Scriptural statements about the second coming of Christ are fragmentary and scattered. I believe the best point to gather the various statements around is the proclamation of two angels at the Ascension of Jesus Christ into Heaven: "... this same Jesus, which is taken up from you into heaven, shall so come in like manner as ye have seen him go into heaven" (Acts 1:11). There are three accounts of the ascension, Mark 16:19, Luke 24:51, and Acts 1:9. By reading these in context, we are able to piece together what happened just prior to, during, and just after the Ascension. This is important since "in like manner" would take related happenings into account. Therefore, our study of the Ascension must be expanded to Mark 16:14-20, Luke 24:33-53, and Acts 1:1-14, at least. There is no discrepancy between the "as far as to Bethany" of Luke 24:50 and "returned they unto Jerusalem from the mount called Olivet" of Acts 1:12, since Bethany was on the eastern slope of the Mount of Olives.
There was a sequence of events leading up to the Ascension. There was a meeting in Jerusalem of church members including the eleven apostles at which Jesus appeared, rebuked them, ate a meal with them, and taught them. Then a portion of them, apparently the eleven apostles, were led by Jesus toward Bethany, apparently teaching them along the way. Then while the Ascension was happening, we have the statement by two angels that "in like manner" Jesus would return. Then those witnessing the Ascension returned to the gathering of church members in Jerusalem. Since certain phrases in translations are vague on details, it is good to read the accounts in several different translations, perhaps even looking at some of the Greek words involved.
Now obviously "in like manner" could not be a repeat of the sequence, but must be reversed in order to have Jesus returning. When we reverse the sequence, I get this result. Among Christian believers will be those expecting Christ's return. "And at midnight there was a cry made [I would guess by angels], Behold, the bridegroom cometh; go ye out to meet him" (Matthew 25:6). Those able to quickly respond to this summons (Hebrews 9:28) will witness Jesus descending from a cloud. I would imagine that he will teach them. They would then carry their witness and tidings to larger groups of Christians, who would meet to discuss what is being claimed. Then confrontations would take place between Christ and those supposed to be doing his work on Earth (Malachi 3:1-5; Luke 12:35-48). The net result would be that the church would be cleansed and inspired to accomplish it final tasks before the thousand year reign of Christ begins.
I would also group Isaiah 52:10 with these events. "The Lord hath made bare his holy arm in the eyes of all the nations; and all the ends of the earth shall see the salvation of God." I interpret "the eyes of the nations" as referring to those guided by the Holy Spirit, and who can thereby see the kingdom of God (see John 3:3).
My reply > When we reverse the sequence, I get this result. Among Christian believers
> will be those expecting Christ's return. "And at midnight there was a cry
> made [I would guess by angels], Behold, the bridegroom cometh; go ye out to
> meet him" (Matthew 25:6).
The Parable of the Ten Virgins takes place at the Pre-Trib Rapture. Five are taken, five are left behind for chastisement. The five that are caught up represent the Bride of Christ.
> I would also group Isaiah 52:10 with these events. "The Lord hath made bare
> his holy arm in the eyes of all the nations; and all the ends of the earth
> shall see the salvation of God."
The "arm of the LORD" (Isa. 53:1; 52:10) is Christ. "God was in Christ, reconciling the world unto himself" (II Cor. 5:19). Jesus Christ "was wounded for OUR transgressions, he was bruised for OUR iniquities: the chastisement of OUR peace was upon him; and with his stripes WE are healed" (Isa. 53:5). Without him, we are on a slick slide right into hell.
We must accept Christ as our Saviour for Isa. 53:5 to apply to us. God is offering us a free gift of salvation, but we must accept it. I prayed and asked him to be my Saviour. Have you? When we do that, we are saved and all our sins are forgiven. At that moment, we are counted as pure virgins in God's sight. At that moment, our eternal destiny is Heaven instead of Hell.
> I interpret "the eyes of the nations" as referring to those guided by the
> Holy Spirit, and who can thereby see the kingdom of God (see John 3:3).
Isa. 52:15 says, "So shall he sprinkle many nations; the kings shall shut their mouths at him: for that which had not been told them shall THEY SEE; and that which they had not heard shall they consider."
Incoming Email Are you saying that the rapture has already taken place in 1997/98, and how do you arrive at the year 2007?
My reply No, the Rapture has not yet taken place. I thought it would be on Pentecost, 1998, but it wasn't. However, the reasons why I thought it was then have not changed. That year was marked for some good reason. It seems to be because the 4 years of the parable of the barren fig tree in Lu. 13:6-9 began then. I call those Israel's grace years. If she would only turn to the Lord and show ripe fruit, the Tribulation would not have to happen. It is Israel's fifth cycle of discipline. Lev. 26:27,28 says, "if ye will not for all this hearken unto me, but walk contrary unto me; Then I will walk contrary unto you also in fury; and I, even I, will chastise you seven times (i.e., years) for your sins."
In the parable of the barren fig tree, Christ comes and SPEAKS in the third year ONLY. At that time, he says, "Behold, these three years I come seeking fruit on this fig tree, and find none: cut it down." He neither comes nor speaks in the extra year. Maybe he looked for fruit in 1998, looked in 1999, and the Rapture will be on Pentecost, 2000. We don't have too long to wait to see. In the meantime, we should see what treasures we can send ahead to be waiting for us in Heaven.
If Jesus has been looking at us these two years, what do you think he is looking for? There is a good chance that he is selecting his Bride. The wise virgins of Mt. 25 are READY, have plenty of the oil of the Holy Spirit, to go with the Bridegroom in the Pre-Trib Rapture. The foolish virgins are not included in that group. They are left behind like the Laodiceans to be chastized. This doesn't mean they are lost. It means that they have to endure the trial that will come upon all the world, 2300 days (Dan. 8:14) of the Tribulation. They will be caught up in the Pre-Wrath Rapture.
The Philadelphians are the ones that have the "OPEN DOOR" set before them (Rev. 3:8). They are the ones that are to be kept "FROM" the trial that is to come upon the whole world (Rev. 3:10). They are the ones that Jesus does not tell to repent. They already have. With the Laodiceans, it is different. They are told "As many as I love, I rebuke and chasten: be zealous therefore, and REPENT" (Rev. 3:19). (See I John 1:9.)
They do repent and confess their sins after the Pre-Trib Rapture. They are part of the "great multitude, which no man could number, of all nations" that come "out of great tribulation, and have washed their robes, and made them white in the blood of the Lamb. Therefore are they before the throne of God" (Rev. 7:9,14,15) on the 2300th day of the Tribulation.
> how do you arrive at the year 2007?
Look at Mt. 24:32-34, where Jesus answered the question asked him in verse 3: "Tell us, when shall these things be? and what shall be the sign of thy coming, and the end of the world?"
He answered them with the parable of the fig tree. He said, "Now learn a parable of the fig tree (Israel, Joel 1:6,7; Hos. 9:10; Eze. 36:8; Jer. 24:5,6); When his branch (klados, scion broken off for grafting; i.e., modern Israel grafted into her old root stock) is yet tender (apalos, young; no more than 19, as when they came out of Egypt), and PUTTETH FORTH LEAVES (Sinai, Gaza Strip, Golan Heights, and the West Bank, in the Six-Day War of 1967), ye know that summer is nigh (they took the rest of Jerusalem June 7 and summer began June 21): So likewise ye, when ye shall see all these things (Israel back in the land, growing leaves when she was 19 years old, summer being nigh), know that it (the Rapture) is near, even at the doors (symbol of the Rapture, Rev. 3:8). Verily I say unto you, This generation (born in 1967) shall not pass, till all these things (given previously in Mt. 24) be fulfilled."
The year 1967 plus one 40-year generation is 2007. We know that a generation is 40 years from Mt. 23:36. In 30 AD, Jesus told the Pharisees, "Verily I say unto you, All these things shall come upon this generation." They did, in 70 AD.
According to Daniel 9:27, the False Prophet "shall confirm the covenant with many for one week: and in the midst of the week he shall cause the sacrifice and the oblation to cease." This is when he sits in the temple "shewing himself that he is God" (II Thess. 2:4). This covenant is a seven-year peace covenant.
The Oslo Accords were signed on Sept. 13, 1993. They were ratified in Israel three days later, on the Jewish Tishri 1, 5754. I think there are to be seven good years and seven bad years at the end of this age, as when Joseph was in Egypt, and that these 14 years began when the Oslo Accords were signed.
Sept. 13, 1993 + 14 years = Sept. 13, 2007.
Tishri 1, 5754 + 14 years = Tishri 1, 5768, which is Sept. 13, 2007.
That sounds just like something God would arrange. I think the Rapture will be in the good years. Tishri 1, 5754 + 7 = Tishri 1, 5761 (our Sept. 30, 2000). I think Pentecost, in 2000 (Sivan 7 is June 10) is the date to watch.
Tishri 1, 5761 + 7 = Tishri 1, 5768 (our Sept, 13, 2007). I expect the 2300 days of Dan. 8:14, (the shortened Tribulation) to begin on the Feast of Weeks in 5761 (May 28, 2001) and to end on the Day of God's Wrath, Tishri 1, 5768 (Sept. 13, 2007).
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