Tag Archives: Rapture

The Last Trump

Shophar-739195

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)

For the past 20 years or more, I have anxiously awaited this time of year. Granted, the Lord is not obligated to comply with my speculations. The times are fully under His sovereign will and control, and I am more than happy to submit to His wisdom and direction. So whatever happens today, tomorrow or in the near future, I am fully trusting that God’s plan will be fulfilled in accordance with His perfect timing to which I am not, nor is anyone else, privy.

The reason for my excitement at this season, is that many years ago I learned that the Feasts of the Lord given to Israel in Exodus were given as a pattern for the future ministry of Christ. The first four feasts came in the spring and were fulfilled by Christ in His flesh. Jesus fulfilled Passover as the Lamb of God on the cross, followed by the Feast of Unleavened Bread. At this feast, all leaven, which represented sin, was to be removed and cast out of the house. Jesus fulfilled this by taking upon Himself our sin and being buried in the earth. Then followed the Feast of First Fruits, which celebrated new life. Jesus fulfilled this feast when He rose from the dead as the “first fruit” of the resurrection. After His resurrection, Jesus walked on the earth for 40 days and ascended into heaven. Ten days later, at the Feast of Pentecost, the Holy Spirit descended upon His followers fulfilling the spring harvest which continues to this day.

Three feasts remain to be fulfilled, and they are the fall feasts. The first is the Feast of Trumpets, or Rosh HaShanah, the beginning of the new civil year. Eight days later Yom Kippur, the Day of Atonement, follows, and then four days after that is Sukkot, or the Feast of Tabernacles (Booths), which is celebrated for eight days. The Feast of Trumpets was a holy convocation or gathering. On the Day of Atonement, sacrifices were offered for the sins of the nation. The high priest first had to offer a sacrifice for his own sins, and then he offered a sacrifice for the sins of the people. He carried the blood of the sacrifice into the temple, and only at this time could he enter into the Holy of Holies that housed the Ark of the Covenant where the presence of the Lord dwelt. As he entered into this most holy place, the chimes on the hem of his robe jingled gaving notice to those without that he was still alive and moving inside. A rope was tied to one of his ankles should the displeasure of the Lord strike him dead. Those outside would not be able to enter the most holy place to extract him, but they could drag him out by the rope. So, in he would go and take the blood of the sacrifice, and there upon the Mercy Seat (the covering of the Ark), he would pour out the blood of the sacrifice. Inside the Ark resided three elements that represented Israel’s sin against God. The tablets of the Ten Commandments represented God’s Law that had been violated. There was a sample of the manna that represented God’s provision that had been rejected. Finally there was Aaron’s staff that had budded representing God’s leadership against which they had rebelled. The contents of the Ark, therefore, represented Israel’s offences against God. These were covered by the sacrificial blood. This was indeed a most solemn and remorseful occasion. Four days later sorrow was followed by a joyous celebration as Israel commemorated their wanderings in the wilderness living in temporary housing – tents, i.e., tabernacles. During this time, God provided food and water for them, and their clothes and shoes did not wear out. More than that, God was always present with them in the form of a cloud by day and a pillar of fire by night. These last three feasts are yet to be fulfilled by the Lord Jesus Christ.

So how is that relevant to us? We are told in the Old Testament, and affirmed in the New Testament, that Christ will return and set up His kingdom on earth for 1000 years. (I have written about this in the past and so have many others, so I will skip the details for now.) Before that happens, seven years of “tribulation” will come upon the earth and mankind (Daniel 9:24-27). According to the pre-tribulation view of end-times, which I loosely hold, Christ will come for His Bride – the Church, the body of all true believers – and take her out of this world to save her from the wrath to come. This is what is known as the Rapture of the church (1 Thessalonians 4:14-18).  This event, we are told, will be preceded “with a shout, with the voice of the archangel, and with the trump of God” (1 Thessalonians 4:16, emphasis mine). Our leading verse says that it will be “at the last trump: for the trumpet shall sound, and the dead shall be raised incorruptible, and we shall be changed” (1 Corinthians 15:52, emphasis mine).

Today, September 13, 2015, is Elul 29 on the Jewish calendar. It is the last day of the Jewish civil year. I understand that every day during the month of Elul, the shofar (the trumpet) is sounded. The following day is Rosh HaShanah (the Feast of Trumpets) when the final trumpet is sounded calling all of Israel to gather at the temple. I believe that for the Church, the Bride of Christ, that will be the call to gather to Him, and thus fulfilling the first of the fall feasts. Tomorrow, September 14, 2015, Tishri 1 on the Jewish calendar, is that day.

There are many reasons to believe that the Rapture will occur tomorrow, although I will not presume upon God and make an emphatic or dogmatic statement. Today (Elul 29) concludes the Sabbatical Year – the Shemitah. Tomorrow, Tishri 1, announces the beginning of the 70th Year of Jubilee since the observance was given to Israel 3500 years ago. Seven, in biblical numerology is the number of completion. Many other “coincidental” events are also converging around this time as recorded in the last post I shared (http://www.ericbarger.com/focused.doom.htm).

I am not saying categorically that the Rapture will take place tomorrow. But I will say this: I will have my ear cocked toward the eastern sky listening for that last trump. I may be disappointed, but never disheartened or discouraged because the Lord promised that He would return (John 14:1-3), and I know that He will when HE is ready. I need to be ready too. Are you?

8 Comments

Filed under Apologetics, Bible, Christianity, Current Events, End Times, Religion, Resurrection, Second Coming of Christ, Theology

When I Disappear

Rapture 123RF

Image Credit: Benjamin Haas, http://www.123rf.com

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 4:17)

As I study God’s Word concerning the “Last Days,” and I observe everything taking place around the world, I am more convinced than ever that the return of Christ is imminent. Every day that I wake up, I realize that I am one day closer to His return; whether I meet Him in death or I meet Him in the air, I know I will see Him soon. While this is great news for me, my heart breaks to know that many of my loved ones, and particularly my two sons and their families, will suffer seven years of global calamity such as the world has never known at best, or they will spend eternity in hell[1] at worst. I know that the distasteful topic of hell offends many, but since Jesus spoke more about hell than He did about heaven, serious consideration needs to be given the topic. I want to know that all those whom I love are written in the “Lamb’s Book of Life”[2] (Revelation 20:12), and that they will go with me when I disappear rather than wait for a second chance.

If you are not with me when I disappear, you need to look for certain “signs” to take place in the world. Keep your eye on the Middle East, particularly on the nation of Israel. The cauldron is boiling there. Tensions continue to escalate. The Islamic State (aka ISIS, aka ISIL) continues to acquire territory in Iraq and Syria. As I write this, the United States started airstrikes against ISIS targets which will only serve to strengthen the resolve of the radical Islamists. Meanwhile, Iran moves ahead with its intent to develop nuclear weapon capabilities aided by an emboldened Russia who fearlessly taunts the US with practice bombing runs approaching our airspace.[3] China feverishly works on developing ICBM delivery systems from their submarines.[4] At the same time, Israel fends off non-stop rocket barrages from HAMAS in the Gaza Strip. The world is in turmoil crying, “Peace, peace; when there is no peace” (Jeremiah 6:14; 8:11). Of these times God addresses Russia and those nations with whom it is allied:

And say, Thus saith the Lord GOD; 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 … Persia, Ethiopia, and Libya with them … Gomer, and all his bands; the house of Togarmah of the north quarters, and all his bands: and many people with thee. Be thou prepared, and prepare for thyself, thou, and all thy company that are assembled unto thee, and be thou a guard unto them. After many days thou shalt be visited: in the latter years thou shalt come into the land 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. Thou shalt ascend and come like a storm, thou shalt be like a cloud to cover the land, thou, and all thy bands, and many people with thee. (Ezekiel 38:3-9, emphasis mine).

Therefore, son of man, prophesy and say unto Gog, Thus saith the Lord GOD; In that day when my people of Israel dwelleth safely, shalt thou not know it? And thou shalt come from thy place out of the north parts, thou, and many people with thee, all of them riding upon horses, a great company, and a mighty army: And thou shalt come up against my people of Israel, as a cloud to cover the land; it shall be in the latter days, and I will bring thee against my land, that the heathen may know me, when I shall be sanctified in thee, O Gog, before their eyes. (Ezekiel 38:14-16, emphasis mine)

The names of the nations mentioned above may be unfamiliar to you, but without going into a great deal of detail, Gog is Russia and the others are basically all the current Islamic nations surrounding Israel. God is in control of this and He will draw them in to attack Israel, but His ultimate goal is to show the “heathen” who God is. My guess is that it will not go well for them. In any case, things seem to be moving in that direction.

I may or may not be around to witness this event. Whether I disappear before this or just after, there will be millions of Christians that will disappear along with me from all over the world. This will have devastating effects on the global economy, especially here in the US where most of the world Christian population resides. Since most Christians have conservative values, they work and contribute to GNP of the US, and they pay most of the taxes. Consequently, that loss of “producers” will cripple the US economy, which is already teetering from unsustainable debt, and that will create a domino effect throughout the world. With the world reeling from war and economic chaos, fear, hitherto unknown, will grip the hearts of people, and they will cry out for someone to take charge and restore sanity to an upside down world. At that time a little known political leader will emerge to reinstate order. “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). “One week” is seven years. This “One-World” leader will finally bring peace to the Middle East. Israel will finally have peace with its Muslim neighbors. This new world leader will also calm the hearts of the people who are wondering about all the disappearances. He will remind the people that all those who disappeared were all those intolerant Christians who were obstacles to world peace and harmony. He may suggest that all these were taken away by our alien[5] friends who wish to teach us a better way to live, or some such cockamamie story that will be well received by the masses.

When I disappear, that great world leader will restore peace to a chaotic world. In order to restore economic stability to the world, he will set up an economic system that eliminates the need for currency.

And he causeth all, both small and great, rich and poor, free and bond, to receive a mark in their right hand, or in their foreheads: And that no man might buy or sell, save he that had the mark, or the name of the beast, or the number of his name. Here is wisdom. Let him that hath understanding count the number of the beast: for it is the number of a man; and his number is Six hundred threescore and six. (Revelation 13:16-18, emphasis mine)

Current thought from those who study end-time prophecy suggests that “the mark”[6] could be a barcode tattoo or perhaps an RFID (Radio Frequency Identification Device) chip containing all of your personal information (SSN, bank accounts, address, and possibly your current location) that can be easily implanted under the skin in the hand or forehead.[7] I strongly encourage you not to take the mark even though not doing so will cause severe financial difficulty for you because:

If any man worship the beast and his image, and receive his mark in his forehead, or in his hand, The same shall drink of the wine of the wrath of God, which is poured out without mixture into the cup of his indignation; and he shall be tormented with fire and brimstone in the presence of the holy angels, and in the presence of the Lamb: And the smoke of their torment ascendeth up for ever and ever: and they have no rest day nor night, who worship the beast and his image, and whosoever receiveth the mark of his name. (Revelation 14:9-11, emphasis mine)

In other words, if you accept the mark, you automatically condemn yourself to an eternity in hell. (I know. You don’t like to think or talk about hell, but there it is!)

When I disappear, the One-World leader will restore peace to the world, but only for a short season. This will be the beginning of the Great Tribulation described in Revelation 6-19. When I disappear, if you are not with me, you will need to study these passages closely to prepare for what comes next. It won’t be pretty, but if you are wise, this may be that last chance you have to “call upon the name of the Lord [and] be saved” (Romans 10:13). I write this because I love you and I do not want you suffer the horrors that await those who continue to reject Christ or who foolishly afford Him little importance. I want to scare the “hell” out of you, but only so you can be with me when I disappear. Don’t wait to see if the things I say come true (they will); it may be too late by then. Read my article “You Don’t Go to Hell Because You’re a Sinner.” Come with me when I disappear!

NOTES:


 

[1]You Don’t Go to Hell Because You’re A Sinner

[2]The Book of Life

[3] http://rt.com/usa/186084-russian-bombers-labrador-gertz/

[4] http://www.inquisitr.com/1488574/china-and-russias-nuclear-submarines-capable-of-striking-american-bases-says-u-s-navy/

[5] https://erniecarrasco.com/2013/06/16/aliens/

[6] https://www.raptureready.com/abc/666.html

[7] http://www.raptureready.com/nm/132.html

2 Comments

Filed under Apologetics, Christianity, Current Events, End Times, Evangelism, Gospel, Heaven, Hell, Politics, Religion, Resurrection, Salvation, Theology, UFOs