My Scripture Studies
Removing the Blinders

Tuesday, December 30, 2008

The Order of Daniel

A couple of years ago I shared some thoughts with a key proponent the so-called "EU beast" or revived Roman Empire theology. This man has sold millions of books.

As we exchanged ideas, I wondered... does he still think that communism will be the global downfall?

The EU-Roman Beast confusion is just one story line tied to the book of Daniel that modern prophecy teachers have proposed thinking that the vortex of the Bible has somehow shifted West.

The thoughts here are for those who do not seek such interpretation of ancient prophecy. There is no purpose here to convince anyone of anything really, the goal is simply to provide information for the consideration of those who are seeking truth from the Bible, not me.

Following the establishment of Israel in 1948 and the restoration of Jerusalem in 1967, many common sense people have realized that the geography of the Bible's prophecies is unchanging and that God's word of instruction have not changed either. Like the Ten Commandments, God's word is set in stone and like the Promised Land, prophecy has not moved to Rome.

After 9/11, this realization has returned a prophetic focus on radical Islam and the Middle East.

A key to understanding Bible prophecy is to understand that we are to study the Word of God just as Daniel did looking for clues from "The Prophets" that declare the voice of God. Daniel knew the word of Amos 3:7 that was written 250 years before Daniel's exile to Babylon. We need to know the messages of the prophets too. The future is not written in a New York Times best seller, it is already declared by the prophets in God's Word:
"Surely the Lord GOD will do nothing, but he revealeth his secret unto his servants the prophets."
This was true for Daniel and it's true for you, so be a Berean and study the Word of God. Daniel was studying the scroll of the prophet Jeremiah when he read about the sevens, the Shemittah and thier link to the exile.

Daniel knew God gives us His instruction about His appointed Feasts because He loves us and He wants those that seek truth to understand His plan for the salvation of mankind. Our Heavenly Father teaches us what He is going to do on His seven appointed days, His moedim.

It's the original message of the deceiver to fall for the idea that God does not mean what He says or that He changes His mind. Don't listen to that message any longer. It is a lie.

The western news media seeks to sanitize the truth, so much so, few people seem to realize that we may now living at the very precipice of the greatest persecution of Christians in history.

Persecution will grow from the dark side of radical Islam in the Middle East. A chaos of attacks emanating from extreme radical Islam like a sword of Jihad. The message by the way comes directly out of the Koran.

The Bible has always focused light on the bulls eye of the Promised Land and the nations of peoples surrounding and opposing Jerusalem and the Jewish people. The Bible's focus tells us God's eye is on the Temple Mount, the place of God chose to put His name. This isn't just a Jewish concept either. Gentile kings by the names of Cyrus, Darius and Artaxerxes understood this. You can read what they had to say in the book of Ezra. Check it out for yourself.

Jumping back to my exchange with this best-selling author, I expressed concern for the teaching he presented which is based on ill-conceived perceptions of the books of Daniel and Revelation in which he inserted his theology that the Pope is the evil one, the United States is Babylon and perhaps worst of all, "the Church" is a replacement for Israel and the Jewish people. His "best seller" may have made him rich and famous, but he has 'added to and taken away' from Scripture in opposition to Deuteronomy 12:32.

Although some may be startled by the thought of it, we must "consider" the words of Daniel just as they are written with a focus on Jerusalem if we are to ever understand the prophetic messages to be revealed as was promised to Daniel:

“Go your way, Daniel, for these words are concealed and sealed up until the end time." Daniel 12:9

I am certainly not saying I am unsealing the words given Daniel, but we must realize Jesus (Yeshua) taught from Daniel when the disciples asked Him about the timing of things to come as they stood at the Temple Mount. Both Matthew 24:15 and Mark 13:14 confirm what He said:
“Therefore when you see the abomination of desolation which was spoken of through Daniel the prophet, standing in the holy place (let the reader understand)…”
The focus on the cycle of prophecy is the “abomination of desolation” and it is referenced three times in Daniel 9:27; Daniel 11:31 and Daniel 12:11. Plainly Yeshua (Jesus) referenced these prophetic writings.

In 167 B.C. Antiochus IV Epiphanes Antiochus dispatched his armies against Jerusalem with 22,000 men. They attacked on the Sabbath, killing most of the men and enslaved the women and children.  Jerusalem’s walls were demolished and a Seleucid military garrison stationed immediately south of the Temple.

The Torah was outlawed resulting in the cessation of daily sacrifice. An altar to Zeus was erected over the altar of burnt offerings, and the worship of Zeus was instituted in the Temple. On December 25, 167 B.C., a pig was sacrificed on the altar to the pagan god Zeus of Olympus; this foreshadowed the “abomination that causes desolation” in Daniel 9:27, Daniel 11:31 and Daniel 12:11.

This history gives Daniel's words great weight - so read the book of Daniel.

Let the scroll speak for itself as you read, and by doing so allow Scripture to define itself and history to validate it. Allow the prophets to back up the words as a second witness and pray that the Spirit of God will teach and unseal the prophetic book.

As noted, this commentary does not offer resolution to unsealing the mysteries of the visions of Daniel, but it strongly suggests that we must continue to study The Scriptures and keep an eye on history, the Middle East and Jerusalem, not Rome and much prayer for discernment. And take note of Daniel's prayer. His prayer contains humility, worship, confession, and petition not assumption.

We might begin to tie things together by looking at the date information given by Daniel within the opening of each "chapter" as we like to call them. Bible publishers have numbered them, but this can dull a clearer understanding of the words of the Bible whether it be Daniel or any other book.

Numbered chapters and verses are good in that they can be used to get everyone on the same page in the scrolls, but they can also can divert the flow of the message and shift our reading and understanding. Remember, they are scrolls.

In addition, we need to seek the plain truth and not be dogmatic concerning "hidden" or "mysterious" interpretations of Scripture. Perhaps, the message of Daniel recorded circa 622 BC - 536 BC can be seen more clearly if we look carefully at the words and the chronology of the timelines recorded. We also need to re-consider the places, the people and the time tables of prophecy taught by so many today regarding the expectation of latter-day events and conflicts found in Daniel, especially in the vision recorded in chapters 8-12.

When we read the words for what they say, the chapters appear to be assembled a bit out of historic order from a reading of the chronologies noted in Daniel's text but Daniel's visions have a series of embedded clues to help us. Perhaps if we re-read the chapters with the historic order recorded by Daniel, then perhaps our understanding of the fulfillment of their prophetic words can be improved. Perhaps most importantly, if we step back and study the prophecies within the text that are supported by historic events and places that tie to other Biblical Scriptures, then the prophetic message of Daniel may begin to unlock.

God promises to "open up" the words of Daniel in the latter days, so wouldn't He use history to do that? Daniel points to the need for history to unfold for us to understand the scroll as it unrolls. Because of that, this commentary on my Scripture studies does not purport to give all the answers, just some hints at the possibilities.

If we speculate too much, we inadvertently try to pry the words open to fit our own perception and expectation by our interpretation.

We have to remember too, that prophecy is like a season, it cycles. If we don't realize that, then we may miss the Messiah Prince in Daniel's messages and confuse Him with another.

Let's start by looking at the timeline and order of events shown in the beginning of some of the chapters.

Look at chapter nine. Many Christians would agree that Daniel's prophecy deals with the timing of Messiah's crucifixion and the subsequent destruction of Jerusalem that came about by Roman military leadership and their assembly of Legions. For critical insight on just "who" these "Legions" of men really were, we MUST consider the truth to be found in history because it will help define the people, the events to come and locations described by Daniel in the latter days that may tie to the places and reigns of the kings that Daniel records.

The truth is, if we do some critical homework, we can quickly find that while the people who made up the command of the "Legions" some 2,000 years ago were Roman, the men that actually attacked and destroyed Jerusalem some 40 years after Messiah's ministry began at His mikvah in the Jordan River were not soldiers from Italy. This is critical! In fact, the "Legions" were the very ancient enemies of Israel, they were from the same people groups that Joshua was told to drive out of the Promised Land.

The Legions were local warrior tribesmen recruited by the Romans from people groups native to the Middle East that surrounded Judea in 70 AD. Today, the same people remain in those areas and like the days of antiquity, they do not worship YHVH, but a false god. This understanding is critical if we are to consider the identity of "the beast," the fanatical religious government empire of the latter days that has been reborn from the oppression of the Ottoman Empire, emerging, opposing and surrounding Israel before all of our post 9/11 eyes.

The beast does not acknowledge The God of Israel nor their right to the Temple Mount, Jerusalem, Judea and Samaria or any part of the land promised by God's covenant to Abraham, Isaac and Jacob.

By their service in the Roman military, the "Legion" recruits were granted the rights of Roman citizenship according to historical records. Check this source: . There are many others as well that you can find on your own.
"The realms of so-called 'client kings' were largely seen as an extended part of the Roman empire. Very often these royal houses owed their position to Rome. As part of the arrangement between Rome and the client kingdoms, the kings had to provide troops for Roman campaigns. It was therefore not uncommon for the troops of such kings to fight alongside Roman forces in battle against the enemy.

For example Titus' army in Judaea was accompanied by forces of Agrippa II (Palestine), Sohaemus (Emesa) and Antiochus IV (Commagene) in AD 70. Some of the troops from these client kingdoms were even trained in a fashion similar to that of Romans, in order to be more effective on the battlefield when working in union with real Roman forces.

The annexation of Galatia as a Roman province brought the thirty cohorts of King Deiotarus under Roman command and saw them formed into a Roman legion (Legion XXII). Though this was clearly an exception. The vast majority of troops from annexed client kingdoms became auxiliary forces."
So, with that jolt to your sense of Roman Legions, let's take a quick look at Daniel 9. We will start there because after all, at the end of this chapter are the words cited by many of today's "prophecy" teachers giving mis-information related to a proposed end-time global "peace treaty" of a so-called E.U. anti-christ...

It's time to wipe our trained opinions for a moment and study true "Legion" history and then re-read Daniel asking what is the "peace treaty" and is there an E.U. antichrist to come?
“And he will confirm the covenant with many for one week:” Daniel 9:27
I’d like to ask you to consider something very important about God’s word… aren't “covenants” made with God’s people by The Almighty God of Israel and not with others? As you ponder that question, keep in mind, a Biblical covenant (Hebrew = bĕriyth) requires the shedding of blood.

So, in the Hebrew tradition of asking a question to seek the truth, is it possible for you to reconsider the "covenant" and the "week" of Daniel 9? Might we reconsider that Daniel describes the very same covenant he mentions just a few verses earlier in the chapter?

Go back and look at the beginning:
“And I prayed unto the LORD my God, and made my confession, and said, O Lord, the great and dreadful God, keeping the covenant and mercy to them that love him, and to them that keep his commandments” Daniel 9:4
Daniel is talking about the "covenant" of mercy given to Israel in the wilderness from the fire at the mountaintop: "the covenant of the LORD God of their fathers, which God made with them when He brought them forth out of the land of Egypt."

Daniel is writing about the eternal covenant of lovingkindness, mercy and forgiveness given at Mount Sinai to the people Israel after they broke the first covenant by worshipping the golden calf! Not some end time peace treaty.

Now, before we dig in further, let's go to the beginning of Daniel and look at it historically.

Daniel chapters 1-4 deal with the reign of the historic head of gold, Babylon's King Nebuchadnezzar. These four chapters clearly look to be written and numbered by publishers in sequential order according to the story line of Nebuchadnezzar during Judah's exile. This is seen in Daniel's dairy-like time-frame, but following these opening chapters, Daniel writes of the other rulers of Babylon and the time lines can seem a bit confusing, after all that was a long time ago.

Let's look at the introduction and sequencing of these subsequent "chapters" to orient ourselves.

First, we must consider, Daniel did not write a codex of contiguous "chapters" as we do today. In fact, Daniel did not write a "book" at all, he wrote his accounts and visions on scrolls. His words were penned continuously but at different, varying time periods, like flashbacks in a movie as noted by the kingly reigns he introduces in the beginning of each message.

Remember, if Daniel were with us today and he wanted to gather up all his writings to review them with us, Daniel would not have a chapter and verse numbered "book" to read. Instead, he would have a scroll.

So, it appears the proper way to discern the historic order of each message means we need to consider the dating shown at the beginning of each vision. The accounts of the time periods and rulers were recorded dutifully in the scroll. Logically, one would think that Daniel put these time markers in his writings for a reason. Otherwise, perhaps no one but Daniel would discern the order in which each prophetic scroll was to unfold.

So, as we look at the opening words and consider them, keep in mind Daniel provided no verse or chapter number as we separate the messages today. Daniel had no publisher, no editor, no word processor or blog. Daniel recorded his experiences and visions over the years and he even recorded his writings in two different languages, some chapters are in Aramaic and others Hebrew.

Daniel 2:4 to 7:28 are recorded in Chaldee Aramaic, that's just over half of the scroll. Certainly, none were ever written in Greek or English!

Chapters 2-7 are linked to the storyline of Daniel's life and times. After chapter 7, the scroll shifts from Aramaic script to Hebrew for the remainder of the visions and prophecies experienced by Daniel. Aramaic was a bridge language, a dialect used by those speaking to both the Babylonian and Persian Empires, Hebrew was and is the language of the Hebrew people and its focus is on Israel and its people.

Fortunately, for validation, eight (8) sets of the scrolls of Daniel have been found among the Dead Sea scrolls within the caves of Qumran, Israel since 1947. They were discovered by Bedouin shepherds Jum'a and Muhammed ed-Dib as the Hebrew language was restored and the Jewish people to Promised Land of Israel.

These discoveries have destroyed the doubting words of earlier so-called Biblical scholars before the 1950's that said the prophetic timelines of Daniel regarding the Prince and the Messiah to come were too accurate, too precise to be written 500 years before Jesus walked and taught Torah in the Promised Land. Their theories remind me of today's E.U. anti-christ proponents.

Before Qumran, the naysayers based their assumptions on doubt claiming that the author could not have possibly known such precise details. These were people that had said the words of Daniel "had to" be written "after the fact" in the second century and passed on. These Bible experts were proven dead wrong as they claimed that the prophetic words of Daniel could not have been recorded before the first century and they mistakenly gave weight to the mixture of Aramaic and Hebrew as proof of a later date.

Thanks to the discoveries at the caves of Qumran, these men have all been found to be false teachers. Other witnesses prove Daniel was well-known. Both 1st Maccabees (2:59) and Baruch (1:15-3:3) allude to the record of Daniel.

Daniel's famous 70 week prophecy that gives the exact timing of the first coming of Messiah followed by the destruction of Jerusalem and The Temple sanctuary given to Daniel was fulfilled according to the Gabriel timeline:
"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. 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." Daniel 9:25-26
As noted, the scrolls of Qumran also show Daniel's message was not written in a single common language due to the shift from Aramaic and Hebrew.

Aramaic is a little-understood language today, as you have seen, it is actually ancient Chaldean, yet it survives. So do the Chaldean people.

Believe it or not, the largest group of people that still use this language are based in Sweden. There are Aramaean Syriac churches all across Sweden as a witness to this. The Swedish Language Council says Sweden has one of the largest exile communities of Assyrian and Syriac Christians (also known as Chaldeans) with a population of around 100,000. Södertälje, which has the largest group of Assyrians than any other city in Europe, is home to 22,000 Assyrians, and 40,000 live in Stockholm County alone. This website link provides a global population breakdown: A total of 550,000 Assyrians live in Europe today with about the same count in the U.S. The largest Assyrian-Chaldean diaspora communities today are those of Södertälje, Sweden as well as Chicago and Detroit.

Before the discoveries of the scrolls at Qumran, there were no Hebrew or Aramaic manuscript copies of Daniel that were dated earlier than the late tenth-century A.D. The eight Dead Sea manuscripts of Daniel are very consistent among themselves, containing very few variations. The good news is this means that we now solid proof of a faithful record of the prophecies revealed to Daniel over 25 centuries ago.

So, let's get moving and review the order of Daniel. For reference, we will look at the assembly of the chapter numbering of the scrolls from the translators who ordered them.

Chapter 9 is the focus of many prophecy students, so let's look there first at the historic timeline given in Daniel 9:1:
"In the first year of Darius the son of Ahasuerus, of the seed of the Medes, which was made king over the realm of the Chaldeans"
Chapter 7 is another chapter that has the focus of many prophecy students, so let's look to the beginning of Daniel 7:1 where we read:
"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."
Now consider... Belshazzar was king of Babylon at the time of its fall to the Medes. Daniel interpreted the writing on the wall for Belshazzar and then the Medes crossed the river and killed King Belshazzar. This event is recorded in Daniel chapter 5.

Hum... did you see that? Belshazzar was killed in chapter 5, but if this is the same Belshazzar, there he is again in chapter 7. Perhaps this is a flashback? Let's look as more information unfolds. Besides his appearance in Daniel 7, Belshazzar is noted in these verses: Daniel 5:1,22,30 as well as Daniel 8:1. So let's take a look:
Daniel 5:1 Belshazzar the king made a great feast to a thousand of his lords, and drank wine before the thousand.

Daniel 5:22 And thou his son, O Belshazzar, hast not humbled thine heart, though thou knewest all this;

Daniel 5:30 In that night was Belshazzar the king of the Chaldeans slain.

Daniel 8:1 In the third year of the reign of king Belshazzar a vision appeared unto me, [even unto] me Daniel, after that which appeared unto me at the first.
Now, let's go forward to Daniel chapter 9 to check out Darius. The scroll tells us of the timeline of Darius the Mede in the first verse. Darius was the king that took control of Babylon after Belshazzar was killed.

We might consider that Daniel put these leaders names in his scrolls so that we could follow the prophetic story along a timeline tracking the sequence of the events and the places he describes. Tis is important to consider the future.

Daniel tells us Darius the Mede ruled Babylon. History tells us Cyrus the Persian ruled Babylon after Darius.

Other verses that Daniel wrote of Darius the Mede other than chapter 9 include:
Daniel 6:1 It pleased Darius to set over the kingdom a hundred and twenty princes, which should be over the whole kingdom;

Daniel 6:28 So this Daniel prospered in the reign of Darius, and in the reign of Cyrus the Persian.

Daniel 11:1 Also I in the first year of Darius the Mede, [even] I, stood to confirm and to strengthen him.

Now, consider the possibility of a flashback... since Belshazzar was "killed" in chapter 5, why do we see him "alive" in later chapters of the book of Daniel?

We find him in chapters 6, 7 and 8 as well as chapters 9 and 11.

Each speak of Darius as running the show in Babylon. The prophetic message then is that events in Babylon were important 2,500 years ago and they will be important in our future. What we need is an "increase of knowledge" in the latter days to understand God's word and Daniel was given that very promise.

Amazingly, the eyes of many Bible students shifted back to Babylon after 9/11. In fact, the U.S. built its biggest, most expensive and heavily fortified U.S. Embassy on the planet there along the Tigris River.

If knowledge is to increase, we have to understand things, yet while it seems confusing at first, chapter 10 which is a continuation of the Ram and Goat battle vision, and it speaks of King Cyrus, not Darius.

"Cyrus the Great" was the great ruler that ordained by his Persian decree that the Jewish people could end the exile and return to Jerusalem and rebuild the Temple. This is seen in 2Chronicles 36, Ezra 1:1-4 and Ezra 6:3 at the end of 70 years of exile declared in Jeremiah 25. Ezra 2:64 and Nehemiah 7:66 state that 42,360 exiles returned to Jerusalem in addition to their servants and began the restoration, but this decree is not THE "decree" of the counting to Messiah given as seven, sixty-two and seven weeks.

The decree that counts is God Almighty's decree, you can read it in Zechariah 1:16 and Haggai 1:1-2.

This had to happen in the timing of the Almighty's decree noted by Zechariah with the measuring line of Messiah:

"Then after the sixty-two weeks the Messiah will be cut off..."

Cyrus is still a big deal in the Bible and he provides a connection with YHVH's decree and Messiah. Isaiah wrote about Cyrus by name at least 150 years before he was born. Cyrus showed great favor on the Jewish people and he ended the Babylon exile after 70 years.

Earlier, we noted the fact that Biblical prophecy is dimensional and in cycles. Those prophetic cycles run in sevens so Daniel was given a message about a cycle of seventy sevens (Shemittah ) that is greatly misunderstood.

The order of Daniel can seem confusing too.

In addition, the order of the Christian canon of the Bible we read today is confusing because the men of the Bible connect to Messiah's first trip to the planet but it can be missed due to the order of the modern Biblical canon. I like to call the order of the Bible Jesus read, Messiah's Bible. The order of the Bible Jesus read and taught is the same order of the Bible the Jewish people remain faithful to today.

The book of Luke tells us it was Jesus' custom to attend synagogue on the Sabbath. This is noted in Luke 4:16.

In the order of the Bible Jesus studied each Sabbath, the scroll of Chronicles was located at the end of the Hebrew Scriptures. The order of the last three scrolls looked like this:

  1. Daniel
  2. Ezra-Nehemiah
  3. Chronicles

There's a reason, these books point toward Messiah.

Chronicles is now divided into two books. It starts out with the Bible's storyline by providing a big list of historic Biblical genealogies. The same list is summarized in three sets of 14 notable generations in Matthew 1.

Like Matthew's opening, the purpose of Chronicles is to give hope in God’s eternal promise given to David by Nathan for a king, a new Jerusalem and a restored Israel. Nathan gave these prophecies "before" David triumphed over the Philistines and that fact is prophetic of Messiah second coming.

Nathan's words are a Messianic prophecy:

"When your days are complete and you lie down with your fathers, I will raise up your descendant after you, who will come forth from you, and I will establish his kingdom. He shall build a house for My name, and I will establish the throne of his kingdom forever. I will be a father to him and he will be a son to Me..." 2 Samuel 7:12-14 
"Your house and your kingdom shall endure before Me forever; your throne shall be established forever.” In accordance with all these words and all this vision, so Nathan spoke to David. 2 Samuel 7:17 

The seemingly hidden focus on the ancestry of Chronicles is on David's future successor and God’s covenant promise of the Messiah King that would come. That is why Chronicles is the perfect fit flowing into Matthew's introduction because the focus of the chronicle of the people named there points us right toward God’s promise to David that was delivered by Nathan for an everlasting King.

This is the very same promise of the seed that is seen in Genesis 3:15 as well as Genesis 22:18 that would come through David's family line of Judah.

When you read the last portion of the scroll in 2Chronicles 36 you’ll even see the connection to the timeline of the exile of 70 years because the Shemittah (7th year) rest of the land was not honored:

Then they burned the house of God and broke down the wall of Jerusalem, and burned all its fortified buildings with fire and destroyed all its valuable articles. Those who had escaped from the sword he carried away to Babylon; and they were servants to him and to his sons until the rule of the kingdom of Persia, to fulfill the word of the LORD by the mouth of Jeremiah, until the land had enjoyed its sabbaths. All the days of its desolation it kept sabbath until seventy years were complete. 2 Chronicles 36:19-21

Here Chronicles refers to Jeremiah 25:1-14, the very words that Daniel studied:

The word that came to Jeremiah concerning all the people of Judah, in the fourth year of Jehoiakim the son of Josiah, king of Judah (that was the first year of Nebuchadnezzar king of Babylon), which Jeremiah the prophet spoke to all the people of Judah and all the inhabitants of Jerusalem:   
“For twenty-three years, from the thirteenth year of Josiah the son of Amon, king of Judah, to this day, the word of the LORD has come to me, and I have spoken persistently to you, but you have not listened.  You have neither listened nor inclined your ears to hear, although the LORD persistently sent to you all his servants the prophets,  saying, ‘Turn now, every one of you, from his evil way and evil deeds, and dwell upon the land that the LORD has given to you and your fathers from of old and forever.  Do not go after other gods to serve and worship them, or provoke me to anger with the work of your hands. Then I will do you no harm.’  Yet you have not listened to me, declares the LORD, that you might provoke me to anger with the work of your hands to your own harm. 
“Therefore thus says the LORD of hosts: Because you have not obeyed my words,  behold, I will send for all the tribes of the North, declares the LORD, and for Nebuchadnezzar the king of Babylon, my servant, and I will bring them against this land and its inhabitants, and against all these surrounding nations. I will devote them to destruction, and make them a horror, a hissing, and an everlasting desolation. Moreover, I will banish from them the voice of mirth and the voice of gladness, the voice of the bridegroom and the voice of the bride, the grinding of the millstones and the light of the lamp.   
This whole land shall become a ruin and a waste, and these nations shall serve the king of Babylon seventy years.   
Then after seventy years are completed, I will punish the king of Babylon and that nation, the land of the Chaldeans, for their iniquity, declares the LORD, making the land an everlasting waste.  I will bring upon that land all the words that I have uttered against it, everything written in this book, which Jeremiah prophesied against all the nations. For many nations and great kings shall make slaves even of them, and I will recompense them according to their deeds and the work of their hands.”

The 70 years of exile is tied directly to the dishonor of Jubilee years in Israel’s 490 (70 x 7) year history from King David up to the exile to Babylon. The Babylonian exile lasted 70 years, one year for each dishonored Shemittah.

But then YHVH made a decree for restoration after 70 years and Messiah's arrival would be marked by the announcement of a coming Jubilee by Messiah in a synagogue in Nazareth. Read Luke 4 and you will see the reading of Isaiah and the proclamation of the favorable year of The Lord.

Cyrus' proclamation reads:

"Now in the first year of Cyrus king of Persia, that the word of the LORD by the mouth of Jeremiah might be fulfilled, the LORD stirred up the spirit of Cyrus king of Persia, so that he made a proclamation throughout all his kingdom and also put it in writing: “Thus says Cyrus king of Persia, ‘The LORD, the God of heaven, has given me all the kingdoms of the earth, and he has charged me to build him a house at Jerusalem, which is in Judah. Whoever is among you of all his people, may the LORD his God be with him. Let him go up.’” 2 Chronicles 36:22-23

But when we dig in and study we can see it is not actually Cyrus that connects the timeline for the first arrival of the Messiah, it is God Almighty that sets the prophetic time and we find this proclamation in Zechariah, not Chronicles:

"Therefore thus says the LORD, 'I will return to Jerusalem with compassion; My house will be built in it,' declares the LORD of hosts, 'and a measuring line will be stretched over Jerusalem.'” Zechariah 1:16

Open Daniel 9 and as you read, imagine that you can see Daniel praying in Babylon after reading the scroll of Jeremiah, which proclaims the 70-year timeline of exile. While praying, the messenger of God appears to Daniel with a promise connected but not seen as Zechariah 1 and Haggai 1 are not mentioned in Daniel 9:2, but are they really hidden or revealed?

"I, Daniel, observed in the books the number of the years which was revealed as the word of the LORD to Jeremiah the prophet for the completion of the desolations of Jerusalem..."

"Know therefore and understand that from the going out of the word to restore and build Jerusalem to the coming of an anointed one, a prince, there shall be seven weeks. Then for sixty-two weeks it shall be built again with squares and moat, but in a troubled time. And after the sixty-two weeks, an anointed one shall be cut off and shall have nothing.
And the people of the prince who is to come shall destroy the city and the sanctuary. Its end shall come with a flood, and to the end there shall be war. Desolations are decreed." Daniel 9:25-26

Daniel was told there are a series of Shemittah years before the Messiah of the Kingdom of God was to come. He was also told that Jerusalem will see destruction again and Judah will go into dispersion until the time before Messiah's return and the ultimate redemption when the Messiah of God returns as King to restore Jerusalem and the Kingdom once and for all.

Why two trips for Messiah?

That answer can be seen in king David and Absalom's story. It is described in the book we call Samuel. King David fled Jerusalem when Absalom was chosen by others just as Barabbas was chosen as shown in Matthew 27, but David came back restored as king as will Yeshua.

Yeshua ascended the Mount of Olives just a David did and Yeshua faced his conspirator Judas there with the Roman soldiers just as David faced Shimei, the son of Gera:

And the men of Judah came, and there they anointed David king over the house of Judah. 2Samuel 2:4
And David knew that the LORD had established him king over Israel, and that he had exalted his kingdom for the sake of his people Israel. 2Samuel 5:12 
But Absalom sent secret messengers throughout all the tribes of Israel, saying, “As soon as you hear the sound of the trumpet, then say, ‘Absalom is king at Hebron!’” With Absalom went two hundred men from Jerusalem who were invited guests, and they went in their innocence and knew nothing. And while Absalom was offering the sacrifices, he sent for Ahithophel the Gilonite, David’s counselor, from his city Giloh. 
And the conspiracy grew strong, and the people with Absalom kept increasing.
And a messenger came to David, saying, “The hearts of the men of Israel have gone after Absalom.” Then David said to all his servants who were with him at Jerusalem, “Arise, and let us flee, or else there will be no escape for us from Absalom. Go quickly, lest he overtake us quickly and bring down ruin on us and strike the city with the edge of the sword. 2Samuel 15:10-14
When King David came to Bahurim, there came out a man of the family of the house of Saul, whose name was Shimei, the son of Gera, and as he came he cursed continually. And he threw stones at David and at all the servants of King David, and all the people and all the mighty men were on his right hand and on his left. And Shimei said as he cursed, “Get out, get out, you man of blood, you worthless man! 2Samuel 16:5-7 
And behold, the Cushite came, and the Cushite said, “Good news for my lord the king! For the LORD has delivered you this day from the hand of all who rose up against you.” The king said to the Cushite, “Is it well with the young man Absalom?” And the Cushite answered, “May the enemies of my lord the king and all who rise up against you for evil be like that young man.” And the king was deeply moved and went up to the chamber over the gate and wept. And as he went, he said, “O my son Absalom, my son, my son Absalom! Would I had died instead of you, O Absalom, my son, my son!” 2 Samuel 18:31-33

Now Israel had fled every man to his own home. 
And all the people were arguing throughout all the tribes of Israel, saying, “The king delivered us from the hand of our enemies and saved us from the hand of the Philistines, and now he has fled out of the land from Absalom. But Absalom, whom we anointed over us, is dead in battle. Now therefore why do you say nothing about bringing the king back?” 
And King David sent this message to Zadok and Abiathar the priests: “Say to the elders of Judah, ‘Why should you be the last to bring the king back to his house, when the word of all Israel has come to the king? You are my brothers; you are my bone and my flesh. Why then should you be the last to bring back the king?’ And say to Amasa, ‘Are you not my bone and my flesh? God do so to me and more also, if you are not commander of my army from now on in place of Joab.’” And he swayed the heart of all the men of Judah as one man, so that they sent word to the king, “Return, both you and all your servants.” So the king came back to the Jordan, and Judah came to Gilgal to meet the king and to bring the king over the Jordan.

And Shimei the son of Gera, the Benjaminite, from Bahurim, hurried to come down with the men of Judah to meet King David. And with him were a thousand men from Benjamin. And Ziba the servant of the house of Saul, with his fifteen sons and his twenty servants, rushed down to the Jordan before the king, and they crossed the ford to bring over the king’s household and to do his pleasure. And Shimei the son of Gera fell down before the king, as he was about to cross the Jordan, and said to the king, “Let not my lord hold me guilty or remember how your servant did wrong on the day my lord the king left Jerusalem. Do not let the king take it to heart. 2Samuel 19:8-18

Not only did Yeshua come from the family line of David. Yeshua fulfills the prophecy of Amos in His resurrection:

"In that day will I raise up the tabernacle of David that is fallen, and close up the breaches thereof; and I will raise up his ruins..." Amos 9:11

When we make the connection that after Barabbas was chosen to live, Judah as a people group still had another round of exile ahead of them before the kingdom of God returns as Yeshua returns and people say: “Let not my lord hold me guilty or remember how your servant did wrong on the day my lord the king left Jerusalem. Do not let the king take it to heart." 

Daniel's prayer is unfolding today and it started with the restoration of the land of Israel in 1948 and Jerusalem in 1967, the Temple Mount remains desolate of prayer but just for a little while longer:

“O Lord, according to all Your righteousness, I pray, let Your anger and Your fury be turned away from Your city Jerusalem, Your holy mountain; because for our sins, and for the iniquities of our fathers, Jerusalem and Your people are a reproach to all those around us. 
Now therefore, our God, hear the prayer of Your servant, and his supplications, and for the Lord’s sake cause Your face to shine on Your sanctuary, which is desolate. O my God, incline Your ear and hear; open Your eyes and see our desolations, and the city which is called by Your name; for we do not present our supplications before You because of our righteous deeds, but because of Your great mercies. O Lord, hear! O Lord, forgive! O Lord, listen and act! 
Do not delay for Your own sake, my God, for Your city and Your people are called by Your name.” Daniel 9:16-19

The rejection of the king will soon end, its almost time for Messiah King to return, O Lord, hear! O Lord, forgive! O Lord, listen and act!

Daniel was honored by the coming promise:

“At that time Michael shall stand up,
​​The great prince who stands watch over the sons of your people;
​​And there shall be a time of trouble,
​​Such as never was since there was a nation,
​​Even to that time.
​​And at that time your people shall be delivered,
​​Every one who is found written in the book.
And many of those who sleep in the dust of the earth shall awake,
​​Some to everlasting life,
​​Some to shame and everlasting contempt.
Those who are wise shall shine
​​Like the brightness of the firmament,
​​And those who turn many to righteousness
​​Like the stars forever and ever.

“But you, Daniel, shut up the words, and seal the book until the time of the end; many shall run to and fro, and knowledge shall increase. Daniel 12:1-4

In regard to Messiah's return consider Israel was restored as a latter day nation in 1948. God's word is powerful and it impacts history. It reveals the cycle of prophecy in advance.

There's a lot more to this so let's go back to Daniel and ask, why is Darius mentioned there in chapter 11? Shouldn't Cyrus the Persian appear on the scene as leader after Darius the Mede? Perhaps there's something going on in the chronology of the chapters and how that might tie into the future.

Let's look at chapter 10:
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. Daniel 10:1
Perhaps due to what appear as prophetic flashbacks, the chapters seem to be out of order if we use the names of the kings and rulers of Babylon, (today's Iraq) as sequence markers... why is this?

Perhaps we might we learn if more we realign history and the storyline along the names given by Daniel. Remember, the chapter numbers don't really exist in the scrolls of Daniel anyway. So if we review what we see, this might help us "unseal" the sealed end-time message of the book which is the  return of Messiah The King.

First, let's see where the scroll that was found as a separate scroll at Qumran (Daniel chapter 12) might fit into Daniel's prophetic storyline of the end days...

Remember Daniel chapter 10 is synced with the Persian King Cyrus the great king. The end of 10th chapter speaks of Michael "your prince." Michael, or Miyka'el means "who is like God." Here we see that the messenger "who is like God" may give Daniel the promise of a prophetic latter-day rescue for Israel as Persia (Iran) threatens their survival:
"Then said he, Knowest thou wherefore I come unto thee? and now will I return to fight with the prince of Persia: and when I am gone forth, lo, the prince of Grecia shall come. But I will shew thee that which is noted in the scripture of truth: and [there is] none that holdeth with me in these things, but Michael your prince." Daniel 10:20-21
Before we unroll the scroll to chapter 12, take a minute to think about what Daniel hears as Gabriel is speaking of the "one" that helps him, the "great prince" who is like God. Names are important in the Bible and since "Michael" literally means "who is like God". The great prince "who is like God" is THE focus of this message.

If you are a Believer and someone asked you today… "who is like God", what would be the name you would give? Think about that, what's your answer... is it Jesus, Yeshua the Messiah?

Michael it seems is a shadow picture of Messiah "who is like God."

Now, if you look closely you may notice chapter 11 and 12 continues in the theme where chapter 10 left off regarding Michael ("who is like God") when it states:
And at that time shall Michael stand up, the great prince which standeth for the children of thy people: and there shall be a time of trouble, such as never was since there was a nation [even] to that same time: and at that time thy people shall be delivered, every one that shall be found written in the book.

And many of them that sleep in the dust of the earth shall awake, some to everlasting life, and some to shame [and] everlasting contempt. Daniel 12:1-2
This is the same resurrection hope in the promise found in the book of Revelation. Daniel 11 and Daniel 12 describes that this follows after the king of the North clashes with the king of the South and moves to desecrate Jerusalem and the Temple Mount for the last time in the prophetic cycle before Messiah returns. I appears to be a virtual re-run of Antiochus' battle with the Maccabees and the desolation brought on Jerusalem by the Legions of Titus.

The king of the North and the king of the South is presented as a confrontation of religious ideals described in Daniel 11 as... "kings shall arise in Persia." This can be seen today as the Middle East is divided between a Shi’ite kingdom of the North (Iran) and a Sunni kingdom of the South (Saudi Arabia). Islam is divided like toes of iron and clay between North and South over their vastly different interpretations and aspirations for leadership of the Islamic world in the Middle East, i.e. the objective for religious and government rule by a Caliphate.

Today's North-South split among the Islamist nations is between the Sunni majority led by Saudi Arabia and the Shia minority led by Iran and don't forget the Palestinians, Hamas and Hezbollah are proxy allies of Iran.

Of the total Muslim population, about 15% are Persian Shia Muslims and some 85% are Arab Sunni Muslims.

Let's look at the vision Daniel witnessed: "Then the king of the south, moved with rage, shall come out and fight against the king of the north."

And it seems the navy of the "West" (Kittim) will be engaged in conflict: "For ships of Kittim shall come against him, and he shall be afraid and withdraw, and shall turn back and be enraged and take action against the holy covenant. He shall turn back and pay attention to those who forsake the holy covenant."

That holy covenant in part is the one that started with Abraham, aka the promised land.

Daniel references the ships of Kittim. This reference is nothing new, it comes direct from the third prophetic oracle of Balaam in the book of Exodus when Balaam lifted up his eyes and saw Israel camping tribe by tribe. And the Spirit of Elohim came upon him, and he took up his discourse and said:

"Come, I will let you know what this people will do to your people in the latter days.” 
“Alas, who shall live when Elohim does this?
    But ships shall come from Kittim
and shall afflict Asshur and Eber;
    and he too shall come to utter destruction.”
Numbers 24:14; Numbers 24:24

Balaam tells king Balak that he is only saying what YHVH has told him to say.

The ships from Kittim will afflict Asshur and today Asshur is still known as the location of settlement of Ishmael's descendants in the area near Baghdad, Iraq where they lived in aggression toward all the tribes related to them.

Most will agree we are living in the latter day so pay attention...

Just five years ago in 2003, the Iraq war also called the Second Persian Gulf War, broke out as an armed conflict with the invasion of Shi’ite Iraq by a United States led coalition that in devastation overthrew the government of Saddam Hussein.  When U.S., British and coalition troops poured into to Iraq in March 2003 two years after 9/11 fearful of weapons of mass destruction, they were just a fraction of the number of troops deployed in 1991 to defend Kuwait because they relied on the overwhelming military technology of the U.S. led coalition (the realm of Greece).

Today, the Shi’ite's are a powerful coalition of Islamic nations that cause nothing but trouble today with aggression with the Arab Sunni tribes related to them in the religion of Ishmael's descendants. They are led in the North by Iran with Iraq, Pakistan, Azerbaijan, Syria and even Lebanon can be considered since the scenic nation has been infused by Hezbollah as a militant proxy of Iran and backed in many ways by Russia's war machine.

Not only that, since its revolution in 1979, the Islamic Republic of Iran has been led by two Supreme Leaders, Grand Ayatollahs Ali Khamenei and his predecessor Ruhollah Khomeini.

Iran's supreme Persian leader is the highest ranking political and religious authority of Iran and the armed forces including Iran's navy with many ships along the Persian Gulf.

The judicial system, education and all media are also under the Supreme Leader's control.

In Iran, only the Supreme Leader can declare war and peace. The role is indeed that of the Persian king of the North.

Daniel 11:2 states: "And now I will tell you the truth. Behold, three more kings are going to arise in Persia. Then a fourth will gain far more riches than all of them; as soon as he becomes strong through his riches, he will arouse the whole empire against the realm of Greece."

If this speaks of Iran's Supreme Leaders as well as Saddam Hussein then are we are close to this prophecy recorded by Daniel that points toward a fourth leader?

Ruhollah Khomeini and Saddam Hussein are no longer with us and Ali Khamenei has led Iran since 1989 and his tenure in 2008 is naturally approaching its latter days. After all, he will turn 70 in six months. Is it possible there is just more to go before the words of Daniel 11:3 ring true - - he will rule with great authority and do as he pleases?

Could doing as he pleases include obtaining weans of mass destruction with nuclear warfare capability from Russia?

Looking south, the Sunni Islamic coalition is led by Saudi Arabia and its Sunni Arab allies include nations such as Egypt, Jordan, Libya, Ethiopia, Algeria, Kuwait, Mauritania, Morocco, Oman, Sudan, Tunisia, and the United Arab Emirates mostly backed by the United States. Not only that, the leader of Saudi Arabia is indeed a king and the nation's rule includes its princes much like the words of Daniel 11:5.

Israel, the tiny glorious, beautiful land stands in the middle, like a dividing line between Sunni and Shia descendants of Ishmael.
“At the time of the end, the king of the South shall attack him, but the king of the north shall rush upon him like a whirlwind, with chariots and horsemen, and with many ships. And he shall come into countries and shall overflow and pass through. He shall come into the glorious land. And tens of thousands shall fall, but these shall be delivered out of his hand: Edom and Moab and the main part of the Ammonites." Daniel 11:40-41
An end-day battle is on the horizon but don't forget, more importantly there is an end-time delivery, resurrection and restoration to righteousness described in Daniel chapter 12:
"And many of them that sleep in the dust of the earth shall awake, some to everlasting life, and some to shame [and] everlasting contempt. And they that be wise shall shine as the brightness of the firmament; and they that turn many to righteousness as the stars for ever and ever." Daniel 12:2-3
To link the narrative given in the opening of chapter 12, let's consider we may need to go back to the end of chapter 10 to link the sequence of the gospel message of "the Prince" to come.

Take notice too, how Daniel is told that understanding as to latter-days, end times will come.

In this North-South conflict of Persian Shiite and Arab Sunni, we might see that Daniel's understanding is sequential (chapter 10 to chapter 12). The end time message is built comparing one king to another.

First, because of his faithfulness and prayer, Daniel was told about the time line to the end of the exile of Judah in Babylon. To top it off, Daniel was given the countdown of years to Messiah's death and resurrection again in the Spring Feasts before the destruction of the old city of Jerusalem and the Temple sanctuary.

Have you noticed the cycle?

Daniel was prophetically shown Jerusalem's destruction by Titus' Legions in Daniel chapter 10. In chapter 12, the prophecy fast forwards as Daniel is told of the coming events of the latter day 'end time' fulfillment of the time of trouble first noted by Balaam, another cycle that shows us God truly declares the end from the beginning.

Take note, declaring the end from the beginning meets the very definition of a cycle.

Daniel portrays the days that prophetically mark tribulation events at the time of the end of the exile and dispersion of all Israel around the globe that will be rescued by Messiah, "who is like God" when He returns to Jerusalem at His second coming to defend the Jewish people. We can know this speaks of the Jewish people because the tribes taken to Babylon we of Judah, Benjamin and Levi:

And at that time shall Michael stand up, the great prince which standeth for the children of thy people: and there shall be a time of trouble, such as never was since there was a nation [even] to that same time: and at that time thy people shall be delivered, every one that shall be found written in the book. Daniel 12:1

These latter days will engage the fulfillment of God's plan, the Fall Feasts starting with the first day of Tishrei and the Day of Trumpets, the ten days of awe, the Day of Atonement... the day of covering before the victory celebration week of Shavuot, the Feast of Tabernacles.

Perhaps the latter days are preceded by events already marked in the cycle of Jewish history and the cycle of events on the 9th of Av. On Tisha B'Av, the Temple of Solomon was destroyed in 585BC on the 9th of Av by Babylon's king Nebuchadnezzar and again by Rome's Titus in 70AD.

This prophetic, appointed Feast cycle that the book of Daniel points us toward should not be confusing. We don't need to be confounded about the cycles or the mention of the "stars of righteousness" either. After all, in like fashion, they are a prophetic picture of the same "stars" (the descendants of faith) that were revealed to Abraham by God Almighty:
"That in blessing I will bless thee, and in multiplying I will multiply thy seed as the stars of the heaven, and as the sand which [is] upon the sea shore; and thy seed shall possess the gate of his enemies" Genesis 22:17

"And I will make thy seed to multiply as the stars of heaven, and will give unto thy seed all these countries; and in thy seed shall all the nations of the earth be blessed" Genesis 26:4
So, what shall befall the people of faith living in God's covenant land in the latter days??
Now I am come to make thee understand what shall befall thy people in the latter days: for yet the vision [is] for [many] days. Daniel 10:14
This is another reference to Balaam's prophecy of the latter days and point of this commentary is that if we are to ever unseal Daniel's messages we need to consider the order of the scrolls and the order of historic events and where they occur.

By simply reading the opening lines of each chapter, it appears that chapters 7, 10 and 12 of Daniel focus on the time of the end, the latter days of "restoration" foretold in Ezekiel 37 and Hosea 2. And if we look closely, we can see that Daniel 9 deals with the time of the humble Messiah's life crucifixion and return as well as the end of Judah’s time in Jerusalem and the Temple's destruction by the armies of the Roman Legions in 70 AD.

We might also understand that chapters 10 and 12 are a prophetic summary of the two kingdoms, or people of the "end-time" that will rule over Assyria and Babylon. Today, Babylon is labeled Iraq on the map and the Medes are now called the Kurds and of course there is Iran to the North and Saudi Arabia to the South.

What goes around comes around. I believe it's possible the book of Daniel will be unsealed in the Middle East headlines of post-Iraq war news as American and coalition troops withdraw protection, law and order from this ancient land of which includes Nineveh. Chaos will break out and perhaps the Medes (Kurds) will play another vital role as the conflict between the Sunni and Shī'ah sects of Islam unfold prophetically.

If so, we should look for a resurgence of sorts of the kingdoms of the Medes and Persians but in a crude, evil form. After all, iron and bronze do not equal gold or silver.

So far, we have ignored the storyline of the 8th chapter, but in a deeper study on Daniel 8, we should re-evaluate the final opposing radical latter day kingdom that divides like iron and clay.

There are keys found in the words in Daniel 10.

Look at the sequence of the battles that are described. A man clothed in linen, whose loins were girded with fine gold of Uphaz tells Daniel that he is returning to fight the prince of Persia, but once he is gone - the prince of Grecia or Yavan "shall come", this future aspect is from the Hebrew word "bow." This s important because the "key" prophecy here from the messenger of heaven is found in the phrase "shall come" notice he does not say "has come."

Using the NASB translation, let's take a look at the messenger's words to Daniel at the conclusion of chapter 9 verses 25-29. Also consider that chapter 9 deals with Messiah's crucifixion and the subsequent end of Judah's control of Jerusalem by murderous destruction that came from The Legions of Rome in 70 AD.

And there is more. If we know what 'really happened', we might know what 'will happen'. To know that, we must also know who the people, the Legions of Titus' Roman Legions really were in 70 AD. The identity of the 'Legions' is REALLY important as it will tell us more about the people that come against Jerusalem in these latter days. Remember, God declares the end from the beginning (see Isaiah 46:10).

Let's look at Daniel's words in chapter 9 with some [inserts] for "possible" discernment on the first fulfillment of Daniel's prophecy:
So you are to know and discern that from the issuing of a decree [first given by King Artaxerxes to Ezra] to restore and rebuild Jerusalem until Messiah the Prince [Yeshua-Jesus] there will be seven weeks and sixty-two weeks [49 years + 434 years = 483 years]; it will be built again [the walls of Jerusalem rebuilt by Nehemiah], with plaza and moat, even in times of distress [Sanballat the Horonite and Tobiah the Ammonite oppressed Nehemiah]. Daniel 9:25-29
It is important to know that a "Horonite" was from Bethoron. They worshiped the Canaanite god Horon.

God declares the end from the beginning. Did you know that today, the two Palestinian-Muslim villages of Beit Ur al-Foqa‎, "Upper house of straw" and Beit Ur al-Tahta‎, "Lower house of straw" preserve part of the original Canaanite name for the towns Upper and Lower Bethoron?

Let's look closely at the text and [re-consider] more:
"Then after the sixty-two weeks the Messiah will be cut off [crucifixion] and have nothing, and the people [Arabs, Syrians and Egyptians] of the prince [Titus] who is to come will destroy the city [Jerusalem] and the sanctuary [the Holy of Holies - the Temple]. And its end will come with a flood; even to the end there will be war; desolations are determined [desolations for Jerusalem and as history tells us, for the Roman people too].

"And he [Yeshua-Jesus] will make a firm covenant [the covenant of eternal life] with the many [believers] for one week [Passover week. The week lamb of God was inspected 4 days in Jerusalem, then following death of the lamb of God Yeshua-Jesus, He arose on the third day, the day of First Fruits], but in the middle of the week Passover crucifixion day] he will put a stop to sacrifice and grain offering [Yeshua-Jesus is the ultimate offering. Sacrifices and offering stopped 40 years later in 70 AD with the destruction of the Temple and it altar];

And...on the wing of abominations will come one [Titus] who makes desolate, even until a complete destruction, one that is decreed [prophesied by Messiah as recorded in Matthew 24] is poured out on the one who makes desolate."
God tells us that He placed His name in Jerusalem and chose The Temple Mount.

For the sake of His name, He will also not let those that offend Jerusalem go unpunished. And always keep in mind, like the Feast Days of YHVH, prophecy is cyclical. That's what declaring the end from the beginning is referencing.

God tells us what goes around comes around.

There is another abomination coming to Jerusalem, Jesus warned that would happen, it's a part of the cycle but that is for another study. The conclusion of seventy weeks have a future too and they are tied to understanding dividing of North and South as well as the Feast Days and the covenant instruction of The Lord that always uses sevens throughout the word of God.

Many call the last Spring Feast many call "Pentecost" due to the 50 days of counting. The Jewish people properly call it Shavuot. Shavuot is from the Hebrew word meaning which is "weeks". God tells us:
"And your shall observe the feast of weeks of the first fruits of wheat harvest, and the feast of in-gathering..." Exodus 34:22
We are to observe these appointed days.

If we simply realize that there is one Feast "of weeks" a year, then can we observe that seventy of these "weeks" is, well... 70 years of Shavuot feast days. With that observation, Daniel 9:24-25 might also be considered as:
Seventy [feasts of] 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.

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.
When did a man's decree last bring forth a commandment to restore Jerusalem?

Could there be a tie to U.N. Resolution 181?

Resolution 181 is the U.N. decree, the resolution that went forth on none other than a Sabbath day: November 29, 1947. Do we need to consider that day as a part of the storyline of Daniel?

If so, are we to count and add 69 years to watch for Jerusalem in times of trouble all around Israel that includes the division of Shia and Sunni in the North and the South?

If so, that time to watch may arrive after November 2016. Come to think of it, that will follow an election year in the U.S. and as usual the United Nations will meet again. It will be the 70th year of the international gathering of the nations in New York at the UN.

Most Bible scholars say Daniel describes 69 weeks of years. Consider, the nation of Israel was declared by the UN on November 29, 1947. Although not weeks of years, if we simply add 69 calendar years to that 1947 date we arrive again at 2016 and it is potentially a Jubilee, a year of restoration. Perhaps as a nation, Israel will begin to see restoration in relationships that have remained broken for a long time.

If we add 70 Biblical years from the Hebrew calendar, we arrive at the same time, the end of 2017 and the focus of conflict may well be on the North and the South.

As we saw in Daniel 9:25, Daniel states: "the street shall be built again, and the wall, even in troublous times."

The Hebrew word for "street" seen here in Daniel is "rĕchob" it actually means open place or plaza.

Do you know the location of a key plaza with a "wall" in Jerusalem today? Do you think that people call the Kotel, the "plaza" by the Western Wall" this name by chance or coincidence? It is the plaza area near the Western Wall that is considered the base of the Temple Mount.

Let that soak in and let's look back to the Roman destroyer Titus. He was "poured out."

This is a prophetic description used in the book of Daniel. To understand this, we might consider what actually happened to Titus "the Roman" after he destroyed Jerusalem, its 600,000 citizens as well as the Temple and the altar where Titus in an act of abomination and desecration to God's authority sacrificed to the Roman idols that he had placed within the Temple court.

Much like Sodom and Gomorrah, destruction and desolation were "poured out" a few short years later on the reign of Titus. Again, in God's world, what goes around comes around. Here's what happened:

Titus returned to Rome in June of 71AD after he burned Jerusalem to the ground and left no stone unturned. A few years later he became Emperor of Rome after the death of his father Vespasian in 79AD. Titus finally ruled the Roman Empire, but his reign ended abruptly in fire.

Many may know the history, but many may not have put the story lines together. Here's the connection:

Everyone has heard of the famous Mount Vesuvius, it is the site of perhaps the most famous explosive volcanic eruption on Earth, and certainly the most written about. It explosively erupted in 79AD in Italy. Yes that's right, 79AD is the very year Titus became Emperor of the Roman Empire. The shaking and eruption of Mt. Vesuvius fire bombed and buried the city of Pompeii under tons of hot cinder and volcanic ash that preserved the ruins of the city and its inhabitants eternally in stone.

Coincidence or not, the last eruption there was in 1944, the same year that Adolf Hitler ordered the deportation of 600,000 Hungarian Jews in 1944 to the Auschwitz-Birkenau death camp, the site of horrific mass Jewish murder not unlike that almost 2,000 years earlier in Jerusalem.

As to Emperor Titus, during his short reign, the city of Rome was plagued by horrific disease, pestilence and a three-day fire that destroyed vast portions of the capitol of the Roman Empire.

Then, just two years later, Titus suddenly and mysteriously died in 81AD at the age of 42. Ironically, many historians believe Titus may have died of a disease he took on from his lover Berenice, the sister of Julius Agrippa II who was married three times prior to living with Titus outside of wedlock in Rome.

As Paul Harvey used to say... "now you know the rest of the story" at least about Titus.

The righteous prophet Daniel was shown these things about Titus and Jerusalem, but if we are to properly understand the "end times"... the misplaced EU anti-christ and the so-called revived Roman Empire theories quickly vanish from view as we begin to understand Daniel's visions and the prophetic cycles of the Bible.

After all, the Bible is about the Middle East and the people living there.

The Bible is about the Promised Land and the nations that surround Israel, it's not about the land of amber waves of grain, purple mountain majesties or the red, white and blue.

It is certainly not about Rome, the Vatican or St. Paul's Cathedral either.

The focus of the Bible is plain and simple, it is about Israel. Always has been, always will be.

Daniel's prophecies begin with Nebuchadnezzar's dream. This vision is about the seven "gentile" governments that opposed Jerusalem over the course of 2,520 years from 604 BC to 1917.

Incredibly, it was in 1917 when British General Edmund Allenby and the horse mounted cavalry he led which included none other than the Egyptian Expeditionary Forces under his command, fought for Jerusalem during the heavy rainstorms that year. Allenby fought against the 7th and 8th Armies of the Ottoman Empire.

Under General Allenby's command, they took The Old City of Jerusalem the day before the start of the festival of lights (Hannukkah) which commemorates the release and re-dedication of the Temple by the Maccabee hammer from the Seleucid dynasty 2,000 years before following the Maccabee's revolt. The Hasmonean's rule of Jerusalem continued until 37 BC when an Idumean known as 'Herod the Great' became ruler of Israel by the appointment of Rome.

Some called Herod the Great, "King of the Jews" but he wasn't even a Jew, he was from Idumaea, aka Edom.

Herod was an Edomite for crying out loud!

That might give us a clue on God's instruction to the army of Israelites after they left Egypt. God told Moses they were to pass by and leave Edom alone. Had they fought and utterly destroyed them, Herod's role in the restoration of the Temple would have never been fulfilled. This foreign hand is not unlike the accession of Cyrus the Great of the Persian Empire some 500 years earlier. Like Cyrus before him, Herod made the restored the city of Jerusalem and made the rebuilding of the Temple possible in preparation for the Messiah.

Allenby's 1917 story is captured in the historical website called Colonial Film: "The proceedings in Jerusalem were captured on film by Harold Jeapes, a cameraman working for the War Office Cinematograph Committee (WOCC) in Palestine and Egypt." You can view the silent 14 minute screen reel of the story as General Allenby entered Jerusalem.

The Jubilee year of 1917 was also marked by the Balfour Declaration "that made public the British support of a Jewish homeland in Palestine".

Since 1917, and the end of World War I, the world has been SUPER CHARGED with "end-time" Biblical prophecy and growing understanding of the words of Daniel that race toward us like birth pains.

British General Allenby opened the city of Jerusalem and this set the world stage in motion for the return of the Jewish people, and Messiah. To top it off, Allenby may have done this some 69 Biblical Jubilee years after the Exodus from Egypt!

That might point us to the 70th Biblical Jubilee after the Exodus. The year was 1967, and for six days the armies of Israel fought against against Syria, Jordan and Egypt. At the conclusion of the Six Day War, Jerusalem was retaken by the Jewish people for the first time since Titus and the Legions held control of the city and the Temple Mount.

Jerusalem is now divided by three "religions" if you will.

You may not realize it, but the 'three parts' we see there today was foretold long ago in Revelation 16:19 and today the world seeks to divide Jerusalem, severing it as the Capitol of Israel as a part of the establishment of a so-called Palestinian State.

If this happens in your view, you better be watching and ready with plenty of oil in your proverbial lamp. It will be a time of darkness, a time of trouble tied to the timeline and events related to the fall of Iraq (Babylon) and a rise of the prominence of Jerusalem on the global stage:
"And the great city was divided into three parts, and the cities of the nations fell: and great Babylon came in remembrance before God, to give unto her the cup of the wine of the fierceness of his wrath." Revelation 16:19
The three parts dividing religion in Jerusalem today are 1) Muslim, 2) Jewish and 3) Christian. General Allenby even referenced this in his proclamation to Jerusalem:
"To the Inhabitants of Jerusalem the Blessed and the People Dwelling in Its Vicinity:

The defeat inflicted upon the Turks by the troops under my command has resulted in the occupation of your city by my forces. I, therefore, here now proclaim it to be under martial law, under which form of administration it will remain so long as military considerations make necessary.

However, lest any of you be alarmed by reason of your experience at the hands of the enemy who has retired, I hereby inform you that it is my desire that every person pursue his lawful business without fear of interruption.

Furthermore, since your city is regarded with affection by the adherents of three of the great religions of mankind and its soil has been consecrated by the prayers and pilgrimages of multitudes of devout people of these three religions for many centuries, therefore, do I make it known to you that every sacred building, monument, holy spot, shrine, traditional site, endowment, pious bequest, or customary place of prayer of whatsoever form of the three religions will be maintained and protected according to the existing customs and beliefs of those to whose faith they are sacred.

Guardians have been established at Bethlehem and on Rachel's Tomb. The tomb at Hebron has been placed under exclusive Moslem control.

The hereditary custodians at the gates of the Holy Sepulchre have been requested to take up their accustomed duties in remembrance of the magnanimous act of the Caliph Omar, who protected that church."
Just as Daniel described, three parts now divide Jerusalem. They are: 1) Muslim, 2) Jewish and 3) Christian. They are in fact religious divisions - of people all with a wall between them.

Yet, on a modern map of the city we label the Old City with four quarters. That can be a bit confusing and it keeps us from understanding Yeshua's words in Revelation.

On a map, we see: 1) the Muslim Quarter, 2) the Jewish Quarter, 3) the Christian Quarter and 4) the Armenian Quarter.

But least we forget, the Armenians adopted 'Christianity' as their official state religion back in 286AD so in reality there are three divisions in Jerusalem. Not only that the Christian Armenians were nearly destroyed by radical Islam as millions were killed in the Armenian Genocide that began in 1914.

Want more proof on Jerusalem?

The Jewish Virtual Library states: "In fact, during the Camp David Summit, leaders of the Armenian church insisted the Christian and Armenian Quarters were inseparable and expressed their preference for international guarantees."

When we think of the storyline of the visions of Daniel, we must think of the Redeemer when we think of Michael ("who is like God").

It's amazing that among General Allenby's many medals of distinction he was awarded around the globe, he received the two that provide a parallel link to Daniel's visions: 'Grand Cross of the Order of the Redeemer' and the 'Order of Michael the Brave'!!

We must consider the reality seen in these events that point to the truth of prophecy and the order of Daniel and perhaps knowledge may begin to unfold in 2017, 100 years from Allenby during the 50th Jubilee of the reunification of Jerusalem. If knowledge unfolds, the "latter-day" ram and goat vision described in Daniel 8 may come into better focus because of the promise given to Daniel: "knowledge shall increase."

Joel Richardson, the author of an eye-opening book titled The Islamic Antichrist really got me to thinking about the possibility of an attack on Jerusalem and I believe such an attack dramatically points to a western engagement, perhaps from Turkey as Daniel 8 may prophetically refer to this conflict as the war between the East and West.

Am I saying that this is what must happen?

No, I am not... but Daniel clearly prophesies that East will oppose West. Many say that the prophecy is over and out and all about Alexander the Great's conquest in the Middle East around 320 BC, but there are a couple of basic problems with that being the only fulfillment of this great prophecy:
1) Alexander's troops could not come from the west "without touching the ground" like today's troops that are brought in by sea or air (Daniel 8:5).

2) Also simply consider... that any event around the year 320 BC can't be considered an "end time" prophecy can it?
History repeats, prophecy is a cycle.

So, it is probable that Alexander's conquests were a "shadow picture" of things to come - - in the end just as they were declared. See Daniel 8:19 for the proof text:
"...Behold, I will make thee know what shall be in the last end of the indignation: for at the time appointed the end shall be."
When we consider the end game of prophecy, it is important that we don't plug things in to try to get the Scriptures to fit one's theology and just accept the common view or that something that occurred in the past is the grand finale.

Instead, we must let the Scriptures speak for themselves because the Bible repeatedly says are not to add to or take away from them (see Deuteronomy 4:2; Deuteronomy 12:32; Proverbs 30:5-6; Psalms 119:160).

Daniel's end-time vision starts in chapter 8. There we see Daniel was told there will be 3 kings and the 4th shall be the richest (most powerful) and by his strength he will stir/awake all against the realm/dominion of Grecia. Is Yavan Iran?

Daniel tells us the 4th king enters into the glorious land, and many countries shall be overthrown before Michael ("who is like God") stands up. Isaiah ties in some of the details.
Therefore thus saith the Lord GOD of hosts, O my people that dwellest in Zion, be not afraid of the Assyrian:

he shall smite thee with a rod, and shall lift up his staff against thee, after the manner of Egypt. For yet a very little while, and the indignation shall cease, and mine anger in their destruction.

And the LORD of hosts shall stir up a scourge for him… Behold, the Lord, the LORD of hosts, shall lop the bough with terror: and the high ones of stature shall be hewn down, and the haughty shall be humbled. And there shall come forth a rod out of the stem of Jesse… Isaiah 10:24-26; 33; Isaiah 11:1
The battle depicted by Daniel 8 may be imminent. So we must attempt to keep up with the unfolding story lines that define the visions that made Daniel sick for days as he may have caught glimpses of the future of the battle.

Update August 8, 2013: Here's a link to an insightful blog post by Billy Humphrey, the director of the International House of Prayer Atlanta entitled: Organizing The Book of Daniel Chronologically.

Mr. Humphrey outlines the book of Daniel in simple chronologic order and explains: "In my owns studies I found that as I organized the book chronologically it became easier for me to understand the story line. Hopefully this will serve as a helpful tool for you as you study the Book of Daniel."


Friday, November 28, 2008

Is the Pre-Trib Rapture... A Golden Calf?

Updated May 28, 2014

With all the talk of the "end times", I want to share something, it is time for a paradigm shift: we need to study to show ourselves approved... rightly dividing the word of truth.

When we look into a "theory" called the "pre-trib" rapture doctrine, we must consider Isaiah 1:18:
“Come now, let us reason together," says the LORD.
Let us reason together that the good Lord knows as HIS plan and He reveals it, yet people want to debate and argue. In the end, we must seek truth in Scripture not opinions or theories.

There is no need to take my word for anything about this. Instead, check things out for yourself in the Word of God and do something about the truth you find. Be a Berean for they received the message with great eagerness and examined the Scriptures every day..." Acts 17:11.

So what is the pre-rapture about?

In a nutshell it is from the sermons of John Nelson Darby and Cyrus Scofield that reveals an exposed root of anti-semitism seeded in replacement theology that is grounded in a dispensational theory that Christians are raptured away from the planet with the Holy Spirit leaving the world to be ruled by an antichrist punishing the Jewish people in grave tribulation until they repent.

Think about it, the rapture is the idea of abandoning the Jewish people in a time of trouble. It is endemic of the strange fire of replacement Christianity preached by a church that in many ways has persecuted the Jewish people for at 1,500 years and misrepresented the Messiah.

That strange fire spirit has infected the pulpit and poisoned the pew with a "Left Behind" estate plan hyper focused on the theory of a cloud and a castle that does not exist in Almighty God's plan to expose darkness, defeat the enemy and restore this planet and His people through Messiah.

Proverbs gives us something to consider. If we will just look, we can see the proverb declares a replacement theology pre-trib rapture theory is the truth in reverse:
The righteous shall never be removed: the wicked shall not inhabit the earth.” Proverbs 10:30
To understand this plain and simple truth read Revelation 20 and look at the truth throughout Scripture that provides God's theme of restoration on earth with Israel as its focus so that the righteous can gather before Messiah in Jerusalem as their King in the Messianic time to come that many call "the millennium."

In the restoration of God's Kingdom, both Jew and Gentile will receive the life gift of His Spirit, the Ruach, the wind and life breath of our Creator.

This restoration process begins with repentance and repentance brings Heaven to earth just as Jesus proclaimed and prayed in the Lord's prayer:

"Thy will be done on earth as it is in heaven."

The restoration of God's Kingdom on earth is not an ethereal evacuation plan to a cloud in the sky while the nations of the earth come against the Jewish people in the land promised to Abraham, Isaac and Jacob.

Revelation confirms the restoration and reign of a royal priesthood on earth:
"And they sang a new song, saying,

“Worthy are you to take the scroll and to open its seals,
for you were slain, and by your blood you ransomed people for God
from every tribe and language and people and nation,
and you have made them a kingdom and priests to our God,
and they shall reign on the earth.” Revelation 5:9-10
Replacement theology theorists preach that the church has "replaced" Israel as God's chosen people and the “church” will escape the planet at any moment on a cloud to a far away pearly gate in Heaven as the Jews suffer the great tribulation. The theorists misread Paul who wrote:
“I do not want you to be ignorant of this mystery, brothers, so that you will not be conceited: A hardening in part has come to Israel, until the full number of the Gentiles has come in. And so all Israel will be saved, as it is written: “The Deliverer will come from Zion, He will remove godlessness from Jacob. And this is My covenant with them when I take away their sins. Romans 11:25- 27
The implication of rapture theories, replacement theology and a future ethereal, anytime secret hideout characterized by intangible insubstantiality hiding in Heaven is frightening.


Well, if God has changed His mind concerning His covenant promised to His kingdom people and His "land" promise to the children of Jacob and the Messiah's reign in Jerusalem, then how can we be sure Almighty God hasn’t changed his mind on other promises?

Praise God, He has not, He is the same yesterday, today and forever. God never changes His promises, His words are irrevocable. He promised Isaac this:
"...And in your offspring all the nations of the earth shall be blessed, because Abraham obeyed my voice and kept my charge, my commandments, my statutes, and my laws.” Genesis 25:4-5
The following passage from Jeremiah 33:25-26 shows that replacement theology rejects God's mercy onthe descendants of Jacob is fiction, not fact:
Thus says the LORD, “If My covenant for day and night stand not, and the fixed patterns of heaven and earth I have not established, then I would reject the descendants of Jacob and David My servant, not taking from his descendants rulers over the descendants of Abraham, Isaac and Jacob. But I will restore their fortunes and I will have mercy on them.” Jeremiah 33:25-26
As we observe the existence of Israel, the nation born in a day in May 1948 as God promised in Isaiah 68:8 and the restoration of the Jewish people that has exponentially grown since 1967 we have reason to rejoice. The Jewish people of Europe came through the grave tribulation of Hitler during World War II and God continues to be faithful to His covenant people and land. God will also be faithful to those who are by faith like Abraham grafted into a people called Israel by faith in Israel’s Messiah King Yeshua!

In the very beginning, God's wind, His breath gave life to the man of clay Adam, almost 2,000 years ago it gave the gift of speech in many languages (tongues) so that the disciples could walk like Messiah and spread the Gospel truth of the Kingdom of God to all nations across the globe.

That work continues, but in the end, tribulation will come on the nations that rise up against Israel as Zion is being restored in preparation for Messiah's coming as King.

More important than tribulation, there will a great end time restoration to The Lord's ways. Call it a revival if you like but before the King arrives, His court must be made ready by the outpouring of God's Spirit. Tis is connected with the rebirth of the Jewish nation some 60 years ago. Since 1948, the land has been restored and since 1967 the city of Jerusalem as well as Judea and Samaria.

People are next as the Creator is faithful to his word to the prophets as He breathes and restores life in the clay of people's stony hearts as one new man.

Tribulation is part of the process of restoration, refreshing and regathering before glory. There is an assignment to return to the LORD your God and obey His voice:

"When you are in tribulation, and all these things come upon you in the latter days, you will return to the LORD your God and obey His voice. For the LORD your God is a merciful God. He will not leave you or destroy you or forget the covenant with your fathers that he swore to them." Deuteronomy 4:30-31
"Arise, shine, for your light has come, and the glory of the LORD has risen upon you. For behold, darkness shall cover the earth, and thick darkness the peoples; but the LORD will arise upon you, and his glory will be seen upon you. And nations shall come to your light, and kings to the brightness of your rising." Isaiah 60:1-3 
“For I know their works and their thoughts, and the time is coming to gather all nations and tongues. And they shall come and shall see my glory, and I will set a sign among them. And from them I will send survivors to the nations, to Tarshish, Pul, and Lud, who draw the bow, to Tubal and Jeavan, to the coastlands far away, that have not heard my fame or seen my glory. And they shall declare my glory among the nations. And they shall bring all your brothers from all the nations as an offering to the LORD, on horses and in chariots and in litters and on mules and on dromedaries, to my holy mountain Jerusalem, says the LORD, just as the Israelites bring their grain offering in a clean vessel to the house of the LORD. And some of them also I will take for priests and for Levites, says the LORD. Isaiah 66:18-21
At that time I will bring you in, at the time when I gather you together; for I will make you renowned and praised among all the peoples of the earth, when I restore your fortunes before your eyes,” says the LORD. Zephaniah 3:20
Repent, then, and turn to God, so that your sins may be wiped out, that times of refreshing may come from the Lord, and that he may send the Messiah, who has been appointed for you even Yeshua. Heaven must receive him until the time comes for God to restore everything, as he promised long ago through his holy prophets. Acts 3:19-21   
During the the end of the restoration, the return of the glory of God will overwhelm the earth in resurrection into new life as it was intended from the beginning. That is the very teaching that Yeshua was giving Nicodemus. Resurrection is the born-again promise of the Spirit given in John 3:1-21. It will precede the Kingdom of God established at Messiah's return.

On the new birth of resurrection Yeshua asked Nicodemus: “Are you the teacher of Israel and do not understand these things?

The reason is simple, Nicodemus was a Pharisee. According to Josephus, the Pharisees, unlike the Sadducees taught about resurrection:

"that every soul is imperishable, but that only those of the righteous pass into another body, while those of the wicked are, on the contrary, punished with eternal torment" -Josephus Wars 2.8.14

"they hold the belief that an immortal strength belongs to souls, and that there are beneath the earth punishments and rewards for those who in life devoted themselves to virtue or vileness, and that eternal imprisonment is appointed for the latter, but the possibility of returning to life for the former" -Josephus Ant. 18.1.3

If you insist on calling resurrection the rapture, OK but Nicodemus would not know what you are talking about. It is resurrection, just like Yeshua's that will be mankind's ransomed existence as it was intended in Eden.

Just imagine walking with God by the ultimate glory power of Yeshua's first fruits resurrection power as the ransomed elect scattered around the globe will be meet with Him at the sounding of the great shofar announcing His return to the planet as King.

"He will wipe away every tear from their eyes, and death shall be no more, neither shall there be mourning, nor crying, nor pain anymore, for the former things have passed away.” Revelation 21:4 

The former things have passed away include death, that why there are tears of joy. That gathering to Israel to meet King Yeshua at His return is the way to Zion and the Messianic Kingdom, it is the only rapture that Paul wrote of just like Isaiah:

"And the ransomed of the LORD shall return and come to Zion with singing; everlasting joy shall be upon their heads; they shall obtain gladness and joy, and sorrow and sighing shall flee away and the ransomed of the LORD shall return and come to Zion with singing; everlasting joy shall be upon their heads; they shall obtain gladness and joy, and sorrow and sighing shall flee away." Isaiah 51:11

Take notice Paul warned of deception before Messiah returns bringing judgment in flaming fire and vengeance on them that know not God and arise against those God calls out as His people. The following words summarize the message: let no one in any way deceive you, for it [that day] will not come unless the apostasy comes first, and the man of lawlessness is revealed, then [after the man of lawlessness is revealed] we which are alive and remain shall arise in resurrection:

"Now we request you, brethren, with regard to the coming of our Lord Jesus Christ and our gathering together to Him, that you not be quickly shaken from your composure or be disturbed either by a spirit or a message or a letter as if from us, to the effect that the day of the Lord has come. 
Let no one in any way deceive you, for it will not come unless the apostasy comes first, and the man of lawlessness is revealed, the son of destruction who opposes and exalts himself above every so-called god or object of worship, so that he takes his seat in the temple of God, displaying himself as being God. 
Do you not remember that while I was still with you, I was telling you these things? 
And you know what restrains him now, so that in his time he will be revealed. For the mystery of lawlessness is already at work; only he who now restrains will do so until he is taken out of the way. Then that lawless one will be revealed whom the Lord will slay with the breath of His mouth and bring to an end by the appearance of His coming; that is, the one whose coming is in accord with the activity of Satan, with all power and signs and false wonders, and with all the deception of wickedness for those who perish, because they did not receive the love of the truth so as to be saved. 
For this reason God will send upon them a deluding influence so that they will believe what is false, in order that they all may be judged who did not believe the truth, but took pleasure in wickedness." 2Thessalonians 2:1-12 
"For this we say unto you by the word of the Lord, that we which are alive and remain unto the coming of the Lord shall not prevent them which are asleep.
For the Lord himself shall descend from heaven with a shout, with the voice of the archangel, and with the trump of God: and the dead in Christ shall rise first: 
Then we which are alive and remain shall be caught up together with them in the clouds, to meet the Lord in the air: and so shall we ever be with the Lord." 1Thessalonians 4:16-17

That man of lawlessness is seen again in Revelation 15 as John records the timestamp that the inner sanctuary of Heaven will be opened after this.

"Then I saw another sign in heaven, great and marvelous, seven angels who had seven plagues, which are the last, because in them the wrath of God is finished. And I saw something like a sea of glass mixed with fire, and those who had been victorious over the beast and his image and the number of his name, standing on the sea of glass, holding harps of God. And they *sang the song of Moses, the bond-servant of God, and the song of the Lamb... After these things I looked, and the temple of the tabernacle of testimony in heaven was opened, and the seven angels who had the seven plagues came out...  And the temple was filled with smoke from the glory of God and from His power; and no one was able to enter the temple until the seven plagues of the seven angels were finished.

Through all of the writings of the prophets, God speaks of regathering and restoring His scattered people back to Jerusalem, His chosen city and the nations with them to the House of Prayer.

There's no promise of playing a harp on a vapor cloud as Jewish people suffer in tribulation. The rapture is a heavenly ride all right but the destination is Heaven on earth. King Messiah will reign in Jerusalem, the city of gold. Not only that, following the first resurrection there will be a big party in Jerusalem. In the Bible its called the Feast of Ingathering for a reason. It's the final Feast, a week long harvest celebration and rejoicing called Sukkot aka Tabernacles.

You need to look forward to it and rehearse, you need to know how to build a sukkah, It will be crowded in Jerusalem with the sacred assembly when Heaven comes to earth.

In Revelation John writes, "And I heard a loud voice from heaven, saying, "Look! The tabernacle of God is with men, and He will dwell with them. They shall be His people, and God Himself will be with them and be their God." Revelation 21:3

The conclusion to the Biblical story doesn't end with God taking us up to live on a cloud hiding out while the Jewish people suffer and die in great tribulation. The Lord's prayer reveals God coming down to live with us and so it points to Tabernacles week. Phase one has already begun as God is restoring the Jewish people to the Promised Land. The end of the story is seen in the beginning... "God with us."

I pray to be ready to be called out for that final great exodus journey to the Holy Land. That is the rapture if you want to call it that, and it will shake the planet because the kingdom of heaven is not a place we go up to in afterlife when we die. The kingdom of heaven is the promise of resurrection and restoration of God's kingdom coming to earth and the good news message of the gospel is about your Kingdom preparation for that time. That is a purpose of the Torah.

For further study on the promise restoration declared in the Bible you can read more at "The Lost Sheep Scriptures". It's all about a redeemed people and the sojourners with them that God calls Israel. To learn why you need to know about the identity of the sojourners, consider: "Don't Be a Victim of Identity Theft!"

The end is not about the end of the world or time, it is about the end of the dispersion of God's people form the land, the end of sin and the end of separation from His glory and its the end of division of Jew and Gentile united under Messiah's kingship. 

The end is all about the end of Messiah's exile from earth. The Lord's Prayer plainly tells us God's will is to be done 'on earth' as it is in Heaven, not in reverse. That's what the clearest description of the future first resurrection in the Bible says... there's not a great escape to heaven. Revelation 20:5-6 says this:

"But the rest of the dead lived not again until the thousand years were finished. This [is] the first resurrection. Blessed and holy [is] he that hath part in the first resurrection: on such the second death hath no power, but they shall be priests of God and of Messiah, and shall reign with him a thousand years." Revelation 20:5-6

Messiah Yeshua will come back. Many mis-read John 14:2-3:
"In my Father's house are many mansions: if it were not so, I would have told you. I go to prepare a place for you. And if I go and prepare a place for you, I will come again, and receive you unto myself; that where I am, there ye may be also."
There's not a great escape to a mansion, Jesus is giving a promise of what occurred on the Passover cross. He wants His disciples to understand that through His resurrection He has been in union with the Father i.e. "dwelling" with Him. He's returning, so it is important to know the promise of the mystery of His resurrection, that all disciples will also make their "abode" with God:
"If anyone loves Me, he will keep My word; and My Father will love him, and We will come to him and make Our abode with him.'" John 14:23
When Jesus declares that He is "going to prepare a place" He isn't talking about a rapture hang out. He is talking about a "union" that sincere believers can experience with the Father, Son and Holy Spirit on earth. He's talking about the Shavuot (Pentecost) that provided an active connection with Believers by planting the seed by the outpouring of the Holy Spirit in our flesh. Remember, our felsh in the end is just the dust of the earth. It needs water (Spirit) to allow us to grow.

Rather than dying to enjoy a mansion, Jesus is telling us that genuine believers can actively abide with the Spirit of Father right now here on earth. Yet Yeshua had to leave to send the Spirit.

Everyone at His ascension heard the two witnesses:
"Men of Galilee," they said, "why do you stand here looking into the sky? This same Jesus, who has been taken from you into heaven, will come back in the same way you have seen him go into heaven." Acts 1:11
We need to take the same advice: why do you stand here hoping (to go) into the sky?

Just check out the words of Ezekiel's prophetic scroll as he quotes God's sovereign end time promise:
"Therefore prophesy and say to them: 'This is what the Sovereign LORD says: My people, I am going to open your graves and bring you up from them; I will bring you back to the land of Israel. Then you, my people, will know that I am the LORD, when I open your graves and bring you up from them. I will put my Spirit in you and you will live, and I will settle you in your own land. Then you will know that I the LORD have spoken, and I have done it, declares the LORD.' " Ezekiel 37:12-14
God tells Ezekiel... "I am going to open your graves and bring you up from them; I will bring you back to the land of Israel". He continues... "when I open your graves and bring you up from them. I will put my Spirit in you and you will live, and I will settle you in your own land."

That land, God's land, is Israel. It is the place Heaven will arrive on earth and it will be restored at the Savior's return when He will come back in the same way He was seen to go. In God's glory cloud.

So, we need to dig deeper into the Scriptures to consider the pre-trib "rapture" theory. All theologies like the pre-trib rapture are based on what you want to believe from other's opinions, not on what the truth is from the Word of God. After all, idols are only made by men.

That means no pre-set theology, no learned doctrine, no opinionated Sunday religious pulpit views, just the facts established by Scripture because:
"Surely the Lord YHVH does nothing, unless he reveals his secret counsel to His servants the prophets." Amos 3:7.
What prophet in the Bible details the rapture?

None of them so, let's go ahead and throw out the ones everybody seems to want to talk about including the sealed scroll of Daniel 12.

Speaking of Daniel 12, Jesus was teaching on this as He taught in Matthew 24 and throughout the book of Revelation:
"For as lightning that comes from the east is visible even in the west, so will be the coming of the Son of Man. Wherever there is a carcass, there the vultures will gather. Immediately after the distress of those days the sun will be darkened, and the moon will not give its light; the stars will fall from the sky, and the heavenly bodies will be shaken.

Then will appear the sign of the Son of Man in heaven.

And then all the peoples of the earth will mourn when they see the Son of Man coming on the clouds of heaven, with power and great glory. And he will send his angels with a loud trumpet call, and they will gather his elect from the four winds, from one end of the heavens to the other." Matthew 24:27-31 NIV
Nothing secret about the sky lighting up with the glory of God, nothing secret about a mega trumpet and there is nothing secret about resurrection:
"At that time Michael ["who is like God"], the great prince who protects your people, will arise. There will be a time of distress such as has not happened from the beginning of nations until then. But at that time your people -- everyone whose name is found written in the book--will be delivered.

There is nothing secret about signs in Heaven, they are there for the whole world to see as planetary and constellation alignments like those described throughout the book of Revelation. Today, thanks to increased knowledge in the last days just as Daniel said, there are no hidden or unknown eclipses, earthquakes, winds or roaring hurricane waves anyplace on earth either.

At the first coming, we read of the sign in Heaven now called the Star of Bethlehem. This sign is potentially tied to the repeating retrograde alignment of Jupiter and Regulus in 2BC in the constellation Leo that began on September 14th 3 BC. This day on the Hebrew calendar of the Bible was on Elul 24 during the countdown of 40 days of "teshuva" or repentance that began on Elul 1 leading up to Yom Kippur, the Day of Atonement.

Jupiter moved in conjunction again on February 2nd in 3 BC on the Adar 4, a 3rd time on May 8th 2BC or Iyyar 25th which ties to the 40th day of counting the Omer following Passover on the 50 day countdown to Shavout (Pentecost). Shavuot was the day The Lord spoke the Ten Commandments from the fire of Sinai and it was the day the Spirit of God descended on the Temple Mount in Jerusalem like tongues of firm on the disciples of Yeshua. The 4th and last conjunction tied to the retrograde motion occurred on June 17, 2BC Tammuz 6.

Yeshua told His disciples what would be seen before His return.
“And there will be signs in sun and moon and stars, and on the earth distress of nations in perplexity because of the roaring of the sea and the waves, people fainting with fear and with foreboding of what is coming on the world. For the powers of the heavens will be shaken." Luke 21:25-27
Just as Genesis 1:14 tells us in the beginning, God created lights in the expanse of heaven for signs, seasons, day and years, in the end Revelation 12:1-4 reveals that John records the signal of another sign in Heaven to be seen in latter days as God declares the end from the beginning.
"And a great sign appeared in heaven: a woman clothed with the sun, with the moon under her feet, and on her head a crown of twelve stars. She was pregnant and was crying out in birth pains and the agony of giving birth. And another sign appeared in heaven: behold, a great red dragon, with seven heads and ten horns, and on his heads seven diadems. His tail swept down a third of the stars of heaven and cast them to the earth."
The description by Yeshua of another sign to appear in heaven warns that: 'the powers of the heavens will be shaken may well be "the a great red dragon with a tail sweeping down a third of the stars of heaven after the sign appears in heaven with a woman clothed with the sun, with the moon under her feet, and on her head a crown of twelve stars.

The warning is ominous but have faith, Daniel tells us the future holds a great promise too.

Multitudes who sleep in the dust of the earth will awake.:

Some to everlasting life, others to shame and everlasting contempt. Those who are wise will shine like the brightness of the heavens, and those who lead many to righteousness, like the stars for ever and ever. But you, Daniel, roll up and seal the words of the scroll until the time of the end. Many will go here and there to increase knowledge." Daniel 12:1-4 NIV
There is nothing secret about the voice of the archangel or the trumpet of God either:
"Brothers and sisters, we do not want you to be uninformed about those who sleep in death, so that you do not grieve like the rest of mankind, who have no hope. For we believe that Jesus died and rose again, and so we believe that God will bring with Jesus those who have fallen asleep in him. According to the Lord's word, we tell you that we who are still alive, who are left until the coming of the Lord, will certainly not precede those who have fallen asleep. For the Lord himself will come down from heaven, with a loud command, with the voice of the archangel and with the trumpet call of God, and the dead in Christ will rise first. After that, we who are still alive and are left will be caught up together with them in the clouds to meet the Lord in the air. And so we will be with the Lord forever. Therefore encourage one another with these words." 1Thessalonians 4:13-18 NIV

"Listen, I tell you a mystery: We will not all sleep, but we will all be changed -- in a flash, in the twinkling of an eye, at the last trumpet. For the trumpet will sound, the dead will be raised imperishable, and we will be changed. For the perishable must clothe itself with the imperishable, and the mortal with immortality. When the perishable has been clothed with the imperishable, and the mortal with immortality, then the saying that is written will come true: "Death has been swallowed up in victory."" 1 Corinthians 15:51-54 NIV
Paul used the word 'mystery' to explain the ingathering of those who are alive at the moment of the resurrection of the dead on the last trumpet of the final Yom Teruah... Trumpets Day. It's not just a rapture before tribulation, its resurrection the day of rebirth Yeshua taught Nicodemus about.

Today, there is a ton of confusion. Darby's concept of a "top-secret" pre-trib rapture is a religious disaster of Biblical proportion that somehow oddly reminds me of the advent of Charles Darwin's theory of evolution that people are not made in the image of God. Yet neither man developed their theories, they were borrowed from others.

What seems so odd is that both theories came the attention of the public at the same time in the mid 1800's. Oddly, the two men died in England just ten days apart in April 1882. John Nelson Darby Darby the father of "dispensational" theory was born in Westminster and Charles Darwin the father of "evolution" theory was buried in Westminster Abbey.

Most people rightly call Darby's teaching a rapture "theory" while explaining it as a mystical event prior to a seven-year tribulation allow the church to hide and escape, others reject Darby's secret pre-trib rapture think it occurs in the middle of tribulation. One thing is certain no one agrees. So, why all the confusion on the theory?

It's a theory, that's why unproven in Scripture... Remember, the Bible has no theory, no not one, like Joel 3:7 says... God declares everything by His prophets. Everything.

Tribulation is no prophet's secret, it is plainly declared and that includes the words of Yeshua Jesus and Moses. It's seen in the beginning and it occurs before entry into the promised land:

"Thus you are to know in your heart that the LORD your God was disciplining you just as a man disciplines his son." Deuteronomy 8:5

If we look closely, tribulation has purpose like a blessing in disguise to bring people together with heartfelt focus on our Creator before wrath falls for those that reject His salvation plan just as it did on the the Hittites and the Girgashites and the Amorites and the Canaanites and the Perizzites and the Hivites and the Jebusites, seven nations greater and stronger than you.

Revelation shows us God’s discipline purpose in tribulation is to get people out of their ways of Egypt and Babylon, out of the deception of false religious pagan-like ways and into God's way, the way of life with Him.

While it might appear that tribulation is a punishment, in fact it is a gracious mystery discipline just as it was in the 40 years of ancient Israel when The Lord tied to get the attention of those that broke His covenant and it occurs before punishment for those that hate Him in the end as seen in Deuteronomy 7:8-10:

"Know therefore that the LORD your God, He is God, the faithful God, who keeps His covenant and His lovingkindness to a thousandth generation with those who love Him and keep His commandments; but repays those who hate Him to their faces, to destroy them; He will not delay with him who hates Him, He will repay him to his face."

Tribulation is discipline, wrath is destruction. They are different. Tribulation is a redemptive call to come out of harlotry and the false idol worship that originated in Babylon and ended up in Egypt. This is shown plain as day in Revelation 17-18 before the final, third woe when God's wrath judgment unfolds on those that do not heed discipline. The same was true long ago in Egypt. The final woe of the last three plagues was the death of the firstborn for any home whose door was not covered by the blood of a lamb.

Moses warned about the coming discipline we know as the great tribulation and he also warned about wrath. The first discipline lasted 40 years. The wrath comes because:

Like the nations that the LORD makes to perish before you, so you shall perish; because you would not listen to the voice of the LORD your God. Deuteronomy 8:20

According to the message of Revelation, God is going to do a repeat performance, an encore of the plagues upon Egypt to deliver His people from wrath. Like the Exodus story, the plagues described in Revelation also include water turned to blood, boils, fire, hail, darkness, locust, and frogs.

What will become of those scattered among the nations and to the ends of the earth (four winds) when God’s judgment returns to earth? God will not just discipline, He will finish the job assigned to Joshua and judge the wicked, yet at the same time He will shield and reward the just that are the people have assembled themselves as the people of the God of Abraham.  Psalm 47 declares the shield:

O clap your hands, all peoples;
Shout to God with the voice of joy.
For the LORD Most High is to be feared,
A great King over all the earth.
He subdues peoples under us
And nations under our feet.
He chooses our inheritance for us,
The glory of Jacob whom He loves. Selah. 
God has ascended with a shout,
The LORD, with the sound of a trumpet.
Sing praises to God, sing praises;
Sing praises to our King, sing praises.
For God is the King of all the earth;
Sing praises with a skillful psalm.
God reigns over the nations,
God sits on His holy throne. 
The princes of the people have assembled themselves
as the people of the God of Abraham,
For the shields of the earth belong to God;
He is highly exalted.

Those who are in covenant with the God of Israel, atoned through the blood of the lamb of God Messiah and walk in His way have nothing to fear regarding wrath. God will deal graciously, those that believe and do have eternal life thanks to the final Yom Kippur atonement described in Revelation, they will hear the trumpet of resurrection promised in Isaiah 18:3:

All you inhabitants of the world and dwellers on earth,
As soon as a standard is raised on the mountains, you will see it,
And as soon as the trumpet is blown, you will hear it.

Just as it was 3,500 years ago in Egypt, those in true covenant will do as God instructs, like those that believed Moses and did what was commanded in Egypt, families will be miraculously protected by the blood of "The Lamb of God" at the last plagues brought on by the planet. We can know this as truth because as Malachi tells us: "For I, the LORD, do not change; therefore you, O sons of Jacob, are not consumed." This unchanging promise begins with this promise:
“And when I see the blood I will pass over you.” Exodus 12:13
The prophecy of Revelation tells us that after the seventh angel sounds the wrath to come arrives with the time of the dead, that they should be judged by fire and brimstone in the great winepress of the wrath of God.

Pharaoh, refused to allow the Israelites to worship God at His Feast in the wilderness, so seven of the ten plagues of judgment came only on the Egyptians that rejected the word of God. According to Exodus 9:27–35 the seventh plague of hail was so severe that Pharaoh begged Moses to end it, promising to let the Israelites go worship if he did. According to Revelation, the seven last plagues, the vials will again be filled with the wrath of God.

The plague of hail will be another stoning, a judgment of great hail out of heaven and every stone will be about the weight of a talent. An Egyptian talent was 60 pounds but the heavy common talent noted in the New Testament was over twice that weight. One way or another, the hail stones will be horrific.

Malachi also summarizes what the stoning is for:
"And I will come near to you to judgment; and I will be a swift witness against the sorcerers, and against the adulterers, and against false swearers, and against those that oppress the hireling in his wages, the widow, and the fatherless, and that turn aside the stranger from his right, and fear not me, saith the LORD of hosts." Malachi 3:5
Torah requires two witnesses before any judgment is valid, this is shown in the beginning in Deuteronomy 17:6 and Deuteronomy 19:5. These are seen again in the end as the two witnesses of Revelation 11 appear on the scene and prophesy for 1,260 days declaring the truth, the Word of God. A third witness of three angels (messengers) proclaims the gospel to all nations. Severe plagues follow for the un-repentant that will not hear the truth and follow.

The warning we all must heed then is this: either come out of our Babylonian ways of false idols and Egyptian adulterous worship or share in her plagues and destruction by stoning, the judgment of the great whore. "And in her was found the blood of prophets, and of saints, and of all that were slain upon the earth." That is why this warning is given:
"And I heard another voice from heaven, saying, Come out of her, my people, that ye be not partakers of her sins, and that ye receive not of her plagues. For her sins have reached unto heaven, and God hath remembered her iniquities." Revelation 18:4-5
It's really all about waking us up to the hear and obey the first commandment:
"Thou shalt have no other gods before me"
Moses is the man that was given the responsibility to tell us that tribulation is about Mount Ebal, the bare mountain. Tribulation is brought on us by ourselves, the curses of our willful disobedience and lack of repentance in the final tribulation discipline as described by Moses:
"See, I am setting before you today a blessing and a curse -- the blessing if you obey the commands of the LORD your God that I am giving you today; the curse if you disobey the commands of the LORD your God and turn from the way that I command you today by following other gods, which you have not known." Deuteronomy 11:26-28 NIV
When God's people, who are blessed turn away and worship other 'gods,' whether they are ourselves through self pleasure, greed, money whatever... the bottom line is: curses will come when "you have been rebellious against the LORD."

Its just like the laws of physics, but God is not vengeful, we bring the curses of tribulation discipline on ourselves and they are signposts to show us we must turn our hearts away from our own pleasure and bitter poison and back to the covering of God Almighty.
"Make sure there is no man or woman, clan or tribe among you today whose heart turns away from the LORD our God to go and worship the gods of those nations; make sure there is no root among you that produces such bitter poison. When such a person hears the words of this oath and they invoke a blessing on themselves, thinking, "I will be safe, even though I persist in going my own way," they will bring disaster on the watered land as well as the dry." Deuteronomy 29:18-19 NIV
Revelation declares that many tribulation saints will even lose their lives in persecution like Messiah during His great Passover distress. That is already happening today across the planet. Hang on to that reality, if you ignore it, you will not see it matches Daniel's vision. The reality is there are many that lose their lives during tribulation, the world has witnessed the Holocaust and today there are beheadings of believers that flies in the face of an institutionalized theory of dispensational, replacement theology.

It's a catch 22.

The thing is, God tells us He declares all things through his prophets. Please write to me, I cannot find where the prophets of the Bible provide a narrative for the theory of a secret rapture bus ride prior to or in the middle of great tribulation described by the prophets or by Jesus. If you find it show it to me.

One of the institutional church’s golden calfs has been to indulge in dispensation theory and replacement theology stealing Israel’s covenant promises without offering hope, faith or belief that God would faithfully keep His covenant with the Jewish people in His future restoration promise.

No secret rapture ride to hide can be found because God tells us He has declared everything to the prophets, but you will find there are blessings for those that are faithful and there will be restoration of Jew and Gentile in Messiah.

God can and will protect people that follow Him and He has the power of resurrection over death.

Daniel promises protection: "the great prince who protects your people, will arise" and that prince of protection is Messiah.

Who needs protection if you're sitting on a cloud playing a harp? Look at the words in Matthew 24 and Luke 21. Read the words of John 16:33...
"I have said these things to you, that in me you may have peace. In the world you will have tribulation. But take heart; I have overcome the world.”
Help me understand, write me, explain, be open to discussion, exposition, exegesis, by clarifying the midrash of the Scriptures just like the Bereans. Protection is provided only when we "Love the Lord your God with all your heart".

If I am missing something show me, show others, show he world but be sure to use Scripture and the words of the prophets because we must believe the words of the prophets and Jesus the greatest prophet.

Amos has this to say, he declares:
"Surely the Sovereign LORD does nothing without revealing his plan to his servants the prophets." Amos 3:7
In any discussion, start with the words that Yeshua (Jesus) declared. After all, He is the one with all authority on earth and in Heaven and He says this: "after the days of the tribulation when the Son of Man appears in the sky" (Matthew 24:29–31).

After the days of the tribulation...

We will have to look "up" to see Him there "above' the earth. If I were on a rapture ride in heaven, wouldn't I have to look down to see the "Son of Man" appear? Look for your self at every angle of the Wod of God to see and believe the words of Jesus. He also says this: "Immediately after the distress of those days". Grab your Bible and look, to make it easy here are the words:
"Immediately after the tribulation of those days shall the sun be darkened, and the moon shall not give her light, and the stars shall fall from heaven, and the powers of the heavens shall be shaken: And then shall appear the sign of the Son of man in heaven: and then shall all the tribes of the earth mourn, and they shall see the Son of man coming in the clouds of heaven with power and great glory. And he shall send his angels with a great sound of a trumpet, and they shall gather together his elect from the four winds, from one end of heaven to the other."
Many get confused about the terms four winds and one end of heaven. These are Jewish idioms or common sayings. The meaning is the whole planet. When you stand outside and look from horizon to horizon, north to south and east to west you are looking from the four winds, from one end of heaven to the other.

The Bible is full of traditional Hebrew idioms. That's because in every language and culture there are many common sayings, but remember the Bible is a Hebrew book about Hebrew people. We all use idioms every day and we know what they mean without explanation, they are always a reference point but for someone that does not speak English for example they can be really confusing. Here are just a few examples:

A Picture Paints a Thousand Words: this does not mean a picture can paint or that every painting is described by 1,000 words. It means a visual presentation is far more descriptive than words. Others we use today include:

Add Fuel To The Fire: Whenever something is done to make a bad situation even worse than it is.

Against The Clock: Rushed and short on time.

It's Greek to me: Meaningless and incomprehensible like someone who cannot read, speak, or understand any of the Greek language would be.

Please know that I am NOT trying to be hyper-critical of anyone by the words of this commentary, just imploring that what we need to do is to seek the unchanging evidence found in Scripture including the words of Jesus, the great rabbi teach and prophet.

He was called Yeshua by His disciples and He plainly gave this promise of ingathering and redemption "after the tribulation." His words here are not a parable, an idiom or a hidden saying. Sure He spoke and taught by parables, but His disciples privately asked Him to tell them and He carefully cautioned them to let no one deceive them about what He was about to tell them. He also told them He taught in parables to the crowds, not to them. Here's the record:
"And as he sat upon the mount of Olives, the disciples came unto him privately, saying, Tell us, when shall these things be? And what shall be the sign of thy coming, and of the end of the world? And Jesus answered and said unto them, "Take heed that no man deceive you."" Matthew 24:3-4
I personally came to consider these words of truth right after 9/11 when the two World Trade Center towers fell and the times and seasons changed forever for America and the world. I was horrified by the terror and tribulation that we all witnessed that day as the jet engines roared aimed by Jihad flew into those buildings and later I cried in grief as I read these Scriptures of towers:
Isaiah 30:25 And there shall be upon every high mountain, and upon every high hill, rivers and streams of waters in the day of the great slaughter, when the towers fall.

Isaiah 33:18 Thine heart shall meditate terror. Where is the scribe? Where is the receiver? Where is he that counted the towers?

Ezekiel 26:9 And he shall set engines of war against thy walls, and with his axes he shall break down thy towers.

Zephaniah 1:16 A day of the trumpet and alarm against the fenced cities, and against the high towers.
Matthew records a simple truth given to us by Jesus that I just knew I just had to understand:
“For the coming of the Son of Man will be just like the days of Noah. “For as in those days before the flood they were eating and drinking, marrying and giving in marriage, until the day that Noah entered the ark, and they did not understand until the flood came and took them all away; so will the coming of the Son of Man be. Then two men will be in the field; one will be taken and one left. Two women will be grinding at the mill; one will be taken and one left." Matthew 24:37-39

The people that were "taken away" from life on earth in the days of Noah were the unrighteous ones. The ark saved the righteous to live on earth as the flood washed the unrighteous away separating good from evil.

Have you ever considered your own definition of "tribulation"?

Think about this as you do. Today, over 2.7 billion people live in some 190 countries with average lifespans below 50. And get this... in those nations, people in 100 of them live on $5,000 or less per year and in 37 nations people live on less than $1,000 per year. If you live in the US, how would you feel if you were trying to live on that meager amount of money, would you think that you were in tribulation?

According to at least 80% of humanity lives on less than $10 a day. The poorest 40 percent of the world’s population accounts for 5 percent of global income. The richest 20 percent accounts for three-quarters of world income. According to UNICEF, 22,000 children die each day due to poverty. And they “die quietly in some of the poorest villages on earth, far removed from the scrutiny and the conscience of the world. Being meek and weak in life makes these dying multitudes even more invisible in death." Around 27-28 percent of all children in developing countries are estimated to be underweight or stunted.

Today, diseased men seeking to rule the world by Jihad, they terrorize the planet just as infectious diseases blight the lives of the poor across the world. An estimated 40 million people are living with HIV/AIDS, with 3 million deaths in 2004. Every year there are 350–500 million cases of malaria, with 1 million fatalities: Africa accounts for 90 percent of malarial deaths and African children account for over 80 percent of malaria victims worldwide. Africa is synonymous with disease. HIV/AIDS began there. Leading active killer diseases are pneumonia, malaria, diarrhea, tuberculosis, measles, whooping cough, tetanus and meningitis. These horrific diseases kill 11,000,000 people per year or 30,000 a day. More people are killed by wildlife in Africa than all global areas combined. Even the African honey bee is deadly.

Water problems affect half of humanity:

Some 1.1 billion people in developing countries have inadequate access to water, and 2.6 billion lack basic sanitation. Almost two in three people lacking access to clean water survive on less than $2 a day, with one in three living on less than $1 a day. More than 660 million people without sanitation live on less than $2 a day, and more than 385 million on less than $1 a day. Access to piped water into the household averages about 85% for the wealthiest 20% of the population, compared with 25% for the poorest 20%.

In 2005, there were 2.2 billion children in the world and 1 billion (every second child) lived in poverty. Worldwide, 10.6 million died in 2003 before they reached the age of 5 (same as children population in France, Germany, Greece and Italy) and 1.4 million die each year from lack of access to safe drinking water and adequate sanitation. Yet, for every $1 in aid a developing country receives, over $25 is spent on debt repayment.

Approximately 790 million people in the developing world are still chronically undernourished, almost two-thirds of whom reside in Asia and the Pacific but as Europe and America channel surf reality is far from us.

Now, from a global perspective, how do you feel about tribulation?

There are some 992,000,000 people or three times the population of the US barely surviving on $1,000 or less per year and that number will soon pass one billion!

Further, there are only 34 nations on the planet with formal health care systems. That leaves 157 countries with no organized health system to meet basic medical needs. And get this, there are 53 nations whose average lifespan is below 65 years of age, 40 are below 60 years of age and 18 nations have an average lifespan below 50 years of age.

Did you see that? Eighteen nations have average lifespans below age 50 and several are below age 40 for crying out loud!!

In 2006, a study conducted by The World Health Organization shows we have 136 million births every year, of those 70 million mothers and their babies excluded from health care, 4 million babies die in first month of life, 530,000 women die in pregnancy, childbirth or soon thereafter.

From the World Health Report 2006: Working Together for Health showed that about 30% of all 59 million health workers are in the USA and Canada and only 4% of health workers are in sub-Saharan Africa, which has 25% of the global disease burden and under 1% of the world’s financial resources.

In just the past ten years, 20 nations have been declared to be in famine. Not only that, the facts of World War II are enough to make one sick. During the war 60 million died. At the beginning of the war, the global population was 2.3 billion. That sobering fact tells us that nearly 3% of the population of the planet was killed in Europe and the Pacific. In today's numbers, that equates to the death of 216,000,000 or 2/3's of the U.S. population.

World War II began on September 1, 1939 when German forces invaded Poland. It ended on September 2, 1945 when Japanese officials signed the surrender documents aboard the battleship USS Missouri. It lasted six years and one day, some 27,000 people on average were killed each day of the conflict.

With these global facts, we have to reconsider that life in America cannot define a proper Biblical perspective on the truth of tribulation by our self-centered, egotistic interpretation of Scripture. Simply put, the Bible is not all about us here in the land of the free, the center of gravity of the Scriptures is in Jerusalem.

The book of Joel, the son of Pethuel reveals the reason for tribulation and Joel must be read and studied, but take some advice don't pick it apart with verse excerpts, read the prophet's scroll just as it is written, as a whole and you will see why the prophet declares God's purpose in a fast of tribulation is to prepare the world to cry out:

Consecrate a fast,
Proclaim a solemn assembly;
Gather the elders
And all the inhabitants of the land
To the house of the LORD your God,
And cry out to the LORD.
Alas for the day!
For the day of the LORD is near,
And it will come as destruction from the Almighty.
Has not food been cut off before our eyes,
Gladness and joy from the house of our God?

Joel the son of Pethuel means "Yehovah is God son of "vision of God" so, with that sobering truth, let's get started knowing each of us has our own bias to be worked through and we must be willing to speak the truth while living in lovingkindnes even if we disagree with others who have a different views.

God says He declares the end from the beginning and He means what He says. The key to understanding the end from the beginning is to understand God gives us His teaching and instruction for living because He loves us and He never changes His mind about that. He teaches us some simple guidelines about how we are to live near and in relationship with Him. It's the original message of the deceiver to fall for the idea that God does not mean what He says or that He changes His mind. Don't listen to that message any longer.

So let's take a look at what Moses wrote for us about God's teaching and instruction:
"And when all these things come upon you, the blessing and the curse, which I have set before you, and you call them to mind among all the nations where the Lord your God has driven you, "and return to the Lord your God, you and your children, and obey his voice in all that I command you today, with all your heart and with all your soul, "then the Lord your God will restore your fortunes and have compassion on you, and he will gather you again from all the peoples where the Lord your God has scattered you. "If your outcasts are in the uttermost parts of heaven, from there the Lord your God will gather you, and from there he will take you. "And the Lord your God will bring you into the land that your fathers possessed, that you may possess it. And he will make you more prosperous and numerous than your fathers. "And the Lord your God will circumcise your heart and the heart of your offspring, so that you will love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul, that you may live." Deuteronomy 30:1-6
Zephaniah has recorded some prophetic words of the fall festival of Yom Kippur, the Day of Atonement, so let's look at that as it is the day of the LORD:
"Sing aloud, O daughter of Zion; shout, O'Israel! Rejoice and exult with all your heart, O daughter of Jerusalem! The Lord has taken away the judgments against you; he has cleared away your enemies. The King of Israel, the Lord , is in your midst; you shall never again fear evil. On that day it shall be said to Jerusalem: "Fear not, O Zion; let not your hands grow weak. "The Lord your God is in your midst, a mighty one who will save; he will rejoice over you with gladness; he will quiet you by his love; he will exult over you with loud singing."I will gather those of you who mourn for the festival, so that you will no longer suffer reproach. "Behold, at that time I will deal with all your oppressors. And I will save the lame and gather the outcast, and I will change their shame into praise and renown in all the earth. "At that time I will bring you in, at the time when I gather you together; for I will make you renowned and praised among all the peoples of the earth, when I restore your fortunes before your eyes," says the Lord." Zephaniah 3:14-20
Unless we choose to reject His word, Messiah Yeshua tells us plainly that He will gather the saints together “immediately after the tribulation of those days” Matthew 24:29.

During the tribulation He will pull up the tares and prune the dead branches before th harvest just as Isaiah says:
For before the harvest, as soon as the bud blossoms
And the flower becomes a ripening grape,
Then He will cut off the sprigs with pruning knives
And remove and cut away the spreading branches.
They will be left together for mountain birds of prey,
And for the beasts of the earth;
And the birds of prey will spend the summer feeding on them,
And all the beasts of the earth will spend harvest time on them. Isaiah 18:5-6
Yeshua's great prayer in the book of John 17:14-19 is just as direct and straightforward:
"I have given them thy word; and the world hath hated them, because they are not of the world, even as I am not of the world. I pray not that thou shouldest take them out of the world, but that thou shouldest keep them from the evil.
They are not of the world, even as I am not of the world. Sanctify them through thy truth: thy word is truth. As thou hast sent me into the world, even so have I also sent them into the world. And for their sakes I sanctify myself, that they also might be sanctified through the truth."
Look again: "I pray not that thou shouldest take them out of the world, but that thou shouldest keep them from the evil."

“So shall it be at the end of the world: the angels shall come forth, and sever the wicked from among the just." Matthew 13:49

Let's read Paul's summary of the teaching and instruction of God that are found throughout the whole of Scripture and consider what the Apostle actually says:

"The time is coming when people will not endure sound teaching, but having itching ears they will accumulate for themselves teachers to suit their own passions, and will turn away from listening to the truth and wander off into myths." 2 Timothy 4:3-4

Now look at Paul's second letter to the assembly of the believing Thessalonians. Let's consider the term known to many as the "apostasy." Why? I am concerned for those that might put the faith into a "secret" rapture to "heaven" to save them from tribulation and the world from the blessing of discipline.

The concern is simple: what if Messiah's words are the plain truth?

Yeshua's prayer was that we would remain in the world, but that we would be separate from the world that does not seek truth, being set apart by the truth of God’s Word, not hiding away on a cloud.

With this Scriptural truth from the Son of God, consider what Paul really said in his warning about the return of the Messiah:
"Let no one deceive you in any way. For that day will not come, unless the rebellion comes first, and the man of lawlessness is revealed, the son of destruction, who opposes and exalts himself against every so-called god or object of worship, so that he takes his seat in the temple of God, proclaiming himself to be God." 2Thessalonians 2:3-4
That is why I am writing this today we need to get back-to-the-Bible not a Darby-like Cyrus Scofield sermon remake. To get right to it, if one puts their faith on John Darby's "secret" pre-trib imminent hide-away-rapture — they may lose their faith and fall away when they see their hidden escape hatch is not a part of God's eternal unchanging plan so we are to preach the word… reprove, rebuke, and exhort!

For starters, Messiah said he will return to earth and resurrect the dead by the shout of a trumpet on the "last day"not in a super secret "pre-trib" moment. It's time to reconsider what you may have learned about the loud trumpet, the same one mentioned in Matthew 24:31. Don't be offended but consider, the answer is found on a Sabbath day, not on Sunday.

On Yom Teruah, the last trumpet is the last shofar blown in the celebration, but Yom Kippur is also a major big-time trumpets day. It's the Sabbath day that the "great trumpet" is blown.

There are three traditional trumpets blown in most any synagogue for thousands of years... the first trump, is blown on Shavuot (Pentecost). Check out Exodus 19:19 and it was being sounded in Jerusalem as the wind arrived. You will not recognize it in Acts 2 but the sound was there: "And suddenly there came from heaven a noise like a violent rushing wind..."

The last trump is the trumpet blown on Yom Teruah and take note it is the 7th Rosh Kodesh day of shofar blowing in the 7 month countdown of the Feasts of The Lord from Nisan 1 to Tishri 1 (see Leviticus 25:1 and Revelation 11:15). This trumpet will herald the mystery of the holiest day miracle of the resurrection of the dead and alive, called from the four winds to the Jerusalem court of Messiah Yeshua. Is will be blown at the end of the Feast of Atonement (Yom Kippur) to announce that the Jubilee Year has commenced (see Matthew 24:31, 1Corinthians 15:52, 1Thessalonians 4:16 and Revelation 10:7).

The great trumpet is the mega shofar Yeshua spoke of to His disciples to be blown on the Day of The Lord Yom Kippur, which will herald the mystery of the holiest day miracle of the atonement of the dead and alive, called from the four winds on Trumpets Day to attend the Jerusalem court of King Messiah Yeshua. That great shofar will be the one that is blown in "THE" Jubilee Year of the King of the Universe announcing it is finished. That shofar will signal that all slaves to sin are free once and for all and the Promised Land will return to those that belong there with The King fulfilling God's promise given to Abraham, Isaac and Jacob (see Leviticus 25:9, Revelation 7:9 and Revelation 20).

Get ready now, get a shofar so you can join in because when you consider the fact that Matthew 24:29-31 tells us Jesus said they will see the Son of man coming in the clouds of heaven with power and great glory and the sound of a trumpet it is clear there is nothing secret about His return… after tribulation and it is obvious that this last day — is the big day of judgment. Isn't that what Revelation 15:1 tells us?
And I saw another sign in heaven, great and marvelous, seven angels having the seven last plagues; for in them is filled up the wrath of God.
As noted earlier, Zephaniah also speaks of the day of The Lord:
The great day of the LORD is near, it is near, and hasteth greatly, even the voice of the day of the LORD: the mighty man shall cry there bitterly. That day is a day of wrath, a day of trouble and distress, a day of wasteness and desolation, a day of darkness and gloominess, a day of clouds and thick darkness, A day of the trumpet and alarm against the fenced cities, and against the high towers. Zephaniah 1:14-16
If you are still with me, please consider how the current "pre-trib" doctrine is related to the hard lesson of the "golden calf" story and I'd like to show you why that is possible because darkness is coming and a lamp is needed when its dark...

First of all, we might to consider something radical in many circles — that the Israelites, still in the mindset of slavery in pagan Egypt may have actually "thought" that they were worshiping God in a proper manner when they made the "Golden Calf" so they endured the threshing board they brought on themselves a 3,000 died before redemption from their grave sin.

Their frame of mind and perspective was like many today that think an Easter bunny or Santa honors The Lord or that a pre-trib rapture "theory" is a proper way of worship in "truth," but it actually points toward a lack of trust in the protection of the blood of Messiah. The golden calf proves that many of our forefathers were infected by pagan religious practice and that they would not let go of the traditions of Egypt because they grew up in Egypt within an Egyptian multi-god, idol influenced world view.

Although they had just heard the voice of God give the Ten Commandments and agreed to the covenant, they were not focused on His message and were sorely mistaken thinking that they were honoring God when in fact they were dishonoring Him, not relying on and trusting the ten words He had given them from the fire atop Mount Sinai. They lost faith because they could not see Moses.

Many Christians still do this today, following the voice of a Darby theory instead of the unchanging truth of the words of Jesus who like Moses is not seen among us, but like Moses, He will return in glory for all the world to see no matter how many have listened to a tradition of a super secret rapture ride to hide from trouble, despite the fact Jesus did not rise in glory until He suffered.

It appears that the pre-trib rapture doctrine belong with the other traditions including those that pollute The Lord's Sabbath and the Sabbath Feasts of The Lord through the same infection of paganism seen today in Santa Claus, Christmas trees, the Easter Bunny and an Easter ham.

Instead of listening to the ten words of the voice of truth, most it seems want to rely on their traditions and the doctrines of men despite the fact that the pre-trib rapture theory, can never be found in God's Word. The thing is, despite the fact God had just commanded all Israel to NOT make an image for worship, like Adam and Eve, they chose to deliberately not follow God's thunderous voice of instruction, His Torah from the cloud on the mountain top.

While recently discussing the words of Scripture and Messiah's words in Matthew 24:29-30 and Mark 13:24-26 on the sequence of events before his return in power and glory to Jerusalem, I was told this by a local church leader: "then I'd rather believe Paul than Jesus."

I was not sure what that really mean't for that person, but it reminded me of Peter's words of deep concern:
"...His letters contain some things that are hard to understand, which ignorant and unstable people distort, as they do the other Scriptures, to their own destruction." 2 Peter 3:16 NIV

"Ignorant and unstable people distort, as they do the other Scriptures, to their own destruction."
We need to listen to Peter.

After all, Jesus plainly tells each of us the undistorted truth: "after the tribulation of those days shall the sign of the son of Man appear." In my heart of hearts, I pray this person did not mean what was said. I hope the feelings expressed were perhaps only... I hope for a pre-trib rapture because I want to be able to escape trouble and fly up, up and away in an escape cloud before things get tough.

Our Messiah and Savior plainly said that our hope is resurrection and life with Him as He leads the planer from Jerusalem, not a rapture bus before the last day. See His words for yourself:
"And this is the Father's will which hath sent me, that of all which he hath given me I should lose nothing, but should raise it up again at the last day. And this is the will of him that sent me, that every one which seeth the Son, and believeth on him, may have everlasting life: and I will raise him up at the last day." John 6:39-40
The Messiah was required to suffer before He could enter into His glory in the Tabernacle of Heaven as the High Priest in the order Melchizedek. So too, we must experience tribulation just as He did. In fact, we are told by the Apostle Paul when he wrote to Timothy that those who follow Messiah will suffer as He did yet be rescued:
You, however, know all about my teaching, my way of life, my purpose, faith, patience, love, endurance, persecutions, sufferings--what kinds of things happened to me in Antioch, Iconium and Lystra, the persecutions I endured. Yet the Lord rescued me from all of them. In fact, everyone who wants to live a godly life in Christ Jesus will be persecuted, while evildoers and impostors will go from bad to worse, deceiving and being deceived. But as for you, continue in what you have learned and have become convinced of, because you know those from whom you learned it, and how from infancy you have known the Holy Scriptures, which are able to make you wise for salvation through faith in Christ Jesus. 2Timothy 3:10-15

Was Paul just making stuff up when he said: "everyone who wants to live a godly life in Christ Jesus will be persecuted"?

No, he was admonishing the disciple Timothy that God tells us over and over what we are to do before He returns: "return to me and I will return to you." Simply put, God gives us our assignment and job #1 once we meet Messiah in our life journey: REPENT and demonstrate our love for Him by following His teaching and instruction that is found in the Torah and revealed in the Gospels!

The key to misunderstanding "the great tribulation" is that it is for some of the elect children of God that have wandered outside God's path. It will serve as a rod of correction for children that are loved. If you are a parent you can understand this kind of love because you have certainly corrected your child out of your parental love imploring them to come back under your authority and guidance. If you did not, what kind of parent would you be?

Don't take my word for it. Check this out for yourself.

Jeremiah quotes The Lord God:
"I will give them a heart to know Me, for I am the LORD; and they will be My people, and I will be their God, for they will return to Me with their whole heart." Jeremiah 24:7
Zechariah confirms this about ur Heavenly Father:
"Therefore say to them, 'Thus says the LORD of hosts, "Return to Me," declares the LORD of hosts, "that I may return to you," says the LORD of hosts. Zechariah 1:3
Malachi gives a third witness to this prophetic instruction:
"From the days of your fathers you have turned aside from My statutes and have not kept {them.} Return to Me, and I will return to you," says the LORD of hosts." Malachi 3:7
But you might say, "How shall we return?" Malachi writes the answer that God gives him:
"Remember the Torah of Moses My servant, {even the} statutes and ordinances which I commanded him in Horeb for all Israel.

Behold, I am going to send you Elijah the prophet before the coming of the great and terrible day of the LORD. He will restore the hearts of the fathers to {their} children and the hearts of the children to their fathers, so that I will not come and smite the land with a curse." Malachi 4:4-6
Matthew records the words of Messiah that we do not hear today. Messiah speaks of the refining fire of coming tribulation, the refining that is hard to accept when He tells us:
For the gate is "narrow" and the way is hard that leads to life, and those who find it are few. Matthew 7:14
How do we know this? Just look at the language from which this was translated, the Greek Strong's Concordance tells us the word "narrow" here is actually "thlibō". It means "to trouble, afflict, distress," it means "tribulation."

For the gate is tribulation and the way is hard that leads to life, and those who find it are few.

Let's now consider Jesus, the words of Yeshua before leaving the visible realm of the planet. Hosea prophesied of His delayed return from the unseen dimension of heaven and the purpose of tribulation so that many may walk into the gate of new Jerusalem:
"I will go away {and} return to My place until they acknowledge their guilt and seek My face; In their affliction they will earnestly seek Me." Hosea 5:15
In their affliction they will earnestly seek Me, the rod has a purpose and believe it or not Hosea records the time frame for His return as two thousand years when he writes:
"Come, let us return to the LORD. For He has torn {us}, but He will heal us; He has wounded {us}, but He will bandage us. "He will revive us after two days; He will raise us up on the third day, That we may live before Him. Hosea 6:1-2
Folks, in prophetic Biblical time, two days is 2,000 years.

Matthew recorded Yeshua's words as The Lord described the time and season of His return as the lion of the tribe of Judah to His disciples:
Matthew 24:7 For nation shall rise against nation, and kingdom against kingdom: and there shall be famines, and pestilences, and earthquakes, in divers places.
"But immediately after the tribulation of those days the sun will be darkened, and the moon will not give its light, and the stars will fall from the sky, and the powers of the heavens will be shaken. "And then the sign of the Son of Man will appear in the sky, and then all the tribes of the earth will mourn, and they will see the Son of Man coming on the clouds of the sky with power and great glory. "And He will send forth His angels with a great trumpet and they will gather together His elect from the four winds, from one end of the sky to the other." Matthew 24:29-31
Revelation tells us of seven trumpets, so if the elect are to be restored and gathered into the Kingdom at the last Trumpet, don't you think they will be around for the first six?

Perhaps we should consider that those messengers, those "angels" that are to be sent forth may possibly be the 144,000 described by John in Revelation 7.

Jeremiah also recorded the words he heard from The Lord on the regathering of His people before Messiah's return:
"Behold, I am bringing them from the north country, And I will gather them from the remote parts of the earth, Among them the blind and the lame, The woman with child and she who is in labor with child, together; A great company, they will return here." Jeremiah 31:8
Both of Jeremiah 30 and Jeremiah 31 give an amazing story that The Lord told the prophet to write down for all believers. I encourage you to read it and study it.

The writer of Acts quotes the Scriptures Jesus read telling us The Lord will return and restore:
"And to this agree the words of the prophets; as it is written, After these things I will return, and I will rebuild the tabernacle of David which has fallen, and I will rebuild its ruins, and I will restore it, so that the rest of mankind may seek the Lord, and all the gentiles who are called by my name, says the Lord, who makes these things known from long ago." Acts 15:16-18
Zechariah gives us an amazing look into the future that has not been fulfilled, in Zechariah 8, the prophet describes this:
"Thus says the LORD, 'I will return to Zion and will dwell in the midst of Jerusalem. Then Jerusalem will be called the City of Truth, and the mountain of the LORD of hosts {will be called} the Holy Mountain.' 
"Thus says the LORD of hosts, 'Old men and old women will again sit in the streets of Jerusalem, each man with his staff in his hand because of age. 'And the streets of the city will be filled with boys and girls playing in its streets.'... "'So many peoples and mighty nations will come to seek the LORD of hosts in Jerusalem and to entreat the favor of the LORD.'" Zechariah 8:3-5
Job concurs with this promise:
For I know that my Redeemer liveth and that He shall stand at the latter day upon the earth. Job 19:25
Now, back to the golden calf story... Remember God "declares the End from the Beginning". Isaiah 41:22.

The whole Exodus story, from the plagues — to the grievous golden calf error, can really seem bizarre if we don't look back at Egyptian pagan religious history and its mythology. Remember when Pharaoh told Moses he did not know his God and then Pharaoh consulted his mystics? He did this because they had so many gods, perhaps the Pharaoh could not keep up with all of their names!

As to the golden calf, we must also consider the fire that they used. This is because Aaron was the one that performed the deed at the request of many. He built the fire and his two sons Nadab and Abihu may have helped him or at least they may have been standing nearby watching their father build the fire used to melt the gold jewelry to cast their idol.

Do you remember what happened to them immediately after the golden calf incident?

Nadab and Abihu were both burned up by the fire of God because they offered "strange" fire. Have you ever wondered why it was strange? The Hebrew word used here for "strange" means loathsome. Have you ever wondered where they obtained that strange fire? Was it the fire that was used to melt the metal?

Let's look closer at the account given in the Bible:
And Nadab and Abihu, the sons of Aaron, took either of them his censer, and put fire therein, and put incense thereon, and offered strange fire before the LORD, which he commanded them not. And there went out fire from the LORD, and devoured them, and they died before the LORD. Leviticus 10:1-2
God was upset that certain men of Israel made a fire a strange [loathsome] fire to melt the gold mistakenly intended as a gift to God for His Tabernacle to make a golden calf directly opposing His first and second word of instruction to never have other gods before me or make any graven image or have a false idol whether, birds, fish or other animals.

Could it have been that the origin of the fire that the two sons of Aaron brought up to God's altar could have possibly have been from the embers used to make the golden calf? After all, in ancient times, people needed fire for warmth, light and they needed it to prepare food. Fire was very important for survival, and to start a fire by striking a piece of metal with a piece of flint wasn't quick and easy or needed if a fire was already started. If you needed fire you would take a hot ember already burning. When traveling, you could even keep a hot coal wrapped up in a tin, along with some tinder or cloth because the oldest way to make fire would have been to carry the fire.

If you think about it, that is likely what Nadab and Abihu actually did as they borrowed the loathsome fire used to melt the metal.

Either way, the fire they brought before The Lord was loathsome.

In fact, in ancient times even fire was known to be a false god. Moloch was an ancient loathsome god of the Canaanites, the false god of fire. Did Nadab and Abihu bring the fire of Molech before God? They may well have.

If they did, consider this: the fire may have looked the same but it wasn't. Like the rapture, it may look like the resurrection destined for the last day, but it isn't, its an any day thing that skips the promise of the refining fire of God promised by Messiah:
I am come to send fire on the earth; and what will I, if it be already kindled? But I have a baptism to be baptized with; and how am I straitened till it be accomplished! Suppose ye that I am come to give peace on earth? I tell you, Nay... Luke 12:49-51
Now consider this. The Egyptian people worshiped Hathor. But get this... Hathor was a cow, a corruption of the truth!

The deceiver does this for a living. He takes YHVH's simple truth, twists it and corrupts it with deceptive words to suit his needs and tickle our ears so that we become corrupted by our own bad choices. The result is simple, we cannot draw near to God not could Nadab and Abihu.

In the ancient Paleo pictographic script, the first letter of the Hebrew aleph-bet is the Aleph. It represents "strength" and it stands alone, the letter represents God, in Hebrew El or Elohim. The satanic corruption and twisting of this meaning is likely how the ancient Egypt's pagans ended up with a false idol Hathor that still lingers in Hinduism where the cow is a symbol of wealth and strength.

Hathor's counterpart was Apis the Egyptian's bull god. It seems then that the people, including Moses brother Aaron, that insisted on making the Golden Calf did so because of their background of living within Egyptian culture for hundreds of years and their perhaps innocent but misguided symbol of strength that came from Egypt. But we must know that "God is not [the author] of confusion, but of peace... 1 Corinthians 14:33

We might also consider why Aaron was not allowed to enter the Promised Land. Scholars say in part it may have due to the Golden Calf sin. Both Moses and Aaron’s lack of faith in the words of God prevented them from entering the land.
“And the LORD spake unto Moses and Aaron, Because ye believed me not, to sanctify me in the eyes of the children of Israel, therefore ye shall not bring this congregation into the land which I have given them.” Numbers 20:12
Aaron's mistaken reference for proper worship was far from God's instruction from atop the mountain. Aaron built the golden calf for the Israelites and much judgment came:

“And the LORD plagued the people, because they made the calf, which Aaron made” Exodus 32:35

Aaron did this despite the words that he and everyone there heard from the smoke and fire...
“You shall not make for yourself an image in the form of anything in heaven above or on the earth beneath or in the waters below. You shall not bow down to them or worship them; for I, the Lord your God, am a jealous God, punishing the children for the sin of the parents to the third and fourth generation of those who hate me, 6 but showing love to a thousand generations of those who love me and keep my commandments." Exodus 20:4-6
I do not think for a minute that the Aaron and the Exodus family was trying to worship Hathor or Apis, I believe they were in a twisted way, "trying" to honor God not believing what He had just said, but they were doing so in the wrong way, they were in deception, just like Adam and Eve. Aaron and the Israelites had not heeded the simple instruction God had just given them from the top of Mount Sinai, "make no idols or graven image". They were not "doing" His word, they were doing things their way.

Rather than drawing closer to Him, like Adam and Eve they brought on their own penalty for their sin and the result was the same... separation from God. Do we somehow do the same if we ignore the words of Messiah Yeshua recorded by both Matthew, Mark and John?
Immediately after the tribulation of those days shall the sun be darkened, and the moon shall not give her light, and the stars shall fall from heaven, and the powers of the heavens shall be shaken: And then shall appear the sign of the Son of man in heaven: and then shall all the tribes of the earth mourn, and they shall see the Son of man coming in the clouds of heaven with power and great glory. Matthew 24:29-30

"But in those days, after that tribulation, the sun shall be darkened, and the moon shall not give her light, And the stars of heaven shall fall, and the powers that are in heaven shall be shaken. And then shall they see the Son of man coming in the clouds with great power and glory." Mark 13:24-26

"These things I have spoken unto you, that in me ye might have peace. In the world ye shall have tribulation: but be of good cheer; I have overcome the world." John 16:33
Hows about the book of Acts?
"Confirming the souls of the disciples, and exhorting them to continue in the faith, and that we must through much tribulation enter into the kingdom of God." Acts 14:22
The people of Israel as shown in the Bible certainly knew that God was real and that He had indeed saved them but despite the miracles that they witnessed and participated in they were deceived by their own misguided perceptions and that led to the disaster of breaking their promise to God that was given at Sinai!

The sojourners, strangers and the descendants of Israel had just walked out of Egypt following Almighty God's pillar of fire. He led them out of slavery, oppression and the plagues into a camp by the mountain near God's glory presence! Exodus 19:6 tells us that they had just received a great promise and blessing that they could become Kingdom priests serving near God and witnessing to the nations. But because of their disobedience and breaking the covenant in which they promised to do all the spoken instruction of God, the firstborn sons of all the tribes Israel lost this priestly blessing so it was given only to the tribe of Levi to serve as priests.

All of Israel, every one had played a big part in the first three of the ten plagues of Egypt and they all witnessed seven more plagues directed against their Egyptian oppressors. Likely, just seven days after the Passover salvation they went through a mighty baptism (in Hebrew - mikveh) through the miracle parting of the sea as they crossed through the sea into the wilderness.

Then, just moments after they crossed over later the great bowl of wrath called the Red Sea was poured out on the Pharaoh and his Egyptian armies that pursued them. They all drowned in the same water that saved Israel and those with them. Do you see the Feast Day connection of Passover to tribulation?

A few weeks later, some 50 days after they had been saved from the death of the firstborn in Egypt by the blood of the lamb, on Shavuot they saw the smoke, lightning and the fire on the mountain top as they heard God's trumpet and the thunder of His mighty voice as the ground shook beneath them.

Yet they persisted in the traditions of Egypt. Do you remember what the people were doing when Moses returned from the mountain with the two stones of the ten words inscribed in them? They were dancing and celebrating to the image of a cow!

After this abomination of the Golden Calf, God taught Moses how He deals with sin. God's answer is known as the "Attributes of Mercy." This is seen in Exodus 34:6–7 and the event happened when Moses arrived with the second set of stone tablets and if we return to the Sinai after the Golden Calf we see Moses pleading with God to save the sinners.

Many rabbis believe it was the first day of Elul when Moses ascended Mount Sinai, and then 40 days later on the day of atonements, Yom Kippurim, Moses returned to the people, with a renewed covenant, a second set of stone tablets in his hands that represented God's lovingkindness, mercy and forgiveness.

Still today, the month of Elul initiates a 40-day period of repentance that is honored by the Jewish people and it culminates in Yom Kippur, the 10th of Tishrei that God designated as a day of atonement for all future generations. Many miss it ignoring the Fall Feasts of The Lord, but this day, is infused and woven within the message and images of the book of Revelation.

Forty is a Biblical number of trial and testing of faith.

Ancient Israel did not make a second golden calf, they remained faithful. It rained on Noah's world for 40 days and 40 nights when God cleansed the world; the Israelites spent 40 years in the wilderness, one year for each day they explored the Promised Land; Goliath threatened the army of Israel for forty days before David's sling arrived; Jonah warned Nineveh and they repented in 40 days as God spared the city; Jesus was tested for 40 days in the wilderness and He remained 40 days after His Passover cross, burial and resurrection in glory.

Following the revealing of God's "Attributes of Mercy," Moses remained 40 days atop the mountain with God. In all, Moses spent 120 days atop Sinai and that points back to the words God gave Noah about striving with man 120 years in Genesis 6:3.

Atonement is as critical today as it was then. As we have noted, many still carry strange fire and celebrate days with pagan roots including Christmas, Easter and even Halloween in churches across the planet.

The Israelites celebration around the golden calf was a remnant of the Egyptian false-goddess "Hathor" which was the idol of music and "dance" in ancient Egypt. Depictions of the false goddess are found everywhere in the Egyptian writings and inscriptions that are still around for us to witness. Just "Google" the name Hathor and click on the "Images" link to see this for yourself. Hathor was the queen of Horus, she was the false mother-goddess of the whole world in Egyptian mythology.

"Horus" is also seen in many Egyptian inscriptions in the form of a falcon-headed man, but Hathor is also shown in other depictions as a lion with the head of a falcon, or you may have guessed — a sphinx! Many say the eye of Horus is found on every U.S. treasury note, they say it's the eye above the pyramid, I know this is really weird but just take a look for yourself at the dollar bill sitting in your wallet or purse.

God sent hail and destroyed the crops and cattle of Egypt and the other plagues to show the Egyptian people that He alone is GOD and greater than any false god or idol made by man. By this plague, their false god Seth, "the protector of crops" was shown to be nothing and have no protective powers at all.

It seems crazy but if you dig deep into Egyptian mythology you will see there were many other false gods our Creator destroyed in Egypt, and He will do it again just as He has now begun to crumble our false gods of money and wealth. If you just think about the United States is truly one nation under debt. The same is true for all that worship the almighty dollar, the Euro or any other currency for that matter. He will be doing the same with our false beliefs that we are a god choosing that homosexuality is a lifestyle or that public prayer in school is a crime.

Consider this about the plagues:

God provided His staff to Moses so that it could devour Pharaoh's snakes. That seems very odd when you think about it with not other context right? Well, the snake gods of Egypt were Denwen and Wadjet. Yes, they had names.

You many have wondered, what's the deal with all the frogs? God sent the frog plague to prove that Heqet the Egyptian frog goddess was a joke.

Remember, there was no bug repellent in those days. The Nile mosquitoes must have been everywhere. Perhaps you can now imagine why frogs were sacred to the Egyptians. Think about malaria for a moment. If anyone in Egypt killed a frog the penalty was a death sentence, but the slavery and imprisonment of the people Israel was not a crime in this land.

The plague of gnats was an attack on Geb, the Egyptian god of earth and vegetation. The plague of flies was against Khepfi, the god of insects. God sent the locusts to prove Renenutet the goddess of the harvest was a goddess of nothing and this plague also mocked Isis, protector against locusts, and Seth, protector of crops.

God soured the water and turned it to blood to prove Hapi the god of the Nile River, Naunet the water god, Heryshef the riverbank goddess and Hatmehyt the fish goddess simply did not exist. In fact, the Nile River was full of different gods, there was even a crocodile god named Sobek. They were all destroyed literally and in the hearts and minds of every Egyptian. That's why you may have never heard of them before now.

The hail storm was an attack on Nut, the sky goddess. The boils were an attack on Imhotep the god of medicine and wisdom.

YHVH, the holy One of Israel, the God of Abraham, Isaac and Jacob covered Egypt in darkness to show that Ra, Montu and Aten the solar gods and Nefertem the god of sunrise had no power whatsoever. Finally, He sent His own angel destroyer who killed the firstborn of Egypt to prove beyond a doubt in any Egyptian mind that Osiris, the god of the dead and Apep the destroyer god were nothing but false gods.

On top of that He saved Israel with the blood of a lamb. In Egypt, a lamb was sacred. Sheep were also considered a pagan god of the Egyptians, the ram headed false god Amun.

It is also very important and critical to understand that many of these same false gods later "morphed" into the pagan gods of the mythologies of Greece and Rome. But they all began in ancient Babylon and they existed in Assyria too. So, as you can now see, the real purpose of the plagues was to destroy the false gods and idols of Egypt and to show the Egyptians that their gods did not exist! This is very significant and important to understand because the ancient idols that still exist in the Middle East. Pharaoh told Moses he did not know his God YHVH, but God told Moses:
"The Egyptians shall know that I am YHVH, when I stretch out my hand against Egypt and bring out the people of Israel from among them." Exodus 18:11
Indeed, false worship was the first thing God spoke about on the mountain in the wilderness at Sinai when He spoke from the quaking mountain covered with fire and smoke when He declared the first words to the people of Israel and the sojourners that were among them. They became very afraid when they heard His voice when He said:

"You shall have no other gods before Me."

No gods, no idols... in other words, we are to solely rely on The Lord for our salvation, He alone is God, our creator. He alone provides our salvation through His grace.

Moses' father-in-law only came to understand this after he heard of all that had happened to the Israelites. Why else would he say:
"Blessed be the Lord, who has delivered you out of the hand of the Egyptians and out of the hand of Pharaoh and has delivered the people from under the hand of the Egyptians. Now I know that the Lord is greater than all gods, because in this affair they dealt arrogantly with the people." This is recorded by Moses in Exodus 18:10-11.
This is a message for us today. I know that God will again deal with false gods. Today, they are many of the same false gods that existed in Moses' day, they just have new and different names. Millions of people in India still worship cows right? God will do the same again to those that worship the false gods now called Allah, Buda, the Hindu gods, Confucius and so on.

Today, we need to make sure that we are following the God of Abraham, Isaac and Jacob.

We must make sure our faith and trust is in the Messiah of Israel and His word. Let's not get confused, instead let's look again at His words to see just what did He says about Hi s own coming:
But in those days, after that tribulation, the sun shall be darkened, and the moon shall not give her light, And the stars of heaven shall fall, and the powers that are in heaven shall be shaken. And then shall they see the Son of man coming in the clouds with great power and glory. And then shall he send his angels, and shall gather together his elect from the four winds, from the uttermost part of the earth to the uttermost part of heaven. Mark 13:24-27
Many fine and wonderful people have one understanding of what many call the rapture and that has been the so-called "pre-trib" view.

It may be distressing to learn, but if we throw out tradition and look at the Bible it reads that Jesus-Yeshua plainly teaches His coming as a post-trib regathering of His elect bride.

Tribulation is for a time of testing and refining. Many Most Christians do not realize the Torah has everything to do with prophecy, and that the stories are not old, they are prophetic too.

For example, chapter five in the Book of Numbers describes the trial of a suspected adulterous bride. Notice first she is the bride, not a harlot. Chapter five describes the law of jealousies where the bride suffers because of her unfaithfulness.

Sometimes the truth is tough, but we all know it is always best to know the truth.

The elect living in the time of the final generation face great persecution and hardship like a fire refining silver and gold. We saw tribulation with the Armenian Genocide in 1915 and just thirty years later one-third of the tribe of Judah was massacred by Hitler's great tribulation as 6 million Jews lost their lives.

My fear is no one seems to see these horrific events in the light of Biblical prophecy and many may fall away relying on a rapture ride instead of looking to the coming of Messiah (please see Matthew 24:9, 10 and 2Thessalonians 2:3). But a remnant will not fall away, they will return to the first century faith.

Unlike the mixed faith of many denominations today, which for most believers means the law is hung on the cross, a remnant are now returning to Torah and The Way of Messiah.

The Bible teaches that tribulation, travail and pain works like a refining fire and causes many with discernment to return to God's teaching and instruction, His Torah. This is an amazing repentance, a great awakening if you will as the lessons taught by Messiah Yeshua almost 2,000 years ago in Jerusalem are restored as the faith of Abraham, Isaac and Jacob are reborn.

Thank God, the birthing process of this latter-day repentance and return to the word of God that Micah proclaimed has begun but it goes un-noticed by most. Over the last few years, a worldwide remnant of people are rediscovering that every word of the Bible stands unchanged as God's Spirit has begun His work writing His word on people's hearts.

What's the evidence? Remember the Torah is prophetic and people are rediscovering God's sign post given in Exodus 31:13-17. Everywhere it seems, people are feeling a tug at their heart string to support Israel in some way and to return to the Sabbath and celebrate the Feast Days of the Lord.
"And in the latter days it shall be that the mountain of the House of YHVH is established on the top of the mountains, and shall be exalted above the hills. And peoples shall flow to it. And many nations shall come and say, "Come and let us go up to the mountain of YHVH, to the House of the God of Jacob, and let Him teach us His ways, and let us walk in His paths. For out of Zion comes forth the Torah and the word of YHVH from Jerusalem." Micah 4: 1-2
Trouble is one terrible thing, and the tribulation is caused by mankind's enraged dark spirit of anti-christ (see Revelation 12:12 and 1John 4:3). The events of the great tribulation are clearly the result of men’s hate as well as those that oppose the people of God and seek to destroy. Like a parable, this is being lived out across the globe today and in the Middle East as nations rage. Many of them seek to destroy the land of Israel.

Since 9/11, terrorism and fanatic horror crimes against humanity is well understood in this generation as it was with the World War II generation and before that the World War I generation. But today war can arrives at any place and any time as terror attacks are reported daily as religious hate intensifies.

Believers have no exemption, but God will use evil for His good. This was seen after 9/11 to return people to Him. The sudden tribulation of 9/11 stunned everyone, but sadly only a couple of weeks later the pews that were full of people praying diminished like a vapor trail. Revelation promises that the righteous will persevere from the hour of trial, see Revelation 7:14, Revelation 12:11, Revelation 14:12-13 and Revelation 20:4.

At the end God's will oppose those that are unrepentant, see Revelation 9:4, Revelation 16:2 and Revelation 16:10-11.

We must trust God's word and return to the ways of the Bible. God wants to shine His light on a dark world and those with the light have a repentant heart walking in God's instruction.

Consider this, the Israelites were there in Egypt among the Egyptians and all the plagues against them and their false gods, yet because they believed and followed the instructions given to Moses, they were saved from the angel of death. In fact, they were saved by the blood of a Passover Lamb! This story will repeat.

Once again, notice: they followed the instruction of God and they came out of the slavery of their tribulation and witnessed the terrible plagues against the Egyptians. So, by now you may be asking, are you nuts, what does this have to do with a "pre-trib" rapture?

Please don't take this wrong... it is not meant as an insult or to offend anyone, but if you consider yourself as one of "His people," perhaps you are one of the "last generation" before His return. You are here now reading this for a reason and if you are looking to a "secret rapture" as your "blessed" hope, if you a looking to an "escape hatch" angel flight for your salvation, then you will want to ask yourself an extremely tough question:

Has that anytime, secret rapture in itself, somehow become much like the Golden Calf of the Exodus in your life??

Perhaps it has if you have put your faith, your theology, a part of your worship into a rapture "event" rather than the plain words of Almighty. We must be very careful and not allow a "pre-trib rapture" to innocently but unwittingly morph into a kind of false hope, a golden parachute... or "idol". Listen to God.
Thou shalt not make unto thee any graven image, or any likeness [of any thing] that [is] in heaven... Exodus 20:4
I am very concerned that many professing Christians and pastors talk and teach about a "secret rapture" thing in heaven, an event and time when planes and trains crash because people, are whisked away in a vapor. It seems there is more conversation and that there are more sermons on this "top secret," not shown in Scripture doctrine than there are sermons about what God instructs us plainly on what WE MUST DO BEFORE He will return to rule as King on earth from Jerusalem. We are to repent and return to "doing" His word.

Do the words of Jeremiah reflect on today's book selling “dispensationalist” pastors preaching the dreams of Margaret MacDonald in the 1830's and their interpretations by John Nelson Darby and Cyrus Scofield?
This is what you keep saying to a prophet: ‘What is the LORD’s answer to you?’ or ‘What has the LORD spoken?’

Although you claim, ‘This is a message from the LORD,’ this is what the LORD says: You used the words, ‘This is a message from the LORD,’ even though I told you that you must not claim, ‘This is a message from the LORD.’ Jeremiah 23:37-38
John warned about teaching from dreams and visions:
“Beloved, believe not every spirit, but try the spirits whether they are of God: because many false prophets are gone out into the world.” 1 John 4:1
Paul gave a warning too:
“Now the Spirit speaks expressly, that in the latter times some shall depart from the faith, giving heed to seducing spirits, and doctrines of devils.” 1 Timothy 4:1
Darby's dispensational teaching was that "the church" replaced Israel and that the law was done away with. His views were darkly tainted in the bitter root of anti-semitism. Those that followed him, taught that God has turned His back on the Jewish people teaching that God had changed His mind.

Many still teach this about the Sabbath, that it has changed from the 7th to the 6th day and that the Feast have been done away with. If that is the case, then the Sabbath rest of the Messianic time known as the millennium is doomed.

Darby's words trained many in deception that "the church" will be raptured away in a cloud before tribulation and that a punishment would come on earth against the Jewish people.

Yet, Jesus, a Jew and a Rabbi born in Bethlehem and circumcised on the 8th day in obedience to the covenant given to Abraham never taught this. He taught Torah, in fact he expounded on its light of truth and said it would never be done away with:
"Let your light so shine before men, that they may see your good works, and glorify your Father which is in heaven. Think not that I am come to destroy the law, or the prophets: I am not come to destroy, but to fulfil. For verily I say unto you, Till heaven and earth pass, one jot or one tittle shall in no wise pass from the law, till all be fulfilled. Whosoever therefore shall break one of these least commandments, and shall teach men so, he shall be called the least in the kingdom of heaven: but whosoever shall do and teach [them], the same shall be called great in the kingdom of heaven." Matthew 5:16-19
When asked, He taught that loving God and one another are the greatest commands, the mitzvah of the Torah that sums up the whole of Scripture:
"This is the first and greatest commandment. A second is equally important: 'Love your neighbor as yourself.' The entire law [Torah] and all the demands of the prophets are based on these two commandments." Matthew 22:38-40
Yeshua taught of resurrection and restoration of God's will on earth, not a hide away rapture escape:
"Jesus replied, "Your mistake is that you don't know the Scriptures, and you don't know the power of God. 30 For when the dead rise, they will neither marry nor be given in marriage. In this respect they will be like the angels in heaven. "But now, as to whether there will be a resurrection of the dead -- haven't you ever read about this in the Scriptures? Long after Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob had died, God said, 'I am the God of Abraham, the God of Isaac, and the God of Jacob.' So he is the God of the living, not the dead." When the crowds heard him, they were astounded at his teaching." Matthew 22:29-33 NLT
Yeshua taught that the role of the disciple that walks in the way of Yeshua is to embrace brother Judah. He taught from the words of Zechariah 12:7 that says:
"The LORD also shall save the tents of Judah first, that the glory of the house of David and the glory of the inhabitants of Jerusalem do not magnify themselves against Judah."
If you have a hardened heart and doubt this in Darby's deception, put on your Bible glasses and re-read the order of the instruction in Acts 1:8:
"But you will receive power when the Holy Spirit comes upon you, and you will be My witnesses in Jerusalem, and in all Judea and Samaria, and to the ends of the earth."
In Romans 11:25 Paul wrote:
"I do not want you to be ignorant of this mystery, brothers and sisters, so that you may not be conceited: Israel has experienced a hardening in part until the full number of the Gentiles has come in,"
The fullness of the Gentiles is misunderstood and twisted in another deception. Fullness is not just a number, it means walking as a witness in the oath of the Ten Words outlining the Torah path of covenant with God in a way that reflects the fullness of the Torah and the prophets that point to Messiah.

By this, you can see that words are important in the Bible. One of the key words in the so-called rapture debate is the "cloud" noted by Paul:
"For the Lord himself will come down from heaven, with a loud command, with the voice of the archangel and with the trumpet call of God, and the dead in Christ will rise first. After that, we who are still alive and are left will be caught up together with them in the clouds to meet the Lord in the air." 1Thessalonians 4:16-17
Since so many put their faith in John Darby instead of Jesus and the "cloud" Paul wrote of, let's look closer.

At Sinai, a "cloud" of fire was seen before the exodus "crowd," the Hebrew people of the tribes of Israel and the sojourners and strangers joined with them. A pillar of fire led them to the mountain "after" tribulation in Egypt. If you have not heard this before, you can do your own research. Just open you Bible, read the so-called Old and New Testament verses for yourself and open a concordance. As you read the letter of Paul, you will find the Greek word translated as "clouds" is "nephelē" which according to the Strong's Greek Lexicon means "used of the cloud which led the Israelites in the wilderness".

Again, do not take my word for it for a minute, look it up for yourself!

Remember - God declares the end from the beginning. So let's look at the beginning when Scripture tells us of this Shekinah glory "cloud". It is the Hebrew word `anan עָנָן.
And the LORD went before them by day in a pillar of a cloud, to lead them the way; and by night in a pillar of fire, to give them light; to go by day and night: He took not away the pillar of the cloud by day, nor the pillar of fire by night, [from] before the people. Exodus 13:21-22
Now let's consider the concept of a "secret" anytime rapture.

Except to those that ignore God's word or add or take away from it, there was certainly nothing secret about the "great exodus" from Egypt as the people named Israel saw God's Shekinah Glory. Everyone saw it, even the Egyptians. We need to learn from this as we consider a future "greater exodus". You've heard it here before, God's word is clear as He declared the end from the beginning:
Let them bring [them] forth, and show us what shall happen: let them show the former things, what they [be], that we may consider them, and know the latter end of them; or declare us things for to come. Isaiah 46:10 Declaring the end from the beginning, and from ancient times [the things] that are not [yet] done, saying, My counsel shall stand, and I will do all my pleasure Isaiah 41:22
There is nothing secret about the second coming of Messiah King Yeshua that will look just as it did at Sinai. Since you're counting on the words of Paul, take note, he said so himself. Just reread his words with some bold emphasis:
"For the Lord himself will come down from heaven, 1) with a loud command, 2) with the voice of the archangel and 3) with the trumpet call of God, and the dead in Christ will rise first. After that, 4) we who are still alive and are left will be caught up together with them in the clouds to meet the Lord in the air." 1Thessalonians 4:16-17
Does the numbering help you see the truth? ...We who are still alive and are left... Oops, did you see that? "we who are still alive and left..." whoa Paul must not understand the pre-trib popular "left behind" teaching of today. If he did he certainly would have never said "we who are still alive and left..."

If you want to understand the end, you have to know the beginning. We have to understand the Fall Feasts to possess wisdom of God's future plans, otherwise it is easy to become confused by the doctrines of men.

Ladies and Gentlemen, God does not change so there are some things we need to know. Scripture says there are two resurrections and: 1) the first resurrection occurs after the "tribulation" and 2) the second resurrection occurs at the close of the millennium before the Yom Kippur judgment and the restoration of the new Heaven and earth on Shemini Azereth.

Clearly, there are two resurrections plainly stated in Scripture. There is no pre-resurrection, no practice session, no pre-game warm-up. The Bible describes:

# 1 - Resurrection after tribulation for those killed for the witness of Messiah and His word during that time of tribulation for the whole family of God... Jacob's trouble, not just Judah's.
And I saw thrones, and they sat upon them, and judgment was given unto them: and [I saw] the souls of them that were beheaded for the witness of Yeshua (Jesus), and for the word of God (Bible), and which had not worshiped the beast, neither his image, neither had received [his] mark upon their foreheads, or in their hands; and they lived and reigned with Messiah a thousand years. Revelation 20:4
#2 - A second resurrection occurs at the end of the millennium at the day of God's wrath and His Yom Kippur white throne judgment of mankind and those that willfully reject and oppose Him when the thousand years are expired and Satan is loosed just as he was in Eden to deceive the nations which are in the four quarters of the earth. Gog and Magog will arrive at the final battle... and the second death will conclude the matter just as the first was expulsion from Eden due to sin.
"But the rest of the dead lived not again until the thousand years were finished. This [is] the first resurrection. Blessed and holy [is] he that hath part in the first resurrection: on such the second death hath no power, but they shall be priests of God and of Messiah, and shall reign with him a thousand years." Revelation 20:5-6
When the old passes away in the second death, God promises to restore His creation and mankind to the original intended state of glory that existed in Eden during creation week...
And I saw a new heaven and a new earth: for the first heaven and the first earth were passed away; and there was no more sea. And I John saw the holy city, new Jerusalem, coming down from God out of heaven, prepared as a bride adorned for her husband. And I heard a great voice out of heaven saying, Behold, the tabernacle of God [is] with men, and he will dwell with them, and they shall be his people, and God himself shall be with them, [and be] their God. And God shall wipe away all tears from their eyes; and there shall be no more death, neither sorrow, nor crying, neither shall there be any more pain: for the former things are passed away. And he that sat upon the throne said, Behold, I make all things new. And he said unto me, Write: for these words are true and faithful. And he said unto me, It is done. I am Alpha and Omega, the beginning and the end. I will give unto him that is athirst of the fountain of the water of life freely. He that overcometh shall inherit all things; and I will be his God, and he shall be my son. Revelation 21:1-7
It is at this new beginning... after the days of the old earth, after the days of death from sin that God will do a new thing as He promised to Jeremiah. a day when each person will personally know the face of God and sin no more...
But this [shall be] the covenant that I will make with the house of Israel; After those days, saith the LORD, I will put my law in their inward parts, and write it in their hearts; and will be their God, and they shall be my people. And they shall teach no more every man his neighbor, and every man his brother, saying, Know the LORD: for they shall all know me, from the least of them unto the greatest of them, saith the LORD: for I will forgive their iniquity, and I will remember their sin no more. Jeremiah 31:33-34
God gives us a simple instruction, we are to return to Him just as He told Malachi and other prophets. I pray I have not gone overboard but I just do not think we should really ever define ourselves as to our faith based on a "secret" rapture, but only on God, who is sovereign.

Paul is describing the "falling away" of a generation that would lose faith "during tribulation". Is this possible because they will be relying on a replacement theology focused on a  "pre-trib rapture" instead of witnessing for God through tribulation? Many say that the "falling away" is supposed to take place after the "rapture." Well, let's think about that... if the apostasy is supposed to take place after the pre-trib rapture, then who in the world are those here on earth that are to "fall away" from faith if in fact, all the people of "faith" got raptured away in the first place?

May God bless you as you consider this and the historic truth of the golden calf, the plagues of Egypt and the Exodus. Remember, never forget our Creator's first command from Mt. Sinai: We are to have NO other gods before Him! We are to go through the wilderness of trial following Him. There is no shortcut to the promised land, our heels will be bruised like Messiahs's, but like He did we can win the battle over the enemy and the ultimate enemy is death. The blood of the lamb will prevail over sin.

When Israel came out of Egypt "God led them not [through] the way of the land of the Philistines, although that [was] near" instead "God led the people around the enemy, [through] the way of the wilderness."

Remember  the fearful attitude of those who want to be raptured out on a cloud, its the same as the men of Israel that were afraid to go in and possess the Promised Land because of the giants that might oppose them.

Back then they were afraid of tribulation (see Exodus 13:17). Today the fear is the same...

Remember the sin of the spies because nothing has changed, the Promised Land will be seen only after a period of testing and endurance. The Kingdom will arrive through endurance in faith through the conflict of great tribulation on earth. The dragon hates the body of Messiah, and is at war with the remnant that keep the commandments of God, and have the testimony of Messiah Yeshua.

There is no easy way to the Promised Land as haSatan wants to stand in the way like the giants in Canaan.

The only option is to follow God, His the commandments and possess the land or die in the wilderness inheriting another lie. Israel had to fight many enemies who were greater they they were, so in the same way, the last generation will be fight the ultimate enemy!

At the end of the day, you must base your faith on God's word, search these matters out for yourself in the Scriptures and above all heed the advice of the Apostle Peter:
"Beloved, do not be surprised at the fiery trial when it comes upon you to test you, as though something strange were happening to you. But rejoice insofar as you share Christ's sufferings, that you may also rejoice and be glad when his glory is revealed. If you are insulted for the name of Christ, you are blessed, because the Spirit of glory and of God rests upon you." 1Peter 4:12-14
Carefully, re-consider Paul's words:
"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, the son of perdition; 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, shewing himself that he is God. 
Remember ye not, that, when I was yet with you, I told you these things? And now ye know what withholdeth that he might be revealed in his time. Or the mystery of iniquity doth already work: only he who now letteth [will let], until he be taken out of the way. And then shall that Wicked be revealed, whom the Lord shall consume with the spirit of his mouth, and shall destroy with the brightness of his coming: [Even him], whose coming is after the working of Satan with all power and signs and lying wonders, And with all deceivableness of unrighteousness in them that perish; because they received not the love of the truth, that they might be saved. And for this cause God shall send them strong delusion, that they should believe a lie: That they all might be damned who believed not the truth, but had pleasure in unrighteousness." 2Thessalonians 2:1-12
Also Peter's:
"Beloved, do not be surprised at the fiery ordeal among you, which comes upon you for your testing, as though some strange thing were happening to you; but to the degree that you share the sufferings of Messiah, keep on rejoicing, so that also at the revelation of His glory you may rejoice with exultation. If you are reviled for the name of Messiah, you are blessed, because the Spirit of glory and of God rests on you." 1 Peter 4:12-14
And Hosea's:
I will go [and] return to my place, till they acknowledge their offense, and seek my face: in their affliction they will seek me early. Hosea 5:15
Remember, He declares the end from the beginning... This "latter days" tribulation was first prophesied by Moses:
"But from there you will seek YHVH your God and you will find him, if you search after him with all your heart and with all your soul. When you are in tribulation, and all these things come upon you in the latter days, you will return to YHVH your God and obey his voice." Deuteronomy 4:29-30
It is very difficult to say, and harder to consider but tribulation has its role in the plan of God in the future just as it did in Egypt.

Our creator God knows our human nature, our reactions and responses. We were given of small hint of this during 9/11. Do your remember the core response? Exactly one year after the horrific event, these excerpts from a Fox News report give us the clue:
"A surge of spirituality occurred as Americans examined just how fragile life was and evaluated what was really important. Answers were hard to come by in the months that followed the attacks, and many sought solace in a higher power.

After 9/11 we had 20-some odd thousand people show up," said Senior Pastor Ed Young. "The largest crowd in the history of Fellowship Church and when I walked on stage I looked around and said, 'Where have you guys been? It takes something like this for you to show up to church?'

Young attributes the initial attendance spike to human nature. "I think when we are riddled with fear, when things fall apart around us especially when we are struck at the heart of who we are, people suddenly respond and they're turning to God and asking those deep questions in an even deeper way," he said.

"When things are going bad we want to turn to God and want to get right with him and we want to attend to church," Young said. "When things level out we tend to forget the most important things and drift away.""
There is an eternal promise:
"For YHVH your God is a merciful God. He will not leave you or destroy you or forget the covenant with your fathers that he swore Deuteronomy 4:31
As to understanding the timing of His coming we need to be a watchman and not asleep thinking he will come as a thief in the night. He only comes in that manner to those that are asleep, not watching and not paying attention to His word.

Did you know that there were 24 watch stations at the Temple?

The captain of the watch, the priest would make his rounds each night. The watchmen were to rise up before him. If they did not, the priest would call out, “Peace be unto you!” If the watchman did not rise, the captain knew the watchman was obviously asleep. He would then rap the sleeping watchman with his rod or even light his coverings on fire. This captain of the Temple watch was called the "thief in the night"!! It's an ancient Hebrew idiom.

Paul’s words in 1 Thessalonians give us the context of the night watch in the Temple and it presents the deeper meaning:
"But concerning the times and the seasons, brethren, you have no need that I should write to you. For you yourselves know perfectly that the day of the Lord so comes as a thief in the night. For when they say, "Peace and safety!" then sudden destruction comes upon them, as labor pains upon a pregnant woman. And they shall not escape. But you, brethren, are not in darkness, so that this Day should overtake you as a thief. You are all sons of light and sons of the day. We are not of the night nor of darkness. Therefore let us not sleep, as others do, but let us watch and be sober." 1Thessalonians 5:1-6
The captain of the priestly guard came as a "thief" in the night to those watchmen who had fallen asleep in The Temple. The Lord’s coming will come as a thief in the night to those who have fallen asleep on their watch today. But to those who are standing vigilant in their watch, that day will not come as the thief in the night. Yeshua’s words of revelation to the assembly in Sardis is that He will come as a thief in the night if they don’t wake up and stand their watch.
"Remember therefore how you have received and heard; hold fast and repent. Therefore if you will not watch, I will come upon you as a thief, and you will not know what hour I will come upon you." Revelation 3:3
We are to be watchmen so that His arrival does not come upon us as the thief in the night.
"Remember, then, what you received and heard. Keep it, and repent. If you will not wake up, I will come like a thief, and you will not know at what hour I will come against you." Revelation 3:3

"Behold, I am coming as a thief. Blessed is he who watches, and keeps his garments, lest he walk naked and they see his shame." Revelation 16:15
Beware of preconceived ideas, the earth is not flat.

Just go by the Scriptures themselves and let the Spirit of God speak to you as He declares the end from the beginning and you will see the clarity of His Word.
Deuteronomy 11:16 Take heed to yourselves, that your heart be not deceived, and ye turn aside, and serve other gods, and worship them...
In the beginning, the first lie was spoken to mankind by the great deceiver. Don't fall for it now: "Ye Shall Not Surely Die". Instead, may our knowledge increase:
"But you, Daniel, shut up the words and seal the book until the time of the end; Many shall run to and fro, and knowledge shall be increased.” Daniel 12:2-4
Perhaps, like me you too have had a "Holy Cow!" moment just like I did during my Scripture studies. That's the kind of moment when the basic assumptions that form the "solid" cornerstones of our life suddenly crumble like dry clay and the words of Jeremiah seem to come alive:
An appalling and horrible thing has happened in the land: the prophets prophesy falsely, and the priests rule at their direction; my people love to have it so, but what will you do when the end comes? Jeremiah 5:31
I shared this story of the golden calf because I know that it was written for our teaching and instruction today. In fact, the entire story of the first Exodus is a shadow story of the Greater Exodus in the latter days and the return to the Kingdom. All the themes of Exodus match those we see in Revelation. If you want to really understand Revelation you have to study and know the details in the story of the Exodus.

Human nature has not changed. We must be careful. We must know that false teachings, false hopes, false worship and division can make us stumble just before the Second Coming of the Messiah of Israel. The mistake made 3,500 years ago at Sinai was repeated by some religious men 2,000 years ago.

The Pharisees made a mistake not unlike the one made at Sinai. They were the religious leaders and teachers that taught based on their own doctrines, traditions and interpretations concerning the coming of the Messiah and His purpose. They knew He was coming, they knew the time was right and they were all waiting for His appearance. But when He came, they did not recognize His teaching or His mission so they could not see Him for "Who" He really was. The Sadducees were mistaken as well because they did not agree with Yeshua's teaching on resurrection.

In fact, the teaching of a pre-trib rapture is a parallel to the story of the golden calf and the traditions of the Sadducees, both provide misguided faith and insert religious doctrine. Least we forget, Jesus opposed the teaching of the Pharisees that "added to" the teaching and instruction of God. That was the center of the conflict that led to the Passover trial. We need to beware, if we put our trust in a Pre-Trib rapture and believe we will disappear from the earth and escape to the clouds of an ethereal heaven without experiencing the triumph of the Tribulation we will miss out on our purpose in God's plan. We will miss our chance for true worship and faith, a time when God's people are participate in God's victory battle to crush Satan's dominion here on earth. We are not to despise His chastening:
Hebrews 12:5 And ye have forgotten the exhortation which speaketh unto you as unto children, My son, despise not thou the chastening of the Lord...
You see, the problem...

Those who say they are a part of the Kingdom of heaven, but have removed the testimony from heaven, the teaching (Torah) of the Lord God from their religious doctrine (belief), then according to Scripture, they are deemed false prophets with false doctrines. These are those that follow destructive words saying the Torah was hung on the cross and that God replaced Israel with the dispensational invention that misleads those weak in Scripture with ethereal anti-Semitic rapture escape theories.

The Bible calls these false doctrines.

There are many deceptions, all with the goal to change the Word of God and to confuse people that God does not mean what He says. A result of deception can be seen in the thousands of different denominations of churches as well as subgroups or sects within Judaism that are like the Pharisees, Sadducees and the Essenes all with differing views and religious options.

There are also many false-god religions like Islam, Hinduism and Buddhism all confusing people on who is right and who is wrong ignoring these words from Deuteronomy 6:4:

“Shema, Yisra’el! Yahweh Eloheinu, Yahweh echad.”
“Hear, O Israel: the LORD/Yahweh our God/Elohim, the LORD/Yahweh is one.

Throughout the Scriptures, God's people are prepared after a time of testing and God believers today are not different from yesteryear shown by those leaving Egypt and crossing the wilderness on the way to the Promised Land. Many want to escape the wilderness experience and go straight to the Promised Land without the trials in the journey. But God's pattern of salvation and victory does not work that way.

Without question, the last generation that is in exile from the Kingdom will undergo great testing, undergo trial and tribulation. There is no other way to enter into the Kingdom.

It is very hard and difficult to understand, but the purpose of the fruit of the olive tree in Scripture brings to focus the explanation for suffering and for tribulation. Issues which are so very hard to grasp, understand and accept is that olive oil must be beaten first to be used as oil for light. The fruit of every olive tree branches, the olive is used for two purposes in His Word: the oil is used for “anointing” and for a “light," to the Menorah shining light on in a dark place.

Every washing machine has an agitation cycle to get the grime out. Even silver must be heated for the dross to be removed.

In the end, to bear the pure virgin olive oil the fruit has to be "crushed" and “beaten.”
“And thou shalt command the children of Israel, that they bring thee pure oil olive beaten for the light, to cause the lamp to burn always.” Exodus 27:20
The words pure and beaten here are transliterated as “kathiyth.” It is the Hebrew word God chose to use in Exodus 27 while speaking to Moses and it prophetically speaks of the days to come.

In Hebrew, it is כָּתִית and is found in 1) Exodus 27:20; 2) Exodus 29:40; 3) Leviticus 24:2; 4) Numbers 28:5 and 5) 1Kings 5.

The Torah specifies that olives are pounded before the oil pores forth from them. No other means of extracting the oil for light is given. Soon, the Temple of King Yeshua will become this reality. When it does, the menorah shown in Revelation 1:20 and its virgin oil must be ready.

It is no coincidence God uses this word “kathiyth” seven times in five Scripture verses here. It is no coincidence that the word “beaten” occurs in the KJV translation forty times. Seven is the perfect number, five represents grace found in the five books of Moses, and forty represents trial and testing.

Paul wrote to those "scattered" from the Promised Land in Rome about suffering:
"The Spirit itself beareth witness with our spirit, that we are the children of God: If we indeed are to be used for His purposes, like Him we must also suffer… And if children, then heirs; heirs of God, and joint-heirs with Messiah; if so be that we suffer with [him], that we may be also glorified together. For I reckon that the sufferings of this present time [are] not worthy [to be compared] with the glory which shall be revealed in us." Romans 8:16-18
It's our servant's duty in the end to battle darkness with light, and the light of the Menorah of God requires oil that comes from a beating.

Paul implored that we must keep alert and wear the whole "Armor of God" in the day of battle to come and prayer is critical:
"Finally, be strong in the Lord and in the strength of his might. Put on the whole armor of God, that you may be able to stand against the schemes of the devil. For we do not wrestle against flesh and blood, but against the rulers, against the authorities, against the cosmic powers over this present darkness, against the spiritual forces of evil in the heavenly places. Therefore take up the whole armor of God, that you may be able to withstand in the evil day, and having done all, to stand firm.
Stand therefore, having fastened on the belt of truth, and having put on the breastplate of righteousness, and, as shoes for your feet, having put on the readiness given by the gospel of peace. In all circumstances take up the shield of faith, with which you can extinguish all the flaming darts of the evil one; and take the helmet of salvation, and the sword of the Spirit, which is the word of God, praying at all times in the Spirit, with all prayer and supplication. To that end keep alert with all perseverance, making supplication for all the saints." Ephesians 6:10-18
Don't be afraid to go up and do battle on your journey to the Promised Land or you will be left out to die in the wilderness as a fearful false witness. The spiritual battles of good and evil are a reality — so put on your armor and keep His commandments and let us pray with an alert mind that we may come to greater wisdom of God's book of life so that we will be prepared to shine in the darkness to come:
“At that time, Michael shall stand up, the great prince who stands watch over the sons of your people: And there shall be a Time of Trouble, such as never was since there was a nation, even to that time. And at that time your people shall be delivered everyone who is found written in the book of Life." Daniel 12:1
After this time of trouble, just as Israel and the sojourners heard the Ten Words from fire atop Sinai and the disciples received the Spirit at Shavuot at Moriah, we too can receive a greater promise, the New Covenant, a promise from God that we will ALL learn His teaching and instruction intimately, inscribed on our hearts. Yeshua will teach God's Torah as He did in the Galilee and Jerusalem again in the millennium Kingdom as those in the first resurrecton tabernacle with Him and learn face to face just as Moses, the disciples and the men on the seven mile road to Emmaus did:
“The time is coming, declares The Lord, when I will make a New Covenant with the house of Israel and with the house of Judah. It will not be like the covenant I made with their forefathers when I took them by the hand to lead them out of Egypt, because they broke my covenant, though I was a husband to them, declares The Lord.

This is the covenant I will make with the house of Israel after that time, declares The Lord. I will put my Torah in their minds and write it on their hearts. I will be their God, and they will be my people.

No longer will a man teach his neighbor, or a man his brother, saying, ‘Know The Lord,’ because they will all know me, from the least of them to the greatest, declares The Lord. This is the covenant I will make with the house of Israel after that time, declares The Lord. I will put my Torah in their minds and write it on their hearts. I will be their God, and they will be my people.

No longer will a man teach his neighbor, or a man his brother, saying, ‘Know The Lord,’ because they will all know me, from the least of them to the greatest, declares The Lord. For I will forgive their wickedness and will remember their sins no more.” Jeremiah 31:31-34

"Behold, the days come, saith the LORD, that the city shall be built to the LORD from the tower of Hananeel unto the gate of the corner." Jeremiah 31:38
It is a difficult book, but read and study Revelation and study Exodus. Be like the noble Bereans, search the Scriptures for truth.
These were more noble than those in Thessalonica, in that they received the word with all readiness of mind, and searched the scriptures daily, whether those things were so. Acts 17:11
I pray you will study the Scriptures. It is all about unlearning things that are not correct, not in line with God's unchanging word and learning the truth of God's word.

At the end of the day it is critical to rely on the unchanging word of God and not on false doctrines. Study God's Word and do it and understand it is Messiah's Bible, the same Hebrew Scriptures that Jesus taught.

This great Proverb is well worth understanding:
The fear of the LORD prolongeth days: but the years of the wicked shall be shortened. The hope of the righteous [shall be] gladness: but the expectation of the wicked shall perish. The way of the LORD [is] strength to the upright: but destruction [shall be] to the workers of iniquity. The righteous shall never be removed: but the wicked shall not inhabit the earth. Proverbs 10:27-30
There are many other resources on this difficult message. One is from Tony Robinson of "Restoration of Torah Ministries." Tony teaches from the Hebraic understanding of the Scriptures as to why we want to be "left behind" in his excellent studies: Check out Left Behind!! in the Noach study and for The Torah and the Rapture? and A Pre-Trib Rapture?

Whatever the future holds, get ready for the hard times in front of us by returning to the faith of the disciples and the Covenant established by the Word of God's instruction.

And remember, there is no secret Trumpet. The shofar of God will be heard across the planet because there is a reason that a time of testing and persecution will come on those that believe and trust in God and walk after Him.

Peter told us about a time of testing and refinement after Messiah's ministry:
For the time [is come] that judgment must begin at the house of God: and if [it] first [begin] at us, what shall the end [be] of them that obey not the gospel of God? 1Peter 4:17
Walking in covenant is the mark of endurance of God's people and that mark distinguishes them as a priest, a bond servant set apart and holy from the rest of the world through a life walk in God's word.

Don't be fooled by those that think the instruction and teaching of God (the law) was hung on the cross and fooled by the grace of a secret escape. If you are, I am not saying your salvation is at risk, but the honor and blessing of serving in the priesthood of the first resurrection may be if you choose not to walk in God's ways, thinking the purpose of the Levitical priesthood to teach, exhort and be caretakers in the proper worship of God:

"Blessed and holy is the one who shares in the first resurrection! Over such the second death has no power, but they will be priests of God and of Messiah, and they will reign with him for a thousand years." Revelation 20:6

Just read Micah or Isaiah, they both say the same thing about God's ways and walking in his paths. This promise is written twice by two witnesses in God's word because it is important to God, so the purpose of the millennium is important for you!
"In the last days the mountain of the LORD's temple will be established as chief among the mountains; it will be raised above the hills, and peoples will stream to it. Many nations will come and say, "Come, let us go up to the mountain of the LORD, to the house of the God of Jacob. He will teach us his ways, so that we may walk in his paths." The law {Torah} will go out from Zion, the word of the LORD from Jerusalem." Micah 4:1-2

"In the last days the mountain of the LORD's temple will be established as chief among the mountains; it will be raised above the hills, and all nations will stream to it. Many peoples will come and say, "Come, let us go up to the mountain of the LORD, to the house of the God of Jacob. He will teach us his ways, so that we may walk in his paths." The law {Torah} will go out from Zion, the word of the LORD from Jerusalem." Isaiah 2:2-3
During the millennium, the Torah will go out to the world from the Temple Mount, the "tent of meeting" in Jerusalem as Messiah teaches us God's ways so we may walk in them as He did, but there's no need to wait. You can start now because you want to please The Lord like the Levites that stayed faithful at Sinai. Don't listen to those that say His law [Torah] is bondage,  or that it's —hung on the cross.

If that is your view, then the opportunity of serving Messiah as people learn from the word of the Lord that pours out from Israel for a thousand years may be missed. After all, even the offerings will return to Jerusalem with Messiah as the High Priest and King. Just read the evidence found in scriptures like Ezekiel 40-48, Isaiah 56:6-8, Zechariah 14:16 and Jeremiah 33:15-18.

The heavenly gift, the reward of the first resurrection priesthood described in Revelation 20:5-6 is depicted within the shadow picture of Numbers 8:19 and Exodus 13:2:

“I have given the Levites as a gift to Aaron and to his sons from among the sons of Israel, to perform the service of the sons of Israel at the tent of meeting...”  
“Sanctify to Me every firstborn, the first offspring of every womb among the sons of Israel, both of man and beast; it belongs to Me.” 

It's not too late to change your heart if you want to choose to do the word of God and have faith in Messiah.

If you believe the word of God is done away -- re-read Revelation 14:12-13 to see how steadfast saints of the first resurrection are described. They will be honored in resurrection as the firstborn who:

1) Keep the commandments of God and
2) Faith in Jesus.

Messiah Yeshua suffered as the "Son of Man" and His suffering and death were known before the foundation of the world was established. Only by temptation and suffering while maintaining in complete obedience to the Word of God through the teaching and instruction of His Torah, did Messiah truly demonstrate love to The Father. Through death He was resurrected and quickened into the eternal life as He overcame death's grip by God's power over it.

So too, many are tested as to whether we will choose to be like Him and walk in God's path of faithful obedience while some endure suffering for His name.

It is really simple. If we choose God's ways we will be following in the faith of Messiah.

The trials, tribulation and endurance of the elect are all shown to us in the so-called Old Testament, otherwise known as the TaNak which as Jesus said includes "the law of Moses, the prophets, and the psalms." Many of the writings are the Psalms are dedicated to tribulation. Just read Psalms 44 as well as Psalms 37, Psalms 69, Psalms 71, Psalms 109, Psalms 119, Psalms 142 and Psalms 102 in which we can see within the ancient words the ovens of the Holocaust of World War II:
"Hear my prayer, O LORD, and let my cry come unto thee. Hide not thy face from me in the day when I am in trouble; incline thine ear unto me: in the day when I call answer me speedily. For my days are consumed like smoke, and my bones are burned as a hearth." Psalm 102:1-3
A walk in obedience to God's Torah is NOT our salvation as one's personal salvation has never been dependent on the works of the law — whether Abraham, Isaac, Jacob or Moses. Salvation is by the grace and mercy of God alone. Only Messiah Yeshua (Jesus) has been able to abide perfectly in the teaching and instruction commandments of The Lord YHVH.

Yeshua meets all requirements for anyone that seeks to have their transgressions atoned and covered by His blood and taken away by the pardon of debt that only He can give. Mercy and grace from Messiah who came in the authority and name of God YHVH can give redemption from sin's penalty just as all Scriptures show, both old and new.

Yet walking in faith through trial demonstrates and proves our love for YHVH, the One that gives eternal life and brings us nearer to Him as we walk in His path.
Come, O house of Jacob, let us walk in the light of the LORD. Isaiah 2:5
Take a closer look at 1 Thessalonians, it is the elect, those like the martyr Stephen that have chosen to drink from His Passover cup to stand in fiery baptism to follow Yeshua even through tribulation.

It is time to trust Yeshua, call on Him, repent and ask for His personal pardon so that you may receive God's eternal covenant promises, then walk in His instruction in thanksgiving and demonstration of your love for Him so that you will be blessed and overcome adversity. In that walk, people will see that you are set apart, called out by God to join the family of the children of the God of Israel that have received the gift of salvation by His grace.

In summary, I have faith that the information about tribulation in the Bible is given not to scare us but to prepare us:
Matthew 24:29 Immediately after the tribulation of those days shall the sun be darkened, and the moon shall not give her light, and the stars shall fall from heaven, and the powers of the heavens shall be shaken...
There is nothing secret about this...
Luke 21:7 They asked him, "Teacher, so when will these things be? What is the sign that these things are about to happen?

Luke 21:20 But when you see Jerusalem surrounded by armies, then know that its desolation is at hand.

Luke 21:22 For these are days of vengeance, that all things which are written may be fulfilled.

Luke 21:25-28 There will be signs in the sun, moon, and stars; and on the land anxiety of nations, in perplexity for the roaring of the sea and the waves; men fainting for fear, and for expectation of the things which are coming on the world: for the powers of the heavens will be shaken. Then they will see the Son of Man coming in a cloud with power and great glory. But when these things begin to happen, look up, and lift up your heads, because your redemption is near.
Redemption is near... when you see these things begin to happen:
1. Jerusalem surrounded by armies
2. Signs in the sun, moon, and stars
3. Perplexity for the roaring of the sea
4. Powers of the heavens shaken
So we must work in dedication in trust of God's love and desire to care for us so that we may depend on Him as we ask the Holy Spirit to guide us in all that we should do for God's purposes in preparation and hope for the Kingdom that is coming to earth and not seek to escape and retreat in fear of trial. The tribulation of the saints, the discipline, correction, testing and difficult times that serves as a call to draw all people to make the choice to seek Messiah in repentance and transformation is not the wrath and vengeance of separation from God's presence that will fall suddenly on those that hate, reject and close the door of the blessed hope, redemption and Jubilee of the God of all Israel.

Our job is to deal with our sin with God's Torah written on our hearts and choose to walk in victory and in the Spirit of new life loving The Lord our God and others.

For more on the origin of the pre-trib rapture theory you may want to check out this historical compilation: But What About the Pre-trib Rapture Theory?




Update May 28, 2014: I recently reviewed two videos on the pre-trib rapture that provide Biblical perspectives you may find helpful.

One is from 119 Ministries titled "The End of Days: Testing the Pre-Trib Rapture". I do encourage you take the time to view and test the message, or you can read the transcript here.

The second is from documentary film-maker Paul Wittenberger, Pastor Steven L. Anderson of Faithful Word Baptist Church in Tempe, Arizona and Pastor Roger Jimenez of Verity Baptist Church in Sacramento California.