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But What About the Pre-trib Rapture?

This is a followup to the post: Is the Pre-Trib Rapture... A Golden Calf?

The goal here is to describe historically how some have arrived at the modern pulpit sermon of a pre-trib rapture. The wide rocky road to the rapture is not long as it weaves through recent sermon history so let's take a look.

In my Scripture study I've found the witness of the book of Revelation concludes by telling us of Heaven coming to Earth, so let’s take a closer look at how the pre-trib rapture storyline that weaves a reverse storyline. Since the basis pre-trib rapture is impossible to find in the writings of the prophets of Scripture we have to start by looking back to a Jesuit Priest.

Let's start the journey and go back a few hundred years to the writings of Manuel de Lacunza y Diaz.

Lacunza wrote a three part religious thesis if you will, under an assumed name, Juan Josafat Ben-Ezra. I will not dwell on this long but this readily available background that I am summarizing here may help clear the air if we step back to see how the promise resurrection has arisen from a religious message linking the words from a letter that Paul wrote to Believers in Corinth. I am referring to the words found in 1 Corinthians 15:52.

Lacunza said he was a “converted” Jew under the pseudonym Ben-Ezra. That’s yellow flag number one because Jesus is a Jew and He never converted to anything. Instead, He taught and expanded on the Torah's covenant message that has been with us since the fire and thunder atop Mount Sinai.

We must look back at Lacunza because he was perhaps the first to write that the “Church” would be "raptured" away from Earth to Heaven at a secret unknown time as the Jewish people would face destruction on Earth for turning their backs on Jesus.

Yet, if you think about it, many faithful Jews never turned their back on God, not even during the Holocaust and Jesus is the Son of God, so in the end, they just don't recognize God in the flesh and the Jewish Messiah. Don't let that thought disturb you for now, please read on.

The storyline that has morphed from Lacunza's writings is that Jesus will return to Earth in a couple of returns not found in Scripture: at the rapture and resurrection before tribulation and again after the dust settles from Jacob's Trouble.

It was the first teaching of its kind, never before seen or taught by any of God’s Prophets, the Disciples or Jesus for that matter. Lacunza’s thesis as it is called today went virtually unnoticed for years until it was finally translated and published into English in 1827 under the title: “The Coming of Messiah in Glory and Majesty”. Its three parts include:
• Part I: Which Containeth Certain Necessary Preparations for a Right View of the Subject

• Part II: Which Comprehendeth the Observation of Certain Particular Phenomenon in the Prophecy of Daniel, and the Coming of Antichrist

• Part III: Which Containeth the Fruit of the Previous Observations
When need to look into this, because today’s preaching of the rapture seems to be embedded into hearts of many. After all, purification and separation by the trial of fire does not seem too acceptable.

Incredibly, even Pope Leo XII placed Lacunza's it on his list of prohibited books, but perhaps that was because Lacunza beleived at the end of time the Catholic Church would fall into apostasy and align with the antichrist.

The rapture theory today goes like this: first there will be an imminent hour, any day, any time secret rapture followed by a third coming of Jesus and believe it or not, this appears to have originated with Lacunza. But why?

Just a few hundred years ago, these are among the words of Lacunza that were translated:

“Nevertheless, hear me, my dear sir, this one word. The space of time which thou hast required for all these great and wonderful events, was not, neither could be so great, as to pass all the limits of discretion, or even of revelation. What are those limits? They are, my friend, the immediately of the gospel, and likewise the shortly, quickly, not much after of your own explanation. According to yourself, the coming of the Lord in power and great glory should now be so near at hand, that we may, and ever ought to be looking for it every day and every hour.”

So much for near at hand, hundreds of years have passed by since this penmanship. Yet, some of Lacunza’s message is not original even to his own writing pad. Much was taken from some of the early “church” fathers so we need to take a look at them and set the foundation for the platform that Lacunza taught from.

One of them was John Chrysostom who taught that God’s Feast Days just don’t matter in the plan of salvation and restoration. Another was Ignatius of Rome who taught “the Old Testament is good, the New Testament is better. The Old Testament is imperfect, waiting for the perfect to replace it”. Ignatius taught a lighter, easier to swallow version of the gnostic teachings of the "Church" father Marcion.

Ignatius, a wolf in sheep’s clothing may have been the first to teach that the law was “hung on the cross”.

He followed Marcion's agnostic view that rejected the Hebrew Bible and the God of Israel altogether.

Marcion preached that “the Hebrew God” was a separate wrathful and lower divine entity than the all-forgiving, loving God of the New Testament. Marcion taught that the God of the Old Testament was not the true God as he put it, but that the true and higher God had been revealed only with Jesus Christ. No wonder some Jewish people began to reject Jesus at the time of Marcion and continue to today. The agnostic notion has been floating around for quite a while that God’s covenant law was hung on the cross and that His instruction manual for living by “the Book” out of love for God does not apply.

Despite Marcion’s words, Jesus, Yeshua of Nazareth taught something much different. He taught “I and the Father are one.” (John 10:30). Perhaps Marcion did not have access to the Gospel of John because he wrote his ‘Antitheses’ to show the differences between the God of the Old Testament and as he put it, the “true God”. For that reason, Marcion was tossed out by many, excommunicated from the Roman ‘church’ circa 144 AD, but despite that, much damage was already done. He succeeded in establishing churches of his own to rival the Catholic ‘church’ for centuries. If you find this hard to believe, you can read this for yourself at Early Christian Writings.

By 175 AD, Victor, the Bishop of Rome, whose office would later become that of the Pope, had grown very strong and demanded through threat of excommunication, that all "Christians" keep Easter instead of Passover. If that seems confusing to you that is because Easter stems from ancient Babylonian su-god worship

At about the same time, Polycrates (130-196 AD), Bishop of Ephesus and representative of all the churches in Asia Minor or modern day Turkey; where Paul, Barnabas and Silas did much of their witnessing, and where John’s seven churches of Revelation are named (see Revelation 2:1–3:22) arose to the forefront. Polycrates refused to be frightened into submission by the threats of the Victor of Rome. Polycrates claimed that the Apostles Philip and John had taught the Asian churches to celebrate the Passover. (Samuele Bacchiocchi, From Sabbath To Sunday [Rome, Italy: The Pontifical Gregorian University Press, 1977], p. 119.

The church historian Alexander Roberts, writing in his co-essay, The Ante-Nicene Fathers, says that Polycrates ‘belonged to a family in which he was the eighth Christian bishop; and he presided over the assembly of Believers of Ephesus in which the traditions of St. John were yet fresh in men’s minds at the date of his birth. Perhaps he had known Polycarp and Irenaeus. It is surely noteworthy that nobody doubted that it (the Passover) was kept by a Christian and Apostolic ordinance.’ (Translated by Alexander Roberts and James Donaldson, The Ante-Nicene Fathers, 1885.)

Eusebius (260-340 AD), a Roman Catholic bishop and official church historian, records that Polycrates wrote a letter to Bishop Victor in Rome around 195 AD (after his threat of excommunication if he didn’t comply with Victor’s Easter ruling), and spoke of what all the bishops of Asia, as well as he, himself, thought about Passover, and their unwillingness to celebrate Easter or Resurrection Sunday as its now called. Eusebius writes:
“We observe the exact day; neither adding, nor taking away. For in Asia… great lights have fallen asleep, which shall rise again on the day of the Lord’s coming, when he shall come with glory from Heaven, and shall seek out all the saints. Among these are Philip, one of the twelve Apostles, who fell asleep in Hierapolis, and his two aged virgin daughters… and, moreover, John, who was both a witness and a teacher, who reclined upon the bosom of the Lord… he fell asleep at Ephesus. And Polycarp in Smyrma, who was a bishop and martyr…

All these observed the fourteenth day of the Passover according to the Gospel, deviating in no respect, but following the rule of faith. And I also, Polycrates, the least of you all, do according to the tradition of my relatives, some of whom I have closely followed. For seven of my relatives were bishops, and I am the eighth. And my relatives always observed the day when the people put away the leaven. I, therefore, brethren, who have lived sixty-five years in the Lord, and have met with the brethren throughout the world, and have gone through every Holy Scripture, am not affrighted by terrifying words. For those greater than I have said ‘We ought to obey God rather than man!’ I could mention the bishops who were present, whom I summoned at your desire; whose names, should I write them, would constitute a great multitude. And they, beholding my littleness, gave their consent to the letter, knowing that I did not bear my gray hairs in vain, but had always governed my life by the Lord Jesus.” (Eusebius, Church History, Book V, Chapter 24)
Polycrates, speaking of putting ‘away the leaven,’ is a reference to God’s instruction that no leaven or yeast products are to be found in the home of one celebrating Passover and the seven day Feast of Unleavened Bread. This is symbolic of us eating the Bread of Life for seven days, and being like Him, and of not eating leavened bread, symbolic of sin, but of putting away the leaven or sin in our lives. What a wonderful Feast unto our Lord commemorating what He has done for us in making us new creatures, like Himself!

Church history records that the conflict was about Rome’s desire to veer off from the Jewish people and by that road the Scriptures, stripping Christians of their ancient Hebraic heritage and the Torah, as specifically seen here in the Biblical Passover and institution of another day by Church doctrine, Easter. Some in the "Church" say that the Jews rejected Jesus, and therefore, God rejected the Jews; and that the Law was only valid until the death of Christ, who set us free from the word of God.

As Paul would say:
"Do we then make void the law through faith? God forbid: yea, we establish the law." Romans 3:31
Of course it’s not that we shouldn’t celebrate the Resurrection, we must but not according to an Easter holiday which is done in most churches today, but rather a High Holy day: Passover.

The First Council of Nicaea (325 AD) established the date of Easter as the first Sunday after the full moon (the Paschal or Passover Full Moon) following the March equinox saying the "Full Moon", the 14th of Nisan is not the correct date. In other words, Easter and Resurrection Sunday are now recalculated according to the ancient Babylonian pagan day of Eostre or Easter. But the thing is God set up His appointments at Mt. Sinai. Additional customs have become associated with Easter and are observed by both Christians and some non-Christians. They include egg hunting, the Easter bunny, and various traditional foods such as the Easter ham and yeast filled hot cross buns.

The church fathers that turned their back on the word of God were all wrong... dead wrong.

God does not change, yet their teaching remains today discrediting the truth and dimming the light of the first century faith of the Disciples and the Jewish people to saw Yeshua for who He is, the Messiah. In fact, there’s another teaching that is taught in the Catholic ‘church’ today. It is the veneration of the Virgin Mary. Lacunza claimed she ascended to Heaven with Jesus. He wrote:
“There remaineth still another difficulty, on which we ought to say a word or two. The most holy humanity of Christ, the man-God, thou sayest with great reason, according to a doctrine of divine faith, did after his death and resurrection ascend into heaven, “where he sitteth at the right hand of God the Father.”

Now this man-God is not a pure spirit, and therefore must necessarily occupy some determinate place, worthy of his greatness. The same we may say with respect to the most holy Virgin Mary, and the other saints who arose with Christ.

And what place is that? Where is it? Moreover, where is the holy city of the new Jerusalem, which is one day to descend from heaven to our earth; and which is actually building of “living and elect stones?”

In what part of heaven is this great edifice constructing? To this difficulty it is briefly answered, that the holy and heavenly city of Jerusalem hath been building for many ages, in that very place where Jesus Christ is; and consequently, the most holy Virgin Mary, mother of that man-God, already raised, the other saints who were raised along with Christ.”
The proposed ascension and subsequent veneration of the Virgin Mary has resulted in a title bequeathed to her by many. She is called the “Queen of Heaven”. It is a title given to the Virgin Mary by the Roman Catholic Church, and also to some extent, in Anglican and Eastern Orthodox Churches to whom the title is a consequence of the First Council of Ephesus. In fact, in the fifth century, the Virgin Mary was proclaimed “theotokos“. It is a title rendered in Latin as Mater Dei, in English it translates as: “Mother of God”. The teaching on this subject is expressed in the papal encyclical Ad Caeli Reginam, issued by Pope Pius XII. It states that Mary is called “Queen of Heaven”. That veneration is alive and well even today...
Update January 1, 2015: Pope Frances expounded on this topic stating in his homily:

"Mary is so closely united to Jesus because she received from him the knowledge of the heart, the knowledge of faith, nourished by her experience as a mother and by her close relationship with her Son. The Blessed Virgin is the woman of faith who made room for God in her heart and in her plans; she is the believer capable of perceiving in the gift of her Son the coming of that “fullness of time” in which God, by choosing the humble path of human existence, entered personally into the history of salvation. That is why Jesus cannot be understood without his Mother.

Likewise inseparable are Christ and the Church – because the Church and Mary are always together and this is precisely the mystery of womanhood in the ecclesial community – and the salvation accomplished by Jesus cannot be understood without appreciating the motherhood of the Church. To separate Jesus from the Church would introduce an “absurd dichotomy”, as Blessed Paul VI wrote (Evangelii Nuntiandi, 16). It is not possible “to love Christ but without the Church, to listen to Christ but not the Church, to belong to Christ but outside the Church” (ibid.). For the Church is herself God’s great family, which brings Christ to us. Our faith is not an abstract doctrine or philosophy, but a vital and full relationship with a person: Jesus Christ, the only-begotten Son of God who became man, was put to death, rose from the dead to save us, and is now living in our midst. Where can we encounter him? We encounter him in the Church, in our hierarchical, Holy Mother Church. It is the Church which says today: “Behold the Lamb of God”; it is the Church, which proclaims him; it is in the Church that Jesus continues to accomplish his acts of grace which are the sacraments."

A few months earlier, Pope Francis upset many in the Protestant world with his sermon on June 25, 2014 in Rome at the Vatican, where he stated how the Vatican actually views Christianity. Francis declared his belief that the Roman Catholic Church is the one and the only church and that to be a Christian you have to be a part of that universal church and receive intercession from the Virgin Mary, the Mother of the Church for salvation.

He said that the 'true Christian' belongs only to a people called the Church and this Church is what makes him or her Christian on the day of Baptism, and then in the course of catechesis.

You can visit the Vatican’s website to read all of this for yourself. --End of Update--
Perhaps the most bizarre thing is that this “Queen of Heaven” veneration existed long before the Virgin Mary or the birth of Yeshua HaMashiach in Bethelem. Let’s take a look at that.

Mary’s title given by Pope Pius actually referred to Ishtar (pronounced as in 'Easter'), an Assyrian and Babylonian goddess of Mesopotamia also known as 'Ashtoreth' and 'Astarte' by various other groups. 'Ishtar' has another name; it is 'Semiramis', the wife of 'the Baal', also known as 'Moloch'. These are the same idols we find in the Bible, the ones that God calls an abomination.

There is a reason for that abomination, it is seen in the profanity of idol worship.

In antiquity, the motivation of Babylonian women to worship Ashtoreth stemmed from her reputation as a fertility goddess as the bearing of children was greatly desired among women of that era. Worship of this “Queen of Heaven” was rampant among pagan civilizations and as you can see, it continues even today in the shadows of many religions and even commerce. Just look at any Starbucks coffee cup the next time you want some hot java and you will see her there crowned in her glory appearing as image of a twin-tailed siren or mermaid as she's known in Greek mythology. Perhaps, the Starbucks logo did not come directly from the worship of a Babylonian version of Semiramis, but it is definitely the same goddess… simply morphed from Babylon to Greece to the Northern European Melusine who was an early form of Eostre or Easter.

Melusine wears the crown of a queen. Ishtar was known as the “queen of heaven” (just look in Jeremiah 7:18 and 44:17-25 for yourself). The legend goes that the Babylonian Semiramis came down to earth after death, reincarnated as Ishtar landing in the Euphrates River. Ishtar was known as a goddess of fertility and those who fell in love with her were usually captured and killed. It’s the same storyline of the old mermaid legend we have today.

Sadly, Baal worship became popular among the Israelites and a remnant of this sin remains. If we just look in the Bible at Jeremiah 10:3-4 we will find the prohibitions against the gold and silver decorated Asherah which has morphed into today’s ‘Christmas’ tree. The title “Queen of Heaven” was a title given to a number of other ancient sky goddesses in the ancient Mediterranean and Near East, in particular Anat, Isis, Innana, and Hera. Elsewhere, the Nordic Frigg also bore this same title. In Greco-Roman times Hera, and her Roman aspect Juno also bore this title. Forms and content of pagan sun-worship may vary but it remains intact, only the names change. The pagan connections are amazing and very sad once you look at them.

It was Nimrod (Genesis 10:8-9) and his wife Semiramis, queen of Babylon, the original mother of heaven and mother of Tammuz (Ezekiel 8:14) that founded the false religions of Mesopotamia that still infuse society as this false religion eventually spread like a virus, mutating and infecting every other label of religion on earth from Islam, Catholicism, Buddhism, Hinduism, Shintoism, Judaism, Mormonism, and yes, now there’s even the dialogue of Christlam, a heresy which actually denies the deity of Jesus Christ and seeks to merge a falling ‘Church’ in the west with Islam from the Mid East.

According to Pew Research, Christianity has many “divisions” that are divided between Catholic, Orthodox and Protestant churches which have thousands, yes thousands of denominations. Because of this ‘division of doctrine’, Christianity has splintered around the globe between fractional groups that define themselves by their own doctrines and church defined authority, but the thing is GOD alone has ALL authority on Earth and in Heaven.

Sadly, manmade doctrines have merged for a very long time into religious tradition.

History proves it. In Egypt, Semiramis became Isis, in Canaan Ashtoreth, in China Shingmoo, Disa in Scandinavia and Tonatzin with the Aztecs. The Druids in England called Semiramis Virgo Paritura, she was Aphrodite to the Greeks, Venus or Fortuna to the Romans who built a temple for her that still stands today. She was Devaki to the Hindu peoples.

Many have destroyed the innocence of Mary as another “Queen of Heaven’. Now you know why John Calvin once wrote:

"From this we may gather that man's nature, so to speak, is a perpetual factory of idols."

Messiah Yeshua a.k.a. Jesus Christ knew this would happen, after all Jeremiah wrote about it: “The children gather wood, the fathers kindle the fire, and the women knead dough, to make cakes to the queen of heaven and pour out drink offerings to other gods, to provoke me to anger.” (See Jeremiah 44:15-30). In fact, Jesus once properly rebuked a woman who blessed Mary.

His words have confused many who have not recognized the circumstance, but they ring true today:
“As he said these things, a woman in the crowd raised her voice and said to him, “Blessed is the womb that bore you, and the breasts at which you nursed.” But he said, “Blessed rather are those who hear the word of God and keep it.” Luke 11:27-28
There is no Queen of Heaven. There never was a Queen of Heaven, but there is most certainly a King of Heaven and Earth, He is YHVH of Hosts and He rules the Universe. He does not share His throne or His authority with Mary, only Yeshua sits at His right hand of God in His authority as the Son of God, God in the flesh (Hebrews 12:10).

OK, I have rambled enough to set the foundation for the platform of the golden calf of rapture.

Let’s go back to Lacuna for a minute… as noted, in 1827, Lacunza’s work was translated into English and published. It soon it took prominence in the pulpit of a Scottish preacher named Edward Irving. Irving called the works of Lacunza: “the very remarkable providence”. Three years after Irving began to preach Lacunza’s messages, a 15 year old Scottish girl by the name of Margaret MacDonald said she had experienced a vision of a "secret rapture". Then just a year later, Robert Norton, another evangelist, met Margaret and popularized her "secret rapture" vision by preaching her story all over the Commonwealth of England. People were mesmerized.

John Nelson Darby followed shortly behind Norton preaching his own views that he merged together with the writings of Lacunza and young miss MacDonald’s vision. Darby actually took the time to go and visit with MacDonald because he had heard she could speak in tongues, but get this, he concluded that her “gift” was demonic. Despite that, Darby soon began to teach and preach his updated version of the rapture theory and he labeled his message "Dispensationalism" Darby's dispensation view made him very popular in the pulpits of England and later in America in the 1830’s.

Darby also preached and promoted the commentaries of Cyrus Scofield. First published in 1909, Scofield’s commentaries where published in “The Scofield Reference Bible” by Oxford University Press. On each page, Scofield printed the King James translation of the 1611 King James Bible alongside his personal "notes" or commentary on how to read each passage of the Bible in conjunction with his own views on dispensation and replacement theology.

The Scofield Reference Bible also provided an in-depth referencing system to the Book of Revelation by which one could jump from passage to passage to follow along. The Scofield Bible has been popular among Protestant church groups for over 100 years now. From 1909 to 1967, The Scofield Bible sold more than 10 million copies, that's 10,000,000. It was reprinted in 1967 with a revision using an updated King James text, and the publishers say they have sold millions of copies since, more in fact than any other "dispensational" interpretation. Today, the Oxford printing presses continue to roll under the title, The Oxford Scofield Study Bible.

Thanks in part to a 90 year old pulpit adoption of Scofield’s and Darby’s exegesis and dispensational teachings, we can see Lacunza’s foundation of “rapture” writing has had a huge impact on current oratory about the Book of Revelation which is an exegesis ultimately based on a premise that the law of God was hung on the cross along with His Sabbath and Feast Days and that the soon to be raptured church has replaced Israel as the Jewish people will suffer the consequences of non-belief in one last Holocaust called the Great Tribulation.

So in the end, if we clean our reading glasses, we can see that many views of Revelation abound that are out of synch with God's plan shown in the Feast Days of The Lord and His Sabbaths as Scofield's 'notes' on the Book of Revelation the source code for the various timetables, judgments, and plagues taught in the seminaries and preached in the pulpits since World War II.

In this strange way, many in the mainstream unwittingly follow the traditions of the early church fathers, traditions that have been passed down over the past 1,700 years instead of the Biblical teaching based on the Tabernacle, the Priesthood and the Feast Days declared to be a shadow of good things to come since the beginning which includes the good news of Messiah’s resurrection and return as Priest King in the Order of Melchizedek.

As noted, John Chrysostom was one of the so-called “church” fathers. He was Archbishop of Constantinople who was, and still is known as the “Doctor of the Catholic Church”. He taught in favor of the veneration of images in direct violation of Exodus 20:4. He also taught against Sabbath rest and worship in violation of Exodus 20:8 and he taught against the Festivals of Almighty God in violation of Leviticus 23:2-4.

Understanding the plan of God will be fulfilled in the Fall Feast is important, so let’s consider the words of Daniel as Chrysostom regrettably appears to align with the anti-Christ figure known as Antiochus IV Epiphanes, another enemy of the Jewish people. Antiochus arrived on the world scene some 600 years before the preaching of the Archbishop Chrysostom decreed his words. So before we move on, let’s see just what God says about His Festivals. God says this:
“Speak unto the children of Israel, and say unto them, ‘Concerning the feasts of the LORD, which ye shall proclaim to be holy convocations, even these are MY FEASTS. Six days shall work be done: but the seventh day is the Sabbath of rest, an holy convocation; you shall do no work therein: it is the Sabbath of the LORD in all your dwellings. These are the feasts of The LORD, even holy convocations, which ye shall proclaim in their seasons.’” Leviticus 23:2-4
Chrysostom wrote his view about The Feasts of The Lord in his first Homily (religious discourse):
"The festivals of the pitiful and miserable Jews are soon to march upon us one after the other and in quick succession: the feast of Trumpets, the feast of Tabernacles, the fasts. There are many in our ranks who say they think as we do. Yet some of these are going to watch the festivals and others will join the Jews in keeping their feasts and observing their fasts. I wish to drive this perverse custom from the Church right now." (Homily I, I,5 John Chrysostom )
Despite the Jewishness of Jesus, Chrysostom hatefully mislabeled them as ‘Jewish’ festivals and the label has stuck ever since even though our Creator God Almighty calls them “My Feasts”. Chrysostom’s mortal words are not above those of our almighty eternal Creator. Chrysostom was born in 347 AD and somewhat ironically, he died on September 14th (Elul 25) just ‘six’ days before the Day of Trumpets was sounded in 407 AD.

The words of his first homily are but one small example of our slow turn against the Word of God toward the word of man which has now resulted in the elimination of public prayer in our schools, abortion and homosexual marriage whose ultimate curse is death. Think about that, homosexuality cannot procreate, so the end result is death, not life as God ordained. Abortion is nothing more than the modern answer to an ancient form of Moloch worship. Gay lifestyle is the way of Sodom and Gomorrah.

It seems Chrysostom’s anger against brother Judah was due to his misunderstanding of the principle of dual fulfillment in prophecy (first and second coming). Perhaps the best example is the Olivet Prophecy recorded in the Gospels of Matthew, Mark and Luke that Chrysostom studied as he ignored the “Older Testament”. He did not realize that events such as the siege of Jerusalem, Antiochus Epiphanes’ daily sacrifice of pigs on the altar and the destruction of the Second Temple by Titus’ Legions are now seen as only partial fulfillments of the Olivet Prophecy which is also shown to us in the Book of Daniel.

Chrysostom could not see it, but if we look today, we can. We can see that the destruction of Jerusalem in 586 BC by King Nebuchadnezzar and by Titus in 70 AD were shadow types of the coming ‘Great Tribulation’ which will occur in the time preceding the Second Coming of King Yeshua Ha’Mashiach (Jesus Christ). The abomination of The Temple under Antiochus Epiphanes that occurred just before Christ’s ministry will return again before His second coming as King because Jerusalem has become the temporary dwelling place, not of God, but of haSatan, the antichrist, who has taken form in the words of his false prophet Mohammed.

Antiochus pronounced himself vainly to be God on earth and he defiled the Holy Temple, but he was taken out by the Maccabean Revolt and the celebration remains today with Hanukkah. So much for his proclamation. This terrible Tabernacle desecration will repeat during the time of the final antichrist and Revelation 13:18 makes it perfectly clear that prophecy cycles just like the Feast Days. After all, if we just count, we can see that the timeline between 586 BC and 70 AD is easily converted to 666 prophetic Biblical years of 360 days.

By this we can also see Messiah Yeshua prophesied of more than one event in His Olivet Prophecy and in Revelation. One tragedy occurred 40 years after His ministry, it was Jerusalem’s destruction in 70 AD. It was the “type”, and the Great Tribulation will be the “antitype” fulfillment of His words. The type often stops short of fulfilling the entire prophecy, perhaps this points to the fact that Messiah comes twice, not three times. Yeshua pointed out a very clear example of this cycle in Luke 4:16-21. On a Sabbath in Nazareth shortly after Yeshua began His ministry, He publicly read from the scroll of Isaiah in the synagogue: “The Spirit of the Lord is upon me, because he has anointed me to proclaim good news to the poor. He has sent me to proclaim liberty to the captives and recovering of sight to the blind, to set at liberty those who are oppressed, to proclaim the year of the Lord’s favor.”

Reading this passage from Isaiah 61:1-2, Yeshua stopped abruptly at verse 2, then He rolled up the scroll and gave it back to the attendant. He told the congregation in the room there in the Galilee:
“Today this Scripture has been fulfilled in your hearing.”
They were shocked and appalled! The portion of prophecy He read from was fulfilled in type during His first earthly ministry. It will be completely fulfilled, as the antitype during His second coming when He sets the world free from the tyranny of sin.

If Yeshua had read any further in that scroll that Sabbath day, He would have spoken of events belonging to His second coming, "the day of vengeance of our God". So, He purposefully stopped mid sentence. He did not claim to fulfill the other words in the Nazareth synagogue, it was not the time nor the place. If the “religious” Jewish people had accurately assessed Yeshua’s words, perhaps many could have avoided the error that has led the “religious” to reject Him and compel the Romans to condemn Him to crucifixion “on their behalf” to meet out their own blind definition of blasphemy.

Perhaps not. After all, Jesus is Jewish, but He not presented as a Torah observant Rabbi to the Jewish people. The church instead preaches he converted, did away with the Torah (law), broke the Sabbath and so on. But He is Jewish and He will return as King of Israel.

Isaiah’s prophecy highlights how vital it is to understand the principle of “dual prophecy” that occurs when the prophecy is bound and intertwined in Scripture to the first and second coming of Messiah who would be just like David. First as Messiah ben Joseph the humble shepherd and suffering servant of Isaiah 53 and second as Messiah ben David, warrior King as shown in 2Samuel 7:9-17. Many early followers of Yeshua did not understand as well that the Olivet prophecy was dual and they also fully expected that Yeshua’s Second Coming would occur at that time. But they did not listen when He said, in two days He would restore the Temple, they thought it only meant His body. His words, like prophecy had a dual meaning.

They too did not understand that a prophetic day is indeed a thousand years. So, when Jesus (Yeshua) failed to return at that time as King, many religious men became disillusioned perhaps much like the angry Chrysostom who chose to ignore the word of God and chose to not honor the prophetic Feasts and Sabbaths of YHVH.

Some lost their faith and stopped believing, others followed Chrysostom instead of Christ and they turned against the Jewish people despite the clear fact Jesus is a Jew. This disappointment was a major factor as many congregations fell into an apostasy that continues today from the close of the first century… it began with the error that the Sabbath and the Feast Days had all been done away with simply because they were Jewish. After all, the House of Prayer, The Temple was gone, yet they forgot Ezekiel teaches plainly that it will be restored in the end, for the King.

The Apostle John was given a revelation vision of events inside the Tabernacle of Heaven and Ezekiel was shown’ a vision of the restored Tabernacle of God in the body of Messiah. In that vision, Ezekiel was the future. He was shown God’s Glory as it returns when His Priesthood is establish as like Melchizedek when Israel is fully restored to Jerusalem, the City of God that will be called: Yah sham יהוה שמה “The Lord is there”.

This message is not mine – it is from the words of Ezekiel. The prophet tells of the thundering voice, the throne room, the gates and even the river of life all of which are described in the same way in the book of Revelation. Ezekiel also tells us how critically important it is to God that we seek an understanding of His Tabernacle. Here are some excerpts from Ezekiel 43:
"Then the man brought me to the gate facing east, and I saw the glory of the God of Israel coming from the east. His voice was like the roar of rushing waters, and the land was radiant with his glory. The glory of the LORD entered the temple through the gate facing east. Then the Spirit lifted me up and brought me into the inner court, and the glory of the LORD filled the temple. While the man was standing beside me, I heard someone speaking to me from inside the temple.

He said: “Son of man, this is the place of my throne and the place for the soles of my feet. This is where I will live among the Israelites forever. “Son of man, describe the temple to the people of Israel, that they may be ashamed of their sins. Let them consider its perfection, and if they are ashamed of all they have done, make known to them the design of the temple—its arrangement, its exits and entrances—its whole design and all its regulations and laws. Write these down before them so that they may be faithful to its design and follow all its regulations."
Chrysostom and other wolves in sheep’s clothing like Marcion have caused many to stumble in proper understanding. This includes my own past failure and the failure to understand Torah as well as the failure of many Jewish people to understand Messiah and who He is. Many people that worship the God of Israel reject the Messiah of Yeshua as the living word, the Torah teaching, Torah walking Rabbi of Nazareth. Many have thought (and still think) that the Messiah did away with the Torah or that He would first come as a conquering King to restore Israel to its former wealth and power, but the Bible teaches this is for the end, the latter-days.

Many, if not most of the prophecies in the so-called Old Testament, the TaNak are actually describing the Second Coming of Yeshua and His Kingdom reign, not His first coming serving as the Son of Man. This is all the more reason to study the whole Bible because it is all about Him and there is more written about His second coming in the TaNak as victorious King than the first coming as the humble Torah teacher, the prophet like Moses.

An understanding with careful study of the many Messianic prophecies may have prevented Chrysostom’s tragic, deceptive “falling away” that has led many astray and even led to confusion on the rapture that Yeshua prophesied of as he pointed to the fulfillment of the Day of Trumpets...
"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 24:29-31 NIV
You can read Chrysostom’s homilies and other writings for yourself, but know this: Chrysostom was wrong, dead wrong about the Jewish people and the oracles of God they preserve!

The seven Feast Days of The Lord are not “perverse customs” as he said. They show the glorious Salvation plan of God that reveal (as in revelation) God’s seasons, Sabbaths and Feasts which are His appointments with mankind shown in the Torah. They are the appointments of God to be fulfilled by Messiah Yeshua, Jesus the Jew. Yes, Jesus is a Jew! So in the end, we can also see they are Jewish after all.

Chrysostom’s widespread preaching, writing and subsequent veneration as a “Church” saint has resulted in a “deception” by tradition, a deception so strong that there has been a falling away from Torah, a subtle apostasy by millions, if not billions. These are the deceptions of Jezebel. They are man’s religious words that take away and add to the Word of God.

Praise God today, a small remnant are awakening to truth by the Spirit of the Living God. They now seek to honor God and His word which instructs us in His Kingdom way of life. The Sabbath remains, the Feast remain. The message here is to encourage you to join the end time remnant awakening. Open your eyes and ears to the truth. The Sabbaths are His Holy Days that are the remembered and honored out of love for The Lord and a desire to please Him, because you "get to".

The “end time” good news is that the “ekklesia” assembly, the congregation described as Philadelphia is growing to keep Yeshua’s command to endure patiently in His instruction and faith and patience to the end. Because of this patient endurance within His covenant word, God promises a final covenant, to keep these from the hour of trial and trouble that is going to come upon the whole world to test the inhabitants of the earth that follow in man’s walk, not God’s (see Revelation 3:7-13).

This assembly that will be tested does walk in the way of Messiah or teach others about Him. They do not honor the Sabbath, the Feast days nor the diet plan of God because they want to show God they want to honor His instruction for living. Tis walk is not a walk seeking salvation, it’s not about legalism, it's a gift of love to follow the walk of Yeshua. There's no need to stay in the dark about God’s plan of return either, instead worship God His way and show patient love for your coming King and Savior Yeshua. You too can enter this ‘rest’ as you rehearse God’s coming appointment with the world.

In Hebrew, His “Feasts” are His moedim, His appointments. Get it? In the end as in the beginning, each of them portrays an appointed time on the calendar of YHVH’s restoration plan.

Jezebel’s strong wine of deception is very ancient. Chrysostom’s preaching was not original. It was morphed from Antiochus as well as the Roman Emperor Constantine who established his own council meetings that led to rescheduling God’s holy days and replacing them with dark traditions form Babylon. By his Emperor’s decrees, Constantine integrated his sun god worship habits into a Sunday first day vs. seventh last day Sabbath. He reinvented Easter and Christmas and they remain today as traditional "Church" observances, not The Lord’s appointments.

Do your own research and you will find the “Creed of Nicaea” set the Emperor’s rule for the observance of Easter. You can read this all for yourself from many sources. If you need one to try, check out the Christian Classics Ethereal Library.

Constantine did not invent the pagan feast days of Eostre (Easter) and Saturnalia (Christmas). They were already ingrained within the Roman pagan world from the religions and traditions of ancient Babylon. They were copied and adopted from pagan sun-god worship reinventing the original sin of of creation teaching, God does not really mean what He says.

Constantine, by executive order if you will, simply adapted old pagan ways and altered the Biblical times and the seasons to bring His beliefs to the masses. This assimilation, this mixing was established at the First Council of Nicaea held by the Roman Emperor in 325 AD. In fact, the name "Easter" is shown to be from an ancient goddess of Babylon according to the Venerable Bede, (672-735 AD). Bede was perhaps the first Christian scholar to show that Easter was named after Eostre (a.k.a. Eastre). He did this in his book “De Ratione Temporum” (The Reckoning of Time) in the year 725 AD.

Importantly, this truth is now coming forth by a move of The Spirit of God over 2,500 years from the days of Antiochus! Many in faith are now coming to “see the light” that Jesus’ perfect life is defined by the Torah! Indeed, Yeshua is the “Living Torah” as John 1 teaches, and if we do away with the written Torah that speaks of Him (John 5:46) we cannot fully understand the Feast Day basics and the graphic imagery of Yeshua’s end time work as High Priest and King that is shown in Revelation’s testimony.

This study, while it may seem lengthy, it is really only a BASIC OUTLINE describing some of the Hebraic concepts of Revelation. It’s goal is to refocus the lens on the entire Bible’s unchanging covenant framework, a Tabernacle framework if you will that builds one covenant of God upon another instead of doing away with any of them or creating theories to avoid the trouble that lies ahead.

So, if you have not studied the Feast Days of Elohim GOD or His Tabernacle, you need to start now.

Incredibly, they are not only Jewish holidays, they are God's Holy Days. That is not a slight in any way because man cannot claim what God says are His.

Paul teaches a critical message about “the gospel” in the events we call the “great tribulation” and the message is given to the Jew first:
For I am not ashamed of the gospel of Messiah: for it is the power of God unto salvation to every one that believeth; to the Jew first, and also to the Greek. Romans 1:16

But glory, honor, and peace, to every man that worketh good, to the Jew first, and also to the Gentile: Romans 2:10
Everyone wants to talk about the tribulation and how to avoid keep from the hour of trial. The thing is, Yeshua gives the testimony in His letter the assembly of faithful believers at Philadelphia:
"Since you have kept my command to endure patiently, I will also keep you from the hour of trial that is going to come on the whole world to test the inhabitants of the earth. I am coming soon. Hold on to what you have, so that no one will take your crown. The one who is victorious I will make a pillar in the temple of my God. Never again will they leave it. I will write on them the name of my God and the name of the city of my God, the new Jerusalem, which is coming down out of heaven from my God; and I will also write on them my new name." Revelation 3:10-12 NIV
If you are a Jew you know that as a people the Jewish people have already suffered great tribulation whether that is defined by the Babylonian or Roman destructions of Jerusalem, the pogroms, the crusades or the horrific Holocaust of World War II.

Paul taught of the time of the Gentiles is before us. To the Jew first then the Gentile:
Tribulation and anguish, upon every soul of man that doeth evil, of the Jew first, and also of the Gentile; Romans 2:9
But why?
For there is no respect of persons with God. Romans 2:11
The keys to understanding the end of the tribulation is seen in the moedim which are the appointed Feasts of God, they have been honored over thousands of years by the Jew first, but one day, “everyone” who follows Messiah, the Greek too will do so because they are the Holy Days of YHVH. His Festivals are a time for the Body of Messiah to meet with God on His calendar. If we honor them as best we can as God instructs, we can come to see that the Revelation of Yeshua depicts them and a heavenly “Tabernacle” is described in terms of the Hebraic imagery shown throughout the Torah.

As Revelation opens, it’s much like a 3,500 year old TV rerun. There we see the Ancient of Days front and center in the Sanctuary of the Holy Place before the Menorah which is in front of the Holy of Holies and the door to the Most Holy Place. We can see the High Priest worthiness of the Royal Son, the Lamb of God, and the King of the Universe.

We can hear His counsel like a great defense attorney, and we can envision His work to restore His covenant inheritance - the Earth and Mankind as He breaks the seven seals of the scroll of the Book of Life. The scene begins next to the seven branched Menorah lights.

Shortly after the first century, the “Church” became "mixed” with pagan sun-god practices as Jews and Christians began to go their separate ways away from God. This mixture is still seen in the architecture of church buildings across Europe. It wasn't long before the Church was flooded with unbelievers who embraced the pagan ways of faith but never received the Jewish Jesus personally as their Lord and Savior. These people brought their hate against the Jewish people with them into their blend of a distorted faith. About the same time, some of the genuine Christian leaders fell for a faulty theology that created an anti-Semitic mentality in the Church that further divided Christian from Jew.

These early anti-Jewish declarations laid the foundation for the tragic future of Jewish-Christian relations that would see the Church lose sight of its Jewish roots in Messiah and this led to horrific persecution of the Jews through the centuries and the dark ages.

But in these last days, God is doing a marvelous thing. He is breaking down the walls of Jericho and the misunderstanding that has divided Jew and Gentile.

Praise YHVH as He is now sovereignly pouring out His Spirit on thousands to prepare them for the trouble ahead with the Torah as the armor of God before the coming of Messiah. At the same time, God is stirring in the hearts of Christians toward a holy love for the Jewish people and awakening them to the Jewish roots of their Christian faith as many are realizing that the origin of our faith is deeply rooted in the whole Bible, all of which was written by Jewish men.

Those roots include the Sabbath, the Feasts and the Tabernacle, long honored by the Jewish people. The Father is showing Abraham as our spiritual leader of the faith – and th Jewish people as those who passed down God’s instructions for living. Abraham and Moses are brothers, Daniel and David are cousins. Their stories are more than a history of heroics, their story is about faith, faith in One God, the God of Israel.

They show us how God desires to set His children apart so that He can provide protection and abundant life in a fallen, dangerous world currently ruled by a liar.

They show us how to believe the Torah teacher Yeshua and observe His Torah commands as a way of life although following the Torah does not lead to salvation – Yeshua has guaranteed that for all who put their faith in Him. Yet, the commandments in the Torah make up the owner’s manual on how to love one another and live in intimacy with a Holy God to prepare us for battle and His prophetic return by keeping the faith of Jesus and the commandments of God:
"Here is the patience of the saints: here are they that keep the commandments of God, and the faith of Jesus." Revelation 14:12
In the end, the saints will be the restored full “body" the assembly of God’s people made up of both redeemed Jew and Gentile who keep the commandments of God.

There will be a rapture of the living and a resurrection of the dead... All in God's timing.


1 comment:

Irv said...

You might enjoy Googling "Margaret Macdonald's Rapture Chart," "Pretrib Rapture Dishonesty," and "Scholars Weigh My Research."