Biblical Prophecy Today: "The Bird Cage" - Rapture Ready

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by Todd Strandberg

 

God built into all of His creation the survival instinct. Nature employs distinctive self-defense measures when threatened. This self-protection became necessary, particularly after the fall in the Garden of Eden, when sin entered the world and death resulted. Man, the creature God gave the ability to reason, has throughout the centuries devised ingenious defensive methodologies.

For example, before the days of electronic sensors, coal miners took canaries into the mines with them to signal when the air became filled with poisonous gas. The respiratory system of a canary is more sensitive than that of a human, so they knew that if the bird stopped singing or suddenly dropped dead, it was time to rush to the nearest exit.

Throughout the Church Age, Christians have acted as moral canaries. When society has become contaminated with high levels of sin, Church leaders have stood up and warned the nation to turn away from these various toxins.

In recent years, however, something strange has happened. Continual exposure to the deadly evils that poison society has caused the Christian "canaries" to build up resistance. They have slowly developed immunity to the toxins that permeate society. Because apathy is so prevalent, it is no longer safe to use the views of the average Christian as a gauge of morality. As humanity heads down the road to perdition, we must use Scripture to determine the danger level.

Below are nine common societal toxins that we believe illustrate the extent of depravity in our culture today. Listed with them are Scriptural references that provide positive proof of their hazardous nature.

 

Toxin #1 - Michael Jackson Pedophilia Jokes

Singer Michael Jackson's bizarre lifestyle has made him the butt of jokes by the late night comedians. When Jackson became embroiled in allegations of child sexual abuse, the late night troupe started poking fun at the abominable activity. Making light of such a horrendous act is a terrible reflection on our society. We have, as a society, spiraled downward to the cesspool level since pedophilia is now considered fodder for entertainment.

We searched several archive sites to show you folks a few examples of the debauched nature of the public airways and cable programs. The jokes, though funny, are an indication of how toxic our society has become:

"After turning himself in yesterday, Michael Jackson was placed in handcuffs. I think he helped his case when he asked 'These are neat, do they come in smaller sizes?" - Jay Leno

The saddest part of this Michael Jackson scandal is that all of this could have been avoided if he just stuck to grabbing his own crotch." - Craig Kilborn

"I guess they got Michael on that new law "3 tykes and you're out." - Jay Leno

"Michael Jackson was arrested yesterday. According to the Santa Barbara Police, Michael Jackson is 5'11 and only weighs 120 pounds. Michael is able to keep his weight down because he only orders off the children's menu." - Conan O'Brien

Scriptural Canary:

"Having lost all sensitivity, they have given themselves over to sensuality so as to indulge in every kind of impurity, with a continual lust for more" (Eph. 4:19).

"And because iniquity shall abound, the love of many shall wax cold" (Matthew 24:11).

 

Toxin #2 - Radio Shock Jocks

Radio personalities that are commonly known as "shock jocks" have for some time now been cheerleaders of moral decay. They make their living by pushing the limits of acceptable behavior and appealing to juvenile-minded audiences.

These programs are extremely popular. When we consider they are mostly based on outrageous sex-oriented banter, it speaks volumes about the debased tastes of today's society.

For many years men like Howard Stern have been playing cat-and-mouse games with the Federal Communications Commission, the agency whose job is to enforce broadcast decency standards. Stern claims his show is protected by the First Amendment through the freedoms of speech and press.

The FCC has mostly been a toothless lion. Although the commission has fined Stern for violating its guidelines, the penalties have been only a few thousand dollars. Considering that talk radio is a multi-billion dollar industry, these token fines do little to influence the behavior of shock jocks.

Scriptural Canary:

"This know also, that in the last days perilous times shall come. For men shall be lovers of their own selves, covetous, boasters, proud, blasphemers, disobedient to parents, unthankful, unholy, without natural affection, trucebreakers, false accusers, incontinent, fierce, despisers of those that are good, traitors, heady, highminded, lovers of pleasures more than lovers of God" (2 Tim. 3:1-4).

 

Toxin #3 - Prosperity Preachers

Television, radio, and the internet are wonderful tools that can be used to reach millions of people with the Gospel message. It can also be used by some unscrupulous preachers for personal enrichment.

At one time, it was considered shameful for a minister to own a home that could be categorized as a mansion. The act of joining the clergy implied an abandonment of earthly wealth. Today, it is considered a sin within the prosperity give-to-get movement not to seek affluence. The wealth of some preachers can be measured by how many mansions they own. The NBC program "Dateline" once reported on one well-known preacher who had homes in Florida, Texas, and California.

There is one network that specializes in the gospel of money. You can flip to it anytime of the day and find someone talking about the Bible as a source of prosperity. Agreed, the Bible does not say we should take a vow of poverty. When we realize that many prosperity preachers spend 100 percent of their time on the subject of money, however, we Christians should discern that error has crept into their message.

Scriptural Canary:

"For the time will come when they will not endure sound doctrine; but after their own lusts shall they heap to themselves teachers, having itching ears; And they shall turn away their ears from the truth, and shall be turned unto fables" (2 Tim. 4:3-4).

 

Toxin #4 - Gay Marriage

There are a lot of sins that the Bible does not mention. We know they are included in God's Word, however, because they are covered by more general guidelines. When it comes to homosexuality there can be no mistake: the Word of God repeatedly condemns this sin as a wicked act.

God's destruction of Sodom and Gomorrah has long been a standard for gauging the toxicity of homosexuality. Once a civilization decides to accept so-called alternative lifestyles, we can pretty much write that society or culture off as doomed. In America's case, we seem to have taken the extra step of embracing homosexuality.

Several mainline denominations have reached the point of openly endorsing the practice of gay marriage. The fact that they are able to ignore such clear guidance on the subject is a solemn indication of how these so-called Christian organizations have shifted off of their moral foundations.

Scriptural Canary:

"Thou shalt not lie with mankind, as with womankind: it is abomination" (Lev. 18:22).

"Therefore God gave them over in the sinful desires of their hearts to sexual impurity for the degrading of their bodies with one another. They exchanged the truth of God for a lie and worshiped and served created things rather than the Creator who is praised forever amen. Because of this, God gave them over to shameful lusts. Even their women exchanged natural relations for unnatural ones. In the same way the men also abandoned natural relations with women and were inflamed with lust for one another. Men committed indecent acts with other men, and received in themselves the due penalty for their perversion" (Rom. 1:24-27).

 

Toxin #5 - Girls Gone Wild

At one time the only way for people to get their hands on pornographic video tapes was to buy them at adult bookstores or order them through sleazy catalogs. Today a porn video called "Girls Gone Wild" is being advertised on prime time TV.

The people peddling this smut use a subtle approach to market this video. They present it as a film showing examples of girls just having a good time. The nudity is but a byproduct of the merriment.

Terry had a sales call from these peddlers. "We will send you videos of naked girls having fun," the salesman told him. "Wouldn't you like to see that--for free?"

Terry grabbed the chance to share the saving message of Christ; he told the salesman he should know Jesus. The young man said he did know Jesus, to which Terry said: "You don't act like you know Him, when you offer pornography." The salesman ended the conversation by asking Terry to pray for him, which Terry, of course, has continued to do since.

Point is: Christians must confront Satan's subtle--and not so subtle-- attempts to force feed people the toxic sins of this fallen world. We must sound the alarm whenever possible.

Scriptural Canary:

"Marriage should be honored by all, and the marriage bed kept pure, for God will judge the adulterer and all the sexually immoral" (Heb. 13:4).

 

Toxin #6 - "Plain Old Vanilla Sex"

Pornography has always been in violation of many laws that set the moral code for society. If it weren't for the court system's unwillingness to enforce clear legal guidelines, we would not have a $10 billion-a-year porn industry.

Over the years many smut peddlers have gained a strong foothold in the general culture. Hugh Hefner's Playboy empire is widely regarded as being as wholesome as apple pie. The typical biography of Hefner shows the narrator commenting about how enviable it is for a gray-haired, 73-year-old man to be constantly pawed over in a Beverly Hills mansion by an endless stream of nude or semi-nude models.

Larry Flynt, who founded Hustler magazine, recently noted how his operation has become tame by current standards. He said in an interview, "We deal in plain old vanilla sex. Nothing really outrageous." As long the taxes are paid and the "talent" is over 18, Flynt doesn't expect any trouble from the feds.

Scriptural Canary:

"Woe unto them that call evil good, and good evil; that put darkness for light, and light for darkness; that put bitter for sweet, and sweet for bitter!" (Isa. 5:20).

Toxin #7 - Apostasy in the Church

The Bible indicates that one of the major signs of the end times will be apostasy in the church. It is doubtful that the spiritual darkness will be confined to one region of the world. Because Europe appears to be in a more advanced state of apostasy, it seems beneficial to the rest of the world to be mindful of what has happened to the European church.

As it currently stands, the number of people in Europe who actually practice their faith has declined to the lower single digits. The dismal statistic shows up in the number of people who visit Rapture Ready. Great Britain has a population 15 times the size of Australia, and yet there are more people who visit the site from Australia than from the United Kingdom.

The fact that so few American Christians are concerned about the state of the Church in Europe is one sign that we in the U.S. are not too far behind that ever-darkening area of the world out of which our nation sprang.

Scriptural Canary:

"Let no man deceive you by any means: for that day shall not come, except there come a falling away first" (2 Thess. 2:3).

 

Toxin #8 -Anti-Semitism Infects World

Anti-Semitism is on the rise, especially in Great Britain and Germany. This is not simply inferred from news accounts. We have recent, first-hand accounts from people who are citizens of and live in England, and have reason to observe the growing hatred for Jews. The sources of our information are, themselves, Jews.

Jesus came in the flesh - Jewish flesh. He was, is, and will forever be the God-man out of the Jewish people. There is a great movement to deny the Jews are the chosen people. Even evangelical churches are preaching and teaching that the Church has replaced Israel in God's great plan for humanity.

Prophecy says anti-Semitism infection will spread, until all the world turns against Israel. Antichrist will be the ultimate persecutor of the Jews.

Scriptural Canary:

"Beloved, believe not every spirit, but try the spirits whether they are of God: because many false prophets are gone out into the world. Hereby know ye the Spirit of God: Every spirit that confesseth that Jesus Christ is come in the flesh is of God: And every spirit that confesseth not that Jesus Christ is come in the flesh is not of God: and this is that spirit of antichrist, whereof ye have heard that it should come; and even now already is it in the world" (1 John 4:1-3).

"The burden of the word of the LORD for Israel, saith the LORD, which stretcheth forth the heavens, and layeth the foundation of the earth, and formeth the spirit of man within him. Behold, I will make Jerusalem a cup of trembling unto all the people round about, when they shall be in the siege both against Judah and against Jerusalem. And in that day will I make Jerusalem a burdensome stone for all people: all that burden themselves with it shall be cut in pieces, though all the people of the earth be gathered together against it" (Zech. 12:1-3).

 

Toxin #9 - Prophetic Fulfillment

Most evangelical Christians have always had a positive view of Bible prophecy. The common belief is that the nearer we draw to the tribulation hour, the closer we are to the day we will be raptured into the presence of the Lord.

What gets lost in the optimistic view of the end times is the fact that the fulfillment of prophecy is actually a deadly thing for the people who remain unsaved. These people will obviously be left behind, and will face near-certain doom when the wrath of God is revealed.

As it becomes more manifest that time is short, Christian should be doubling their efforts to reach out to people who remain in spiritual darkness.

Scriptural Canary:

"Behold, the day of the LORD cometh, cruel both with wrath and fierce anger, to lay the land desolate: and he shall destroy the sinners thereof out of it" (Isa. 13:9).

"Watch ye therefore, and pray always, that ye may be accounted worthy to escape all these things that shall come to pass, and to stand before the Son of man" (Luke 21:36).

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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Prophecy Video Series:(5) "Dr Chuck Missler: Session 2 - The Antichrist 5-6" -Chuck Missler

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Is it Scriptural: Are Messianic Jews Raptured?-Jack Kelley

 

WHAT DO YOU BELIEVE?

The Christian Issues Network

"IS IT SCRIPTURAL"
"Sometimes some say things are scriptural when they may not be Biblical"

Jack Kelley 

Are Messianic Jews Raptured?

Will Messianic Jews be taken in the rapture along with Gentile believers or are they considered part of a different group?

 

Q. Will Messianic Jews be taken in the rapture along with Gentile believers or are they considered part of a different group?

A. Galatians 3:26-28 says, “You are all sons of God through faith in Christ Jesus, for all of you who were baptized into Christ have clothed yourselves with Christ. There is neither Jew nor Greek, slave nor free, male nor female, for you are all one in Christ Jesus.”

All believers during the church age, regardless of origin or background, belong to the church and inherit its blessings.

But in the last 2000 years, Jews have suffered more persecution at the hands of those claiming to be part of the church than by any other group. This is surely one of the factors contributing to the Messianic movement and the desire by some in the movement to been seen as distinct from the church.

Nevertheless, Messianic Jews are saved by grace alone and will receive a full share in the Church’s inheritance just like their gentile counterparts..

 

 

 

Is it Scriptural: Messianic Jews And The Law -Jack Kelley

 

WHAT DO YOU BELIEVE?

The Christian Issues Network

"IS IT SCRIPTURAL"
"Sometimes some say things are scriptural when they may not be Biblical"

Jack Kelley 

Messianic Jews And The Law

I want to ask you something concerning my Messianic Jewish belief. Are Jews still required to keep the feasts, eat kosher, and observe the Sabbath or were all these things done away with when Jesus died on the cross?

 

Q. I’ve written to you a couple of times before and have found your answers to be wise and biblical. So, I want to ask you something concerning my Messianic Jewish belief. I am aware that you were a part of a Messianic congregation from one of you posts.

My question is this: Are Jews still required to keep the feasts, eat kosher, and observe the Sabbath or were all these things done away with when Jesus died on the cross? My congregation still observes all the feasts and Holy days. Many eat kosher(some more strict then others), and they have services on Friday night and Saturday morning.

Lately, I have been searching for a new congregation because my Messianic one is so far away from me and it’s getting expensive. Not to mention if I try to make Torah studies and prayer meetings. Most of the Christian congregations tell me it’s no longer required to do these things(other then attending services). I just want to do what is right.

As I read it, Jesus and the disciples followed the laws and kept the feasts. Wouldn’t this mean, that everyone who considers themselves a follower of Jesus to do the same? I know in Acts the issue of circumcision was brought up for Gentiles. They basically said to keep some of the laws but not all of them, not the ones that applied to Jews anyway.

So where does a Messianic Jew stand? I sort of feel I’m in between two drawn swords, the Christian community on the one side, and the Torah observant Jews on the other. Any guidance you can offer will be appreciated.

A. This is an issue that has plagued the Messianic movement all along. Many who were formerly observant Jews insist on keeping the Law, while Gentile members often don’t see the need. I think the Messianic movement has an identity crisis of sorts. Though as followers of Jesus they’re part of the Church, there’s a concerted effort on the part of many to try and maintain a separate identity. Often it results in this “stuck in the middle” feeling you describe.

The Bible clearly teaches us two things. First, the Law was a shadow of things to come, not the reality which is found in Jesus (Hebr. 10:1 & Romans 3:19-24). Second, attempting to keep the Law can be a dangerous flirtation with legalism, because while no one can actually do it, we can fool ourselves into thinking we are, and that can lead to the same spiritual arrogance that so offended the Lord (Matt. 23). I know that some Jews believe that even after accepting the Lord as their savior, they’re still under the Law, but in my opinion the writer to the Hebrews believed otherwise and went to great lengths to persuade his readers as well.

In the Messianic Fellowship I led, we celebrated only the Erev Shabbat (Friday night) service. Some of us also attended Sunday services in a Gentile Church. We observed the Feasts and Holy Days to learn about their traditions and the incredible spiritual and prophetic significance of each one. I think this contributed to a growth in our Biblical understanding that would have been impossible to achieve in any other way.

The spiritual and physiological benefits found in keeping the commandments and kosher laws are well documented and beyond dispute, but turning them into a works-centered religion is what got the Jews in trouble in the first place.

Therefore do not let anyone judge you by what you eat or drink, or with regard to a religious festival, a New Moon celebration or a Sabbath day. These are a shadow of the things that were to come; the reality, however, is found in Christ. (Col. 2:16-17)

 

 

Is it Scriptural: Are Messianic Jews Part Of The Church? -Jack Kelley

 

WHAT DO YOU BELIEVE?

The Christian Issues Network

"IS IT SCRIPTURAL"
"Sometimes some say things are scriptural when they may not be Biblical"

Jack Kelley 

Are Messianic Jews Part Of The Church?

Q.  Can you clarify if converted Jews that are now part of the church are supposed to keep the law? I’m not referring to the sacrifices, but to the feasts, kosher eating, observance of the Jewish calendar.  Some family members who are Christian are now part of a Messianic congregation and they acknowledge salvation through Jesus, are now only eating kosher, keeping their feasts, and say we are drafted into Israel and the early church members were Jews that still kept all of that.

 

A.  I know there are Messianic Jews who choose to keep at least part of the Law. It’s like they have one foot in the Old Covenant and one foot in the New.  The question is whether they just want to follow the tradition to learn from it, which is OK, or whether they’re trying to either complete or maintain the work of their salvation, which is not.  Any path to salvation that combines grace and human effort is destined to fail because it ultimately leaves us responsible for our own salvation.  Romans 3:20-22 says no one will be declared righteous by observing the Law, but only by receiving the righteousness that comes through faith in Jesus Christ.  You can’t have it both ways.

Paul wrote that regardless of background, a member of the Church is no longer considered either a Jew or a Gentile (Galatians 3:28). He also said not to let anyone judge us by what we eat or drink, or with regard to religious festivals, new moon celebrations or sabbath days.  He said these were a shadow of things to come but the reality is found in Christ (Colossians 2:16-17).

 

 

Prophecy Today FEATURE: "The Pre-Trib Rapture In Acts 15:13-18" -Jack Kelley


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The Pre-Trib Rapture In Acts 15:13-18

This Week’s Feature Article by Jack Kelley

A number of people have wondered about using Acts 15:13-18 to support my position that the rapture of the church has to precede the beginning of Daniel’s 70th Week. Most of their comments have contained a request for a clearer understanding of why I do this, so here it is.

 

It was almost 20 years after the cross when the Council of Jerusalem took place. James, Peter, Paul, Barnabas, some believers from the Pharisees, and others had gathered to settle the issue of whether Gentiles had to convert to Judaism before they could become Christians. But another question, unspoken, was also on their minds and as Jews it was even more important to them. “If not, what’s to become of Israel?”

The Pharisees argued that the path to Christianity for Jews and Gentiles alike was through Judaism. To them this meant keeping the Law, being circumcised and following the traditions in addition to recognizing Jesus as the Messiah. Then Peter, Barnabas, and Paul presented a different opinion, based on seeing firsthand the gift of the Holy Spirit to the Gentiles. They said because of that, Gentiles should be allowed to come directly into the Church. Now let’s turn to Acts 15:13 for the outcome of the meeting.

When they finished, James spoke up: “Brothers, listen to me. Simon (Peter) has described to us how God at first showed his concern by taking from the Gentiles a people for himself. (Acts 15:13-14)

The words of the prophets are in agreement with this, as it is written:

‘After this I will return and rebuild David’s fallen tent. Its ruins I will rebuild, and I will restore it, that the remnant of men may seek the Lord, and all the Gentiles who bear my name, says the Lord, who does these things’ that have been known for ages. (Acts 15:15-18)

What Does That Mean?

In simple language James, the brother of Jesus and Head of the Church in Jerusalem, said Israel was being set aside while the Lord took a people from among the Gentiles for Himself (or for His name’s sake.) Remember, 69 weeks of Daniel’s 70 Week prophecy had transpired. It was becoming obvious that with the Lord’s crucifixion the clock had stopped short of the promised 70 weeks. Although Jerusalem and the Temple had not yet been destroyed the Lord’s prophecy that they soon would be was a matter of public record.

Already there were signs that all was not well where the Temple was concerned. The Jewish Talmud records four ominous indications that trouble was coming. (Talmud Mas. Yoma 39b)

1. In the Yom Kippur service two goats were brought to the High Priest, one was to be “for the Lord” (the peace offering) and the other was “for Azazel”, also known as the scape goat. They were chosen by lot and the lot for the Lord’s goat had always come up in the High priest’s right hand. After the cross it never did again.

2. A scarlet cord tied the scape goat to the door of the temple during the service. After the High priest symbolically placed the sins of Israel on the head of the scape goat, he cut the cord leaving some on the goat’s horn and the rest on the Temple door. Then it was led to its death in the wilderness. Previously, the portion on the Temple door had always turned white when the scape goat died. This was seen as a fulfillment of Isaiah 1:18, “Though your sins are like scarlet they shall be white as snow” indicating Israel’s sins had been forgiven. After the cross the cord never turned white again.

3. The westernmost light on the seven branched Menorah would no longer stay lit. The number seven signifies divine completion, while man’s number is 6. The seven lights meant that together with God, Israel was complete and brought light to the world. But now, with only 6 lights that would burn, it was obvious God had left them.

4. The main Temple doors began opening by themselves. The priests saw this as a warning that Zechariah 11:1 would soon be fufilled. “Open your doors, O Lebanon, so that fires may devour your cedars.”

During the conquest of Jerusalem the Romans set fire to the Temple. It’s roof was made of cedar from Lebanon covered in thin sheets of gold. The intense heat from the fire melted the gold and it ran down the walls into the cracks between the stones. After the fire had burned out, the Roman soldiers dismantled the Temple stone by stone to get the gold. When they were finished the Lord’s Palm Sunday prophecy had been dramatically fulfilled. “They will not leave one stone on another because you did not recognize the time of God’s coming to you” (Luke 19:44) .

When James referred to Peter speaking of the Lord taking from the Gentiles a people for Himself in Acts 15:13-14 the Greek words he used for “taking from” were lambano ek. Together they mean to take (something) with the hand in order to carry (it) away from a certain time and place. In this case the something is the Church (the people for Himself), and the certain time and place would be carried away from is the restoration of Israel on Earth for the final seven years of their covenant with God. We know this because the first two words of Acts 15:15, which talks about rebuilding the Temple, are “after this”, after the Church is gone. Whether he knew it or not, James was saying the rapture of the Church would precede the beginning of Daniel’s 70th Week.

Then What Happens?

In Acts 15:15-18 James quoted from Amos 9:11-12 to confirm his understanding that after the Lord has taken the Church He’ll cause the Temple to be rebuilt. Like we saw above they knew it would soon be destroyed, but James used a prophecy from Amos that was already 800 years old to show the Temple will be rebuilt when the Lord has finished with the Church. After that the gentiles who will have missed the rapture will have one final chance to be saved as well. This settled the issue of Israel’s future.

From Daniel 9:24-27 we know that rebuilding their Temple will be a sign that Israel has returned to its covenant relationship with God and the remaining 70th week of Daniel’s prophecy is under way. The only reason for a Temple to exist is to allow Israel to conduct Old Covenant rituals and sacrifices. Daniel 9:27 says the anti-Christ will put an end to sacrifice and offering in the middle of the 70th week. This tells us a Temple will have been erected and sacrifices offered again beginning sometime earlier.

So here’s the scope of the passage. Following the cross, Israel was temporarily set aside while God began His redemptive work among the Gentiles. His first work was to build His Church, against which the gates of Hell will not prevail (Matt.18:18).

I do not want you to be ignorant of this mystery, brothers, so that you may not be conceited: Israel has experienced a hardening in part until the full number of the Gentiles has come in. (Romans 11:25)

Romans 11:25 tells us that Israel was to be hardened in part during this time. Paul was talking about Israel’s heart which would be hardened against understanding. Remember in Luke 19:41-45 Jesus said the obvious fact that their long awaited Messiah had visited them would hence forth be hidden from their eyes. Paul said this would be the case all through the time the Lord was focused on the Church. The fact that some say more Jews have come to Jesus in the past 19 years than in the previous 1900 years may be an indication that the time of hardening is coming to an end.

In Paul’s day, the Greek word translated full number (fullness) was often used in a nautical sense. It referred to the number of crew members necessary for a commercial ship to set sail. Because of the dangers involved in being caught short handed during a storm at sea, ships could not leave port until they had the full number of sailors aboard. Also the word translated “come in” meant to arrive at a scheduled destination. (We’ve all heard the phrase “waiting for my ship to come in”.) In Romans 11:25 Paul used these metaphors to describe the Church leaving Earth and arriving at our Heavenly destination before Israel’s heart is softened.

When the full number of the Gentiles has been reached we’ll be whisked away to our Father’s house (John 14:2-3) while He turns His attention back to Israel. At that time, the remaining seven years of Daniel’s prophecy will play out. Through the most devastating judgments ever visited upon Earth the nations among which Israel has been scattered will be completely destroyed, Israel will be purified to prepare for the coming Kingdom Age, and the remnant of the Gentiles will get their final chance at salvation.

But Wait, There’s More

If you stop to think about, it these few verses in Acts 15 answer several important theological questions. They show the New covenant did not replace the Old Covenant, but merely interrupted it. They prove God didn’t intend for the Church to replace Israel in His plan forever, He just set Israel aside temporarily so the door of salvation could be opened to the Gentiles. In Isaiah 49:6 the Father said to the Son;

“It is too small a thing for you to be my servant to restore the tribes of Jacob and bring back those of Israel I have kept. I will also make you a light for the Gentiles, that you may bring my salvation to the ends of the earth.”

With the added insight from Romans 11:25 we can also confirm that Israel and the Church are like oil and water in that they don’t mix. For one to be here the other has to be gone. The two systems are theologically incompatible. You can’t have a system of faith evidenced by obedience to the Law complete with daily animal sacrifices functioning beside a system of grace through faith alone with no other requirement than to believe in the one He has sent (John 6:29).

Therefore the Church is not the next dot on a straight line from Creation to Eternity. It’s a giant right hand turn that takes believers to a unique and exclusive destiny that no other believers will share, and allows the Lord to fulfill His promises to Israel at the same time.

We tend to think the only reason for the rapture is to get the Church out of the way of the End Times judgments. But this shows us there’s another reason why the Church can’t be on Earth during any of Daniel’s 70th Week. We have to leave so Israel can come back to God. From the looks of it, our departure is coming soon. You can almost hear the footsteps of the Messiah. 10-08-11

 

 


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