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Monthly Archives: July 2012

MATHEMATICAL PRECISION OF PROPHECY

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The following is a study of Bible prophecy within the traditional continuous-historic context.  Let’s start with a couple of Daniel’s “time, times and an half” problems, and the mathematical probability of prophecy.


In one of Daniel’s dreams we read:


1.  (KJV)  Daniel 10:1  In the third year of Cyrus king of Persia a thing was revealed unto Daniel, whose name was called Belteshazzar; and the thing [was] true, but the time appointed [was] long: and he understood the thing, and had understanding of the vision.


You can Yahoo confirmation of the first year of Cyrus in Babylon to be 537-536  BC  which makes the third year of Cyrus 534-533 BC


Toward the end of this prophecy we read:


(KVJ)  Daniel 12:7  And I heard the man clothed in linen, which [was] upon the waters of the river, when he held up his right hand and his left hand unto heaven, and sware by him that liveth for ever that [it shall be] for a time, times, and an half; and when he shall have accomplished to scatter the power of the holy people, all these [things] shall be finished.


Jews – both Messianic and some that don’t yet recognize Jesus as their Messiah – translation of the Hebrew idiom “time, times and an half” is somewhat different than most of us Christians may have been taught.  Below is the above verse from a version of the Tanach :


Daniel 12:7 And I heard the man clad in linen, who was above the waters of the river, and he raised his right hand and his left hand to the heavens, and he swore by the Life of the world, that in the time of [two] times and a half, and when they have ended shattering the strength of the holy people, all these will end.
L ink to chabad.org  (But hey, what would Hebrew scholars know about Hebrew idioms, eigh? 🙂 )


While Jews understand the idiom in the passage indicates a factor of 2-1/2, they will readily admit their books and commentaries are silent in regard to just what a “time” is, and thus what the verse indicates 2-1/2 of!


Most Christians are familiar with the following verse from the New Testament:


2 Peter 3:8   But, beloved, be not ignorant of this one thing, that one day [is] with the Lord as a thousand years, and a thousand years as one day.


The Greek word that is translated as “day” in the above verse is “hemera”.  It is an ambiguous word, the definition of which, is determined by it’s context.
In 3 other passages in the KJV it is translated as “time” (in 12 verses in the NASB).


From Strong’s:
New Testament Greek Definition:
2250 hemera {hay-mer’-ah}
from (with 5610 implied) of a derivative of hemai (to sit,
akin to the base of 1476) meaning tame, i.e. gentle;
TDNT – 2:943,309; n f
AV – day 355, daily + 2596 15, time 3, not tr 2, misc 14; 389


So if the Lord had meant for a “time” to be as a thousand years:


Then 2-1/2 “times” =  2500 years.  


2500 – 533 = 1967  The restoration of the Jews to, and end of the Gentile control of, Jerusalem.  The end of the shattering the strength of the holy people.  


Is this a one “time” wonder?



 


In another of Daniel’s dreams we find:


2. (KJV) Daniel 7:1  In the first year of Belshazzar king of Babylon Daniel had a dream and visions of his head upon his bed: then he wrote the dream, [and] told the sum of the matters.
You can Yahoo confirmation for the first year of Belshazzar  to be 553-552 BC


Later in this dream we read:
(KJV)  Daniel 7:25  And he shall speak [great] words against the most High, and shall wear out the saints of the most High, and think to change times and laws: and they shall be given into his hand until a time and times and the dividing of time.


2500 – 552 = 1948  The restoration of the Jews to their covenant land, declaring an independent Israel.  End of the Jews being given into his (gentile oppressors) hand and being scattered among the “wilderness” of the nations.  


“His hand” being ‘little horn” – from “Zondervan Handbook to the Holy Bible” – “Opposing God’s people in different guises throughout history is the “little horn” (8, 20-21), until God finally removes its power.”


Yahweh’s covenant people restored to their covenant land, even while many are unfaithful and in unbelief, restored not for their sakes but for the sake of Yahweh’s Holy name .





The probability of these two math problems being an accident, that span 2500 years in perfect parallel while also being well supported textually, would be statistically absurd.  Blessedly there even more problems that reinforce them.  For open eyes these problems aptly demonstrate that it wasn’t until after the dates of 1948 and 1967 had come to pass, and we entered what Daniel’s prophecy calls the “time of the end”, that we could understand the solutions to these simple problems both mathematically and textually.


Here is YouTube summary  of these first two problems.



The book of Daniel was sealed until the “time of the end”:


Daniel 12:4  But thou, O Daniel, shut up the words, and seal the book, [even] to the time of the end: many shall run to and fro, and knowledge shall be increased.


God followed this up with a crystal clear statement of fact:


Daniel 12:9  And he said, Go thy way, Daniel: for the words [are] closed up and sealed till the time of the end.


What a perfect seal God had Daniel put on this book! Not a seal that some man or religion could take credit for unsealing, but rather being unsealed by the simple passage of time, until the right moment in time for understanding. This “time of the end”.


These “times” problems are covered in more depth in “The False Prophet” at this link.  





DAY YEAR LANGUAGE OF PROPHECY


Within this traditional continuous historic context of study we also find a “language” of prophecy wherein we consider each day for a year.  We learn that this day-year principle was well known prior to the 20th century, when we look to those of the “former age” and “search of their fathers“, as the Bible instructs.


The following is a summary of seven more of the math problems explored in “The False Prophet” (available absolutely free by simply clicking on the link), that uniformly apply this day = year “language” of prophecy.  Much better to start the book at the beginning, rather than explore the math out of context, because “The False Prophet” is a brick by brick empirical argument.



Let’s start this section with a problem involving 1260 “days” in prophecy, from John’s vision detailed in Revelation:
Here is a link to a godtube video  of this problem.


3. Revelation 12:6  (KJV): And the woman fled into the wilderness, where she hath a place prepared of God, that they should feed her therea thousand two hundred [and] threescore days.


Most agree that Israel, is the “woman” in the context of this verse.  If we then consider that the end of the 1260 “days” was when Israel came out of “the wilderness” (of the people Ezekiel 20:35 ), or out from being scattered among the nations, returning home and declaring her independence in 1948, and subtract 1260 years (“each day for a year“), we arrive at 688 AD.  



A quick Yahoo search  reveals that this is widely understood to be the founding year of the construction of the Islamic mosque, the Dome of the Rock .


 


The founding verses of the Dome of the Rock “O you People of the Book, overstep not bounds in your religion, and of God speak only the truth.  The Messiah, Jesus, son of Mary, is only an apostle of God, and his Word which he conveyed unto Mary, and a Spirit proceeding from him.  Believe therefore in God and his apostles, and say not Three.  It will be better for you.  God is only one God. Far be it from His transcendent majesty that he should have a son.”


Luke 24:39   Behold my hands and my feet, that it is I myself: handle me, and see; for a spirit hath not flesh and bones, as ye see me have.


1 John 2:22   Who is a liar but he that denieth that Jesus is the Christ? He is antichrist, that denieth the Father and the Son. 23 Whosoever denieth the Son, the same hath not the Father: [(but) he that acknowledgeth the Son hath the Father also].


The blasphemous founding verses are written in the mosaic on the Dome of the Rock both inside and out.  Over the nearly 1400 years of Islamization of the Middle East, the Holy Land became spiritually desolated by the exile of Christians and Jews.  Today Iran is 99% Muslim, with Iraq at 98% and Syria at 90%, while Saudi Arabia is 100% and Turkey 99% Muslim. Below is a map of this spiritual condition.  



By the 1800’s  Israel was rendered a desolate, barren, relatively abandonedwasteland .  


It is very important for everyone to get familiar with The History of Mecca .


Continuing our study it will become increasingly apparent that the Dome of the Rock is God’s symbol for Islam in prophecy, and that Islam is the subject of Daniel’s “time of the end“, and the “end of the world“.


The language of prophecy wherein we calculate “each day for a year” was well known by Matthew Henry, Thieleman J. van Braght, and Jamison, Faucett & Brown, to mention just a few. One example of a source verse is:
Ezekiel 4:6 :  And when thou hast accomplished them, lie again on thy right side, and thou shalt bear the iniquity of the house of Judah forty days: I have appointed thee each day for a year.  



Next let’s try a verse that involves 42 “months” in prophecy.
There are 365.24 days in our modern solar year, or John’s 1st century Julian (365.25) year, divided by 12 months = 30.44 average days in a month:


4.  Revelation 11:2 : But the court which is without the temple leave out, and measure it not; for it is given unto the Gentiles: and the holy city shall they tread under foot forty [and] two months.


The city of Jerusalem was under the foot of , or controlled by, Gentiles until the Israelis took back the holy city in 1967.  42 months x 30.44 days = 1278.5 days (as years). Subtracting this from 1967 we arrive at 688.5.  Once again, the founding year of the Dome of the Rock.



It wasn’t until after the events and the years of 1948 and 1967 had come to pass that we could understand the textual and mathematical solutions to these two simple problems.  


Further study of the above verse may well demonstrate God’s wonderfully wry sense of humor.  The Solomonic Temple was built over thethreshingfloor  of Ornan the Jebusite, and on that bedrock the Arc of the Covenant, or Holy or Holies, was kept.  It is obvious that the stone pictured below, in the Dome of the Rock, could hardly have served as a threshing floor, because both threshing and recovery of grain would have been beyond reason, particularly when there was a perfectly suited smooth flat rock just 300 feet away.  
 
 


Today the little gazebo  aptly named the “Dome of the Tablets”, or “Dome of the Spirits”, covers the smooth flat former threshing floor of the old Temple site .  (Circled in Temple Mount photo at this link)



The old Eastern Gate lines up perfectly  with the little “Dome of the Tablets”.  
The Solomonic Temple “Court of the Gentiles“, where even unwashed slaves were allowed, is likely where the Dome of the Rock was constructed.  




It would seem that the Dome of the Rock was built in the court that was outside of the Solomonic temple, that the Lord gave to the Gentiles.  In other words, the Moslems built the Dome of the Rock – over the wrong rock!  Does God have a wonderfully wry sense of humor?




Let’s explore Daniel’s 1290 “days” in prophecy, that he penned over 500 years before John authored the problems from Revelation above:


5. (KJV) Daniel 12:11 : And from the time [that] the daily [sacrifice] shall be taken away, and the abomination that maketh desolate set up, [there shall be] a thousand two hundred and ninety days.
(Tanach) –  Daniel 12:11  And from the time the daily sacrifice was removed and the silent abomination placed, is one thousand, two hundred, and ninety.


Sacrifices were suspended three times in the Old Testament:  once before Daniel (Chronicles 28:24-25 ), once during the Babylonian captivity in 583 BC (Chronicles 36:19  and Ezra 3:6 ), and once, about four hundred years later, by the Greek king Antiochus Epiphanies.  Let’s try the 583 date considering that the angel Gabriel may have had Daniel write about the abolition of sacrifices with which he was directly familiar.


Old Testament – day = year “language” is suggested in Genesis’ account of the flood as 30 day months pointing to a 360 dayprophetic year, each year being equal to .9857 solar year (360/365.24) of or our modern historical record that the event dating comes from. 1290 x .9857 = 1271.5 solar years.  Subtracting 583 we arrive again at 688.5 AD.  The founding year of The Dome of the Rock –THE ABOMINATION OF DESOLATION.



There is a 2-3 year leeway in Babylonian period historical dating, rendering “zero year” discussion unimportant.  Might the Lord have allowed for the calculation to remain simple anyway?


Daniel and John’s prophecies were written over 500 years apart, yet the two books unite with mathematical precision – both pinning the year 688 AD – that was hundreds of years in John’s future and over a thousand years in Daniel’s future!


From TFP: “When Khalifah Omar entered Jerusalem in 639AD, he was met by Sophronius, Bishop of the Jerusalem Church, who showed him around the city. Seeing the temple mount (then in rubble), Omar declared that he was going to build a memorial to Muhammad on the original site of the temple of God. Sophronius exclaimed in horror,  “Verily, this is the Abomination of Desolation as spoken of by Daniel the prophet, and it now stands in the holy place“.  Though Sophronius was a very old man of about 80, Khalifah Omar put him in prison and to forced labor, the severities of which killed him.” – Jerry Landay – “The Dome of the Rock”


Is there an explanation as to why we couldn’t see the perfect mathematical relationships between these two prophets before this “time”?


Daniel 12:4   But thou, O Daniel, shut up the words, and seal the book, [even] to the time of the end: many shall run to and fro, andknowledge shall be increased.
Daniel 12:9   And he said, Go thy way, Daniel: for the words [are] closed up and sealed till the time of the end.   


Isaac NewtonMatthew Henry and many of those before us understood that the book of Daniel, and by extension Revelation, would not be fully understood until the “time of the end“.   


For my could-become brothers and sisters in Christ Jesus, who are today in the grip of Islam, here is a Bible translated intoArabic , including an online Arabic audio New Testament .
On this link are videos of Muslims  who have come to know the love of the one true God.
Here is the site for Muslims for Christ
Site for Gospel For Muslims 
Here is a link to a good sound bible teacher , where you can go to church online, anytime you want, to get into the Word of God.  
Answering Islam  is an excellent site by X-Muslims that answers most any question you could have regarding Islam.
To my brothers and sisters in the Church, let’s wake up and save these poor folks through the truth, and proof, of God’s Holy Word.



Let’s try the very next verse after Daniel’s 1290 days verse, and see if we can confirm the method we used, with Daniel’s 1335 “days”:


6. Daniel 12:12 : Blessed [is] he that waiteth, and cometh to the thousand three hundred and five and thirty days.
Tanach:   Dan 12:12 : Fortunate is he who waits and reaches days of one thousand, three hundred, and thirty-five.
1335 x .9857 (O.T. prophetic year “language” conversion) = 1315.9 – 583 BC = 732.9 AD.  



A quick Yahoo search  determines that 732 was the year of The Battle of Tours , France.  This battle was fought exactly 100 years after Mohammed’s death.  The Battle of Tours is widely considered to be the most important battle  of the entire Christian era.  Charles “Martel”  (the hammer), against astronomical odds, defeated the Islamic army, and the spread of Islam, in its near conquest of the whole known world , as it headed up through Europe during the Islamic First Jihad.  Indeed blessed was he who patiently waited and made it through the First Jihad, without converting to Islam, or denying his Lord and Savior.




This epic battle  was the turning point  marking the zenith of the Islamic onslaught delivering the mortal wound  to the spearhead of the invading forces, and killing the literal head of the advancing army Emir Abd er Rahman .  “Without his leadership and guidance, the other commanders were unable to even agree on a commander to lead them back into battle the following morning. The effect of the death of Abdul Rahman on both Islamic and world history was profound.  “…. according to one unidentified Arab, That army went through all places like a desolating storm.’ sacking and capturing the city of Bordeaux, and then defeating the army of Duke Odo of Aquitaine at the Battle of the River Garonne — where the western chroniclers state, ‘God alone knows the number of the slain—[3]  and Odo fled to Charles Martel, seeking help.”  


 



Stunningly, the two math problems from Daniel launch from the shared beginning date of 583 BC and nail God’s symbolic pin date for the Islamic Dome of the Rock – the ABOMINATION OF DESOLATION – and then go on to pin the year of the zenith of, and death knell of, the Islamic First Jihad conquering of nearly the whole known world!  At the same time the above problems unite the books of Revelation and Daniel with mathematical and textual precision.


Blessedly we don’t have to depend on only the six math problems above.  There are over a dozen such problems explored in The False Prophet.  If the above peaked your interest it would be best to start that book from the beginning, to keep them in context, because The False Prophet is a sound, hermeneutic, brick by brick, empirical argument.  For the impatient I’ll abbreviate a few more problems to hopefully tease you into reading the FREE book.


Here is a link to a brief GodTube video  of the following problem.


Let’s study another 42 “months” problem from John in Revelation, prefaced with a related verse:


Revelation 13:2 And the beast which I saw was like unto a leopard, and his [Daniel’s beast is “his” ] feet were as [the feet] of a bear, and his mouth as the mouth of a lion: and the dragon gave him his power, and his seat, and great authority.


7. Revelation 13:5 :  And there was given unto him a mouth speaking great things and blasphemies ; and power was given unto him to continue forty [and] two months.


Again using the average of 30.44 days in a month, multiplied by 42 months = 1278.5 days (as years).  Subtracting this from 1967 we arrive again at 688.5The founding year of the Dome of the Rock. 


The political and religious control (through jizya – that is – humiliation taxes  of the enslaved, etc.) of the Islamic LBL beast, of Revelation 13 “continued” in Jerusalem until the Israelis retook the Holy City in 1967 – Islam being marked symbolically by the founding year of the Dome of the Rock.


Daniel defined what a beast is, when the figurative language of a dream or vision is used in Scripture, and he did it in the context of the lion, bear, leopard and fourth “terrible” beast:  Daniel 7:23  Thus he said, The fourth beast shall be the fourth kingdom upon earth,…
And so we learn that in the figurative language of a dream or vision in prophecy, beast = kingdom.


Islamic conquest resulted in the exile of Jews and Christians from the Holy Land, and subsequent spiritual desolation of the region.  By the 1800’s it was a physically desolated, deserted wasteland.   
In “A History of the Jews” page 321 Paul Johnson writes:  “Between 1827 and 1839, largely through British efforts, the population of Jerusalem rose from 550 to 5,500 and in all Palestine it topped 10,000 – the real beginning of the Jewish return to the Promised Land. In 1838 Palmerston appointed the first western vice-consul in Jerusalem, W.T. Young, and told him ‘to afford protection to the Jews generally’.”


We can see from Revelation 13:2  above, that the dragon, Satan, gives the beast the power that is mentioned in Revelation 13:5, that is manifest in Islamic control of this empire.  See illustration


Daniel’s successive kingdom beasts of lion, bear and leopard, which Bible scholars recognize as Babylon, Medo-Persia, and ancient Greece, form the composite leopard-bear-lion – beast / kingdom – we find in Revelation 13 .  This same geographical region is todayoccupied by Iraq, Iran, and Syria/Lebanon.   While some Islamic sects have national autonomy, and different sects of Islam are at war against each other, they are all perfectly united behind their false prophet Mohammed, and united in the spirit of antichrist.  These modern day realities perfectly compliment this sound hermeneutic, textual and mathematical study.



The prophetic pin date of 688 and the symbol of the end times – the Dome of the Rock – the abomination of desolation – also fits all of the definitions of terms used to describe this abomination, since it was “set up“, and “stands“, “where it ought not“, “in” the “holy place“, asMatthew 24 confirms, in conjunction with that passage in Mark and Luke, as well as Daniel, where Matthew and Mark instruct us to “understand” the concept from.


Eventually Western wealth transfer to the Middle East through oil purchase would heal the wound  of the leopard-bear-lion beast , financing the second Jihad in the image  of the first Jihad.  This image worship may also include the Black Stone  in the Kaaba, that at one time housed over 360 idols, that all Muslims bow toward, in their daily prayers, from everywhere in the world.



This next problem uses prophetic “weeks” of days as years, and includes 3 consecutive events spanning 483 years in prophecy, that were all in Daniel’s future – and came to pass just as he prophesied – proving that Jesus is the Messiah.
Here is a link to a video  of this problem.


8. Daniel 9:24-26 : Seventy weeks are determined upon thy people and upon thy holy city, to finish the transgression, and to make an end of sins, and to make reconciliation for iniquity, and to bring in everlasting righteousness, and to seal up the vision and prophecy, and to anoint the most Holy.  25  Know therefore and understand, that from the going forth of the commandment to restore and to build Jerusalem unto the Messiah the Prince shall be seven weeks, and threescore and two weeks: the street shall be built again, and the wall, even in troublous times.  26 And after threescore and two weeks shall Messiah be cut off, but not for himself: and the people of the prince  that shall come shall destroy the city and the sanctuary; and the end thereof shall be with a flood, and unto the end of the war desolations are determined.


Quoting from “The False prophet“:  “Almost 100 years after Gabriel spoke to Daniel, a special decree was granted by Artaxerxes I to Nehemiah (444-445 BC).  This is the ONLY decree recorded in the Bible that gave the Jews permission to ‘restore Jerusalem and rebuild its walls‘.  The Messiah, Jesus, was “cut off” or crucified in 32 or 33AD.”  
Much of Christianity understands these 69 weeks to be 69 sevens of years.  So we have 69 x 7 or 483 prophetic ‘years’.”  Again, uniformly using our multiplier of .9857 to reconcile this 360-day year “language” (per Genesis) with the solar year units of our modern historical record, yields: 483 x .9857 = 476 solar years.  Artaxerxes’ decree in 444 BC + 476 years = 32 AD, the cross right to the year!  See illustration



Again quoting from The False Prophet:  “But what about those six points that were supposed to be fulfilled during these 70 weeks? Ah-ha! All but one were fulfilled at the cross. Did not Jesus (1) finish transgression eternally, (2) make an end of sin,(John 1:29 ) (3) make reconciliation for iniquity, (4) bring in everlasting righteousness, and (6) anoint the Most holy with His own precious blood?  Of course, praise the Lord!Point (5), however, was left out: ‘Seal up vision and prophecy’. This is where those peculiar 7 weeks and 62 weeks come in:


7 x 7 years in prophecy = 48.3 Solar years. 444 BC – 48.3 = 395.7 BC,  Malachi was inspired to write the last book of the Old Testament.
“The Scripture to the Jews was complete, and no more was written until the New Testament era! So Old Testament vision and prophecy were indeed ‘sealed up’. As one dear Rabbi lamented in about 200 BC, ‘The Holy Spirit has departed from Israel,’ and until this very day, the Jews, as a nation, have not been permitted to see any further. The Lord has blinded their eyes so they could not recognize Jesus as their Messiah (Romans 11:8 , 2 Corinthians 3:15 ).”  


But in this time of the end it would seem that God is increasingly lifting the “spirit of slumber” from their eyes and ears as increasing numbers of Jews are recognizing Jesus as their Messiah, as God takes “the stick of Joseph, which is in the hand of Ephraim, and the tribes of Israel his fellows, and will put them with him, even with the stick of Judah, and make them one stick, and they shall be one in mine hand.
Please see “Timeless Covenant” and “One More Time“.  


Calculating the above 3 date pins in Daniel’s 70 weeks was accomplished using the exact same mathematical methodemployed in Daniel’s 1290 and 1335 days in problem 2 and 4 above!  All confirmed textually as well.



Let’s try another 1260 “days” problem from Revelation regarding the Two Witnesses:


9. Revelation 11:3:  And I will give [power] unto my two witnesses, and they shall prophesy a thousand two hundred [and] threescore days, clothed in sackcloth.  4  These are the two olive trees, and the two candlesticks standing before the God of the earth.


1948 – 1260 = 688 …. the Dome of the Rock.  See illustration



The Bible defines the two witnesses as the Jewish and Christian church.  These were religiously exiled from the Holy Land by Islam, and sent into the world, marked symbolically, specifically, and repeatedly above, by the Dome of the Rock – the abomination of desolation.  Employing the scriptural adjacency rule of hermeneutics we learn:
Revelation 1:20  The mystery of the seven stars which thou sawest in My right hand, and the seven golden candlesticks. The seven stars are the angels of the seven churches: and the seven candlesticks which thou sawest are the seven churches.
Romans 11:24  For if thou [the Gentiles] wert cut out of the olive tree which is wild by nature, and wert grafted contrary to nature into agood olive tree [the Jews]how much more shall these [the Jews], which be the natural branches, be grafted into their own olive tree?


Blessedly, when we look to those of the “former age ” and “enquire of their fathers” we find confirmation for this view, just as we did with the day = year understanding of the language of prophecy.


Matthew HenrySome think these two witnesses are Enoch and Elias, who are to return to the earth for a time: others, the church of the believing Jews and that of the Gentiles … 


Isaac Newton:  “… God gives power to his two Witnessesand they prophesy a thousand two hundred and threescore days clothed in sackcloth. They are called the two Olive-trees, with relation to the two Olive-trees, which in Zechary’s vision, chap. 4 stand on either side of the golden candlestick to supply the lamps with oil: and Olive-trees, according to the Apostle Paul, represent ChurchesRom. 11. …. They are also called the two candlesticks; which in this Prophecy signify Churches, the seven Churches of Asia being represented by seven candlesticks….”  – Observations Upon the Prophecies of Daniel, and the Apocalypse of St. John


Jamieson Faucett and Brown  “… I think the twofold Church, Jewish and Gentile, may be meant by the two candlesticks represented by the two witnesses … 


To explore the two witnesses further, read the chapter of that title from the False Prophet at this link.  I highly recommend, however, that you start the book from the beginning.


The book of Daniel was sealed, until this “time of the end” and we can see that it wasn’t until the years of 1948 and 1967 had passed, that we could fully understand the textual and mathematical solutions to the problems in Revelation, to relate back to Daniel, for the full picture to come into view.  More problems are studied in The False Prophet.  This book is a brick by brick empirical argument that is best read from start to finish.


The mathematics combined with the application of sound hermeneutic principles confirm these conclusions textually.  It is clear that this study is not about some “Bible code” but rather about solutions to the day, week, and month, math problems, that were assigned to us by prophecy.  


If you have read this far, congratulations. You are that one in a thousand that has been blessed with a Berean spirit and is willing to simply ask the question, “What if the Lord meant….”.  This question has become increasingly rare in our indoctrinated Churches of today, in which all of the hundreds of denominations are convinced that their’s is the correct eschatological interpretation, as doctrine trumps truth.  


For nearly thirty years, seventy-nine year old Pastor Ellis Skolfield  has written about the central role of Islam in Second Coming prophecy, by studying within the traditional continuous-historic context.
By now you may be asking “But what about Daniel’s 70th week?”  The following off-menu page was placed there for you.  The explanation is a bit technical but I believe you will find it as sound as the above problems.  Please click on Daniel’s 70th week.


(link to next page John’s 8 beasts)




SUMMARY OF DAY = YEAR PROBLEMS




THE MATHEMATICAL PROBABILITIES
Here is a website that discusses the mathematical probabilities of just one single component, of just one of the problems above – Daniel’s 69 weeks – coming out to within even a couple of years of being correct.   “DANIEL’S MESSIAH IN THE CRITIC’S DEN “.
“Section 4.3 – Summary – There are several reasonable interpretations of the Daniel 9:25 prophecy that are successful predictions for pointing to Jesus as the Messiah. Since it is not known whether the crucifixion of Jesus occurred in 30AD or 33 AD, in order to be conservative, the highest probability reported by Section 4.1 or 4.2 which is 0.0071 will be considered as the conservative estimate for the probability of the Daniel 9:25 prophecy occurring. Within these unknowns is the possibility that the prediction was essentially exact because one comparison matches to the day.” – CRITIC’S DEN 


THE MATH MULTIPLIERS


The following methods were used to arrive at the multipliers.  You can Yahoo the fact that a common understanding of the average number of days in a solar year is 365.24 .  Dividing this number by 12 we get 30.436666… days in a month.  Rounding this number off we can arrive at the 30.44 average days in a month that we used uniformly above, and also a perfectly acceptable solution to average days in a monthwhen Yahooed .


In regard to the multiplier to convert the Old Testament 360 day prophetic year “language”, to the Solar year units of our historical record, we divide it by the same 365.24 average days in a solar year, we get .9856532.  Rounding this number shorter we arrive at .9857 which is the multiplier we used uniformly above to convert Daniel’s Hebrew year language to the solar years of our historical record.


Here’s a fun site regarding the 360 day calendar .


ZERO YEAR


For those suggesting that Daniel’s “times” problems miss because of “zero year”, historians allow a 2-3 year leeway in dating of this Babylonian period.  Interestingly, many of the same critics don’t hesitate to consider at least 69 of Daniel’s 70 weeks, as weeks of days as years fulfilled at the Cross, even though there may be as much as a 2 to 3 year ambiguity in historical dating at both ends of that problem.  That possible error of 5 years in 500, would be proportionate to an error of 25 years in 2500.  Yet Daniel’s “times” problems are date certainon the 1948 and 1967 ends, and within historically acceptable limits on the other.  They also confirm  each other by working together in parallel over this period of 2500 years.  If one thought Daniel missed by such a narrow margin, even though these problems work textually as well (“for a long time” – “end of the shattering the strength of the holy people”), then one would be stuck having to believe that it is a mathematical and textual coincidence, the odds against which, are somewhat beyond astronomical.  Even an honest atheist would have difficulty making, let alone supporting, that claim.  Might the Lord have allowed for these problems to be correct when calculated simply and without adjustment in the first place?



DAY-YEAR “LANGUAGE” OF PROPHECY


The use of prophetic day=year language is certainly nothing new.  Indeed the interpretations in the church today are what are new, especially those from within the last hundred to few hundred years or so (futurism/preterism ).  As mentioned earlier, Scripture instructs us:  Job 8:8  For enquire, I pray thee, of the former age, and prepare thyself to the search of their fathers:  9  (For we [are but of] yesterday, and know nothing, because our days upon earth [are] a shadow:)


Quoting from “The False Prophet”: “In 1569, the great Anabaptist theologian, Thieleman van Braght, wrote the following in Martyrs Mirror, pages 21-24: ‘a thousand two hundred and threescore days, which reckoned according to prophetic language means as many years let it be reckoned as it may, say we, as a very long period of time.’  


Two hundred years later, Matthew Henry, in his ‘Commentary of the Whole Bible’, came to the same conclusion (Vol VI, page 1157 column 1, para. 2):  “….if the beginning of that interval could be ascertained, this number of prophetic days, taking a day for a yearwould give us a prospect of when the end might be.”


Isaac Newton – “She is nourished by the merchants of the earth, three times or years and an half, or 42 months, or 1260 days: and in these Prophecies days are put for years.” – Observations Upon the Prophecies of Daniel, and the Apocalypse of St.a John – Chapter 3


Also Jamison, Faucett & Brown commentary – “….. in the wilderness ‘a thousand two hundred and threescore days.’ In the wider sense, we may either adopt the year-day theory of 1260 years
Ezekiel 4:5  For I have laid upon thee the years of their iniquity, according to the number of the days, three hundred and ninety days: so shalt thou bear the iniquity of the house of Israel.


Ezekiel 4:6   And when thou hast accomplished them, lie again on thy right side, and thou shalt bear the iniquity of the house of Judah forty days: I have appointed thee each day for a year.


Numbers 14:34  After the number of the days in which ye searched the land, [even] forty days, each day for a year, shall ye bear your iniquities, [even] forty years, and ye shall know my breach of promise.


Genesis 29:27  Fulfil her week, and we will give thee this also for the service which thou shalt serve with me yet seven other years.


Additionally Exodus alludes to a week of days as years:


Exodus 23:10  And six years thou shalt sow thy land, and shalt gather in the fruits thereof:
Exodus 23:11  But the seventh [year] thou shalt let it rest and lie still; that the poor of thy people may eat: and what they leave the beasts of the field shall eat. In like manner thou shalt deal with thy vineyard, [and] with thy oliveyard.


Others who understood this language include:


Augustine (AD 430)
Nahawendi (Jewish) (AD 8-9th century)
Jehoram (AD 10th century)
Abraham bar Hiyya (Jewish) (AD 1136)
Arnold of Villanova AD (1292)
Tichonius (AD 380)
Joachim of Floris (AD 1202)
John Wycliffe (AD c.1379)
Nicholas of Cusa (AD c.1452)
Martin Luther (AD 1522)
Phillip Melanchthon (AD 1543)
Johan Funck (AD 1558)
James I of England (AD 1600)
Sir Isaac Newton (AD 1727)



THE 360 DAY YEAR PROPHETIC CALENDAR


The Jews kept various mostly lunar/solar calendars over the ages, so how could we decide which calendar the Lord meant for us to use in Old Testament prophecy?  


The 360 day calendar that was applied to the math above is a component of this “language” of prophecy.  Just as a day never literally equals a year, it is unlikely that anyone kept a continuous 360 day calendar without periodic adjustment, or winter would have switched with summer in the calendar year, about every 35 years.  One early calendar, for example, was adjusted by adding a 30-day month every six years to compensate for the discrepancy.


Scripture offers few clues regarding days, months and years to suggest a “language” for prophetic years, but one is found in the account of the flood in Genesis:


Genesis 7:11  In the six hundredth year of Noah’s life, in the second month, the seventeenth day of the month, the same day were all the fountains of the great deep broken up, and the windows of heaven were opened.  
Genesis 7:24  And the waters prevailed upon the earth an hundred and fifty days.
Genesis 8:4  And the ark rested in the seventh month, on the seventeenth day of the month, upon the mountains of Ararat.


In the above verses we find a period of 5 months that total 150 days constituting 30 day months that may suggest a 360 day year.
In order to convert these prophetic “years” to the solar years of our historical record we divide 360 by 365.24 to arrive at a multiplier of .9857.


Only by applying this calendar uniformly, and having the several Old Testament problems that span from 480 to 1335 years repeatedly confirm this “language”, may we conclude that our understanding from genesis is likely correct.  Certainly the odds against the several problems conspiring with this kind of mathematical precision, to be an accident, are astronomical.


This from a Rabbi in a Jewish forum in which I inquired:
“These are the 12 months, starting with the first month as referred to in the Jewish *****ures – the month of Nissan – that denotes the month of the Exodus from Egypt and celebration of Passover (I have indicated the alternative month number, if one starts numbering with Tishrei – the start of the Jewish civil year, in brackets) –


Month 1[7]: Nissan – 30 days (marks the beginning of the ecclesiastical year)
Month 2[8]: Iyar – 29 days
Month 3[9]: Sivan – 30 days
Month 4[10] : Tammuz – 29 days
Month 5[11]: Av – 30 days
Month 6[12]: Elul – 29 days
Month 7[1]: Tishrei – 30 days (marks the beginning of the civil year)
Month 8[2]: Heshvan – 29 (30*) days (This month is also called Mar’kheshvan)
Month 9[3]: Kislev – 30 (29*) days
Month 10[4]: Tevet – 29 days
Month 11[5]: Sh’vat – 30 days
Month 12[6]: Adar – 29 days (30 days in a leap-year, followed by Adar 2 with 29 days)
Note (*) – Heshvan and Kislev may, on certain occasions, have 30 and 29 days, respectively, but this detail is not significant right now.”


It becomes readily apparent that this calendar could not log 150 days over any 5 consecutive month period, as our 360 day prophetic year calendar in the account of the flood in Genesis does.



 WHY NOW?


Why can we only just now begin to see this whole picture?  One of the most important things to note about the book of Daniel can be found in these two verses:


 Daniel 12:4  But thou, O Daniel, shut up the words, and seal the book, [even] to the time of the end: many shall run to and fro, and knowledge shall be increased.  
God followed this up with a crystal clear statement of fact:  
Daniel 12:9   And he said, Go thy way, Daniel: for the words [are] closed up and sealed till the time of the end.   


It wasn’t until after the events of 1948 and 1967 had passed that we could check both ends of most of the prophetic math problems assigned to us through prophecy.  So how reliable are the doctrines that professed to understand the book of Daniel before this “time of the end”?  Another seal Daniel may have applied is the bifidic and chiasmic forms of Hebrew poetry.



NEWTON AND HENRY ON DANIEL’S “TIME OF THE END”


Isaac Newton expressed it thus:


“This Prophecy is called the Revelation, with respect to the scripture of truth, which Daniel was commanded to shut up and seal, till the time of the end. Daniel sealed it until the time of the end; {Daniel 12:4, 9} and until that time comes, the Lamb is opening the seals:….
All which is as much as to say, that these Prophecies of Daniel and John should not be understood till the time of the end: …. But in the very end, the Prophecy should be so far interpreted as to convince many.
(Part II. Observations Upon the Apocalypse of St. John. Chap 1)
Where does your eschatological doctrine date from?  



Matthew Henry expressed it:


“VI. That this prophecy of those times, though sealed up now, would be of great use to those that should live then, v. 4. Daniel must now shut up the words and seal the book because the time would be long ere these things would be accomplished: and it was some comfort that the Jewish nation, though, in the infancy of their return from Babylon, while they were few and weak, they met with obstructions in their work, were not persecuted for their religion till a long time after, when they had grown to some strength and maturity. He must seal the book because it would not be understood, and therefore would not be regarded, till the things contained in it were accomplished; but he must keep it safely, as a treasure of great value, laid up for the ages to come, to whom it would be of great service; for many shall then run to and fro, and knowledge shall be increased. Then this hidden treasure shall be opened, and many shall search into it, and dig for the knowledge of it, as for silver. They shall run to and fro, to enquire out copies of it, shall collate them, and see that they be true and authentic. They shall read it over and over, shall meditate upon it, and run it over in their minds; discurrent—they shall discourse of it, and talk it over among themselves, and compare notes about it, if by any means they may sift out the meaning of it; and thus knowledge shall be increased. By consulting this prophecy on this occasion they shall be led to search other scriptures, which shall contribute much to their advancement in useful knowledge; for then shall we know if we follow on to know the Lord, Hos. 6:3. Those that would have their knowledge increased must take pains, must not sit still in slothfulness and bare wishes but run to and fro, must make use of all the means of knowledge and improve all opportunities of getting their mistakes rectified, their doubts resolved, and their acquaintance with the things of God improved, to know more and to know better what they do know. And let us here see reason to hope that, 1. Those things of God which are now dark and obscure will hereafter be made clear, and easy to be understood. Truth is the daughter of time. Scripture prophecies will be expounded by the accomplishment of them; therefore they are given, and for that explication they are reserved. Therefore they are told us before, that, when they do come to pass, we may believe. 2. Those things of God which are despised and neglected, and thrown by as useless, shall be brought into reputation, shall be found to be of great service, and be brought into request; for divine revelation, however slighted for a time, shall be magnified and made honourable, and, above all, in the judgment of the great day, when the books shall be opened, and that book among the rest.”



20TH CENTURY ESCHATOLOGY  


With textual and mathematical confirmation, in conjunction with the evening news, placing Islam in the center of eschatology, if our current chosen end-time understanding concludes otherwise are we really to expect that:


Yet a different billion and a half people will also be specifically antichrist as the most important fundamental (“shirk “) of an as yet unknown European religion.


Yet a different billion and a half people will also follow a different, as yet unknown, European false prophet.


Yet a different religion will also “wear out the saints” by murdering Jews and Christians (Dan 7:25 ) – and by beheading.


Yet a different religion will also change the times – by creating its own calendar. (Daniel 7:25)


Yet a different religion will also seek to change laws – by ignoring the Sabbath as well as imposing Islamic Sharia law, in the place of legitimate laws of sovereign nations, throughout the world. (Daniel 7:25)  See “Time, Times and a Half


Yet a different religion will also build yet another abomination on the Temple Mount that will:
1) Blaspheme God The Most High – for 1300 years with mosaic inscriptions inside and out that read “Far be it from God’s glory that he  should have a Son”.
2) Blaspheme God’s name – blaspheme Yahweh by calling their god Allah.
3) Blaspheme God’s tabernacle – by building the Dome of the Rock, with blasphemy written all over it, within 300 feet of where the Holy of Holies was kept.


Yet a different religion will also be marked with the number 666 = Bismillah = “in the name of Allah”. Also Yahoo search – quran 666  – and find the “submission” sect  that says the “Quran is the 666”.


Yet a different religion will establish in a few years, what took Islam almost 1400 years to establish.


Are we really to believe that the 1.5 billion antichrist Muslims in antichrist Islam today, will all convert to a different as yet unknown European antichrist religion, operated by some as yet unknown antichrist charismatic European leader, and this in a period of just a few years?


Really?


Additionally John specifically indicated that the 8th beast has nothing to do with the Roman Empire, because that was the beast that “is”, as he penned Revelation.  He wrote that the 8th beast “is not” – that is to John – who was writing about the things that were, are and shall be – at the time of his writing.  See John’s Eight Beasts page.


 
“God is truth, so how well a person serves the Lord is not dependent on how artfully he can defend his doctrines, but on his willingness to seek out and follow the truth.” – Ellis Skolfield.    


Not to be confused with C.I. Scofield of the Scofield annotated Bible.*




 

PROOFS FOR PRE-TRIBULATION RAPTURE THEOLOGY

By Don Koenig

Does the Bible teach that the Church will be supernaturally removed (rapture)? Will the Church escape the tribulation? Is the rapture pretribulation pre-wrath, or post tribulation?
The best way to find out the truth is to correctly interpret God’s word. In some cases this is easier said than done. Finding and correlating deep truths in some scriptures can be like mining for gold. It is hard work but it sure is worthwhile when you sift out a few nuggets. I expect God wanted it that way so that some things would be hidden from the adversary. The parables are prime examples of how Jesus gave truth to the children of the promise but the sons of darkness could not understand what He was talking about. Some of God’s truths take scholarship and enlightenment by the Holy Spirit. Sometimes there may be more than one level of truth in a passage with insights that are revealed in time by the Holy Spirit as He deems appropriate. This is apparently the case with the truth about the rapture of the faithful Church.

Some teachers are blind about the rapture and Bible prophecy.

There are many theologians in some of the denominations who do not see that we are in the prophetic years because they allegorize or spiritualize all scripture dealing with the end times and the restoration of Israel. Unless there is clear indication for allegory, even common sense dictates that scripture writings should be taken in a literal sense. By allegorizing prophetic scripture these theologians can make it say just about anything they want. By applying the promises of God for Israel to the Church, they can do away with any literal fulfillment on earth. Scholars such as these really need to review why it is that they use human rationalization to distort the plain teaching of God’s word.
I believe they do this either in ignorance due to their seminary training or because they do not wish to believe what God said about a literal fulfillment that includes a final world-wide judgment and thousand-year reign of Christ on earth from Jerusalem. They do not understand that the body of Jesus rose very early on the third day and that the body of Christ (the Church) will also rise very early on her third day – a day with the Lord is as a thousand years (2 Pe 3:8).

Liberty taking with the literal interpretation of prophetic scriptures in the past was not as critical a problem to the Church as it is today. In the past the Church in general had less knowledge of the scriptures and the Church was not near the prophetic years. Today, there is widespread access of scripture in the Church, so we do not have that excuse. In addition, there is more danger in applying scriptures meant for Israel to the Church. The theology that the Jews killed Christ and that God has cursed the descendants of Israel and given her promises to the Christian Church in recent times opened the door for the Jewish holocaust under Hitler. Those in replacement theology today may be opening a new door for the predicted worldwide holocaust against the Jews under the Beast Antichrist.

The Church is the body of Christ and is the firstborn into the promise of a new covenant. The Gentiles were grafted into that promise and that covenant because most of Israel rejected their Messiah and the natural branches were broken off so that wild branches could be grafted in (Gentiles). However, that promise and covenant was actually given to the house of Jacob and Judah without any conditions (Jer 31:31). When the nation of Israel acknowledges its offense, all in Israel who call on the name of the Lord will be grafted back in and receive their new covenant promise.
When the Father determines that the time has come, He will remove the faithful Church to heaven where she will become one with His Son. The earth at that time will be cleansed of evil doers prior to the return of Jesus in glory with His bride. At that time, He will set up the promised thousand-year reign on earth ruled from Jerusalem. When this occurs the promise of a new covenant to Israel will be fulfilled as the prophet Joel foretold.

Joe: 2:28 And it shall come to pass afterward, that I will pour out my spirit upon all flesh; and your sons and your daughters shall prophesy, your old men shall dream dreams, your young men shall see visions:
29 And also upon the servants and upon the handmaids in those days will I pour out my spirit.
30 And I will shew wonders in the heavens and in the earth, blood, and fire, and pillars of smoke.
31 The sun shall be turned into darkness, and the moon into blood, before the great and the terrible day of the LORD come.
32 And it shall come to pass, that whosoever shall call on the name of the LORD shall be delivered: for in mount Zion and in Jerusalem shall be deliverance, as the LORD hath said, and in the remnant whom the LORD shall call.
3:1 For, behold, in those days, and in that time, when I shall bring again the captivity of Judah and Jerusalem,

2 I will also gather all nations, and will bring them down into the valley of Jehoshaphat, and will plead with them there for my people and for my heritage Israel, whom they have scattered among the nations, and parted my land.

Is pretribulation rapture theology a new Church doctrine?

Some say there is no rapture of the Church prior to the tribulation and point out that it was not even taught to the Church until the 1800’s.
In Grant Jeffrey’s book “Triumphant Return“, he writes that about 373 AD Ephraem taught in a sermon that there was a pre-tribulation rapture. This writing can be found in Ephraem’s sermon “On the Last Times, the Antichrist, and the End of the World.“, Ephraem said in this sermon, “For the saints and Elect of God are gathered, prior to the tribulation that is to come, and are taken to the Lord lest they see the confusion that is to overwhelm the world because of our sins”.

Ephraem also taught in this same sermon that the war of Gog and Magog in Ezekiel 38-39 would precede the tribulation and he taught the imminent return of Jesus.

Is the pretribulation rapture secret?

The rapture will not be secret. In fact the world has been informed that it will happen through many popular writings like the “Left Behind” series. The rapture event itself will be known to all who will witness the missing people. The “New Age” pagans have even pre-prepared explanations for the rapture in some of their writings.

Is there a pretribulation rapture?

In the rapture, the true Church of God is removed so they will not go through the trial that will come upon all the earth to try men’s souls (they have no need to). Christ does not come back to take possession of the earth at that time. The rapture is just another phase of the first Resurrection that began with Jesus Christ. Jesus is the body of Christ and the true Church is also the body of Christ. The total membership making up the body of Christ must arise like Jesus to unite with Jesus. We must go before the bema seat judgment to be given the crowns that will allow us to rule and reign with Jesus when we return. If the rapture and second coming were at the same time you would have to make this judgment and the giving of the crowns an instantaneous event in the clouds at the second coming of Jesus. In the Jewish harvest, you have the first fruits, the general harvest and the gleaning. The harvest is not one event and neither is the resurrection of the saints. Revelation makes it clear that the 144,000 Israelites who have a ministry in the tribulation are still first fruits, so this would indicate that those in the true Church before the tribulation are also first fruits of this harvest.
There are well over a score of biblical passages that indicate that the return of Jesus for the Church is imminent. An imminent return is quite impossible if the tribulation has to happen first. Why would Jesus direct his people to be always ready and watching for His coming if they were meant to go through the tribulation and thus would be aware of His coming as much as seven years before He actually came?

After the letters to the seven churches of Revelation and what is seen in heaven, the focus of the book of Revelation on earth is on the Israelites again. We see the Jews fleeing into the wilderness, the rebuilt temple, the two prophets, the 144,000 Jewish witnesses, and all nations coming to fight against Israel.

The rapture of the faithful in contrast to the Revelation of Jesus at His coming*
Christ comes for His own 1Th 4:13-18 ——————–Christ returns with His own Rev 19:14
Believers taken to Father’s House Joh 14:3 —————-Believers come with Jesus to Earth Mat 24:30
He is seen only by believers 1Co 15:52 ——————–Every eye will see Him Mat 24:30
Earth not judged ———————————————–Earth judged Rev 20:4-5
A Mystery – 1 Co 15:51 ————————————–Foretold in OT Zech 12:10
Christians taken first 1Th 4:13-18 3 Mat 13:28-30 ——-Wicked are taken first Mat 25:1-13; Rev 3:8-10; Rev 4:1,
He comes to present the Church to Himself 2 Co 11:2 —He comes with His Church for judgement and to set up his Kingdom Rev 19:6-9, Zec 14:3-4; Jud 1:14-15; Rev 19:11-21
Casts Satan out of heaven to earth Rev 12 ——————Binds Satan for a thousand years Rev 20
Occurs in the twinkling of an eye 1Co 15:52—————Comes to earth to do battle at specific locations Isa 63:1-3, Rev 16:16, Zec 12:9-10
Jesus descends with a shout. 1Th 4:16 8 ——————–No shout mentioned Rev 19:11-21
Jesus comes as a thief in the night 1Th 24:43—————Jesus comes at the end of 7 years of tribulation Dan 9:24-27, 12:11-12; Rev 11:2, 12:6,14, 13:5
*much of the above info was obtained from:http://www.linkjesus.com/15differences.htm

Sixteen scriptural proofs that the rapture is pre-tribulation *

Proof #1: Revelation 19:11-21 doesn’t mention a resurrection.
The rapture is a resurrection of those “in Christ” (1 Thess. 4:13-18). Isn’t it a little bit odd that in Rev. 19:11-21, which is the clearest picture of the second coming of Christ, there is no mention of a resurrection? The rapture will be the biggest event since the resurrection of Jesus where hundreds of millions of Christians will be resurrected and translated, yet there isn’t any mention here. Don’t you think it deserves at least one verse? The rapture isn’t mentioned because it doesn’t happen at the second coming.

Proof #2: Zechariah 14:1-15 doesn’t mention a resurrection.
This is an Old Testament picture of Jesus returning to earth at the second coming. Again, no mention of a resurrection.

Proof #3: Two different pictures are painted.
In the Old Testament, there were two different pictures painted of the Messiah—one suffering (Isa. 53:2-10, Ps. 22:6-8, 11-18) and one reigning as King (Ps. 2:6-12, Zech. 14:9,16). As we look back on these scriptures, we see they predicted two separate comings of the Messiah—the 1st coming as a suffering Messiah and the 2nd coming (still future) as a reigning King.

In the New Testament, we have another picture added. Again, we have two pictures painted which don’t look the same. These two different descriptions of Jesus’ coming point to two separate events we call “the rapture” and “the second coming.”

Proof #4: The Known Day and the Unknown Day.
Concerning the return of Jesus, the Bible presents a day we can’t know and a day we can know. Matthew 25:13 says Jesus will return at an unknown time, while Revelation 12:6 says the Jews will have to wait 1,260 days for the Lord to return. The 1,260 days begins when the Antichrist stands in the Temple and declares himself to be God (Matt. 24:15-21, 2 Thess. 2:4) This event will take place at the mid-point of the seven year Tribulation (Dan 9:27). The Antichrist has authority to rule for 42 months, which is 1,260 days (Rev. 13:4) and will be destroyed by Jesus at His second coming (Rev. 19:20, 2 Thess. 2:8). The known and unknown days must happen at different times, meaning they are two separate events.

Proof #5: A door open in heaven (Revelation 4:1).
The door in heaven is opened to let John into heaven. We believe John’s call into heaven is prophetic of the Church being caught up at the rapture (see proof #6). In Revelation 19:11, heaven is opened again, this time to let the armies which are already in heaven out. This is the Church, which has been raptured at a previous time, following Jesus out of heaven at the second coming.

Proof #6: “Come up here.” (Revelation 4:1).
A voice called for the apostle John to “Come up here,” and immediately he was in heaven. This could be a prophetic reference to the rapture of the Church. The words “Come up here” are spoken to the two witnesses who are killed in the middle of the Tribulation, who are resurrected and ascend into heaven (Rev. 11:12). Therefore, the phrase “Come up here” could mean the Church is raptured in Rev. 4:1. The word “Church” is mentioned 22 times in Rev. 1-3, but is not mentioned again until Rev. 22:17.

**Proof #7: The 24 elders have their crowns.
After John is called up into heaven, he sees the 24 elders with their crowns (Rev. 4:4-10). We know that Christians will receive their rewards (crowns) at the rapture (2 Tim. 4:8, 1 Pet. 5:4). We will be repaid at the resurrection of the righteous (Luke 14:14). The elders couldn’t receive their crowns unless the resurrection (rapture) has taken place.

Proof #8 Holy ones are already with Jesus in heaven (Zech. 14:5, Rev. 19:14).
The armies in heaven, clothed in fine linen, follow Jesus out of heaven at His second coming (Rev. 19:14, Zech. 14:5, Col. 3:4). These are not angels because Rev. 19:8 tells us the fine linen is the righteousness of the saints. In order to come out of heaven we first have to go in, indicating a previous rapture.

Proof #9: Kept from the hour of testing (Rev. 3:10).
Revelation 3:10 says we will be kept out of the hour of testing which will come upon the whole earth (the Tribulation). Some have wrongly believed “keep” means to keep through, or protect through the Tribulation. Suppose you approach a high voltage area with a sign that says, “Keep Out.” Does that mean you can enter and be protected? No, it means you are forbidden from entering the area. But this verse also says He will keep us from the hour of testing. It is not just the testing, but the time period. If a student is excused from a test, he still may have to sit in the class while others take the test. But if he is excused from the hour of testing, he can go home. The Church will be called home before the hour of testing.

Proof #10: Angels don’t resurrect people when they gather them for judgment.
When the angels are sent forth to gather the elect at the second coming (Matt. 24:29-31), some have wrongly interpreted this as the rapture. There is one huge problem with this interpretation. If we are resurrected at this time, why would we need angels to gather us? In the resurrection, we will be like the angels (Matt. 22:30), able to travel in the air at will. Obviously, these people who are gathered are not resurrected, therefore it can’t be the rapture. No one would claim the wicked are raptured at this time, yet Matthew 13:39-41, 49 says the angels will not only gather the elect, but also the wicked. This gathering is not a resurrection.

Proof #11: Both wicked and righteous both can’t be taken first.
First Thessalonians 4:13-17 says the righteous are taken and the wicked are left behind. Matthew 13:30, 49 says the wicked are taken first and righteous are left behind. This points to two separate events, the rapture and the second coming.

Proof #12: Jesus returns from the wedding.
When Jesus returns to earth at the second coming, He will return from a wedding (Luke 12:36). At the rapture, Jesus is married to His bride, the Church. After the wedding, He will return to earth.

Proof #13: Jesus will receive us to Himself, not us to receive Him (John 14:2-3).
Jesus said He would prepare a place for the Church in heaven, then He would come again to receive us to Himself. Why would Jesus prepare a place for us in heaven and then not take us there? At the rapture, He will come to receive us to Himself, “that where I am (heaven), there you may be also.” If the rapture occurred at the same time as the second coming, we would go up to the clouds and then immediately come back to earth. That would contradict John 14:2-3.

Proof #14: The one who restrains is taken out of the way.
In 2 Thess. 2:6-7, Paul says “the one who restrains will be taken out of the way” before the Antichrist can be revealed. We believe this refers to the rapture because the Church is clearly the biggest obstacle to the Antichrist becoming a world ruler.

Proof #15: The separation of the sheep and goats (Matt. 25:31-46).
If the rapture occurred at the second coming, why would the sheep and the goats need to be separated immediately after the second coming? A rapture at the second coming would have already separated the sheep and the goats. With a Pre-Tribulation rapture, the people saved after the rapture will need to be separated after the second coming.

Proof #16: Who will populate the Millennium?
If the rapture occurs at the second coming and the wicked are cast into hell at that time, who will be left to populate the millennium? Only people in their natural (non-resurrected) bodies will be able to have children (Matt. 22:30). With a Pre-Tribulation rapture, the people saved after the rapture who are alive at the second coming will populate the earth during the Millennium
*16 proofs are from Cornerstone Church garden city Kansas website **(I do not think proof 7 is valid since I do not believe the 24 elders are the Church)
http://www.fellowshiponline.org/bib.html


There are seven supernatural translation events in God’s plan:

(God does many things in sevens – the number of completion.)

The seven supernatural translation events:

      • The translation of Enoch before the flood
      • The taking of Elijah in a whirlwind in the early times of Israel
      • The resurrection and ascension of Jesus
      • The rapture of the true Church
      • The resurrection and ascension of the two witnesses
      • The resurrection of the saints at the end of the great tribulation
      • The final resurrection and judgment after the thousand year reign

Selected references 1:


The letters to the seven churches are prophetic about the Church ages

Some insight can be found by close examination of what God has to say to the seven churches in the book of Revelation:
Those that wish to allegorize this book should read my article on amillennialism and my Revelation Commentary
The Revelation of Jesus Christ given to John is the unveiling of Jesus until He turns over the kingdom to the Father. These are the things that must shortly come to pass. In a nutshell, the book of Revelation is the story of Jesus interacting with His people through time.
Some highlights of the book of Revelation are:

      • The story of the risen Savior.
      • The letters to the seven churches and the prophecy of the seven Church ages on earth
      • The tribulation period and God dealing with Israel again after the Church age is complete.
      • The second coming of Jesus.
      • The thousand year reign of Jesus on earth.
      • The final rebellion led by Satan.
      • The great white throne judgment.
      • Jesus turns over the kingdom to the Father after all enemies are defeated.
      • A new heaven and earth in a perfect new creation.

The seven Church ages

The messages to the seven churches were to seven actual historic churches that existed in John’s time. They were not the most prominent churches but they were picked because God has a message to give to all the believers who will ever live during the Church age. We see here in these letters that He is working with His Church until the end of the Church age. The entire Church age is from the time of the giving of the promise of a new Covenant at Pentecost until she unites with Jesus in heaven.
There are seven periods within this age. The first three periods in Revelation have been fulfilled historically. We know this because each of the first three were replaced by a successor and there is no mention of the Lord’s coming in the first three.
Ephesus – the Apostolic Church – until the death of John 32 – 100 ADSmyrna – The martyred Church – until Christianity became the religion of the Roman Empire – 100 – 312 AD.Pergamum – – The Church that joined the state – until the Papacy – 312 – 600 AD (approx.)

The messages to all seven churches are still valid to all who live on the earth today but only the last four letters deal with the historic assemblies that are still dwelling on earth until Jesus returns for them.

To avoid confusion, it is essential to understand that the letter was addressed to seven assemblies in existence at the time of John. Not all people in any of the original assemblies were truly Christian. The message content from Jesus to the seven churches should makes this clear as does the New Testament epistles to the churches. If there is a prophetic application with the Church through time as I believe, it also is critical to understand that the message from Jesus to the last four assemblies is to true believers and traditional cultural Christians alike. Just like their were believing descendants of Israel and unbelieving descendants of Israel. The letters in Revelation to the Churches are to all who identify with these Christian assemblies and not just to the true believers within them.

The last four remaining churches on earth:

Thyatira is the Roman Catholic Church and the eastern Orthodox Churches. At the end, this assembly will be tried by death. The passage seems to imply that most in this assembly are cast into great tribulation and that the descendants of this Church are killed in the tribulation. This Church has good works but most were in adultery with mystery Babylon.
Sardis is the Churches of the reformation that have become spiritually dead. They are the liberal and ritualistic churches that have no good works. This includes many main line Protestant denomination churches in the world today, and certainly includes most of the state churches of Europe. God says they will not know the time of his coming and that they will not be ready when He comes. They will go through great tribulation.
Philadelphia, like Enoch, was pleasing to God. This assembly has an open door (world evangelism) that no one can shut (not even Satan). She has some power (God’s Spirit), she kept the word (the Bible) and does not deny the name of Jesus. This Church also kept the word of His patience (Jesus coming for the Church) and because of this she, like Enochwill be removed from the earth before the judgment on earth (great tribulation). The Church of Philadelphia is many of those in the Evangelical and Pentecostal assemblies.
Laodicea is the wealthy Protestant churches of today that are self-centered country clubs. It could also be those that “say” they are rich in spirit but are full of dead works. She is spit out of Jesus’ mouth and becomes identified with the harlot of RevelationShe is rich in material goods but she is poor spiritually. God is outside looking in (no indwelling spirit). This assembly will be chastened in the tribulation but those individuals that seek Jesus will find Him. This group probably includes most “possibility thinking” and “Word of Faith” churches. It certainly includes some “seeker friendly” churches that have watered down Christian doctrine and worship to make it appealing to the world It would also include the emerging and emergent church movement that redefines essentials truths of Christianity. It may also include some charismatics who think they are rich spiritually but have gone off into new age theology and doctrine of demons. It could even possibly include some cults that are in great heresy but who do not deny that Jesus is Lord.

Many will be saved in the tribulation
The scripture says all who endure to the end will be saved (all who hold on to the testimony of Jesus during the tribulation).
That word “all” should nullify any doctrine that says there will be no second chance of salvation for those who heard the gospel but were not part of the spiritual body of Christ before the rapture or tribulation. The passage clearly excludes no one and we see that true repentance leads to salvation throughout scripture.

Rev 12:11 And they overcame him because of the blood of the Lamb, and because of the word of their testimony; and they loved not their life even unto death.

Selected References 2:


There is still time for the blind to see:

Those that allegorize and spiritualize scripture that should be taken literally sometimes do not believe in the infallibility of scripture either. They need to look at the foundations of their faith.

Some in the Church lack diligence and scholarship and only believe what they were taught in liberal seminaries. These need to study to show themselves approved.

Some hold a warped view in ignorance, such as Christians who think the Church replaced Israel or that think we are living in the kingdom now. These members are blinded by darkness and need to be enlightened by the word and the Spirit.
Those open to demonic deception in Thyatira need to look to the word of God and follow Jesus instead of following traditions of men and pagan mysticism.

Those that are sleeping in Sardis need to WAKE UP or they will be left behind.

Those that are deceived by materialism and doctrines of demons like those in Laodicea need to find true spiritual riches from God.
Those in all the assemblies who think we cannot know the general time of His coming need to remember that Jesus admonished the Pharisees for not knowing the time of his first appearing and that Paul told the Church that we are not in darkness that this day would come upon us as a thief.

More insights on the rapture of the Church:

Those who are born of the Spirit and who are ready, will go in the pretribulation rapture and escape the time of the tribulation. People who identify themselves as Christians by tradition and culture but who do not have the indwelling Holy Spirit will go through the great trial on earth. Going through the tribulation will cost most of those who continue to identify with Jesus after the rapture their lives. It will be a trial by fire; those who overcome by losing their life for His namesake will be saved. Those cowards that seek to save their lives by denying Him will lose their souls.
Some say the partial rapture of those who claim they are Christian is equal to a Protestant purgatory. However, what if the real fires of purgatory (if you wish to call it that) is the awareness of the departed believers that their lives were displeasing to Christ? Thus, they now wait in anguish under the altar for the future judgment seat of Christ to take place. This judgment is not about salvation; it is about the public giving or taking away of positions of authority based on faithful or unfaithful service.
All prior believers have tasted death of the flesh. Will Jesus actually deliver those who are living in spiritual adultery and who are faithless from physical death? Enoch, as our example, was taken and did not taste death because he pleased God, but without faith it is impossible to please God. Jesus tells us to remember Lot’s wife. Lot’s wife looked back to Sodom. Israel also looked back to Egypt after God delivered them out of Egypt. Those who did so were not spared, so why should the Gentiles be spared who are displeasing to God? Those in the Church that look back and get entangled in the world will not be watching and waiting for His return and they also will not be delivered in the rapture of the faithful that are identified as Philadelphia.
The real question might be, are carnal Christians even part of the Church? A strong case can be made that those who say they are Christian but have no works are not part of His Spirit indwelt body at all. Those who are born of the Spirit and are pleasing God by real faith with evidence of works of the Spirit will certainly be among those taken in the rapture.

How can a Church that is kept out of the trial go through the trial?

If the Philadelphia Church is kept from the hour (time) of the tribulation then how can she possibly go through part or all of it? She is also given crowns. The crowns are given at the judgment seat of Christ in heaven after the rapture but before the second coming.
Enoch – the 6th from Adam – walked with God for 300 years, was taken, and did not see death. Could this be a picture of the sixth church being raptured after a similar period of evangelism? Enoch knew when the judgment would come. He named his son Methuselah. The meaning of the name Methuselah is “when he is dead it will come“. The year Methuselah died is also the year of the great flood. When the Church is taken out the judgment will shortly follow.

The ancient Jewish marriage ceremony proclaims a pretribulation rapture picture.

      • The groom goes to the bride’s house and is betrothed to the bride (the faithful on the earth)
      • He pays the purchase price (his blood)
      • He returns to his father to prepare a place for the bride (“I go to prepare a place for you”)
      • Later the groom comes for the bride (rapture)
      • He takes her to his father’s house and gives her gifts where she is adorned and prepared for the wedding (judgment seat of Christ where crowns are awarded)
      • The wedding then takes place before the father and the witnesses (in the father’s house)
      • The groom appears with his bride (second coming in glory with his saints)
      • Then the wedding feast takes place (on earth with invited guests of the bride and groom)

The Song of Solomon 2:08-14 could have a picture of the rapture.

Sol 2:10 and 14 – He tells his beloved to arise and come away (rapture)
11 – in late spring (Resurrection Day, Ascension Day or Pentecost?)
12 – rain is over and past (In Israel this is the month of May (Ascension Day or Pentecost?)
13 – the figs are ripening (Israel is God’s fig tree – it is time for Israel to become fruitful)
14 – She is hid in the cleft of the rock (hid in Christ – Jesus is the rock)
15 – Take the foxes that do damage to the vines (time to deal with evil people)
16 – My beloved is mine, and I am his (marriage of the Church to Christ)

Jesus said it would be like in the time of Noah and Lot.

      • Fire destroyed Sodom the day Lot was led out by angels
      • The flood came after Noah entered the ark
      • God’s wrath for the world in the future will come after the believers are removed.

There are also other picture stories worth finding in scripture that proclaim a removal of God’s people before the judgment.
Selected References: 3


Is the rapture of the Church in scripture?

There are many hints in scripture about God hiding his people during a time of judgment on the earth. Since it is clear that this has not happened yet, it is a future event:

Isa 26:20 Come, my people, enter thou into thy chambers, and shut thy doors about thee: hide thyself for a little moment, until the indignation be overpast.
Psa 27:5 For in the day of trouble he will keep me secretly in his pavilion: In the covert of his tabernacle will he hide me: He will lift me up upon a rock.
Psa 50:5 Gather my saints together unto me, Those that have made a covenant with me by sacrifice.
Psa 58:9 Before your pots can feel the thorns, He will take them away with a whirlwind, the green and the burning alike.
Joe 2:16 gather the people, sanctify the assembly, assemble the old men, gather the children, and those that suck the breasts; let the bridegroom go forth from his chamber, and the bride out of their closet.
Zep 2:3 Seek ye Jehovah, all ye meek of the earth, that have kept his ordinances; seek righteousness, seek meekness; it may be ye will be hid in the day of Jehovah’s anger.
Joh 11:25,26 Jesus said unto her, I am the resurrection, and the life: he that believeth on me though he die, yet shall he live: and whosoever liveth and believeth on me shall never die. (Here Jesus in part is talking about the believers who are translated at his coming.)

Joh 14:1,2 Let not your heart be troubled: believe in God, believe also in me. In my Father’s house are many mansions; if it were not so, I would have told you; for I go to prepare a place for you. And if I go and prepare a place for you, I come again, and will receive you unto myself; that where I am, there ye may be also.

1 Co 15:51,55 Behold, I tell you a mystery: We all shall not 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. For this corruptible must put on incorruption, and this mortal must put on immortality. But when this corruptible shall have put on incorruption, and this mortal shall have put on immortality, then shall come to pass the saying that is written, Death is swallowed up in victory. O death, where is thy victory? O death, where is thy sting?
1 Th 1:10 and to wait for his Son from heaven, whom he raised from the dead. Even Jesus. Who delivereth us from the wrath to come.
1 Th 4:14-18 For if we believe that Jesus died and rose again, even so them also that are fallen asleep in Jesus will God bring with him. For this we say unto you by the word of the Lord, that we that are alive, that are left unto the coming of the Lord, shall in no wise precede them that are fallen asleep. For the Lord himself shall descend from heaven, with a shout, with the trump of God: and the dead in Christ shall rise first: then we that are alive, that are left, shall together with them be caught up in the clouds, to meet the Lord in the air: and so shall we ever be with the Lord. Wherefore comfort one another with these words.
1 Th 5:1-6 But concerning the times and the seasons, brethren, ye have no need that aught be written unto you. For you yourselves know perfectly that the day of the Lord so cometh as a thief in the night when they are saying, Peace and safety, then sudden destruction cometh upon them, as travail upon a woman with child: and they shall in no wise escape. But ye, brethren, are not in darkness, that that day should overtake you as a thief: for ye are all sons of light, and sons of the day: we are not of the night, nor of darkness; so then let us not sleep, as do the rest, but let us watch and be sober. For they that sleep sleep in the night: and they that are drunken are drunken in the night. But let us, since we are of the day, be sober, putting on the breastplate of faith and love; and for a helmet, the hope of salvation. For God appointed us not into wrath, but unto the obtaining of salvation through our Lord Jesus Christ, who died for us, that, whether we wake or sleep, we should live together with him. Wherefore exhort one another, and build each other up, even as also ye do.

2Th 2:1-12 Now we beseech you, brethren, touching the coming of our Lord Jesus Christ, and our gathering together unto him; to the end that ye be not quickly shaken from your mind, nor yet be troubled, either by spirit, or by word, or by epistle as from us, as that the day of the Lord is just at hand; let no man beguile you in any wise: for it will not be, except the falling away come first, and the man of sin be revealed, the son of perdition, he that opposeth and exalteth himself against all that is called God or that is worshipped; so that he sitteth in the temple of God, setting himself forth as God. Remember ye not, that, when I was yet with you, I told you these things? And now ye know that which restraineth, to the end that he may be revealed in his own season. For the mystery of lawlessness doth already work: only there is one that restraineth now, until he be taken out of the way. And then shall be revealed the lawless one, whom the Lord Jesus shall slay with the breath of his mouth, and bring to nought by the manifestation of his coming; even he, whose coming is according to the working of Satan with all power and signs and lying wonders, and with all deceit of unrighteousness for them that perish; because they received not the love of the truth, that they might be saved. And for this cause God sendeth them a working of error, that they should believe a lie: that they all might be judged who believed not the truth, but had pleasure in unrighteousness.

Tit 2:13 looking for the blessed hope and appearing of the glory of the great God and our Saviour Jesus Christ;
Heb 11:5-6 By faith Enoch was translated that he should not see death; and he was not found, because God translated him for he hath had witness borne to him that before his translation he had been well pleasing unto God and without faith it is impossible to be well pleasing unto him; for they that cometh to God must believe that he is, and that he is a rewarder of them that seek after him.
1 Joh 2:28 and now my little children, abide in him; that, if he shall be manifested, we may have boldness, and not be ashamed before him at his coming.


Note…
 Matthew chapters 24 and 25, Mark chapter 13, and Luke chapters 17 and 21 also deal with the end times. They also are the most used references for those who believe the Church will go through the tribulation but in these scriptures what we really see is Israel going through the tribulation and the gathering of tribulation saints to Israel.
For more information on this see my article on distinctions between the rapture, the gathering and the second coming
Rapture myths, by Dr. Thomas Ice (Have you been told that the Rapture is not found in the Bible or that we teach a secret Rapture?)
The second Coming—in two part harmony, by Jack Kinsella (One of the best articles I have read that puts the Rapture and Second coming to earth in proper perspective.)

For more information about the pre-tribulation rapture that answers all the critics of the pre-tribulation rapture check the many topics on this site.
More Featured Articles by Don Koenig

 

NO CONFIDENCE IN THE FLESH

by David A. DePra

For we are the circumcision, which worship God in the spirit, and rejoice in Christ Jesus, and have no confidence in the flesh. Though I might also have confidence in the flesh. If any other man thinks that he hath whereof he might trust in the flesh, I more: Circumcised the eighth day, of the stock of Israel, of the tribe of Benjamin, an Hebrew of the Hebrews; as touching the law, a Pharisee; Concerning zeal, persecuting the church; touching the righteousness which is in the law, blameless. But what things were gain to me, those I counted loss for Christ. Yea doubtless, and I count all things but loss for the excellency of the knowledge of Christ Jesus my Lord: for whom I have suffered the loss of all things, and do count them but dung, that I may win Christ, And be found in him, not having mine own righteousness, which is of the law, but that which is through the faith of Christ, the righteousness which is of God by faith: That I may know him, and the power of his resurrection, and the fellowship of his sufferings, being made conformable unto his death; If by any means I might attain unto the resurrection of the dead. (Phil 3:3-11)

What does it mean to, “have no confidence in the flesh?” Well, the Greek word means TRUST. It isn’t the same word that is always translated, “faith,” but has a closely related meaning. So Paul is talking about the need to have no faith in the flesh; no confidence in the flesh.
The FLESH, in the context of Paul’s teaching, is all that is outside of our spiritual oneness with Jesus Christ. The new man, or new creation, in Christ Jesus, is our union or oneness with the Spirit of Christ. “He that is joined (cemented) to the Lord is one Spirit with Him.” (I Cor. 6:17) This is the seat of salvation – it is where Christ dwells – in our spirit. All that is not of that new creation in Christ Jesus is not spiritual, but natural, or of the flesh.
Note from the passage above, however, that the flesh is not necessarily immoral, or sinful, in the conventional sense. No. Paul lists many assets that he said he could have given him this, “confidence in the flesh.” And you will not really find any overt violations of God’s law among them. So the flesh in which we might take confidence is not simply bad, sinful, or immoral. More so, the flesh is all that is not of Christ, indeed, the flesh is all that is OUTSIDE of Him. Or, to put it yet another way, all that is purely OF US is of the flesh.
Before we are born from above, we are ALL natural; all flesh. There is nothing in us that is of God, or of His Spirit. There is no Truth in us. Some of us don’t believe this, but it is a fact. Only when Christ comes to dwell in us by His Spirit, is there anything that is spiritual about us. And since Christ comes to dwell in our dead human spirit, making us alive spiritually, everything else outside of that remains OF THE FLESH.
Hopefully, we can see a big separation here between flesh and Spirit. The flesh is US – it is everything that was born naturally into this world as part of the human makeup. The Spirit is Christ – it is all that is given to us through the birth from above. There is nothing that is part of the natural birth that is OF THE SPIRIT. And there is nothing of the birth from above that is OF THE FLESH. The distinction is just that wide – that is why we are said to be NEW CREATIONS in Christ Jesus.
Now, as an aside, the flesh, through the work of the Cross is to be crucified and brought unto the dominion of the Spirit of Christ. As the flesh is crucified, the Spirit emerges through the resurrection power of Christ. But never say that the flesh is OF the Spirit, or the Spirit is OF the flesh. No. The are of separate realms, and really, of separate creations. The flesh belongs to the OLD man, and the Spirit belongs to the NEW man in Christ. This is why the Bible says, “the flesh wars against the Spirit, and the Spirit against the flesh.”
So we must realize that the flesh and the Spirit are separate. In this life they will always be separate. Much of what growth is Christ will do is show us this separation, and indeed, bring the flesh in submission to the Spirit of Christ.

No Confidence in the Flesh

From all of this we can see that to, “have no confidence in the flesh,” means to have no faith or trust in ANYTHING ABOUT MYSELF. Now note: This means that I have no confidence in my WORKS, but it means more – it means that I put no faith or trust in any aspect of my makeup. Again – read what Paul had to say in reference to himself. He lists no sins. In fact, most of the things he listed as what he could have trusted in were RELIGIOUS things.
Fundamentally, to put confidence in the flesh means that we might try to do – in the flesh — what Christ has already done, or we might try to BE — in the flesh — who Christ in us already IS. This will have one of two results – probably a little of both. Either I will be deluded enough to think that my confidence in my flesh is well founded, and so I’ll feel like God is happy with me. Or I’ll see the total futility of putting my confidence in my flesh, and the whole thing will collapse. The second outcome is the only way to Truth – provided that once things collapse I turn to Christ and begin to put my faith in Him.
I think it is an absolute fact that every single Christ WILL put their confidence in the flesh – in the beginning and for much time thereafter. How could we NOT do it? Are we perfected the moment we are saved? No. The fact is, God will allow us to spend much time and energy trying to do and be instead of Christ – until it is proven to us that there is no hope for us. We can learn in no other way.
In fact, many Christian never learn it. That is a sad commentary on the state of the church today. Most Christians don’t even know there is a difference between flesh and Spirit. Perhaps the central reason for deception is that we don’t know the difference.
So let’s ask: What is the key to knowing the difference between flesh and Spirit? The key is just this: To know Christ. To the extent that we know Christ we will know what is OUTSIDE of Him – i.e. the flesh. Knowing Christ is the key to being able to discern what is of ME, and what is OF HIM.
What we see here is that if I have confidence in myself – in my flesh – the reason is that I lack a true knowledge of Jesus Christ. If I don’t know Christ, I won’t put my confidence in Him. Oh, I may have a religious faith – generated from my emotions or mind – but I won’t have real faith grounded in a knowledge of the Person. And if I don’t know Him, and don’t put my whole confidence in Him, I will naturally default to what a human being does – put my faith in myself.
God wants to bring us to the Truth – and the Truth is, there is nothing about ME, or in my flesh, that is of any value. There is no point in my putting my faith in myself – all of that faith in myself MUST be broken. And I’m not just talking about my works. I’m talking about my ability, out of myself, to believe. I’m talking about my ability to present to God anything that is good – an attitude, a mood, emotions, or a nice, natural mind. Those who are, “in the flesh,” cannot please God.
The good news is that once we find out that there is nothing trustworthy about our flesh, there is Christ in us. Thus, God wants to bring us away from trusting in ourselves over to trusting solely in Christ. But not just some far-off Christ in heaven. Not just some historical Christ who died for us long ago. No. Our faith is to be in the Christ who LIVES IN US NOW. That is what He died to make possible.

All in Christ

Christians continue to believe that the purpose of God is to take their flesh and make it better. We don’t use those exact words, and might even deny that this is what we believe, but it is what many believe. Thus, we talk about, “character development,” and, “inner healing,” and we develop systems of rule, law, and order, intended to form and massage our flesh so that it will look like Christ. We think God wants us to look like Christ. All of this, regardless of terminology, is exactly what Paul warned against in Galatians and Colossians.
God will never take our flesh and make it better. What He will do is crucify it, and when He does, it will be shown to be worse than we could ever imagine. This isn’t a matter of God making our flesh worse – it is a matter of Him allowing life to EXPOSE IT FOR WHAT IT IS. Furthermore, we are never told to, “develop character.” Rather, we are told to lose our lives so that HIS LIFE IN US might shine THROUGH US. It is not US being made to look like Jesus. It is Jesus being seen in and through us. The distinction here is not theological. It is TRUTH vs. ERROR. The distinction is that of light and darkness.
For those of us who still think there is something about us that we can make work for God, we need to read just these two verses:

Examine yourselves, as to whether you be in the faith. Prove your own selves. Don’t you yourselves know that except Jesus Christ is in you, that you would be reprobates? (2 Cor. 13:5)
But the natural man receives not the things of the Spirit of God: for they are foolishness unto him: neither can he know them, because they are spiritually discerned. (1 Cor. 2:14)

For I know that in me (that is, in my flesh,) dwells no good thing: (Rom 7:18)
Essentially, this means that we can generate nothing OUT OF OURSELVES that can please God. Neither can God generate anything OUT OF HIMSELF that can be received by our natural man, or flesh. But the key is Christ in us. He is not merely our Mediator unto God in the sense of His finished work. He is our living Mediator unto God NOW. In other words, His presence in us is our connection, joining, and access to God. IN HIM we are one with the Father, because He is one with the Father. That is a Living Mediator.

What we see in this is an, “all or nothing,” situation. It is ALL in Christ, and nothing in us. But this is great news, because it means that we need only put our confidence and faith in Christ – in Whom is all. This seals the deal. It is the purpose of God. It is why faith is the key to everything.

Being Made True

If we don’t know Christ, we won’t depend upon Him – except maybe in an untested, religious, or emotional way. And if we don’t depend on Him, we will end up depending on ourselves. This is the flesh, and here we see the essential of faith based on the Truth.
Jesus said, “I am the Truth.” The Bible says, “God is light.” Well, this means that if we want to walk with God, we must walk with LIGHT. If we want to know God, we must know LIGHT. If we want to see God, we must be pure in heart. In short, you cannot fellowship with God unless there is an eternal IMPACT upon you – both inward and outward. Why would we think otherwise?
Now, of course, if our idea of the new birth is nothing more than adopting a religious lifestyle, turning over a new leaf, being, “sorrow,” for some sins, parroting doctrines, using God to make something of myself, or merely a legal classification or relationship with God because of Christ – if that is the Christianity I’ve settled for – well, then I suppose we need not expect much of any impact. And the sad fact is, most professing Christians have seen no change in their attitudes, spirit, or life because of Christ – other than some religious additions, some immoral subtractions, and perhaps a dedication to church. I’m not meaning to be negative or critical. But it is just the case. Look at our churches. At best they are social clubs gathered around a statement of faith. Most are simply indifferent to anything spiritual or eternal – in total ignorance of Jesus Christ. And at worst, they are centers for power struggles — filled with bitter, squabbling, gossiping, religious frauds. Sorry to be so blunt. I can see all these possibilities in myself, too – it is what the flesh does, and all it can do. But today we have legitimized and excused what God has put under the Cross. We just don’t care, or even KNOW to care. At least in many places. I don’t want to generalize too much.
I can say this for a fact: If Jesus Christ comes to live in you, and you begin to KNOW HIM, and I’m not talking about knowing the doctrines – we all do that and we all NEED to do that – but I’m talking about knowing Christ in the way the Bible means KNOWING – if that happens in our lives, the experience will utterly break us apart. You will lose everything about yourself that you thought was an asset before God. Read Philippians 3 again, from above. This is what happened to Paul. It was not because God was being especially hard on him. No. Most of it was because it is what happens when we LOSE our lives in Christ and are FOUND in Him. All that is of the flesh MUST GO – and the fact is, for most of us, what is of the flesh comprises the greater part of what has made us tick.
Now, of course, I’m talking more about the LOSS. Yet, as Paul said, it is to be counted as totally worthless – precisely because IT IS WORTHLESS. God didn’t sit down one day and invent a religion, and decide to incorporate into it suffering and loss – lest we have it too easy. No. This is about the NATURE OF THINGS. What we lose IS worthless – that is why Paul said aside from Christ in us we are reprobates.
If you want to know Christ you want to KNOW TRUTH. That Truth will expose everything that is UNTRUE – and much of US is exactly that — UNTRUE. We are untrue and a lie – in every way, especially to God.
This is seen immediately after the sin of Adam. I don’t want to go through that whole passage here. But after his sin, when God was no longer one with him, he was naked, and ashamed – tormented and in fear over it. What did he do? He constructed a man-made solution for his nakedness – physically, fig leaves. But can we see what is happening here, and what God is showing us about natural man – man void of God? Everything that we become because of life, through environment and our choices is nothing but a defense to cover our nakedness – but as that, it is a LIE. Adam was naked – THAT was the Truth. He built a covering out of fig leaves to hide the fact – to present himself in a way that was UNTRUE. This is what the flesh does, and is, and all that it can ever produce.
When you and I were born into this world, we are composed only of natural materials. We did not have God in us – for we were born IN ADAM. So all we ever had to work with was the FLESH. Thus, anything we built – everything that had gone into the person we had become – it was flesh and only could be flesh. Sure. That which is born of flesh IS flesh. Thus, none of it is of God. None of it is spiritual. And because of that, none of it is TRUTH. You cannot be a TRUE PERSON if you don’t have the TRUTH HIMSELF dwelling in you. It is impossible.
I don’t think most of us believe this. We still think that the reason God called us was that He found something in us of value. Or, we still think that we do most of the work and Christ fills in the blank spaces. Or, we continue to try to make ourselves presentable to God in a way that we think will either maintain His favor or earn it. But all of this is a LIE – it is nothing more than us covering our nakedness with fig leaves.
Absolutely nothing natural man believes about himself is the Truth. Nothing. Why can I say that? Because a natural man is built out of natural materials. A natural man evaluates what is built with a natural mind. None of it is spiritual or true. None of it can be seen in Truth. That is why only God can break this apart. And when He does, it will seem like you are falling apart. You aren’t – if you yield to God. You are simply experiencing the first impact when Truth and light begin to gain ground in your being.
Can we see that the only solution – and the only way in which the Truth Himself could work – is if He brings to pass something that will open our eyes and strip off the fig leaves? When God begins such a work Christians think everything is wrong. But not so. Everything may be right.
Why must God expose us as fakes covered with fig leaves? Because it is the TRUTH. But more so, He must show us further Truth – that man was made to be naked before the Lord. We need to see this. Go back to the garden story. Before the sin, Adam was naked – he was unashamed – but naked. God MADE him that way. The difference is that before Adam’s sin he was naked and fully completed by God – and thus, unashamed. After the sin, he remained naked, but now was incomplete – and thus, ashamed, and trying to cover himself through his own fleshly means. Therefore, what God is trying to do is expose our nakedness so that we can confess it and embrace the only One who can cover and complete us – Jesus Christ. “You are complete in Him.”
God wants to MAKE US TRUE. Well, you cannot be made true as a thing unto yourself. God cannot go, “Zap!,” and do something TO YOU that will make you true. Neither can you be made true simply by being able to recite true Bible verses. No. The only way to be made true is by having the Truth Himself IN YOU – and then, once He is in you – He must be revealed to you. If you come into His light, without any conditions attached, and embracing the consequences, no matter how much your pride might suffer, then you will be exposed as completely naked and without any spiritual assets at all. But it is then that you will BE FOUND IN HIM. You will be MADE TRUE by the Truth Himself. You will be made true to God.
Yet what does it really mean to be MADE TRUE? Well, first let’s ask what it means to be UNTRUE. To be untrue means that we present to God the person we think He wants us to be. This can be through our works, our service, or just because we think we are faithful to God. We gather up all that we believe is good about us and present it to God, and then assume this is the basis of His approval upon us. Often we point to the many blessings in our lives as proof that He does approve of us. I’ve heard Christians do this – they point out their home, their money, their ministry, or their life in general, and say, “These blessings are of God. But God blessed me because I was faithful to Him.” Of course, many of us DO NOT tack on the last part, where we subtlety take credit for earning the blessings of God, but it is nevertheless most often in our attitudes and heart. But what if God suddenly took away all of that? Would we still have the faith we now say we have? What would this do to our opinion of ourselves? Read the book of Job. It is most certain that we would find ourselves playing out what Job played out during his trial.
We are untrue to God if we are following Him for any reason other than HIS will to HIS glory. We are untrue to Him, for example, if the primary reason we walk with Jesus is for some kind of reward we think we will receive in return. There are going to be some terrible surprises at the last judgment. Think not? Read Matthew 7:21-27. I submit that Jesus didn’t tell such parables to hear Himself talking. These people were expecting some great reward from Christ and were evidently unaware of how far their heart was from Jesus. This is the possibility of deception – it is the result of being UNTRUE TO GOD. If you are untrue to God then when you face the Truth you will have no frame of reference.
Well, fortunately, it is precisely because Jesus told such parables that the terrible outcome of many of them need not be the case for us – He told them so we would heed. Jesus has, in fact, promised that God is already in the process of seeking to MAKE US TRUE. He isn’t sitting in heaven leaving this up to us. Note the following that indicate God’s real desire along this line:


But the hour cometh, and now is, when the true worshippers shall worship the Father in spirit and in truth: for the Father seeks such to worship him. God is a Spirit: and they that worship him must worship him in spirit and in truth. (John 4:23-24)

Cease not to give thanks for you, making mention of you in my prayers; That the God of our Lord Jesus Christ, the Father of glory, may give unto you the spirit of wisdom and revelation in the knowledge of him: The eyes of your understanding being enlightened; that ye may know what is the hope of his calling, and what the riches of the glory of his inheritance in the saints, (Eph 1:16-18)

For we can do nothing against the truth, but for the truth. (2 Cor. 13:8)
For the fruit of the Spirit is in all goodness and righteousness and truth. (Eph 5:9)
Who will have all men to be saved, and to come unto the knowledge of the truth. (1 Tim 2:4)
Howbeit when he, the Spirit of truth, is come, he will guide you into all truth: for he shall not speak of himself; but whatsoever he shall hear, that shall he speak: and he will show you things to come. (John 16:13)

So what does it really mean to be TRUE TO GOD? It means to walk in the Light as He is in the light. It means to have nothing, as far as you know, that is between you and God. It means to be honest, open, and transparent unto God. Now, as I mentioned, we really do not know what is in our hearts. It is possible to say you are open and honest to God, but to be deluded. People are like this everywhere. Thus, to be true to God MUST begin with an unconditional surrender to God – I ask God to do whatever it takes to make me true. If I am willing for God to do whatever it takes to make me true then I am, at that point, BEING TRUE to God.
God will make me true to Him, not only by exposing me as initially untrue, but by concurrently revealing to me THE TRUE ONE. You cannot be made true unless you know Jesus Christ. In short, you are made true by becoming one with the Truth Himself. This is fellowship and oneness in purpose.
Now, all of this relates to the issue of confidence in the flesh because an untrue person has confidence in their flesh. They are believing a LIE – they are putting confidence in that which is not trustworthy. But there are always reasons why we believe such lies. I submit that the reason we continue to put confidence in the flesh is because we still think that our flesh has something about it that is salvageable. Sure. You put trust in whatever you think is trustworthy. To the extent that we value our old man in Adam we will put trust in it.
If I am still holding onto myself – still neglecting to lose myself to Christ – then it is because I have yet to see how naked I really am. It only follows that I would be confidence in myself. Sure. This will come natural. Therefore, the solution is that God get behind all of this and expose me as utterly void of any value – He must show me that only Christ is of any value.
The root of all unbelief and confusion is found right here: In continuing to try to save my life for myself – self-ownership. I cannot get far with a walk with Christ on this basis. Read Matthew 16:

Then said Jesus unto his disciples, If any man will come after me, let him deny himself, and take up his cross, and follow me. For whosoever will save his life shall lose it: and whosoever will lose his life for my sake shall find it. (Mat 16:24-25)

Jesus said, “If any man will come after Me….” If we try to walk with Christ holding onto OUR lives, OUR agenda – even a religious agenda – and holding onto our personal interests, we won’t get far. We will come to the place where we cannot proceed until the matter is settled. Why? Not because God has set this up as a rule or religious pattern. No. We must be ruled out, and cease belonging to ourselves because this is the Truth. It is the only possible why to walk with Christ.
If you think about this, it is really ridiculously simple: What other outcome do we think possible if we are to live in fellowship with GOD ALMIGHTY? That WE would have something to bring to the table? What do we think would happen if we want to know the absolute TRUTH? Do we expect to be told that man in Adam really isn’t that bad? The Truth is, he is that bad – and I’m sure we will never see quite how bad in this life. Thus, because God cannot lie to us, and must be true to us, He cannot walk with us upon OUR basis. He must guide us into all Truth – He must MAKE US TRUE so that we can walk IN and WITH the Truth.
Some professing Christians will not have this. They continue to think that the reason God is able to work in them is because they have offered Him choice material. They think that God found something of value in them – and still finds it – and that this is why He has accepted them. Well, God could dismantle such thinking in ten minutes if He desired – but most often He doesn’t – He starts slowly. But many won’t yield to Him even then.
God never says that we must be down on ourselves in order to find the Truth. No. God simply says that if we find the Truth we will see ourselves as being empty. Again – this isn’t about jumping through religious hoops. It is about seeing and embracing the Truth. And that Truth is that man is utterly corrupt and UNTRUE to God. See that and you will begin putting your confidence in Jesus Christ, and not upon your self.

Religious Man

Part of what we do in our attempts to cover our nakedness before the Lord is to create of ourselves, and present to Him, a person who we think will win His approval. This includes works, but most often, it involves rationalizations, attitudes, and our own imagination. In our own imagination we often create of ourselves the person who, yes, we think God will like, but certainly the person WE LIKE. Of course, worldly people will say that this is good self-esteem. But really, it is nothing more than the flesh working on flesh and producing flesh.
Christians try to make their flesh behave like Christ. Our justification for doing this, we say, is that we are supposed to be obedient. But obedience isn’t the issue – the problem is that we base our confidence before the Lord on whether our flesh is behaving like Christ. We try to maintain a good attitude, or try to, “have faith,” or try to do whatever we think is required, and when we succeed, we feel like the Lord is happy with us, and when we fail, we fall apart. But this kind of back and forth routine is proof that our faith is not upon Christ, but upon ourselves. Faith upon Christ never wavers because Christ never wavers.
Of course, none of this is conscious. We won’t deliberately put faith in ourselves instead of Christ. Really, the whole routine is the result of NOT seeing Christ – and of NOT seeing how empty we are. It is the result of natural thinking and of religious flesh doing what it does. This is why it is so vital to embrace the Truth when God brings it. The Truth will set us free from ourselves unto Christ.

Our Confidence

Our confidence, as I mentioned earlier, is to be in Christ – but not merely in what He did for us – our confidence is to be in the Christ who is, right now, IN US. He is in us because of what He did for us. Note what Paul says about the Christ who is RIGHT NOW in us:

I am crucified with Christ: nevertheless I live; yet not I, but Christ lives in me: and the life which I now live in the flesh I live by the faith of the Son of God, who loved me, and gave himself for me. (Gal 2:20)
But unto them which are called, both Jews and Greeks, Christ the power of God, and the wisdom of God. (1 Cor 1:24)
But of him are ye in Christ Jesus, who of God is made unto us wisdom, and righteousness, and sanctification, and redemption: That, according as it is written, He that glories, let him glory in the Lord. (1 Cor 1:30-31)
Whereunto I also labor, striving according to his working, which works in me mightily. (Col 1:29)
And he said unto me, My grace is sufficient for thee: for my strength is made perfect in weakness. Most gladly therefore will I rather glory in my infirmities, that the power of Christ may rest upon me. Therefore I take pleasure in infirmities, in reproaches, in necessities, in persecutions, in distresses for Christ’s sake: for when I am weak, then am I strong. (2 Cor 12:9-10)

God does not have a thing called, “power,” to give us. He gives us Christ who IS the power of God. Neither does God have a bucket of righteousness, or sanctification, to give us. No. He gives us Christ IN WHOM are all these realities. Christ in us possesses all that God has for us, and in Him alone is all that is acceptable unto God. So we are wasting our time trying to present to God anything out of ourselves. There IS nothing. Our faith for all of that is to be in the Christ who is one with our spirit.
This is precisely why there is no condemnation for those in Christ. If things depended on how my flesh responded to God, or upon how well my flesh was able to live up to the Truth, then condemnation would be upon us all the time – indeed, it is because we put our confidence in our flesh that condemnation is able to get to us. But our confidence is supposed to be in Christ – no matter how our flesh behaves.
Now, perhaps you think I’m giving license to sin. I’m not. In fact, license to sin is never the outcome of faith or confidence in Christ. Ever. Our confidence is to rest upon Christ whether we fail or whether we obey – yes, even when we OBEY our confidence is to be in Christ. Anything else and we are under the law.
Thus, if we sin or if we obey, we can say, “Christ in me is the same.” I confess my sin and give Christ credit for any obedience. It is all about HIS righteousness and HIS life in me. It is never about whether my emotions functioned correctly, or my attitude was perfect, or whether I managed to make my flesh behave. It is about where my confidence and faith rest – regardless of my works.
Jesus Christ has won every victory there is to win, and He has made us complete before the Lord. This does not mean our flesh is complete. It means that the new man is complete. Thus, to the extent that our faith is upon Christ, we stand as He stands. And in God, Christ fully stands – He is the only begotten Son of God.
Faith connects us to Christ, and Christ is eternally connected to God. We are ONE with Him, and He is ONE with the Father. This is not a matter of mere theology. It is reality, and it is upon it that our faith rests.
Have we confidence in the flesh? Expect it to be smashed. Expect everything we might have used to commend ourselves to God to be exposed. But we will see that it was always worthless to begin with, and that as we are set free we will BE FOUND IN HIM – not having a righteousness of our own, but the righteousness which is by the faith of Jesus Christ. Faith IN Christ will always result in the faith OF Christ.

 

PAUL’S DEFINITION OF A CHRISTIAN

“No Confidence in the Flesh” a Biblical Reflection by John Hendryx

In chapter 3 of The Epistle to the Philippians Paul gives us one of the best definitions of a Christian available in the Bible. He also contrasts this with the marks of false teachers.

Paul begins the chapter by contrasting the wondrous gift of grace against the hopeless pit of sin. He warns the Philippians against false teachers; those, he says, who have confidence in themselves. That is, anyone who adds conditions for salvation, in addition to the grace of our Lord Jesus Christ. Paul likens to Gentile dogs, those who fail to recognize that salvation is wholly of Jesus.

But then in stark contrast to false teaching, Paul defines what a Christian looks like:

“For we are the circumcision, who worship by the Spirit of God and glory in Christ Jesus and put no confidence in the flesh”

He calls true Christians “the real circumcision”, i.e. the true covenant people of God. Then he gives three characteristics of Christians in verse 3. He says true Christians are those who:

1) Worship in the Spirit of God
2) Glory in Christ
3) And put no confidence in the flesh

(1) The first mark of a Christian is that they are those who worship in the Spirit. They are the true circumcision, Paul says. They do not worship in the flesh. The “flesh” here is not referring to our physical bodies, for there is nothing inherently wrong with physicality. God created all matter and our bodies and declared them “good”. What Paul is contrasting is human effort or trust in ancestry, that is, trusting in it for our redemption. In Scripture, “In the flesh” is always set in contrast to “in the Spirit”. They define two states of being or nature – those with the Spirit (regenerate) and those without the Spririt (unregenerate). “Those who are in the flesh cannot please God” (Rom 8:8) and “… the flesh counts for nothing.”… But “the Spirit gives life.” (John 6:63). And “no one can enter the kingdom of God unless he is born of … the Spirit (John 3:6; Ezek 36:25-27). Worship in the Spirit of God also means that the source of our daily spiritual life and walk in Christ is the Holy Spirit who unites us to Jesus Christ. Gal 5:25 likewise says, “If we live by the Spirit, let us also walk by the Spirit.” Thus both our conversion and our sanctification can be attributed to the work of Christ, applied by the Spirit.

(2) Christians are also defined as those who “glory in Christ” — those who have no hope save in Christ Jesus alone. The mark of a Christian here, Paul says, is that they glory in Christ. Our full weight rests on Him and not anything else. To glory in someone means one will have affection and desires which are driven by that someone. Christ is the one the Christian will cherish above all. No doubt, with all of the distrations around us, this is a constant struggle, even for a regnerate Christian. In fact the more mature we become the more we recognize the darkness of our own hearts. There is a constant heavy pull in the world and our flesh to glory in ourselves or in something else, but the Spirit who lives in us preserves by working in us to will according to His good purpose. This constant tug by the flesh to return to the covenant of works (relying on self-effort to justify ourselves) is something we constantly struggle against. We think we can find or justify ourselves in something that is less worthy than the real thing, and so we disbelieve God’s promises. But the Holy Spirit uses such instances to discipline us as children to draw us nearer to Himself. In Romans, Paul describes some of his old unbelieving Jewish friends in this way:

“I bear them witness that they have a zeal for God, but not according to knowledge. For, being ignorant of the righteousness of God, and seeking to establish their own, they did not submit to God’s righteousness. For Christ is the end of the law for righteousness to everyone who believes.”

This passage is really a warning against thinking that all is well as long as we have good motives. As the Lord tells us so plainly, “I desire obedience, not sacrifice.” So what was their disobedience? These Jews are being rebuked for trusting in something else in the place of Christ alone. Lest we think we Christians are beyond the possibility of falling into this false gospel of self-effort, take heed lest you forget that is was the gospel that saved you and even now preserves you. I believe this is actually one of the greatest dangers of modern evangelicalism. The gospel easily gets lost and tends to become good advice rather than good news. Often more about what we do for Christ than grounding all of our doings in what He has done for us. Christ alone is our Savior, not someone who helps us save ourselves. Don’t make a savior out of your duties.
(3) Lastly a true Christian is one who has “no confidence in the flesh”. This means they have utterly dispaired of themselves … are spiritual bankrupt. When the Holy Spirit does a work of grace in someone, He convicts them of their sin. Not just sins, but convicts of the fact that they are sinners by nature and can do nothing to save themselves. There is no pride in physical decent or in natural abilities. This means one who is brought to faith, repents of both their good works and their evil works. Both are equally worthless to God. False teaching glories in something other than in Christ alone, always pointing to something that we can do; a resumé we can bring before God to curry His favor, not realizing that He has already adopted us as sons. Not unlike the older brother in the Prodigal son who glories that he has worked for his father all his life, not realizing that God does not first ask us to meet conditions to obtain his love. Those who have confidence in the flesh also tend to believe in Christ PLUS this or that. That Christ saved them, but they must maintain their own justification before God. Glorying in Christ is the antithesis of glorying in the flesh. Pharisees boast before God of what they have done for him. The Christian is one who has empty hands every day and can only thank God for His mercy. He thus relies solely on the righteousness of Christ.

It is the new Covenant in Christ’s blood which “reminds God” not to treat us as our sins justly deserve. True Christians flee to Christ as their only hope. A mark of maturity is that we no longer are constantly worrying about our own spirituality but rather our focus is on Christ and His accomplishments. Those who are glorying the flesh will exhaust themselves because they are contstantly looking to their own resources. The cross alone is where we find sanctification. Christians flee to Christ as their only hope casting aside all self-confidence and autonomy. Remember, Paul calls everything other than Christ “rubbish”. Are we trusting in rubbish or in Christ? A.W. Pink, I believe captures the point in a sentence:

“Just as the sinner’s despair of any hope from himself is the first prerequisite of a sound conversion, so the loss of all confidence in himself is the first essential in the believer’s growth in grace.”

 
 

STRONG DELUSION

If you have carefully read my article titled Do You Have a Love for the Truth, then you may already understand why I believe that the coming one-world religion foretold in Revelation 13 will be a form of false Christianity. I believe that the coming one-world religion will be a form of “Christianity” that will be acceptable to everyone….that is, everyone besides those who have a love for the truth!
In that article, I also pointed out that the “strong delusion” which is described in 2 Thessalonians 2:9-12 will come on those who, deep inside, wanted to believe that something else is the truth (Perhaps something which they consider to be more “positive”). And whether or not we want to admit it, everyone has a belief of some kind which they regard as truth. Even if someone states that there is no truth, or that we can not know truth, those very statements are in fact what they regard as “truth”. It is a “truth” of their own which they obviously intend for others to follow – otherwise they would not teach it at all, and they would not be so intolerant toward anyone who disagrees with them (Read my article titled Avoiding Correction? for more info).
This hypocritical attitude of intolerant “tolerance” is just one trend that is setting the world up for a strong delusion, but there are other trends which are doing the same thing, which I will discuss in this article. But first I want to make it very clear that God is not to blame for the coming strong delusion.
I believe that the coming strong delusion will come on many who did not want to go to the Bible as a book that will correct them, but perhaps they only wanted to go to the Bible to search for a proof text to back up what they already believe. I had a hard time seeing how the delusion in the world could get much worse about three years ago, but I have watched this delusion increase over these past three years – much of it which is in the professing church. And I do believe that it will get worse yet, because the Bible itself indicates that it will….

The Result of Contempt for the Truth

I believe that the delusion which is already in the world will take its full effect when “the son of perdition” 2 Thessalonians 2:3 is revealed, partly because the deluded masses will already be in such an irrational state of mind that they will believe any lie that he tells them, and partly because the restrainer (See 2 Thessalonians 2:7) will be gone.
Here is why God is not to blame for this strong delusion: since this delusion is coming only on those who will not receive the love of the truth, (See 2 Thessalonians 2:10-11) I believe that this delusion will partly be the natural result of rejecting the truth. That is just simply what happens when the truth is rejected: God can only give man over to the debased mind that results in rejecting Him (See Romans 1:28).
My point is that rejection of the truth darkens the mind to the truth all the more. Those who seek and love the truth will have more truth revealed to them, but those who have a contempt for the truth will become ever more deluded as the result of their rejection. So I believe that this delusion will be partly because of the rejection of the truth by those who have heard it, and partly because the Holy Spirit will be removed. After continual pleading, God will simply let people have their way, and this strong delusion will be the result. Since He cannot force Himself on anyone, He will one day let them believe the lie that they insist on believing, and that is how this delusion will come about.

Christianity: Positivism, Negativism or Realism?

One of the strongest delusions in the professing church today is the idea that we must always be “positive” – and if someone is not, then they are regarded as a trouble maker. For example, “positive thinking” often gets confused with biblical faith. I may have lost some of my readers now, but if you are still with me then I am asking you, out of love, to please hear me out before jumping to conclusions.
First of all, anyone who has read through the Bible should know that it presents both positive and negative truths. So true Christianity is neither positivism nor negativism, but it is realism. Truth is truth whether it’s positive or not, so I think we might as well face the facts honestly. If we come across a truth in the Bible which is positive (such as John 3:16 or Revelation 21:4), then lets be positive about it. But if we come across a negative truth in the Bible (Such as Jeremiah 17:9 or 2 Timothy 3:13), then I think we might as well take an honest look at it and accept it for what it really says. Those who don’t are only setting themselves up for the “strong delusion” which is described in 2 Thessalonians 2:9-12, and there is certainly nothing “positive” about that!
One teacher that I know who does take an honest approach to the Bible is often accused of being too hard on people, but I think that he is really just being straight-forward, and many people are simply not used to that. It seems that the majority within the professing church today are more used to being told what they want to hear, or what appeals to our natural emotions. But our emotions do not determine what is true – God does.
One day God will demonstrate that believing something hard enough (that is a common misconception of what biblical faith is) does not make it true. Believing that something is so does not make it so. It is God’s truth that matters, not “what feels right” to us. True biblical faith must be in God(See Mark 11:22)not in positive thinking, or in the power of our words. Those who truly believe that God is wiser than they are will not want their faith to be in anything other than Him.

More Examples of Delusion

Here are some other brief examples of delusion that I believe is setting the world up for the coming one-world system:
When professing believers quote the words “judge not lest you be judged” in order justify themselves before those who try to correct them, this is what I consider to be a delusion. Why? Because, although they don’t seem to realize it, they are also making a judgment, and they are guilty of the very unrighteous judgment that they hypocritically accuse others of (Read my article titled “Judge Not Lest You Be Judged” for more info).
When otherwise seemingly sound teachers don’t see the rather obvious problems with a perverted paraphrase like The Message, I also consider this to be a delusion.
When professing believers seem more zealous to promote and even defend psychology more than the Bible itself, I consider this to be a delusion as well. And the fact that so many professing believers bitterly resent hearing the truth about psychology only shows how strong this delusion already is.
When professing Christians defend Harry Potter rather than the Bible itself, I also consider this to be a delusion. And even if the Harry Potter series is “just fantasy” (which it is not), that would not make much difference, because it would still be a fantasy which glorifies what the Bible condemns. Personally, I understand why those who do not believe that the Bible is God’s word would see no problem with Harry Potter, but since God’s word says things like “rebellion is as the sin of witchcraft” (1 Samuel 15:23), I would think that this would not even have to be debated between those who profess to believe His word.
When many professing evangelical leaders praise The Passion of The Christ as “biblically accurate”, even though there are some Catholics who realize that it is not, I also consider this to be a delusion.
When so many people fall for something like The Secret, I also consider this to be a delusion. From some of the examples of delusion that I have given here, I hope it is clear by now that the professing church is being set up for the ultimate “strong delusion, that they should believe the lie” (2 Thessalonians 2:11). So what is “the lie” that they will believe? I believe that it will be the same lie that Satan told Eve at the very beginning: “ye shall be as gods” (Genesis 3:5). Considering all the emphasis on self-love and self-esteem, it is not difficult to see the world and professing church headed in this direction. The popularity of The Secret is also a clear indication that the world and the professing church are being prepared to believe this lie.
If you read through the writings of classic Christian authors like Charles Haddon Spurgeon (1834-1892) and Andrew Murray (1828-1917), it will seem like they simply did not recognize the self-love and self-esteem teachings back in their day. Yet now, they are teachings which have been taught so often from so many pulpits that most professing believers accept them as biblical doctrine without question. This is a delusion indeed!

Strong Delusion After The Rapture

Considering the delusion that is already in the world, it is more than likely that those who are left behind after the rapture will not believe that it was the rapture. After all, they will already be deluded enough to believe that they are the good ones. With such a “healthy” self-esteem, it is not likely that they would consider themselves to be the problem. But it is most likely that they will be glad that all the “negative” influence of the “trouble makers” is finally gone.
They will most likely be prepared to believe any lie, as long as they are told what they want to hear, and what makes them feel good about themselves. I am not a prophet, but from simple observation and from God’s word, this is the direction that I already see the world and much of the professing church headed. It is my hope that God will use this article and others that I have written to open people’s eyes to the increasing delusion which is taking place in the name of Christianity.
“When the Son of man cometh, shall He [really] find faith on the earth?” (Luke 18:8)

Is It Fair for God to Send Us Delusion? By Dave Hunt and T.A. McMahon (Radio Broadcast)Can You Be Deceived – Part 1
Can You Be Deceived – Part 2
Resources On The Emerging Church
The First and Final Lie: Self-deification, by T.A. McMahon
Unwittingly Proving The Bible to be True
WHAT IS SALVATION?

 

THE COMING GREAT DECEPTION

In his second letter to the Thessalonians, a church that was eagerly awaiting the return of the Lord to establish His Kingdom on earth, Paul outlined a few events that will come to pass before “the day of the Lord” arrives. The day of the Lord is a general term pointing to an entire series of events that culminate with the Lord Jesus landing on the Mount of Olives and taking up the throne of David in Jerusalem. He says in II Thessalonians 2:1-4 that two things must happen — a great falling away, and the revelation of the antichrist, or man of sin. He goes on to discuss this pivotal character in end time history, and then starting in verse 10 Paul introduces the theme of end-time delusion. There are constant reminders throughout the New Testament, from the teachings of Jesus Himself to the writings of Paul, John, Peter, James, and Jude, that indicate that the end times will be times of great delusion and deception. These warnings are specifically directed at “the elect” that they might not also be carried away with the “strong delusion” that God will send expressly for the purpose of separating true believers in Him from those who “have not a love of the truth.”
For a more detailed discussion of each of these themes, click on the contents buttons on this page. To fully comprehend where we are in God’s divine time line, click on the link to Letters to the Seven Churches to discover how perfectly the Lord knew what would transpire in His church following His ascension, up until His return at the end of the age.

The Great Falling Away

Now we beseech you, brethren, by the coming of our Lord Jesus Christ, and by our gathering together unto him, That ye be not soon shaken in mind, or be troubled, neither by spirit, nor by word, nor by letter as from us, as that the day of Christ is at hand. Let no man deceive you by any means: for that day shall not come, except there come a falling away first, and that man of sin be revealed…  (II Thessalonians 2:1,2)

There are some things in the Bible that are hard to understand or which are generally open to interpretation. But there are some things that are all too clear. One of these things that should be without debate is that the Second of Coming of Christ will not occur until after something Paul calls a falling away happens first.
Having settled that, we can think about, discuss, and pray about what that falling away might mean, and what the fulfillment of this prophecy might look like.
There are those who equate the falling away with the Rapture, or the catching up of the Lord’s people to meet Him in the air (I Thessalonians 4:17). They see the Body of Christ “falling away” from the earth as the Lord miraculously draws them up to be with Him in the air.
This interpretation does not take into account that the Greek word translated “falling away” is the word “apostasia,” the basis for the English word apostasy. If you’re not familiar with the word apostasy and what it means, you can look it up in any dictionary. It is the act of going back on the faith. It is a denying of the basic tenets of the faith one once held. It is the basic characteristic of all “recognized” Christian scholarship at the seminary level for the last 100 years. Liberalism and modernism, two popular terms for apostasy that apostates find less objectionable, infected the mainline denominations before the end of the 19th Century. Liberal theology denies the existence of miracles, including the Virgin Birth of Christ, the Resurrection, and even the inspiration of the Bible. Some liberal “theologians” have gone as far as to doubt the very existence of God, or to suggest that God is dead.
Given all that, there are those who equate the falling away predicted by Paul in his letter to the Thessalonians with the general apostasy that has taken over mainline Christianity, including most recognized theologians of both Protestant and Roman Catholic institutions.
While this apostasy may be a precursor, it is also likely that just prior to the Second Coming, there will another major and recognizable departure from the faith once delivered to the saints (Jude 3). It is not unlikely that such a falling away would result in persecution of the true believers who refuse to follow the scholars and recognized Christian leaders in their retreat from true, Biblical Christianity. In fact, it is likely that it is just this sort of persecution that is instrumental in creating the unity among the true believers in the Lord Jesus Christ that will result in the Bride overcoming the division that currently prevents her from coming together as one chaste virgin to meet her Bridegroom King.
At any rate, we can expect to see more liberalism and more modernism, also referred to as Liberation theology or the social gospel, continue to invade and take over more mainline Christian institutions and denominations. We can also expect to see true Bible believing Christians come under more and more criticism and pressure to comply with the form of Christianity that will be promulgated by the media, the press, and the United Nations. It will be ecumenical, multicultural, tolerant of other faiths and religions, and quite conceivably enforced at gunpoint or through other coercive means.
Before you say this is not a possibility in our lifetime, take a look at the restrictions that “someone” is trying to place on the preaching and teaching of Biblical truth today. Laws are being passed that will make it “illegal” to teach the Biblical view when it comes to such issues as abortion and homosexuality. At some point soon, many churches may be forced to make a decision between remaining free to preach the truth, or maintaining a tax exempt status. And this is just the tip of the iceberg and a shadow of things to come over the next decade.

Great time to be alive…

We are blessed to be alive at such a momentous time in history. We are witnessing the unraveling and disintegration of Western civilization. Even if we were not destined to live on to see the establishment of God’s own Kingdom on the earth, this would be an exciting time to be alive, historically speaking, just to see what sort of order will come about following the collapse of the preeminent social, governmental, financial, and technological establishments in the post-modern world (that is, Western civilization, technology, and its attendant culture). 
The Holy Scriptures foretell that the current social, political, financial and governmental systems will be brought under the control of one great authoritarian, totalitarian dictator. At some point, this seemingly benevolent dictator will become personally indwelt by Satan himself, the great enemy of God, and will bring havoc down on the heads of God’s people — whether Israel or the church, or both — until God Himself removes him from the scene. It is then that God establishes His own Kingdom, with Israel serving as the planet’s political focal point, and each of 12 Gentile nations serving as tributary to a tribe of Israel, and appearing before the King once each year for a thousand years. (Deuteronomy 32:8, Revelation 21:24 with Revelation 22:2)
Now the down side… Not many who are alive now will live to see this glorious event, although it is in most likelihood less than 20 to 30 years down the road. Scripture indicates that the current world population of some six billion souls will be drastically reduced to possibly less than one billion by the time the Lord returns. That is a lot of death and carnage in the space of just a few decades.
But the Falling Away is only one of the signs Paul wrote about. In addition to a general apostasy, there will also be the revealing of the man of sin.

That Man of Sin shall be revealed…

Now we beseech you, brethren, by the coming of our Lord Jesus Christ, and by our gathering together unto him, That ye be not soon shaken in mind, or be troubled, neither by spirit, nor by word, nor by letter as from us, as that the day of Christ is at hand. Let no man deceive you by any means: for that day shall not come, except there come a falling away first, and that man of sin be revealed…  (II Thessalonians 2:1,2)

Outside of the Lord Jesus and the Lord God Himself, there is more written in the Bible about the one who is coming as the Man of Sin than any other person in the Bible.
He is called the “antichrist” by John (I John 2:18, 22 and 4:3), the “little horn” and the “prince that shall come” by Daniel (Daniel 7:8 and 8:9; Daniel 9:26). He is the “idol shepherd” of Zechariah 11:17. According to the Book of Revelation, where he is called “the Beast” (Revelation 13:1), he will be a much admired world leader (Revelation 13:3) and exercise incredible authority over the Western hemisphere. It is for this reason that he is often referred to as the coming “one-world leader.”  The fact of the matter is, however, that he never succeeds in uniting the world entirely. He institutes an economic system involving personal identification numbers (Revelation 13:18) that is used all over the world, just as credit cards are now used all over the world. It appears, however, that the “kings of the east” (Revelation 16:12) are not under his political or military control and contest his authority in the mid-East, where he has engineered a seven year peace treaty between Israel and her enemies that results in the rebuilding of the Temple and the restoration of Israel’s sacrifices to the Lord.

Who opposeth and exalteth himself above all that is called God, or that is worshipped; so that he as God sitteth in the temple of God, showing himself that he is God. (II Thessalonians 2:4)

It is not clear exactly why, but for some reason this man decides to abrogate the treaty he has made between Israel and her neighbors half way through the term of the treaty, or 3 1/2 years after its signing. At that time he will enter the Jewish Temple in Jerusalem and sit himself down in the mercy seat of the Most High God and he will declare that there is no higher God in the universe then himself. He will then demand that all the people of the earth, or at least all the people under his control, worship him as God under pain of death.
According to Daniel 9, this event marks the beginning of the final 3 1/2 years of the “times of the Gentiles.”  At the end of that time, the Lord Jesus Christ will return to the earth and to Jerusalem where He will fulfill the Old Testament promises to Israel that Zion shall never be without a descendent of David to rule as King. All human endeavor on the planet will come under the direct control and supervision of Jesus, who is God in the flesh, and those who were faithful to Him and His promises during the current age (the church age) will “live and reign with him” (Revelation 20:4). 

God shall send them strong delusion…

And he said, Take heed that ye be not deceived: for many shall come in my name, saying, I am Christ; and the time draweth near: go ye not therefore after them.   Luke 21:8
And for this cause God shall send them strong delusion, that they should believe a lie… II Thessalonians 2:11
…thou sayest, I am rich, and increased with goods, and have need of nothing; and knowest not that thou art wretched, and miserable, and poor, and blind, and naked…  Revelation 3:17

One of the great characteristics of the end times is described in the New Testament as deception, or delusion, on a grand, perhaps unprecedented scale. The Lord Jesus warned that the deception that is coming in His Name and accompanied by great shows of power will be so convincing that even the very elect, that is, those who truly know Him, stand in danger of being carried away in the deception (Matthew 24:24).
Paul expounds on the same theme. In discussing the end time delusion that will accompany the world’s acceptance of Satan himself as the savior of the world, he points out that when this “man of sin” arrives on the scene, he will be accompanied by great signs and wonders (II Thessalonians 2:9). When taken together with the Lord’s prediction in Matthew 24, there is no reason to believe that this entrance by Satan on the world stage will be accompanied by anything less than healing, casting out of demons, and raising the dead in the name of Jesus!
Such a scenario might have seemed impossible a decade or so ago, but with the acceptance by the world of some of the current popular beliefs, it is not difficult to imagine that such total, world-wide delusion could take place. Much of the “church” seems to be obsessed with the subject of  “signs and wonders,” healing, and the “greater works,” totally beyond the scope of what one would expect from a reading of the New Testament.  This “signs and wonders” fixation may be nothing less than a set-up to prepare the way for the one “whose coming is after the working of Satan, with all power and signs and lying wonders…”
Remember, the world believes that Israel is an imposter in the Holy Land and is “occupying” “Palestinian” territory! The world also believes that there can be peace outside of submission to God and His authority. All of this is, of course, purely delusional. The fact of the matter is that God has given Israel to the Jews with an oath and a promise that cannot be broken. It is also true that the world will know no peace until the Prince of Peace returns and takes up His rule from David’s throne in Jerusalem. Anyone who has read and believed the Bible knows these things, but the world does not know these things. As Peter says, they don’t even know how the world got here because they have willingly chosen not to know (II Peter 3:1). Therefore, it should not be surprising to learn that it will be those who had NOT a love of the TRUTH who will be swept away in the great delusion that God is sending for the purpose of separating the tares from the wheat just prior to the great end-time harvest (Revelation 16:14-20).
How can one escape being swept away in the deception that is coming? According to the letter from Jesus to the end-time church, Laodicea, recorded by John in Revelation 3:14-22, that church is characterized by self-deception, believing that it is the greatest of all churches when in the Lord’s view it is one of the poorest and most wretched. But in this letter we are also given some keys to avoiding such pitfalls. It is apparent, if we recognize that Laodicea is a depiction of the end-time Charismatic movement that has prided itself in having more gifts, more power, more gospel (FULL gospel, REALLY!), more ministry (five-fold, don’t you know), and more health and prosperity than any of the other churches around (especially the “poor” Fundamentalist brethren whom Jesus praised “to high heaven” in His letter to the church at Philadelphia), that we should not be so desirous of a great show, and should look to our own hearts and devotion to the Lord, and to His Truth.
Cable-channel Christianity by any other name is still a show. It is great entertainment for spiritual “shut ins,” but it is not the stuff the New Testament church is made of. 
As the Bride of Christ matures and begins to step forth and out of the backdrop of traditional, denominational Christianity, there will also be a movement based on great deception to try to deceive the elect and cause them to seek after and follow something other than Christ. The only real protection the Bride will have will come in the form of an intimate knowledge of her True Beloved. It is important for all believers to begin to seek the face of the Lord now, and to draw close to Him and press into Him so that they learn to recognize His voice. The day is soon coming when there will be many rival voices (Matthew 24:5) clamoring for the Bride’s attention — but she will respond to only one, the voice of her Beloved (Song of Solomon 2:8 and 5:2).
 

THE GRACE OF GOD

In these hectic, fast-paced days before Jesus 
comes back to gather his children home to Heaven,
it is all the more imperative to share the good
news of the Grace of God. As the world continues
to witness the ever increasing signs for the second
coming of Jesus, it must be noted that his first
coming has availed God’s Grace to a sinful world.
God foreordained before the very foundation of the
creation of the world that he would implement a
plan of Salvation, to be offered freely to all that
would accept the gracious gift of redemption.
Because of the fall of mankind, that redemptive
plan was enacted out on the cross of Calvary by
the God’s own precious son, Jesus Christ!

I Peter 1:18-20 Forasmuch as ye know that ye
were not redeemed with corruptible things,
silver or gold, from your vain conversation
received by tradition from your fathers; but
with the precious blood of Christ, as of a lamb
without blemish and without spot; who was verily
foreordained before the foundation of the world,
but was manifest in these last times for YOU!

Jesus Christ submitted himself to the love of
his Father. By submitting himself to death
on the cross, he fulfilled God’s providential
plan of Redemption.



John 3:16 For God so loved the world, ( you )
that he gave his only begotten son, that
whosoever believeth in him, should not perish,
but have everlasting life!

Becoming a Christian is as simple as opening
your heart to receive Jesus Christ as the
sole propitiation for your sins. Jesus says:
I stand at the door and knock; if anyone will
open the door and receive me in; I will abide
with him. Jesus loves you enough to die
for you; and to perform through his death
the greatest miracle of all. Jesus paid the
just price of death on your behalf to eliminate
your sins. What you yourself could never
accomplish for your own self, Jesus has freely
sacrificed himself to accomplish! Eternal life
is your choice....”Jesus has made it freely
available to all” Romans 10:9 That if thou
shalt confess with thy mouth the Lord Jesus,
and shalt believe in thine heart that God hath
raised him from the dead, thou shalt be saved.
Romans 10:13 For whosoever shall call upon the
name of the Lord shall be saved!

Interested??? Journey down the Roman Road to
learn more.


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