The Lord’s Coming

End TimesI wrote in a previous article about the signs of Jesus’ coming and I wish to further comment on this. When commenting on His coming, I said –

“Jesus said immediately after the tribulation of those days, we would see His sign in the heavens. He earlier described this tribulation as being the greatest the world had ever seen.”

Now the question on everyone’s mind is when is the Rapture, is it “pre-trib” or “mid-trib” or “post-trib”? In the previous article alluded to above, I question the “pre-trib” theory because it is after the great tribulation that the coming of the Son of Man on the clouds and His angels being sent to gather the elect occurs. But, there are other Scriptures to consider as well. For example who is with the Lord when He comes?

“Now I saw heaven opened, and behold, a white horse. And He who sat on him was called Faithful and True, and in righteousness He judges and makes war. His eyes were like a flame of fire, and on His head were many crowns. He had a name written that no one knew except Himself. He was clothed with a robe dipped in blood, and His name is called The Word of God. And the armies in heaven, clothed in fine linen, white and clean, followed Him on white horses. Now out of His mouth goes a sharp sword, that with it He should strike the nations. And He Himself will rule them with a rod of iron. He Himself treads the winepress of the fierceness and wrath of Almighty God. And He has on His robe and on His thigh a name written: KING OF KINGS AND LORD OF LORDS.” – Rev. 19:11-16

Jude writes –

“Now Enoch, the seventh from Adam, prophesied about these men also, saying, “Behold, the Lord comes with ten thousands of His saints,” – Jude 14

And Paul writes –

“so that He may establish your hearts blameless in holiness before our God and Father at the coming of our Lord Jesus Christ with all His saints.” – 1 Thes. 3:13

The word translated ‘saints’ is hagios, which means most holy thing, or a saint. But Jesus said –

“When the Son of Man comes in His glory, and all the holy angels with Him, then He will sit on the throne of His glory.” – Matt. 25:31

Taking all these Scriptures together it seems that when Jesus comes, He comes with both His angels and His saints. But, doesn’t this mean the saints must have been raptured prior to His coming? Or it could mean the saints are raptured at His coming. There is another Scripture which explains this dilemma. When Paul was being transported as a prisoner to Rome, certain disciples heard of it and they came out meet Paul and escort him into Rome.

“And from there, when the brethren heard about us, they came to meet (apantesis) us as far as Appii Forum and Three Inns. When Paul saw them, he thanked God and took courage.” – Acts 28:15

This same word apantesis is only used in one other verse, the rapture verse –

“Then we who are alive and remain shall be caught up together with them in the clouds to meet (apantesis) the Lord in the air. And thus we shall always be with the Lord.” – 1 Thes. 4:17

So, when the rapture happens, we will rise to meet the Lord in the air and return with Him to judge the nations.

Also, in the Revelation verses above I began with, Jesus’ robes were dipped in blood when He rode forth, why? I believe there is an aspect of Jesus’ second coming that few think about, it is called the Sheepfold of Bozrah deliverance. In Revelation 12 the woman, Israel, is driven into the wilderness by the Antichrist where she is given a place of refuge for 3½ years. Here we will have the prophetic fulfillment of Micah 2:12 and Isaiah 63:1-6.

“I will surely assemble all of you, O Jacob, I will surely gather the remnant of Israel; I will put them together like sheep of the fold, Like a flock in the midst of their pasture; They shall make a loud noise because of so many people. The one who breaks open will come up before them; They will break out, Pass through the gate, And go out by it; Their king will pass before them, With the LORD at their head.” – Micah 2:12,13

“Who is this who comes from Edom, With dyed garments from Bozrah, This One who is glorious in His apparel, Traveling in the greatness of His strength?—“I who speak in righteousness, mighty to save.” Why is Your apparel red, And Your garments like one who treads in the winepress? “I have trodden the winepress alone, And from the peoples no one was with Me. For I have trodden them in My anger, And trampled them in My fury; Their blood is sprinkled upon My garments, And I have stained all My robes. For the day of vengeance is in My heart, And the year of My redeemed has come. I looked, but there was no one to help, And I wondered That there was no one to uphold; Therefore My own arm brought salvation for Me; And My own fury, it sustained Me. I have trodden down the peoples in My anger, Made them drunk in My fury, And brought down their strength to the earth.” – Isa. 63:1-6

Little DipperThis prophesy is also foretold in the heavens by the Little Dipper, which is called in Hebrew the lessor sheepfold and the North Star (Pole Star) is the shepherd who breaks the wall and leads the sheep out. Israel goes into the wilderness as Jacob but comes out as the remnant of Israel.

Traditionally Bozrah is a hilly place in Edom, which is south of the Dead Sea, and it was known for its sheepfolds. Is this the place in the wilderness that Israel escapes to from the presence of the Antichrist? It seems so. The sheep were placed in walled in enclosures made of stones for the night time. In the morning the shepherd would come and break down the rock walls to lead them out. In this case the night will last 3½ years, the time of the tribulation. At the end of that time One who “speaks in righteousness and is mighty to save” will come to break them out of their sheepfold. He will be alone, no saints and no angels and He will get blood on His garments. After this He will proceed to Armageddon where He will judge the Antichrist.

It appears that the rapture will take place somewhere between His coming to Bozrah and His meeting the armies of Antichrist at Armageddon. While I am not dogmatic on this, I do want to take into account all the Scriptures have to say about the Lord’s second coming. It would match the Scripture that says “to the Jew first and then to the Gentile” (Rom. 1:16)

I pray this will encourage you to study the Scriptures on the Lord’s coming and to be ready for no one knows exactly when He will come, just that He is coming.

The Blowing of the Shofar

shofar-2This last (September 30-October 1) we celebrated the Biblical Feast of Trumpets also known as Rosh Hashanah to modern Jews. God commanded this feast in Leviticus 23.

“Speak to the children of Israel, saying: ‘In the seventh month, on the first day of the month, you shall have a sabbath-rest, a memorial of blowing of trumpets, a holy convocation.” – Lev. 23:24

It is the first of the Fall Feasts commanded by God; Trumpets, Day of Atonement, Tabernacles. The Spring Feasts of Passover, Unleavened Bread, First Fruits, and Pentecost, were all fulfilled by Jesus on His first coming so, it is reasonable to believe that He will fulfill these Fall Feasts as well on His second coming. The Feast of Trumpets occurs on the first

new moon

New Moon

of the month of Tishri, the seventh month and a time of the new moon. Because the time the moon first appears as a tiny sliver is hard to tell, it is celebrated over a two day period. Is this the reason Jesus warned to be watchful because no man knows the time of His return?

“But of that day and hour no one knows, not even the angels of heaven, but My Father only.” – Matt. 24:36

“Remember therefore how you have received and heard; hold fast and repent. Therefore if you will not watch, I will come upon you as a thief, and you will not know what hour I will come upon you.” – Rev. 3:3

Many believe this Feast will mark the return of the Lord and it does begin a ten day countdown to the Day of Atonement, in which the books are opened in heaven and the Book of Life, to determine one’s destiny, heaven or hell. Jewish Rabbis teach that the first trumpet is blown announcing the Feast of Pentecost and the last trumpet will be blown to announce the Feast of Trumpets. Is this what Paul is referring to in his letter to the Corinthians?

“in a moment, in the twinkling of an eye, at the last trumpet. For the trumpet will sound, and the dead will be raised incorruptible, and we shall be changed.” – 1 Cor. 15:52

If so, the rapture will occur on the Feast of Trumpets. So what does the Bible teach about this Feast? It directs us to have a sabbath rest, in other words, a day when no customary work is done and the day is given over to honoring the Lord. It is a day to remember that we are but pilgrims on this earth and we have a heavenly home so we should prepare for it. Next, it was a day of memorial blowing of the shofars. The shofar was blown when God gave Moses the Ten Commandments –

“Then it came to pass on the third day, in the morning, that there were thunderings and lightnings, and a thick cloud on the mountain; and the sound of the trumpet was very loud, so that all the people who were in the camp trembled. … And when the blast of the trumpet sounded long and became louder and louder, Moses spoke, and God answered him by voice.” – Exo. 19:16-19

The shofars were also blown when the walls of Jericho came tumbling down –

So the people shouted when the priests blew the trumpets. And it happened when the people heard the sound of the trumpet, and the people shouted with a great shout, that the wall fell down flat. Then the people went up into the city, every man straight before him, and they took the city.” – Josh. 6:20

And they were blown when Solomon was crowned king –

“There let Zadok the priest and Nathan the prophet anoint him king over Israel; and blow the horn, and say, ‘Long live King Solomon!’ – 1 Kings 1:34

So we see that the shofar is sounded whenever God enters the scene of history, and it is blown with the shout of victory over God’s enemies, and it is blown to announce the arrival of the king.

This feast will celebrate all these things. As it is celebrated the shofars are sounded from morning to evening remembering all the times God answered their prayers and delivered them from the enemy. There was also to be a holy convocation. This means something called out, i.e. a public meeting  also a rehearsal:—assembly, calling, convocation, reading. The Word was to be read and the Lord’s coming was to be rehearsed. God wants the people to remember that He is coming one day and they are to live in expectation of His return.

There is a day coming, called the Day of the Lord, when He is going to once again enter the realm of man –

battle_of_armageddon_lg1“Now I saw heaven opened, and behold, a white horse. And He who sat on him was called Faithful and True, and in righteousness He judges and makes war. His eyes were like a flame of fire, and on His head were many crowns. He had a name written that no one knew except Himself. He was clothed with a robe dipped in blood, and His name is called The Word of God. And the armies in heaven, clothed in fine linen, white and clean, followed Him on white horses. Now out of His mouth goes a sharp sword, that with it He should strike the nations. And He Himself will rule them with a rod of iron. He Himself treads the winepress of the fierceness and wrath of Almighty God. And He has on His robe and on His thigh a name written: KING OF KINGS AND LORD OF LORDS.” – Rev. 19:11-16

This feast commemorates His coming. The next feast, the Day of Atonement, follows just ten days later and the final feast, Tabernacles, follows just 15 days later. So when the Lord comes, He will complete God’s work quickly. The world in its arrogant disregard of God will be judged, Satan and his Antichrist will be destroyed. And God’s faithful people will be delivered.

Choose wisely who’s side you are on for the time of Trumpets is not far off. One day soon the rehearsal will become reality.