Men and Women of God Ministries

equipping men and women of God to be Men and Women of God.


On The Five Fold Ministry: Introduction (Part 1)
mwgm

        Since I am presently unemployed, I can go ahead and do some work on this blog. I really want to discuss the "Five Fold Ministry."

This concept is based on Ephesians 4:11. Below is the KJV version:

"And he gave some, apostles; and some, prophets; and some, evangelists; and some, pastors and teachers;"

When you read the entirety of Eph 4, Paul begins by talking about Unity. I don't mean the wishy-washy unity that is created by political correctness and a watering down of truth. True Biblical unity comes as a result of maturity in Christ. In v1 of chapter 4, Paul urged the Ephesian church to live a life worthy of the call they had received.

He goes on to talk about the fact there is one Body, one faith, one baptism (presumably by water as a confession of faith), one God. There ought not be any divisions or schims.

Paul then speaks of the grace given us through Christ. The word for grace here is χρις or "Charis." It has a variety of meanings, among which are "good will" "loving kindness" and "favor." This word is closely related to another word in Scripture, χρισμα or “Charisma.” That word refers to “unmerited favor” and can also refer to a spiritual gift (Romans 1:11).

 

As in all things referring to charisma, charis and charismata, it is always a statement of God’s kindness, never of our qualification.

 

So this grace in Eph 4 is seen as a work of Christ. The word for measure is μτρον or “metron.” It refers to a measure, but also refers to an instrument of measuring, like a a vessel. Not a sea-faring vessel, but a vessel like a vase or barrel that would have been used to standardize quantity. It also means a “determined extent.”

 

The word for gift is μτρον or “dorea.” It means a gift, but in the sense of it being gratuitous, freely. It is the kind of gift given by a sovereign. It is unwarranted, unearned.

 

In verse 8 we see another word for gift δμα or “doma.” This word means gift but also refers to a thing given, one source relates to a “medical dose.” We see that Christ is the One who gave gifts unto men.

 

What does this have to do with the Five Fold Ministry?

 

Well, when you move the parentheses which are another topic dealing with Christ’s intermediate state between death and resurrection, you get to verse 11, that it is Christ who gave some to be apostles, some to be prophets, some to be evangelists and others to be pastors and teachers.

 

Apostles, Prophets, Evangelists, Pastors and Teachers are gifts! Those people are gifts! Dr. Stanley Horton in his book, “What The Bible Says About The Holy Spirit” makes the argument that Apostles, Prophets, Evangelists, Pastors and Teachers are actually taken captive by Christ and given to the church. This certainly falls in line with Paul’s salutations of being a captive, prisoner, and servant of Jesus. In Romans 1, Paul said he was separated, φορζω aphorizo which means to “mark off from others by boundaries.”

 

God has called men and women to these five offices. The question is: “For what purpose?”

 

The purpose is found in the rest verses 12-16.

For the perfecting of the saints, for the work of the ministry, for the edifying of the body of Christ:

Till we all come in the unity of the faith, and of the knowledge of the Son of God, unto a perfect man, unto the measure of the stature of the fulness of Christ:

That we henceforth be no more children, tossed to and fro, and carried about with every wind of doctrine, by the sleight of men, and cunning craftiness, whereby they lie in wait to deceive;

 But speaking the truth in love, may grow up into him in all things, which is the head, even Christ:

 From whom the whole body fitly joined together and compacted by that which every joint supplieth, according to the effectual working in the measure of every part, maketh increase of the body unto the edifying of itself in love.”

Here are the purposes of the Five Fold Ministry:

 

1)      Perfect the saints. Perfect is καταρτισμς or katratismos which means “complete furnishing” “equipping.” Ministers exists to furnish the saints to be mature/complete.

2)      Unity in Christ and fullness in Him.

3)      Stability and a sure knowledge of truth as a result of equipping and fullness.

4)      Live lives of love and be Christ-like

5)      Help believers understand their place in the Body and help them discover their spiritual gifts so that can work effectively in the Body, fulfilling their God-given purpose.

 

There are those who oppose the Five Fold Ministry. They say that we no longer need Apostles or Prophets because we have the Bible. They (usually Baptists) say that the times of the Apostles have ended. However, given the purposes listed above, I ask this:

 

Is the Church really in that place that Paul is talk about in Ephesians 4:12-16?

 

Also, a bigger question, and one I do not believe opponents can answer honestly:

 

Why does Paul mention 5 ministers in Eph 4:11, and the completion of the Bible only takes away 2? If 5 are mentioned in the same passage, wouldn’t the completion of the Bible eliminate the need for all 5?

 

The truth is, no church would go for any extended amount of time without a pastor. When a pastor announces they are leaving a church, the board begins that pastoral search. Teachers are utilized on a professional level in Bible Colleges and on a lay level in Sunday School, Bible Studies or other Christian Education Programs.

 

Why this arbitrary cutting off of Apostles and Prophets?

 

I know why. Because people have had bad experiences with some fraud masquerading as a Prophet or Apostle. Truth be told, it happened back in Paul’s day. However, so many Christians place an emphasis on what stan is capable of doing without trusting God to provide the real.

 

Until we live up to those purposes found in Eph 4:12-16, we NEED Apostles, we NEED Prophets, we NEED Evangelists, we NEED Pastors, we NEED Teachers. God knows this, and He will continue to call men and women to fill those places, He will continue to take hearts captive with His love, and He will be faithful to make us conform to the image of His glorious Son!

 

Next time, LORD willing, I hope to examine the Apostolic Ministry.     

    


On Yet Another Disappearance
mwgm
Wow, I am too irregular with this. However, I have a good explanation.

So the last teach I did was back on July 8th. Then around the 22nd I did a post telling what happened with the guest speaker at La Catedral Del Pueblo.

I had intended to do the Five Fold Ministry teaching, however I got sidetracked, this is what happened.

I started looking for work, and 2 days into my job hunt a job dropped into my lap. it was 8-5 Mon-Fri. It was perfect. I could work, have weekends off with my wife, see  my wife in the evenings, and of course, still be involved in  volunteer ministry.

So the job was simple enough, I would go and do purchasing. I would purchase electonic components. Simple. The pay was decent too. $12 and hour, then a week and a half ago I got a raise to $16. Sweet.

However, the longer I was there, the more I found out, and the more I found out, the more uncomfortable I became. without going into details, I felt I could not be a man of integrity and stay there.

I worked there for a month and a half. I would get up at 6 am, pray, have breakfast, get ready for work, work from 8-5, come home, have dinner, pray with my wife, work out, shower, spend time with her, and go to bed. On Tuesday nights we have youth discipleship, then Fridays my wife and I would go on a date, Saturdays was laundry, errands and the youth servcie while Sunday was church, errands and relax. Then Monday the cycle started all over again.

So I didn't see where I could work on this blog.

So last Wednesday, enough was enough, and I left my old job. Giving up $16 an hour with a great schedule and friendly co-workers wasn't easy, but I feel (and there were plenty of witnesses including 2 pastors), that God wanted me out of there.

So now I have the struggle of trying to find out what God's direction is.

On Sept 11, 2011, a few weeks ago, I had the chance to preach and minister in a church. In youth I have been given a lot of chances to preach and teach. However, I hav to be honest, it's not enough. I want to earn a living by preaching and teaching, however, it seems like there is never an open door.

I know it goes back to the word given back in July. However, to be deliberately kept from your passion is not easy.

So I wrestle with God trying to discern His will. Do I try for WalMart again? Do I look for another secular job? Do I try to launch out into ministry with no connections and rest solely on faith?

What's a man to do to please God? What's the path God has for me? Why is it so conviluted?

At least I know He's there and He is faithful.

I'll try to work on the Five Fold Ministry Intro this week and post it Friday, Lord willing.

Blessings,
Walter

On Relaxing
mwgm
I typed last week that this week I would try to post teaching on the Five Fold Ministry starting today, however, I won't be able to as i will preaching tomorrow night and need to prepare.

Instead I will post a testimony.

Last Sunday in church, I attend a Hispanic church so my wife has to translate for me, there was a guest speaker. He spoke a word about fear using the story of Mephibosheth from 2 Sam 9. He then called people to the front, so my wife and I went up. He spoke a word of prophecy over me and told me I needed to rest. God was holding me back from doing what I wanted to do because He was working on me first. That was encouraging as it seems i always feel held back and thought it was some other reason.

Also, my parents were down with my niece from Canada. We had a great time together, we went to Disney in Orlando, enjoyed Florida. It was a blessed time. They made it back home safely and we thank God for that.

Also, around 2 years ago, my sister was told by the doctor that she wouldn't be able to have any more children. My wife and I prayed with her and I felt the LORD impress the truth that doctors don't have the final word. My sister at a later time went to the front of my old home church and the former pastor there prayed and he knew everything would work in her favor. So here we are, July 22, 2011 and my nephew is celebrating his 1st birthday! Thank God for all His blessings.

Be blessed and encouraged in the LORD, rejoice always.

Walter

On The Islamic End Time Theory and The Pre-Wrath Rapture Part 8
mwgm
This is the final part of this series. God bless you. Next week I'm taking the week off as my parents are coming to visit. The next series I hope to do is the Five Fold Ministry. This last part deals with how we are to react to the info I've presented and its implications. God bless you.

Part 8- Where Do We Go From Here?

If the Antichrist is coming out of Islam and if the Rapture is Pre-Wrath meaning we’ll see the first 6 seals opened, we will be experiencing some of the most turbulent times in history. In fact, when one looks at  the Great Tribulation, the Martyrdom of the 5th seal, the first 4 seals (with war, famine and death), the false prophet and the abomination of the desolation; how could it get worse? The day of the LORD will actually be much, much worse.

Until that day, what are we to do? How are we to respond? Do we arm ourselves with AK-47’s? Do we go into a bunker? How should we respond?

1) Do not operate out of any motive of fear.

When we look at the possibility of martyrdom, of famine, of war, of Antichrist and the mark, or at Islam’s violent spreading it is easy to get intimidated and to be afraid.

However, God has not given us a spirit of fear (2 Tim 1:7). We are not appointed to wrath, and God’s love casts out all fear (1 John 4:18)

2) The future is not about the Antichrist, it is not about Islam, the Mark, or the Great Tribulation. It is about Jesus’ sovereignty over the earth.

When we look at the days specified in the Bible, like in Dan 12, or when we see the voice calling out the amount for the price of food from Rev 6. When we read that wars and desolations have been determined until the end (Dan 9, Matt 24), when we read of multitudes taking the mark, or those not taking the mark being beheaded…in all these things remember this…

Nothing happens unless God says it is to happen!

Armed with that knowledge, we must remember that God is control of beginning, middle and end. Romans 8 says if we share in His sufferings, we will share in His glory.

3) Martyrdom is something every believer, no matter what period of history, has to be prepared for.

Joel Richardson points out martyrdom isn’t cool or a badge of spiritual honor. John, who received the revelation, actually died of natural causes. Paul, Peter and others died as martyrs, but John received the Revelation. Martyrdom doesn’t make one more spiritual or accepted in God’s eyes. Paul in 1 Cor 13 said that if he sacrificed his body but didn’t have love, it would be meaningless.

How do we prepare for martyrdom? We prepare for tomorrow by the choices we make today. Jesus said that daily we were to take our cross and follow Him (Mark 8:34). Gal 2:20 reminds us that we are to let Christ live in us for we are crucified. Our plans, wishes, aspirations are to be crucified. Our flesh is to be crucified and we are to surrendered to God’s will.

In Rev 15:2 it talks of those who won the victory over the beast. How did they gain victory? They refused to submit and were martyred. The Beast could kill their bodies but vanquish not their souls. When we have a heavenward view of things, which is the mature view according to Paul in Philippians 3:15-21, we will see this life is temporary but what is spiritual will last forever (2 Cor 4:17,18). When we surrender to God, we realize that we are His, not we ourselves. The chorus to the hymn “God leads Us Along“ by George Young is apropos. “Some through the waters, some through the flood, some through the fire, but all through the blood. Some through great sorrows but God gives a song, in the night season and all the day long.”

Whether or not we face martyrdom, we are to die to our flesh daily. Selfishness is a trait no child of God is to be marked by.

4) Don’t be fatalistic.

God has chosen us to be workers with Him according to 1 Cor 3:9. We have a part to play in history. God has called different people to live in different times and places (Acts 17:26). We are called to have relationship with God, with each other and to proclaim the gospel of the Kingdom. Whatever we are called to do, God will equip with grace and power necessary. God chooses to work with us, we are not pawns or puppets.

Also, the Great Tribulation in Matt 24 has a Jewish context. Jer 30:3 talks about the time of Jacob’s trouble and in Dan 12, Daniel is told when Michael stands still, his people will have distress. Who are Daniel’s people? The Jews.

We don’t know what will be of Canada, USA or other nations. Because of that we are to pray, to be involved, to wage war in the heavenlies. Rev mentions the Euphrates drying up and the kings of the east marching. The Bible hints at opposition to the Antichrist. Could it be that the West will oppose him? Possibly, we don’t know.

Assuming the worst and being passive is the wrong approach. Passivity is not faith.

 

 

 
 
5) Instead if imminence, our focus ought to be expectance.

It has been shown God’s wrath is poured out in the day of the LORD. The Rapture will take place before the day of the LORD. The signs of the Day of the LORD are clear, especially the “cosmic disturbances” from Isaiah 13, Isa 34, Joel 2, Matt 24 and Rev 6.

If these things were imminent, why the signs? Imminence means at any moment. Christ can’t return at any moment in a flash without those signs first happening. We are not to believe in imminence, but we are to have an attitude of expectancy.

We are to expect that we will be the generation that sees the signs of Christ’s return. We are to be expectant. Part of expectation is watching, being alert and prepared. Titus 2:13 says we are to be looking for the blessed hope, the appearing of Christ. Paul said in 1 Thess 5:6-10 that we are to watch and be sober. Earlier in 1 Thess 5 Paul said that the day of the LORD will be as a theif in the night, but that we are not in darkness that the day should overtake us as a theif. That means we can be prepared for that day. In Luke 21:36 we are told to be on the alert. More passages with the themes of watchfulness or expecting are James 5:7, Mark 13:33, Philippians 4:5, Matt 24:33, Philippians 3:20, Rev 3:2-3, Luke 12:46, and many others.

That expectation is an expectation of suffering, but also one of victory. Paul said in Philippians 3:10 that he desires to know and the power of His resurrection. Paul then also says that he wanted to know the fellowship of Christ’s sufferings and wanted to be made conformable unto Christ’s death.

This truth must be realized, to reign with Christ, we must suffer with Him. The Proverbs say in 18:22 and 15:33 that humility comes before honor. Contrary to popular teaching, suffering is not a sign of sin, but often a sign you’re doing something right. All those who want to live godly lives will be persecuted.

The hope we have is found in Christ. He suffered, died and rose again. If we suffer and die with Him, we will rise. He will give us the Kingdom if we stand firm. If we confess Him before men, He will acknowledge us before the Father. When He comes, He will bring fiery vengeance on all who persecute His sheep. To those who endure He will give a crown of life and we will “dwell in the house of the LORD forever.”

Even so, Lord Jesus come.

 
 

On The Islamic End Time Theory and The Pre-Wrath Rapture Part 7.3
mwgm
I know some of these entries have contained a lot of text, take your time and be patient. Be slow, purposeful and diligent. If you carefully read, you'll see the similarities between Rev 6 and Matt 24 and how the Rapture is later into the 70th Week than most teach. You'll also see that it is beyond the time set by Mid-Tribulationists but doesn't fall in line with Post-Tribulation teaching.

This week's entry is going to be shorter. LORD willing, there will be a table showing the similarities between Rev 6 and Matt 24, showing what I have talked about thus far. The sequence of events is EXACTLY the same. Matt 24 gives more info on the Abomination of Desolation and the Great Tribulation since Jesus is speaking to Jewish disciples.

Here is the comparison of Daniel's 70th Week in Matthew 24 and Revelation 6 as noted by Marvin Rosenthal:


 

Daniel’s 70th Week as told by Jesus in Matthew 24

 

 

Daniel’s 70th Week as told by Jesus to John in Revelation 6

 

Matt 24:5: Many will come claiming to be Christ and deceive many.

Rev 6:1-2: 1st Seal- The Rider on the White Horse is understood to be Antichrist, who will claim to be Christ and deceive many.

Matt 24:6,7a: Wars and Rumours of Wars

Rev 6:3,4: 2nd Seal- Rider on Red Horse brings a large sword to take away peace.

Matt 24:7b: Famines

Rev 6:5,6: 3rd Seal- Rider on Black Horse who measures depleted food supply.

Matthew 24:7c-8: Pestilences and earthquakes. “These are the beginning of sorrows.” [Italics mine]

Rev 6:7,8: 4th Seal- Pale Horse with Hades following. Represents Pestilence and Death. People are killed with sword, famine, plague and beasts of the earth.

Matthew 24:9 Persecution, Affliction  and Martyrdom because of the name of Jesus.

Rev 6:9-11: 5th Seal- Martyrdom. Souls under the altar praying to be avenged but told to wait until the full number of martyrs is completed.

Matthew 24:29 (see also Mark 13:24-25 and Luke 21:25)

Immediately after the tribulation of those days [i.e. great  tribulation] the sun is darkened, the moon will not give its light, stars fall from heaven and the powers of the heavens will be shaken.

Rev 6:12,13: 6th Seal- Cosmic Disturbance announcing the soon start of the Day of the LORD. The sun becomes black like sackcloth, the moon becomes like blood, the stars fall to the earth.
















Conclusion:

If we say we believe the Bible to be literal, and if we say we believe the Bible to be the verbal, inspired, infallible Word of God, then this is clear looking at the above passages:

1) The day of the LORD will be a terrible time of God’s wrath.

2) Cosmic Disturbances happen before the Day of the LORD. Those disturbances happen when the 6th Seal is opened.

3) The sign of the appearing of Christ happens after the opening of the 6th seal. (Matt 24:30, Mark 13:26 and Luke 21:27; compare with Rev 6:12,13) This occurs after the Great Tribulation, but long before the 70th Week is finished. The Coming of Christ (parousia- coming and continued presence) is to rapture the Church before His wrath is poured out, and then to deal with Israel and the nations for their sin. It will be culminated by the battle of Armageddon and Christ setting up the throne in Jerusalem. He will reign forevermore.

Next week, LORD willing, I will post the 8th and final lesson. It will be done in one entry as there isn't much left to say. God Bless.

On The Islamic End Time Theory and the Pre-Wrath Rapture Part 7.2
mwgm
This is a continuation of last week. There is a chance there will have to be a third part. This compares Matthew 24 and Revelation 6 and shows how the Rapture cannot be placed in a Pre-Trib context.

Matthew 24 and Revelation 6 

 

These two chapters describe the end. People think of Revelation as being John’s Revelation. However, look at Rev 1:1, it says plainly, the revelation of Jesus Christ. It was signified by His angel to His servant John. In Matthew 24, Jesus is answering the question posed by his disciples. The context of Matthew 24 is found in Matthew 21-23. In Matthew 21 Jesus enters Jerusalem on a donkey in fulfillment of Zechariah’s prophecy. He is immediately assaulted by the chief priests and the elders. They question His authority, Jesus stumps them. He then tells parables directed at the priests and Pharisees. In Matt 22:15-22 they lay a trap for Jesus involving paying taxes. It’s interesting to note the Pharisees came with Herodians. They hated each other but united over hatred of Jesus. The Saducees then came with a question about resurrection. That was hypocritical because they didn’t believe in resurrection. Then a lawyer came and asked a question. There was no separation of Synagogue and State in Israel, so a lawyer was an expert in the Torah (Jewish law). He asked a question that was loaded and set up as a trap. “What was the greatest commandment?” There were two schools, Rabbi Shammai and Rabbi Hillel. There was fierce debate, and they wanted to entangle Jesus and alienate Him from one segment of the population. However, Jesus cited both schools and demonstrated the vertical and horizontal nature of the two-fold Great Commandment.

So in Matthew 23 Jesus pronounces seven woes on the leadership, namely Pharisees. They were the leaders of Israel and on behalf of Israel had rejected Jesus as messiah. Jesus then said in Matt 23:38,39 that their house was desolate and that they wouldn’t see Him again until they were ready to say “Blessed is He who comes in the name of the LORD.” (Psalm 118:26)

 Matthew 24:1-39

 Verses 1-3

: The disciples, possibly trying to cheer Jesus up, points out the wonderful buildings in Jerusalem. Jesus makes a prophecy about them being overthrown. That prophecy was fulfilled by Titus in 70 AD under the rule of his father Vespasian.

: The disciples then ask what the sign of His coming and of the end of the age will be. It is important to note that the word “sign” is  σημεον “semeion” and is singular. The disciples are not asking about a bunch of signs. There is one clear sign before Christ comes. Once again, if a sign precedes His coming, then it is not imminent.

: Also important is the use of the word αἰών “aion.” It can mean “world” but also means “age” “perpetuity of time” and “eternity.” 

Verses 4-8

 : Jesus warns them of deceivers claiming to be Christ. Jesus warns of wars, He warns of kingdoms and nations rising up against each other. Jesus warns of famines, earthquakes, and pestilences. Pestilence is λοιμς “loimos” which can also mean “plague.” It is interesting to note that Jesus says not to be alarmed for such things must happen and that they are the beginning of δν “odin” which means “sorrow” or “travail.”

 Verses 9-14

: Jesus then warns of persecution and hatred by all nations because of Him. Because of the persecution many will hate one another and will betray each other. The word for persecution Jesus uses is θλψις “thlipsis” “pressure“ or “tribulation.” It’s the same word Jesus uses for the Great Tribulation later in Matthew 24.

 : The KJV notes in verse 10 that many shall be “offended” The Greek is σκανδαλζω “skandalizo” which means “to entice to sin” “to cause a person to distrust and desert one to whom he ought to trust and obey.” Hatred is “miseo” which can also mean “detest”

: False prophets will deceive many people and the love of most will grow cold. ψχω “psycho” (psu-kho) which means to “cool by blowing,” “grow cold” and is a metaphor of waning love.

: Despite this, Jesus makes the promise whoever stands firm till the end. The end of what?  Jesus is talking about the end of the age. Whoever stands firm until the end of the age will be saved. Despite the hatred, persecution, tribulation and suffering of His followers, the gospel of the Kingdom will be preached in all nations, and then the end will come. The word for Kingdom is βασιλεα “basileia” which means “royal power” “kingship” “dominion” “rule.” It is not to be confused with an actual kingdom but rather the right and authority to rule over a kingdom. It is also used in the NT to refer to the reign of Messiah.

: Despite persecution, suffering, betrayal and the opposition of false prophets, those who are true to Jesus will go into the world making the case for His rule being the only legitimate one. That will fly in the face of the throne Antichrist has taken for himself.

Verses 15-28

: Jesus here in verse 15 is describing the Abomination of Desolation. Jesus highlights the necessity to get out as quickly as possible. He then states it will be hard for pregnant women and nursing mothers. Jesus then uses the term “Great Tribulation.” It is in reference to the suffering and persecution of the Jewish people. Dan 12 states that when Michael stands still, the nation will go through an unparalleled time of distress. Jer 30:7 uses the term “time of Jacob’s trouble.”

: What needs to be noted here is the term “except those days be shortened, no flesh would be saved.” What this means is that the time against the Jews is so terrible, that if the Great Tribulation wasn’t cut short, the Jews would be destroyed. For their sake, the Great Tribulation is cut short.

: Jesus also warns of false Christs and false prophets trying to draw Jews out of their hiding place. Jesus then states that His coming will be seen by all. His coming doesn’t have any secret moment to it. There is no secrecy about the return of Jesus. The word “coming” in Greek is παρουσα “parousia” which means coming but also carries a sense of a continuing presence.

 Verse 29

This is the start of the Day of the LORD Judgment. The sun going dark, the moon not giving light, the stars falling from the sky. Compare that with Isaiah 34:4, Isaiah 13:9, 10 and Joel 2:30,31. It is unmistakable, the Day of LORD will begin with that cosmic sign.

Verses 30-31

: The sign of the Son of Man will appear. Jesus didn’t identify that sign. He just said the sign would appear after the sign for the day of the LORD judgment.

: When He comes, He will come from out of the sky on clouds with great power and authority. The nations will mourn, and angels will be sent to gather the elect with a loud trumpet call. This is the Rapture. Compare it to 1 Thess 4:16-18. After the cosmic sign that announces the arrival of the Day of the LORD, the Rapture happens and we will not see judgment. Compare to Luke 21:25-28. Jesus says signs in the sun, moon and stars, nations will be in anguish and men will be in terror. In Luke 21:28 Jesus says when these things begin, look up for redemption is coming near.

Verses 32-39

: Jesus says that we are to take a lesson from the fig tree. You can tell the season by the tree. You cannot predict when the figs will bear, but when you see green leaves, summer is near and fruit will soon start growing. In the same way, we cannot know the day or hour of Christ’s return. However, when we see the cosmic sign, we can know that His coming is near, even at the door.

 

 Further Notes:

Note that in verses 4-8 Jesus is describing events that Pre-Trib adherents apply to now. They say that these things happen before the Rapture. However in verses 9-14 persecution is described and in verse 15 the abomination of desolation occurs. Where is the first 3 and a ½ years? Where is the Rapture? The abomination of desolation happens at the mid-point of the 7 year treaty. If the Rapture is Pre-Trib, why did Jesus go from before the Rapture in verses 4-14 and then skip 3 and ½ years in verse 15?

 Note that in verse 8 Jesus says “beginning of sorrows” or “beginning of birth pangs.” He then uses the term “great tribulation” in verse 21. In verse 29 he says “After the tribulation of those days.” then lists the sign for the Day of the LORD. The terms “Tribulation” for the first 3 and ½ years and “Great Tribulation” for the second 3 and ½ years has no merit. What is seen here within the text is “Beginning of sorrows” “Great tribulation” and His Coming. The beginning of Sorrows (or birth pains) is 3 and ½ years. The Great Tribulation is cut short according to Jesus so we don’t know when it stops. Then is His Coming. His Coming also has a Continuing Presence. He comes, Raptures the Church, then pours out judgment.

:  The rest of Matthew 24 is devoted to the need for watchfulness. How can we watch for a Rapture or a Coming that is signless?

: What Jesus is presenting here is a time of great deception by the enemy. It is so great that many will fall away and desert Christ. For those who endure (“hypomeno” meaning “persevere” “abide” “not recede or flee” “bear bravely and calmly“), they will be saved. They will proclaim the Kingdom and Christ being the One who will rule. There will be dangerous times, hard times, but the faithful will stand. The abomination of desolation will bring trouble and great tribulation for the Jews. It is so terrible, Jesus needs to cut it short with His return. He raptures the Church after the cosmic disturbance, and then pours out judgment. Many will not see it coming because they will be like the people of Noah’s day. They will go about their lives, disregarding Jesus and when He comes, they mourn.

Revelation 6, 7

In Revelation 6 we see the seven seals. What many don’t understand is that the seals are not God’s judgment. Seals in the Roman world indicated two things. Namely, ownership and protection. The judgment of God can be seen in the trumpets and bowls. The 7 Trumpets and the 7 bowls are found inside the seventh seal. The Seventh Seal contains the Day of the LORD judgment. What about the other 6?

1st seal (Rev 6:1,2) Rider on a White Horse

: This is the rise of Antichrist. What is interesting is that the rise of the Antichrist is not God’s judgment. Christ is in control of it. Antichrist is given room to conquer. Even though his horse is white (Gr “leukos”) horse like Christ’s, he is an imitation.

2nd seal (Rev 6: 3,4) Rider on a Red Horse

: The text is pretty self-explanatory. However, it should be noted the Antichrist has a large part to play in peace being taken from the earth. (Dan 7:19,21; Rev 12:17; Rev 13:4) All who don’t bow to the Antichrist or Islam will be met with violence.

: The word for color red used here is not the usual Greek word for red. This word is πυρρς “pyrros” which pertains to the colour of fire.

3rd seal (Rev 6: 5,6) Rider on a Black Horse

: This cost for wheat can be due to a number of factors. No doubt, there will not be one single cause, but numerous. War, Famines due to drought or weather change, Economic meltdowns causing hyper-inflation are all probable. A denarius (day’s wages) was able to buy 8-10 quarts of wheat. Wheat will be more expensive, barley will be cheaper, and oil and wine are luxury items that won’t be harmed. No one will really be able to afford oil and wine. Those with families will struggle to buy barley while those who are single will be able to buy wheat have nothing left over.

: The voice in the midst of the four beats is God. He is dictating what will happen and like a merchant in the market, declaring prices.

4th seal (Rev 6:7,8) Rider on a Pale Horse

: Greek word for pale is χλωρς “chloros” which is “green” or “yellowish pale.”

: Death rides with Hades following close. Hades is Hell and in the OT was known as Sheol. In Prov 27:20 we see hell is never full. In Isa 5:14 we see hell enlarges itself. In Hab 2, speaking of the proud, they are compared to enlarging their desire like hell. Death and hell are given power to kill ¼ of the population by sword, famine, plague and beasts of the earth. Hell seems to enlarge itself to swallow up those who die.

: Some try to say the “beasts of the field” refer to AIDS which they call “Green Monkey Virus.” There is a link between HIV and “non-human primates.” However, a look at 2 Kings 17:25, Ex 23:29 Deut 7:22 shows the damage wild beats can cause a depleted population. With all the war, famine and plagues killing ¼ of earth, people could be vulnerable to wild animal attacks.

: What is important to note, once again, is that the number of people being killed is determined by God. These seals highlight humanity’s wickedness, but also God’s sovereignty.

5th seal (Rev 6:9,-11) Martyrdom

: The 5th seal is opened and we the souls of those who are killed for the Word of God and the testimony to which they held. They are under the altar and are praying to be avenged. They note the Lord as Sovereign. They are told to have patience.

: Look the word “soul.” In Greek it’s ψυχ  “psyche.” (psü-khā'). These are souls of Christians who have resisted the Antichrist, they have not experienced resurrection at the Rapture yet. The word for testimony is μαρτυρα “martyria.”  It speaks of testifying before a judge. They testified of Christ, and were martyred. They are under the altar, but where are the people who are Raptured? There is no sign of them.

: The souls under the altar are praying to be avenged but are told to wait under the number of their fellow servants who were to be killed as they had was completed. We see in Rev 20 the method of execution was beheading, which fits Islam. There is a specific number. We don’t know how many, but that number is specified by God who is in complete control.

 6th seal (Rev 6:12-17)

: 6th seal is opened and there was an earthquake followed by cosmic disturbance. Compare that to Isaiah 2:10,19-21; Isa 13:6-13, Joel 2:10,11, 30-32; Isa 34:2-4; Matt 24:39.

The Day of the LORD is about to commence when the 6th seal is open.

Now note Rev 7. In Rev 7, 144,000 Jews are sealed. Why are they sealed? In Joel 2 it talks about a remnant being saved after the cosmic disturbance. This sealing is the sealing of the remnant. Then we are shown a scene in heaven. There is a great multitude that no one can count. They came out of the Great Tribulation. Look at verses 13 and 14, John is asked who they are, John said “Sir, you know.” John didn’t know. John was in heaven and he didn’t see a raptured multitude before the opening of the first seal. However, now he sees a multitude who came out of the Great tribulation. This is the Rapture in Revelation!

Note Chapter 8, the Seventh Seal is opened. There is silence in heaven for a half hour. This is similar to Zeph 1:7 in which there is a command to be silent before the LORD for the day of the LORD draws near.

The first 5 seals highlight humanity’s evil. The 6th seal announces the coming of judgment and the Rapture. The Seventh seal contains the 7 trumpets and the 7 bowls which are God’s judgment.

In Rev 6 we see a Pre-Wrath Rapture as well. We also see the same sequence of events as in Matt 24.

Next week, LORD willing, we will continue the comparison.




On The Islamic End Time Theory and the Pre-Wrath Rapture Part 7.1
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On this blog I am splitting it up in two sections. The first section deals with something no Pre-Tribber touches: The Day of the LORD. Part 2 will show the Pre-Wrath Rapture in the Gospels and Revelation. Pre-Tribbers go to Paul but they don't go to Jesus, and that's because Jesus never taught a Pre-Trib Rapture. Paul didn't either but Pre-Tribbers ASSUME Paul taught it.

Onto the Day of the LORD:
Part 7- The Pre-Wrath Rapture and the Day of the LORD

To begin, we need to look at three views of the Millennium.

I) Amillennialism: This view says that there is no literal, earthly reign of Christ on the earth. This was popularized by the allegorical methods of Augustine, Origen and others. This is a faulty view that doesn’t view Scripture in its proper context. What is sad, the same allegorical methods that destroys a literal reign of Christ also replaced the Jews in the OT with the Church, opening the door for Anti-Semitism.

II) Post-Millennialism: This view says that Christ will return after man brings the Kingdom to earth through preaching the gospel. The idea is that the gospel will spread, things will get better and better, and when the time is right, Jesus comes. This is also seen in the “Manifest Sons of God” and “Joel’s Army” teaching. Of course, this goes against Scripture that says things will get worse and worse and the Church is called on to endure.

III) Pre-Millennialism: This view says that Christ will return physically to earth and will establish a literal Kingdom marked by peace, righteousness and justice. This lines up with OT and NT writing and is the proper, exegetical context. (Psalm 2, Isa 9, Rev 19, Isa 2)

Three Popular views on the timing of the Rapture:

I) Pre-Tribulational: Christ will rapture the church in a secret moment that is unknown to everyone, even the church, before the 7 year tribulation begins.

II) Mid-Tribulational: The Church will have 3 ½ years of persecution then at the mid-point of the Tribulation, Christ will rapture the Church.

III) Post-Tribulational: The Church will be raptured at the end of the 7 years when Christ returns to earth.

In many circles, these are the only options that are presented. There is endless debate, and many make valid arguments for either side. However, all three have gaping holes, none of them fulfill every Biblical requirement. For example, Pre-Trib doesn’t properly define the Tribulation, Great Tribulation.  It has no concept of the Day of the LORD, the Seals vs. Trumpets and Bowls, and mistakes the nature of Christ‘s Second Coming. Mid-Trib allows the day of Christ’s return to be known and doesn’t understand the Day of the LORD. Post-Trib doesn’t make sense in why would Christ rapture the church at the end when He returns. It also doesn’t account for the fact the Church is on earth while God judges. It also doesn’t take the Day of the LORD into account.

Is this all we are stuck with, or is there another view?

There is another view that has been quietly gaining ground. The Pre-Wrath view. Rather than try to refute the other views, an examination of the Pre-Wrath view should prove sufficient to show its validity on its own merits.

IV) Pre-Wrath View: The Rapture occurs before the Day of the LORD, after the Great Tribulation, before the opening of the Seventh Seal.

To begin an important question must be asked.

What is the Purpose of the Rapture?

There are two purposes to the Rapture:

I) To remove the Church before God pours out His wrath in the Day of the LORD judgment. (1 Thess 1:10, 1 Thess 5:9)

II) To implement the restoration of the Remnant and transition back to the Jews. (Joel 2:28-32, Eph 3:6, Rom 11:11-21, Rev 7:3-8, Dan 9:24)

The primary purpose of the Rapture for the Church is to remove the Church before God pours out His wrath. When does God pour out His wrath? Pre-Trib teachers make the assumption that God pours out His wrath during the entire 7 years. However, what does the Bible say about God pouring out His wrath?

The Day of the LORD

God’s outpouring of wrath is known as the Day of the LORD. In the Old Testament, eight (8) prophets use the term “Day of the LORD” a total of 19 times! In the New Testament, three (3) writers use the term in 4 passages. The NT writers are Luke, Paul and Peter (Acts 2:19,20; 1 Thess 5:2-4; 2 Thess 22:1,2; 2 Pet 3:9,10). There are 7 additional passages that refer to the “day of Christ” or “the day of Jesus Christ.” They are generally understood as being in the same timeframe as the day of the LORD. Those passages referring to the day of (Jesus) Christ are  1 Cor 1:8, 3:13, 5:5; Phil 1:6,10; 2:16; 2 Tim 4:8

What does the Old Testament say about the Day of the LORD?

To begin, let’s look at the purpose for the Day of the LORD.

First of all let’s look at Obadiah. Obadiah 15 says, “The day of the LORD is near for all nations. As you have done, it will be done to you; your deeds will return upon your own head.”

Isaiah 34:8 says, “For the LORD has a day of vengeance, a year of retribution, to uphold Zions cause.”

 

Joel 3:2-4 says, “I will gather all nations and bring them down to the Valley of Jehoshaphat. There I will put them on trial for what they did to my inheritance, my people Israel, because they scattered my people among the nations and divided up my land. They cast lots for my people and traded boys for prostitutes; they sold girls for wine to drink. Now what have you against me, Tyre and Sidon and all you regions of Philistia? Are you repaying me for something I have done? If you are paying me back, I will swiftly and speedily return on your own heads what you have done.

 

These three passages are clear. One purpose for the Day of the LORD is to judge the nations for how they treated Israel. God Himself will vindicate His people.

There is another purpose for the day of the LORD. That purpose can be seen in other portions of Scripture.

Isa 33:10-14 says, “Now will I arise, says the LORD. Now will I be exalted; now will I be lifted up. You conceive chaff, you give birth to straw; your breath is a fire that consumes you. The peoples will be burned to ashes; like cut thornbushes they will be set ablaze. You who are far away, hear what I have done; you who are near, acknowledge my power! The sinners in Zion are terrified;  trembling grips the godless: Who of us can dwell with the consuming fire? Who of us can dwell with everlasting burning?’”

Zech 13:8-9 says, “’In the whole land, declares the LORD, two-thirds will be struck down and perish; yet one-third will be left in it. This third I will put into the fire; I will refine them like silver and test them like gold. They will call on my name and I will answer them; I will say, They are my people, and they will say, The LORD is our God.’”

Mal 3:2-5 says, “But who can endure the day of his coming? Who can stand when he appears? For he will be like a refiners fire or a launderers soap. He will sit as a refiner and purifier of silver; he will purify the Levites and refine them like gold and silver. Then the LORD will have men who will bring offerings in righteousness, and the offerings of Judah and Jerusalem will be acceptable to the LORD, as in days gone by, as in former years. So I will come to put you on trial. I will be quick to testify against sorcerers, adulterers and perjurers, against those who defraud laborers of their wages, who oppress the widows and the fatherless, and deprive the foreigners among you of justice, but do not fear me, says the LORD Almighty.”

Amos 5:18-20 says, “Woe to you who long for the day of the LORD! Why do you long for the day of the LORD? That day will be darkness, not light. It will be as though a man fled from a lion only to meet a bear, as though he entered his house and rested his hand on the wall only to have a snake bite him. Will not the day of the LORD be darkness, not lightpitch-dark, without a ray of brightness?

The second purpose is clear. The Day of the LORD will be a time in which Israel will be judged for her treatment of Yahveh through her history. In the wilderness, in Canaan, during the reign of the kings, the captivity in Babylon, the apostasy under Antiochus, the rejection of Christ, and the ultimate betrayal of apostasy in following Antichrist all point to Israel being an unfaithful wife. God will judge Israel for her deeds and because of His faithfulness, bring a remnant.

The purpose is clear and singular. The Day of the LORD is a day of judgment. It will be judgment for Jew and Gentile who have forsaken Christ. Many will be refined and the Remnant brought through, but it is a day for judging.

The following Scriptures show forth the dreadful nature of that day:

Zeph 1:14-2:3 says, “The great day of the LORD is near, it is near, and hasteth greatly, even the voice of the day of the LORD: the mighty man shall cry there bitterly. That day is a day of wrath, a day of trouble and distress, a day of wasteness and desolation, a day of darkness and gloominess, a day of clouds and thick darkness, A day of the trumpet and alarm against the fenced cities, and against the high towers. And I will bring distress upon men, that they shall walk like blind men, because they have sinned against the LORD: and their blood shall be poured out as dust, and their flesh as the dung. Neither their silver nor their gold shall be able to deliver them in the day of the LORD's wrath; but the whole land shall be devoured by the fire of his jealousy: for he shall make even a speedy riddance of all them that dwell in the land. Gather yourselves together, yea, gather together, O nation not desired; Before the decree bring forth, before the day pass as the chaff, before the fierce anger of the LORD come upon you, before the day of the LORD's anger come upon you. Seek ye the LORD, all ye meek of the earth, which have wrought his judgment; seek righteousness, seek meekness: it may be ye shall be hid in the day of the LORD's anger.”

Isaiah 2:12-21 says, “For the day of the LORD of hosts shall be upon every one that is proud and lofty, and upon every one that is lifted up; and he shall be brought low: And upon all the cedars of Lebanon, that are high and lifted up, and upon all the oaks of Bashan, And upon all the high mountains, and upon all the hills that are lifted up, And upon every high tower, and upon every fenced wall, And upon all the ships of Tarshish, and upon all pleasant pictures. And the loftiness of man shall be bowed down, and the haughtiness of men shall be made low: and the LORD alone shall be exalted in that day. And the idols he shall utterly abolish. And they shall go into the holes of the rocks, and into the caves of the earth, for fear of the LORD, and for the glory of his majesty, when he ariseth to shake terribly the earth. In that day a man shall cast his idols of silver, and his idols of gold, which they made each one for himself to worship, to the moles and to the bats; To go into the clefts of the rocks, and into the tops of the ragged rocks, for fear of the LORD, and for the glory of his majesty, when he ariseth to shake terribly the earth.”

Isaiah 13:6-13 says, “Howl ye; for the day of the LORD is at hand; it shall come as a destruction from the Almighty. Therefore shall all hands be faint, and every man's heart shall melt: And they shall be afraid: pangs and sorrows shall take hold of them; they shall be in pain as a woman that travaileth: they shall be amazed one at another; their faces shall be as flames. Behold, the day of the LORD cometh, cruel both with wrath and fierce anger, to lay the land desolate: and he shall destroy the sinners thereof out of it. For the stars of heaven and the constellations thereof shall not give their light: the sun shall be darkened in his going forth, and the moon shall not cause her light to shine. And I will punish the world for their evil, and the wicked for their iniquity; and I will cause the arrogancy of the proud to cease, and will lay low the haughtiness of the terrible. I will make a man more precious than fine gold; even a man than the golden wedge of Ophir. Therefore I will shake the heavens, and the earth shall remove out of her place, in the wrath of the LORD of hosts, and in the day of his fierce anger.”

This is a day when God arises to shake the earth and humanity in its arrogance is brought low. There will be mourning and wailing for the realization that judgment is coming. The LORD will repay all the wrong and show Himself to be just, powerful and the true Judge. Despite the raging of Satan, the Antichrist and the False Prophet, they will be powerless.

What is the relationship to the Day of the LORD and the Rapture? The day of the LORD is God’s judgment. In 1 Thess 5:9 in speaking of the day of the LORD, Paul makes it clear that we are not appointed to wrath. We have to be raptured before God’s wrath is poured out.

So the question is, is the day of the LORD signless? If there are no signs before the day of the LORD, then there are no signs before the Rapture and it can happen at any moment. However, if there are specific signs that must occur before the day of the LORD, then these signs will also precede the Rapture.

In the Bible, in the OT and NT, there are signs associated with the Day of the LORD.

First of all, Peter and Paul refer to the day of the LORD as a thief in the night. (2 Peter 3 and 1 Thess 5). However 1 Thess 5:2-4 we see that not only does that Day come like a thief, but that many will say “peace and safety” before destruction comes. That bears a similarity to Amos 5. In verse 4, Paul specifically says to the Church, you are not in darkness that the Day should overtake you like a thief. Paul further gives admonition in verses 5-8 to watch, to be sober, to not sleep. How can we watch for something that is signless and imminent?

There are a number of signs given that mark the beginning of the Day of the LORD.

In Malachi 4:5 we read, “Behold, I will send you Elijah the prophet before the coming of the great and dreadful day of the LORD”

Before God pours out His wrath on the earth, we see that he will send Elijah. In Rev 11 we have the Two Witnesses, many of whom believe to be Moses and Elijah. There is a lot of Biblical evidence to support that. They appear together in Malachi’s prophecy in Malachi 4. When Jesus were transfigured (μεταμορφω “metamorphoo”) who was with Him? Moses and Elijah. Moses in the OT was the lawgiver. Elijah was a premier prophet, the one who was taken to heaven in a whirlwind. In Rev 11, look at their power. They have the power to shut heaven, to turn water to blood and to smite the earth with plagues. Elijah prayed and it didn’t rain for around 3 and a ½ years during the reign of wicked Ahab. Moses commanded Aaron to smite the Nile and it turned to blood. Moses was the one who prayed for plagues to strike the Egyptians. Elijah and Moses seem the likely candidates for the Two Witnesses. Elijah must come before God pours out His judgment, which means he must come before the Rapture.

In Isaiah 13:10 we see that when the Day of the LORD comes, the sun will not shine, the moon will not give light and the stars will not shine.

In Joel 2:10 we see earthquake, we see the stars not shining, the moon not giving light and the stars will become dark. In verse 31 we see that the sun will be turned to darkness, the moon to blood before the Day of the LORD comes.

 In 2 Thess 2, Paul talks about something that must happen before the gathering to Jesus (Rapture) and the Day of the LORD. The man of lawlessness (Antichrist) must be revealed and the Apostasy must occur. The Greek for “revealed” is ποκαλπτω “apokalypto” meaning “unveiling.” The word used later in 2 Thess 2:9 for the Antichrist’s coming is παρουσα “parousia” meaning “coming” and “continuing presence.” Interesting enough, this is the same word used for Jesus in His coming.

As stated in Part 5, the Apostasy was when the Jews forsook the covenant with Yahweh. Acts 21:21 and 2 Thess 2:3 are the only places in the NT to use the word. The historical precedent is set in 1 Maccabees. The day of the LORD cannot occur until the Jews forsake the covenant when Antichrist sets up the Abomination of Desolation. When does this happen? 3 and ½ years into the 7 year treaty! The Day of the LORD doesn’t happen until after that. Therefore, the rapture cannot happen until after that.

To sum up the signs of the Day of the LORD:

1) The Abomination of Desolation and the Apostasy have to occur.

2) Elijah must come

3) The sun must be darkened, the moon not give light (turn to blood) and the stars stop shining. (Cosmic Disturbance)

The third sign is seen most consistently. Is there anywhere in the NT where that sign of the, as Marvin Rosenthal phrases it, “cosmic disturbance” happens?

Yes. Not just in one place but in multiple places, and all listed by the same person. Jesus Christ Himself. Next week, we will examine Jesus' words in relation to the End Times.


On the Islamic End Time Theory and the Pre-Wrath Rapture Part 6
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This one is shorter, and it deals with the idea that Russia will attack Israel. Here is some info that counters that thinking/teaching.

Part 6- The Islamic Confederacy of Ezekiel 38

: The primary assumption made is that Russia will head a confederacy that will attack Israel in the last days.

: This is based on making a Hebrew word a proper noun.

: That word in Hebrew is רֹאשׁ  rosh

: The NASB translates it thusly, “Son of man, set your face toward Gog of the land of Magog, the prince of Rosh, Meshech and Tubal, and prophesy against him.”

: However, the KJV and NIV translate it correctly, “chief.”

רֹאשׁ  translated means “head, top, summit, upper part, chief, total, sum, height, front, beginning.”

: The Jewish New Year is known as Rosh Hashanah which literally means “Head of the Year.”

: Rosh is used 349 times in the OT (KJV) as referring to “head.” 91 times it is translated “chief.”

: Once it is used as a name. A son of Benjamin in Gen 46:21.

How did Rosh become Russia?

: Linguistics. It was popularized by Tim LaHaye and Hal Lindsey that Rosh was Russia because Rosh sounded like Russia. In the Scofield Study Bible “Meshech” and Tubal are identified as Moscow and Tobolsk, because they sound similar. It was able to flourish during the 1960's, 1970's and 1980's because of the U.S.S.R being the evil empire and the "Cold War" with the US. It comes from a strictly Western worldview.

: This is such a faulty method of interpretation it baffles logic. To suggest that because a Hebrew word sounds like an East Slavic word, the Bible must be talking about a nation is, as the late Dr. Unger put it, “confessedly only presumptive.”

: The fact is, Russia has no prior history with Israel in the Bible. Russia was never a world empire, and never controlled Jerusalem at any point in history. It is doubtful it will have the impact Ezekiel describes. It may supply Israel’s enemies, but it will not lead.

: Because of the overwhelming use of “rosh” in the Bible not used as a proper name, it is doubtful rosh is used here as a proper name for a nation.

: The term is “chief prince” or רֹאשׁ נְשִׂיא.   In Hebrew the word “prince” (nasiy) means “one lifted up” it can also mean “chief” or “captain” or “leader.” A secondary use of the word can include a “mist” or “vapour.”

: What is Gog?

: It needs to be noted that Gog is not a proper name, but a title. Gog of the land of Magog. It is similar to the Emperor of Japan or the Pharaoh of Egypt.

: Gog is mentioned in two places in the Bible. In Ezekiel 38 and in Rev 20. Even though there is a thousand years between them, there is a similar movement in which one with the title of Gog rises up against Jerusalem and is destroyed by God.

Some have speculated that Gog is not the Antichrist. However, those that do that must grapple with the fact  that both do the same work. In Rev 20, the same title is given to the figure from Ezek 38 and they both attempt the same thing with the same result.

In light of the “sameness” some have said that Ezekiel 38 is describing the same thing as Rev 20. However, there is a problem with chronology. In Rev 20, Christ has already ruled 1,000 years. In Ezek 38:17 God identifies him as one of whom was spoken and prophesied about for years. There are no prophecies about “Gog” by literal, specific mention but there are many about the Antichrist. Ezek 38 is about the Antichrist. Rev 20 is about another figure Satan will use to deceive. That is what Antichrist really is, a figure Satan uses to deceive.

How can it be another Gog will arise from Magog after Christ rules 1,000 years? In Rev 19, Christ will rule with a rod if iron, and that is also seen in Psalm 2:9. Why the rod of iron? Even though Christ takes rulership, and even though we who are in Him will rejoice, many on the earth will still be sinners and that sinful nature will rebel against Christ. In Zech 14:16-19 we see that yearly worship of the King is demanded and anyone who refuses will be punished with drought. The Egyptians are mentioned specifically. It is sad that Christ will be opposed, even in the Millennium.

It also needs to be recognized that these nations listed in Ezekiel 38 are also descendants of Noah. We see this in Gen 10. Gomer, Magog, Tubal, and Meshech are among the sons of Japheth. The sons of Ham are Cush, Mizraim (Egypt), Phut and Canaan.

: Let’s look at the nations in order as listed in Ezekiel.

i) Magog

ii) Meshech

iii) Tubal

iv) Persia

v) Cush

vi) Lybia

vii) Gomer

viii) Togarmah (also called Beth Togarmah)

Where are they found?

Magog- Magog is found in the mountainous region between Cappadocia and Media. Cappadocia is found in modern day Turkey and Media is found in northwestern portions of modern day Iran. Some disagree with this and say Magog is modern day Syria. Whether it is in Turkey/Iran or Syria, the fact remains it is located in Asia Minor, not Russia, and is Islamic territory. Even if allowance for some southern former Russian controlled areas is made, they are places like Afghanistan, Turkestan, Azerbijan and Chechnya. All of those nations are predominantly Muslim.

Meshech and Tubal- It is interesting to note that Meshech and Tubal mentioned in Ezek 27:13 as trading partners with Tyre (modern day Lebanon). They traded in slaves and bronze. It is highly unlikely that Tyre (modern day Lebanon) traded with Russians from Moscow. Meshech was in what was known as Phrygia (west and central Asia Minor) and Tubal was in eastern Asia Minor. Once again, these make up part of modern day Turkey.

Persia- This is easy to identify. Persia is modern day Iran. Iran came into use in 1935, however it was known as Persia. Even though Persia and Iran are separate terms politically, they are used interchangeably in a cultural sense. Today, Iran is one of Israel’s biggest threats.

Cush- Many interpret Cush as Ethiopia. However in Ezekiel 29:9,10 and Isaiah 18:1 we see that Cush borders Egypt and is known for rivers. That fits the description of modern day Sudan. Since 1989 Sudan is officially the Islamic Republic of Sudan with its anthem “We are the Soldiers of God [Allah] and Our Land.“  In addition to five rivers merging to feed into the Nile to the north; Sudan is fiercely Muslim. [Since I did this study in the fall of 2010, Sudan had a referendum to split into two nations. The North (bordering Egypt) is the Muslim part and the South is the Christian part, so the Word is still true despite the changing climate.]

Put (Phut)- This is the region west of Egypt and is identified by the KJV as Libya. Author Walid Shoebat believes that Put is not limited to Libya but also should include Morocco, Algeria, and Tunisia. Irregardless of if these nations are included in Put or not, once again, Islam is the center of the region.

Gomer- Pastor Fred Zaspel pointed out that people linking Gomer to Germany are guilty of the same error people made when linking rosh to Russia. He points out that Gomer is linked to Gimarri who are also known as Cimmerians. Genesius’ lexicon supports this by noting along with Zaspel that the Cimmerians lived in Cappadocia, Asia Minor now modern day Turkey.

Togarmah (Beth Togarmah)- First of all “Beth” in Hebrew means house. For example Bethlehem is “Beth Lehem” which means “House of Bread.” Togarmah according to Zaspel is known to Assyrian recrods as “Tilgarimmu” which was a city-state in Eastern Anatolia (Asia Minor- modern Turkey). Charles Ryrie noted Togarmah as the southeastern part of Turkey near the Syrian border. Gesenius lists Togarmah as being linked to Armenians. If Zaspel and Ryrie are right, it’s an Islamic controlled region. If Gesenius is right, it’s a region bordering Turkey, Iran and Azerbaijan that could be conquered by Islam.

In all these nations, we see Israel surrounded by the north (Turkey), the east (Iran, Iraq, Syria, Jordan and Saudi Arabia), the south (Sudan), and even the west (Lybia). Russia doesn’t factor in the picture, and there is no solid, Biblical reason to expect it to. With the rise of Islam, the theological framework of Islam, the Mahdi and the Antichrist have amazing parallels too great to be coincidence, we see the nations that will more than likely be involved in the battle mentioned in Ezek 38 and 39. Please note, that the geography of 5...5 out of 8 are in the land mass that is now known as Turkey. Turkey was the Head of the Ottoman Empire, and today Turkey looks to take a place of leadership among Islamic Nations.


On The Islamic End Time Theory And The Pre-Wrath Rapture Part 5.3
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This is the last section to Part 5, a comparison of Jesus and Dajjal.

Lastly, most importantly, and the whole focus of Biblical prophecy, the third figure is Jesus. In Part 2 we looked at OT Scripture that showed His coming. All the passages describe a Jesus who is full of wrath, vengeance and intent on bloodshed. In Rev 19 He is seen as riding a white horse, wearing many crowns, and utterly destroying the armies set up to oppose Him. In Matt 24:30 Jesus said the earth will see Him return with power and great glory. In 2 Thess 1:6,7 Paul said God is just and His justice will be seen when Christ returns in blazing fire. The purpose is to trouble those who trouble God’s own. In Rev 11, with the 7th trumpet, the declaration is made that the time has come to destroy those who destroy the earth. There are many, many more Scriptures that speak of His coming. From the OT, to Revelation, Jesus is seen as taking the throne, ruling forever and establishing security and righteousness, Isaiah 9 is a quick example. His saints will be rewarded and possess the kingdom, while His enemies will meet with an horrible eternity. It is inevitable, it is unavoidable. Even as the Antichrist, False Prophet and Dragon rage and make war, their time is decided, their fates sealed. In Psalm 2:4, the One enthroned in heaven scoffs and laughs at them who oppose Him and His Anointed One. Jesus wins, bottom line. In Romans 8 it says that if we share in His sufferings, we will share in His glory. That glory will be manifested when He returns.

Interestingly enough, after Mahdi rules for 7 years, another figure will appear on the scene. He is called Massih ad-Dajjal. He is noted by Muslim authors and the hadiths as one who will perform great miracles, he will heal the sick, he will claim to be Jesus and will claim to be Divine. Hadiths are contradictory in that some say he will be blind in the left eye, and others say he will be blind in the right eye. It is noted by Muslim authroes that Dajjal will have the word “kaafir” which means “infidel” written between his eyes. He is said to have a magic mule (a possible reference to Jesus riding a mule as prophesied by Zechariah and fulfilled in the Gospels) that enables him to travel the world. According to hadiths in Islam, the Dajjal will not be able to enter Damascus, Medina or Mecca. According to Samuel Shahid, who is a Christian Arab scholar, the Dajjal will be the embodiment of Jewish hope and longing. The bulk of his army is recruited from the Jewish people. According to Islam, Isa will kill the Dajjal.

The description of the Dajjal doesn’t fit the Biblical Jesus entirely. However, look at the key points:

1) Jesus returns after a 7 year period to fight the Antichrist.

    Dajjal appears after 7 years to fight Mahdi.

2) Jesus comes to bring salvation for the Jews

    Dajjal performs miracles and gains followers made up of Jews and women. This forms          the basis of Dajjal’s army.

3) Jesus comes back and He is God Incarnate.

    Dajjal claims to be Divine.

4) The armies of the world are called upon to fight Jesus when He returns

     Muslims are told that when confronted by Dajjal they are to receit the first 10 verses of Surat al Khaf (Chapter of the Cow) from the Qu’ran. Also, muslims will rally to fight Dajjal and his followers in a final climatic war.

The things that doesn’t fit, like the mule, the word kaafir between the eyes, and being blind in one eye are obvious insults, distortions and attacks against Christ by a satanically inspired religion.

What is interesting to note is that there are many similarities, and they are in key areas. Except Islam takes what the Bible says and says the opposite. This is the sad truth of deception. Satan knew his plan for the Antichrist and False Prophet was exposed in the Bible. So he went about creating a religious system that has hundreds of years of solid tradition that will support the installation of his two agents to oppose the Son of God. God will reveal evil for what it is and His Son will sit on the throne. Forever.


On The Islamic End Time Theory and the Pre-Wrath Rapture Part 5.2
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Last week we dealt with the similarities between the Biblical Antichrist and the Qu'ranic Al Mahdi. Today we look at the similarities between the Biblical False Prophet and the Qu'ranic Isa Al-Maseeh.

Next in our consideration is the False Prophet. The False Prophet is only found in the Book of Revelation, and mentioned by “name” in Rev 13, Rev 16, Rev 19 and Rev 20. The majority of info is gleaned from Rev 13 with a background mention in 2 Thess 2 and Matt 24.

Rev 13:11-18

:The False Prophet is described as another beast.

:The Antichrist comes out of the sea, the False Prophet comes from the earth.

:In Rev 11:7, the beast out of the Abyss kills the two witnesses. Where is the Abyss?

:The False Prophet is said to have two horns like a lamb, but speaks like a dragon.

            Two levels of meaning:

            i) Mild and gentle in appearance, filled with rage, hate and murder inwardly.

            ii) Horns like a lamb, speaks as a dragon means that he will claim to be Jesus, but         

                 have the nature and speech of Satan.

:He will perform great signs and miracles. Causing fire to come down from heaven shows an imitation of Elijah. In Mal 4:5 God says he will send Elijah before the day of the LORD. The False Prophet is an imitation of the messenger as Antichrist is an imitation of Christ.

:The False Prophet is the enforcer of the worship of the Antichrist, even creating an image that comes to life.

:The False Prophet enforces the mark of the beast.

:The False Prophet does signs “in the sight of the beast.” He doesn’t act independently, but is always near the beast and is the sidekick. Batman and Robin are the “dynamic duo” The Antichrist and the False Prophet are the “demonic duo.”

In the Bible, The False Prophet supports and stands by the Antichrist with lying wonders that help validate the Antichrist. In rev 19 and 20, the beast and False Prophet are seen in the Lake of Fire together. In Islam, there are similarities between Antichrist and Al-Mahdi. Is there a figure who supports Al-Mahdi? Yes, he is known as Isa Al-Maseeh.

What does Islam teach about Isa (Jesus)?

According to a collection of hadiths known as Sahih Bukhari, there is a hadith that states that Christ, the Son of Mary will descend in Damascus, placing his hands on the wings of two angels.

According to Veliankode in the book “Doomsday Portents and Prophecies” Muslims will be preparing for battle and when the time for prayer comes, Jesus would descend.

According to the Sahih Bukhari, Jesus will descend, the Mahdi will ask Jesus to lead the prayer, but he will refuse.

According to Veliankode, “Jesus Christ will decline the offer and invitation of Imam Mahdi to come and lead the Muslims in prayer, and say his prayer behind the Mahdi.”

According to Al-Sadr and Mutahhari, Jesus will follow the Mahdi, who they refer to as the master of time, and that is why Jesus prays behind the Mahdi.

According to Hakim Mustadrak as related by Abu Harayra, quoted in Kabbani’s “Approach to Armageddon”:

            “The Prophet said: ‘Verily Isa ibn Maryam shall descend as an equitable judge and fair ruler. He shall tread his path on the way to hajj and come to my grave to greet me, and I shall certainly answer him!”

According to Sahih Ashrat as-Sa’at, quoted by Kabbani, Mahdi will lead Muslims in prayer and Jesus will rule Muslims according to Shariah. Shariah Law is Divine Law according to Islam.

Sheikh Kabbani also noted that Jesus correct the misrepresentations about him bring the Son of God. He will bear witness to Muhammad and many Non-Muslims will accept Jesus as a servant of Allah and as a Muslim.

Al-Sadr and Mutahari state Jesus will descend from heaven and espouse the case of Al-Mahdi. Christians and Jews will see him for who he really is and Christians will abandon faith in the Divinity of Jesus.

According to Sideeque M.A. Veliankode stated Jesus will descend among the Muslims as a just judge. Jesus will judge according to shariah, and all people will be required to embrace Islam and there will be no other alternative. There is a hadith that states Jesus will abolish the jizyah tax. The jizyah tax is extortion money paid to Muslims by Non-Muslims for “protection.”

To summarize:

Isa Al-Maseeh will come from above. He will espouse the case of Al-Mahdi, defer authority to him and stand behind him. Even though Isa is inferior to Al-Mahdi, he aids Al-Mahdi in making Islam the world religion. Isa will enforce Islam and shariah law. The only alternative will be to convert to Islam or die as Isa will destroy Christianity and repeal the jizyah tax.

Similarities between the False prophet and Isa Al-Maseeh (as noted by Joel Richardson):

1)The Antichrist and False Prophet have an unholy partnership. Mahdi and Isa have an unholy partnership

:The goal to deceive the world into rejecting God and His Christ.

2) The False Prophet and Isa both enforce the rule of the Antichrist and mahdi respectively.

:False prophet enforces worship of the Antichrist. Isa enforces worship of Allah and shariah law.

3) The False Prophet will be the chief executioner for the Antichrist.

:All who refuse to worship the Beast or take the mark will die.

:Rev 20:4 notes the method as beheading

Isa is the chief executioner for Mahdi

:The choice will be convert to Islam or die.

:Isa leads the fight against Yahudis and the Dajjal.

In Western thinking, when beheading is read, it is thought of a guillotine. However, a look at the history of Islam shows that beheading is the usual method of executions. In Saudi Arabia every Friday after prayers at the mosque, there are executions that are carried out, and they are beheadings. As the person is beheaded the war cry is “Allahu Akbar!” “Allah is great.” This seem to allude to the words of Jesus from John 16:2.

4) The False Prophet is said to have two horns like a lamb. Isa Al-Maseeh claims to be Jesus. 

Also interesting to note, is that in Rev 13, the False Prophet  is responsible for enforcing the mark of the beast. This mark (Greek χραγμα “charagma“) is a stamp, imprinted mark, and also speaks of something graven. That fits the description of a tattoo. This mark is to be received on the right hand or forehead. In Islam, while this isn’t ascribed to Isa, there is the Dabbat al-Ardh…the Beast out of the Earth who will mark the foreheads of all true believers of Allah. While some Muslims see it as symbolic, and may not be uniform in their belief as they are with Mahdi and Isa, this just further gives evidence for Islam being the religion that Satan will use in the last days to defy God.


LORD willing, next week I'll put up the final installment of part 5, the comparison between the true Jesus and Islam's Massih Ad-Dajjal.

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