings and Lord of Lords.[3] That makes the Rapture of the Church imminent; it can happen at any time without warning. There are no signs to predict the Rapture.

So likewise ye, when ye shall see all these things, know that it is near, even at the doors. Verily I say unto you, This generation shall not pass, till all these things be fulfilled. Heaven and earth shall pass away, but my words shall not pass away. But of that day and hour knoweth no man, no, not the angels of heaven, but my Father only. (Matthew 24:33-36, emphasis mine)

This year, I was not disappointed when Rosh HaShanah came and went without the Rapture, because I understand that it should catch us by surprise, but not unaware or unprepared.

Jesus told us that “when ye shall see all these things, know that it is near, even at the doors” (Matthew 24:33). Luke quoted Jesus in his Gospel saying, “And when these things begin to come to pass, then look up, and lift up your heads; for your redemption draweth nigh” (Luke 21:28, emphasis mine).

For what things should we be looking? The biggest hint is the nation of Israel, which God promised to restore after a long period of diaspora. God speaking through the prophet Ezekiel said, “For I will take you from among the heathen [i.e., “the nations”], and gather you out of all countries, and will bring you into your own land” (Ezekiel 36:24). The Old Testament prophets all make many similar predictions. Ezekiel also presents a vision of Israel as a valley full of dry bones that come together and rise up as a mighty army.[4] In the same chapter, God gives Ezekiel a vision of two sticks – Israel (the Northern Kingdom) and Judah (the Southern Kingdom) – that separate, but in the end, God brings them back together.[5]

On May 14, 1948, God fulfilled that prophecy and a nation was born in a day![6] On the day of its birth, defenseless and without an army or air force, the Arab nations that surrounded it attacked with the intention of annihilating the newborn nation. However, God’s plan was not to be thwarted, and God saved Israel and defeated its enemies. The greatest sign that our “redemption draweth nigh” is the nation of Israel.

So, that was more than 70 years ago! Well, friend, that is a generation, and Jesus promised that “This generation shall not pass, till all these things be fulfilled” (Matthew 24:34, emphasis mine). Many of Jesus’ predictions of the last days (which will intensify in the seven-year Tribulation) are taking place right now and getting worse. Just read the Olivet Discourse recorded in Matthew 24 and consider the condition of the entire world today!

Ezekiel 38-39 predicts the alliance of Russia, Turkey, and Iran (Persia) along with their allies. Russia is called “Magog” and the “prince” of Magog is Gog. To the Russian leader, God says, “… Behold, I am against thee, O Gog, the chief prince of Meshech and Tubal: And I will turn thee back, and put hooks into thy jaws, and I will bring thee forth, and all thine army, … in the latter years thou shalt come into the land [i.e., “Israel”] that is brought back from the sword, and is gathered out of many people, against the mountains of Israel, which have been always waste: but it is brought forth out of the nations, and they shall dwell safely all of them” (Ezekiel 38:3-4, 8, emphasis mine).

Very recently, due to a weakened America, “Magog” (Russia) invaded the sovereign country of Ukraine. Just a few days ago, Russia annexed four of Ukraine’s eastern territories. At about the same time, the two gas pipelines that supply Russian gas to Europe, Nord Stream 1 & 2, exploded mysteriously. No “accident” occurred to cause the explosions; the explosions were man-made. The POTUS, prior to the “annexations” made claims, whether intentional or as a mental slip of the tongue (as our President is prone to do), that if Russia annexed the Ukrainian territories, “we” would put a stop to Nord Stream 1 & 2? Did the US blow them up? No one has admitted to it; however, Poland blames the US. There are some that believe Russia blew up the pipelines. But, does that make any sense?

Regardless of who is to blame, the fact remains that Europe is in dire straights and winter is coming. Then comes Israel to the rescue. In recent years, Israel has discovered and developed large gas reserves in the Mediterranean Sea and is prepared to sell gas to Europe by way of Egypt. They will pipe the gas to Egypt and Egypt will pipe it to Europe as well as liquifying and selling the gas in liquid form to Europe. What will Russia think of that? Could this be the “hooks in the jaw” that God uses to turn Gog’s attention to Israel? It could be.

Russia, Turkey, and Iran all have troops stationed in Syria on Israel’s northern border. The stage is set for Ezekiel’s Gog of Magog war. Will it take place before the Rapture, and we get to witness it, or will it take place after the Rapture? We cannot know for sure, but we can know that with the conversion of all the things of which Jesus spoke all over the world and this very intriguing development, we can be sure that our “redemption draweth nigh.”

Reader, are you prepared for that event? After Jesus takes all the true Christians out of the earth, there will come of time of trouble like the world has never experienced. It is called the seven-year Tribulation. If you think things are bad now, you ain’t seen nothing yet! You do not want to be around for what is coming. Ask Jesus to save you from God’s wrath that is to come. Please read my page on “Securing Eternal Life.”

Notes:


[1]  “Rosh HaShanah” — Rosh HaShanah | Ernie’s Musings (erniecarrasco.com)

[2]  Amir Tsarfati of Behold Israel.com: Behold Israel – A Non Profit Teaching Ministry

[3]  Revelation 19:11-16

[4]  Ezekiel 37:1-14

[5]  Ezekiel 37:15-28

[6]  Isaiah 66:8

1 Comment

Filed under Apologetics, Christianity, Current Events, End Times, Eschatology, Feasts of the Lord, Rapture, Religion, Second Coming of Christ, Theology

Tisha B’Av

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 4:16-17)

At the posting of this article, August 6-7, 2022, Jews everywhere solemnly observe Tisha B’Av or the Ninth of Av. Av is the fifth month on the Jewish calendar which begins with the month of Nissan. Christians, for the most part, are ignorant of Jewish observations and feasts; but the same God that gave observations to the Jews is not a God who does things arbitrarily or at random and without purpose, and He does not change. So, even though Christians are under a different “covenant” than the Jews, that does not render these observations meaningless. It behooves Christians to study and understand the Jewish feasts and observances because, while they may not directly apply to us, they have great significance in our understanding of our God.

Tisha B’Av, like Purim and Chanukah, was not given by God as one of His seven Feasts of the Lord.[1] These “observances” were started by the Jews as memorials to God’s intervention in the life of the nation. Purim looks back to God’s salvation of the Jews that were in Babylon from the hand of Haman.[2] Chanukah commemorated the miraculous preservation of the oil in the menorah for eight days at the cleansing of the Temple after it was desecrated by Antiochus Epiphanes.[3]  

Tisha B’Av, however, reminds the Jews of God’s judgments on the nation for one sin or another. These judgments always fell on the Ninth of Av beginning when 10 of the 12 spies sent to spy out the Promised Land returned with a bad report.[4] The website “Rapture Ready” lists 29 judgments against the Jews from Av 9, 1312 BC to Av 9, 2020 AD.[5]

Perhaps the most significant judgments to the Jews were those involving the Temple. The Babylonians razed Solomon’s Temple on Av 9, 586 BC. The Romans destroyed the second temple, Herod’s Temple, on Av 9, 70 AD. Pete Garcia, a graduate of Dallas Theological Seminary, suggests the possibility (not the inevitability) that the Rapture of the Church could take place this year on Tisha B’Av.[6] (I recommend that you read his article in the link provided below. He goes into much greater detail than I plan to go into here.) Pete got his idea from Greg Lauer,[7] another student and teacher of end-times prophecy. (I recommend that you read his lengthy article as well. He goes into great detail to develop his theory and he employs sound logic in doing so. You can find the link to his article in the endnotes below.)

In brief, here is the summary of the idea that the Rapture could take place on Tisha B’Av – perhaps even today, August 7, 2022. By way of disclaimer, allow me to emphasize that neither of these men are setting a date for the Rapture, which “of that day and hour knoweth no man, no, not the angels of heaven, but my Father only” (Matthew 24:36). We cannot know the exact day or the hour; however, we can observe the signs and the season so that we should be ready. Therefore, Jesus said, “Watch therefore, for ye know neither the day nor the hour wherein the Son of man cometh” (Matthew 25:13). How can we watch if we do not know what to watch for?

We already see many of the signs of which Jesus spoke[8] taking place: Israel reborn, wars and rumors of wars, famines, and pestilences, economic collapse, worldwide hatred of Israel, the formulation of the Gog of Magog alliance,[9] [10] etc. These “labor pains” are increasing in number and frequency alerting us to the soon return of Christ as King of Kings and Lord of Lords. However, before that happens, the Church must be removed, and that is where the idea of the Rapture on Tisha B’Av comes to play.

Here is the idea in a nutshell. When Solomon dedicated the first temple, the glory of God filled the Temple to the point that the priests could not minister in the Temple.[11] Several hundred years later, the Prophet Ezekiel records seeing the glory of God depart the Temple.[12] The Babylonians then entered Jerusalem and destroyed the Temple of God on Av 9, 586 BC.

After 70 years of captivity, the Medo-Persian Empire conquered Babylon and Cyrus allowed the Jews to return and rebuild Jerusalem and the Temple. There is no record that this second temple enjoyed the filling by the glory of God. It was not until the time of Christ that the Temple experienced the presence of God in the form of Jesus Christ. Recall how at the cleansing Jesus declared, “My house shall be called the house of prayer; but ye have made it a den of thieves” (Matthew 21:13, emphasis mine). Of course, we know what happened later. The Jews rejected and crucified their Messiah during Passover, 30 AD (or 33 AD, the exact year is debatable). As a result, the Romans destroyed the Temple on Av 9, 70 AD.

The First Temple enjoyed the presence of God the Father. The Second Temple enjoyed the presence of God the Son. There is yet a Third Temple that enjoys the presence of God the Holy Spirit. Where might that Temple be? “Know ye not that ye are the temple of God, and that the Spirit of God dwelleth in you?” (1 Corinthians 3:16). The Holy Spirit resides within believers, the Church, the Bride of Christ. This Temple restrains Satan’s forces on earth and must be removed in order for God’s judgment to come upon the God-rejecting world. “And now ye know what withholdeth that he might be revealed in his time. For the mystery of iniquity doth already work: only he who now [restrains] will [restrain], until he [i.e., the Holy Spirit] be taken out of the way. And then shall that Wicked be revealed, whom the Lord shall consume with the spirit of his mouth, and shall destroy with the brightness of his coming” (2 Thessalonians 2:6-8, emphasis mine). When the Holy Spirit is taken “out of the way,” He will take His Temple with Him. This is what we understand as “the Rapture” of the Church.

So, since God does not do things arbitrarily or at random, it makes sense that the “Third Temple,” belonging to the Holy Spirit should also be removed, like the first two, on Tisha B’Av. If not today, then next year, or the next.

No man knows the day or the hour when Jesus will call His Bride home. As His Bride, we should be prepared daily for Him to call us home. It does not necessarily have to be on Tisha B’Av. It could be on Rosh HaShanah, or perhaps on Pentecost or any day when we least expect it. The point is to be ready and watching daily. We have work to do, and when our Lord calls us home, we want Him to find us working to increase His kingdom.

Are you ready to meet Jesus? If not, please read my page on “Securing Eternal Life.”

Notes:


[1]  “Rosh HaShanah” — https://erniecarrasco.com/2016/10/03/rosh-hashanah/

[2]  Read the book of Esther.

[3]  Read the apocryphal books of the Maccabees.

[4]  Numbers13:25-14:12

[5]  https://www.raptureready.com/2021/07/15/the-ninth-of-av-tisha-bav-by-jeff-van-hatten/

[6]  “This B’Av Rapture?” — https://www.rev310.net/post/tish-b-av-rapture

[7]  “A Pattern with a Hole” — https://www.alittlestrength.com/articles/2022/2206-pattern.htm

[8]  Matthew 24

[9]  Ezekiel 38-39

[10]  “Magog, Tubal, and Persia” — https://erniecarrasco.com/2022/07/24/magog-tubal-and-persia/

[11]  2 Chronicles 5:11-14

[12]  Ezekiel 9:3; 10:18

Comments Off on Tisha B’Av

Filed under Apologetics, Christianity, Current Events, End Times, Eschatology, Feasts of the Lord, Gospel, Holy Spirit, Rapture, Salvation, Satan, Second Coming of Christ, Theology