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The Timing of the Rapture

There’s so much confusion about when the rapture is going to happen? Is it pre-trib, post-trib, or did it already happen? You’ve probably already answered this question on your own based on how you feel, the research you’ve done, or what you’ve heard and been taught. If that’s the case, I implore you to press in and see what I have to offer you and check it out for yourself and test this. I do encourage you to do your research in the word of God and get rid of any predisposed notions you have about the rapture.

I’ll tell you straight forward, I believe that the rapture is going to be before the 7 years of the anti-Christ’s reign. Do I believe it’s the pre-tribulation rapture? Well, that depends on what you consider the tribulation to be.

The Greek word for tribulation is thlipsis. This word means persecution, affliction, or distress. For all intents and purposes, Christians are already in a tribulation. Matthew 24:9-14 is speaking of the tribulation the Christians will face at the end of days. “Then they will deliver you up to tribulation and kill you, and you will be hated by all nations for My name’s sake. And then many will be offended, will betray one another, and will hate one another. Then many false prophets will rise up and deceive many. And because lawlessness will abound, the love of many will grow cold. But he who endures to the end shall be saved. And this gospel of the kingdom will be preached in all the world as a witness to all the nations, and then the end will come.”

What I’ve seen through vision and from the lord is that this tribulation that Jesus was speaking of occurs before the anti-Christ comes to power in his seven and a half year reign. He will be here when the Christians are on the earth, but his reign will not begin fully until a series of events occur.

To understand this series of events, we need to read Matthew 24, Daniel, and Revelation.

“Therefore when you see the ‘abomination of desolation,’ spoken of by Daniel the prophet, standing in the holy place” (whoever reads, let him understand), “then let those who are in Judea flee to the mountains. Let him who is on the housetop not go down to take anything out of his house. And let him who is in the field not go back to get his clothes. But woe to those who are pregnant and to those who are nursing babies in those days! And pray that your flight may not be in winter or on the Sabbath. For then there will be great tribulation, such as has not been since the beginning of the world until this time, no, nor ever shall be. And unless those days were shortened, no flesh would be saved; but for the elect’s sake those days will be shortened.” -Matthew 24: 15-22.

The abomination that causes desolation. That’s the term that has wrought havoc on theologian’s doctrines for millennia. What does this mean? The Greek word used for abomination is bedlgyma. This word means to reek with a stench. Figuratively it means a moral horror as a stench to God.

The word bedlgyma is used 6 times in the New Testament and half of those are referring to the antichrist, the rest are referring events used at the end of days. To look at this word at face value, you see that this abomination is like a foul-smelling stench in God's nostrils which implies the “statue” is moral actions that are entirely wicked and sinful where people completely reject God’s word. Hold on, there’s more!

There’s something we need to understand from Daniel 12, first, “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.”

The first thing that we need to notice is that the people that are persecuted on the earth before the statue is raised are Christians. The next set of people that are persecuted according to the angel are the Jews. It very specifically tells Daniel that the angel that stands watch over “your people” and “your people” shall be delivered whose names are written in the book of life.

That’s interesting to me because the Jews are specifically mentioned in revelation 7::3-4, “saying, “Do not harm the earth, the sea, or the trees till we have sealed the servants of our God on their foreheads.” And I heard the number of those who were sealed. One hundred and forty-four thousand of all the tribes of the children of Israel were sealed.” So we see here, that there is a persecution of the jews yet again at the hands of an anti-Christ (in this case THE anti-Christ).

Right after these Jews are sealed then the rapture happens. We learn this from Revelation 7:14 “Sir,” I answered, “you know.” So he replied, “These are the ones who have come out of the great tribulation; they have washed their robes and made them white in the blood of the Lamb.”

Many people think that the tribulation is when God starts pouring out his wrath on the planet for accepting the mark of the beast. However, that is the time of God’s final indignation.

We see this indignation referenced in Daniel 8:19 and Isaiah 13:5, both are referring to the end of days.

Let’s look at Daniel 8: 19-26, “Look, I am making known to you what shall happen in the latter time of the indignation; for at the appointed time the end shall be. The ram which you saw, having the two horns—they are the kings of Media and Persia. And the male goat is the kingdom of Greece. The large horn that is between its eyes is the first king. As for the broken horn and the four that stood up in its place, four kingdoms shall arise out of that nation, but not with its power.

“And in the latter time of their kingdom,

When the transgressors have reached their fullness,

A king shall arise,

Having fierce features,

Who understands sinister schemes.

His power shall be mighty, but not by his own power;

He shall destroy fearfully,

And shall prosper and thrive;

He shall destroy the mighty, and also the holy people. “Through his cunning

He shall cause deceit to prosper under his rule;

And he shall exalt himself in his heart.

He shall destroy many in their prosperity.

He shall even rise against the Prince of princes;

But he shall be broken without human means.

“And the vision of the evenings and mornings

Which was told is true;

Therefore seal up the vision,

For it refers to many days in the future.

“Through his cunning

He shall cause deceit to prosper under his rule;

And he shall exalt himself in his heart.

He shall destroy many in their prosperity.

He shall even rise against the Prince of princes;

But he shall be broken without human means. “And the vision of the evenings and mornings

Which was told is true;

Therefore seal up the vision,

For it refers to many days in the future.

So we see in verse 19 the latter times are the times of indignation and in verse 26 that this is dealing with the end times. I’d also like to point out that it says the anti-Christ has fierce features. That says in Hebrew strong faces. The Hebrew words used are az panim. As is a variant of the word ez which means “female Goat.” It seems to me, that this antichrist may indeed appear to look like a Baphomet.

In fact, upon researching the word az I discovered that the word for “scapegoat” in Hebrew is Azazel. Are you catching the correlation here? If you pay attention to the wording used about the antichrist and his armies, you see that not one time is he called a man. He’s always called a beast.

Getting back on track of the abomination of desolation. We see a statue in the end times in the book of revelation. Revelation 13: 14 states, “Because of the signs it was given to perform on behalf of the first beast, it deceived those who dwell on the earth, telling them to make an image to the beast that had been wounded by the sword and yet had lived.”

The word used for an image is Eikon. It’s pronounced the same as it is in English, “Icon.” It means the same thing today as it did 2000 years ago; an image or idol; an exact likeness.

The next few verses give us quite a bit of revelation (no pun intended) that tells us what or who the abomination that causes desolation is.

"He was granted power to give breath to the image of the beast, that the image of the beast should both speak and cause as many as would not worship the image of the beast to be killed. He causes all, both small and great, rich and poor, free and slave, to receive a mark on their right hand or on their foreheads, and that no one may buy or sell except one who has the mark or the name of the beast, or the number of his name.”

This statue is the abomination that causes desolation. He brings not only lands to ruin, but he brings people to ruin as well. What we will see at the end of days is a statue erected in the courtyard of the temple of God made in the image of a beast that was slain. It will be given life and the spirit of that dead beast will enter into it and make an unholy mockery of what God did when He created Adam and Eve. This will be a sign to the world as though “proving” that they made human beings and not God, putting themselves in the place of God and claiming there is only one God and he is it.

This brings us to the mark of the beast. There are several things that we need to look at regarding the mark of the beast.

“He causes all, both small and great, rich and poor, free and slave, to receive a mark on their right hand or on their foreheads, and that no one may buy or sell except one who has the mark or the name of the beast, or the number of his name.”

The small and the great is probably the most heartbreaking part of this verse. The small mentioned here is it only referencing people of small stature, but it’s commonly used to mean the little ones or children. He makes children get the mark. You’ll see why this is sad in a moment.

The rich and the poor, when do the research is not only speaking of those that have money, but it’s denoting the spiritual significance of the person. Both words in Greek, plusious (rich) and ptochous (poor), indicates a spiritual condition. The richness speaks of wealth or being full of God’s abundance. And the word poor means one who is poor (without money) or one who is spiritually poor, or even one who is humble (though I don’t believe anyone will be humble in this time).

The next part bothers me as well, (obviously, it all does) it says the slave and the free. This shows, first of all, that slavery is going to make a comeback when these beasts emerge, these weapons of God’s indignation that come from the farthest reaches of the heavens show up. That sickens me. However, that can reference the spiritual aspect as well, meaning the Christians and non-Christians.

The word mark here implies that there’s a carving or engraving. The Greek word is charagma which is referring to a mark left by a branding iron. This indicates that’s there’s some form alteration that occurs here. This mark also implies ownership of the person being branded by the person that owns the brand.

Now here’s where things tricky. If you look at the Greek of this verse you will see it readers this way, “the one not having the mark; the name of the beast, or the number of the name of it.”

We see here there are two different qualities of the mark present. The name and the number of the name.

What’s important to establish here is that in the Jewish culture, the name of a person identifies their characteristics, qualities, and calling in life. For example, Jesus' name (Yashua) means salvation. Moses means drawn out; Saul means asked for; Paul means humble or small (and Paul was beloved to be short).

As Christians, we are called to take on the nature and characteristics of Christ. This is referred to in 2 Peter 1:4, and we’re told to clothe ourselves or put on the image of Jesus Christ in Romans 13:14. Therefore, being called “Christians” is the same as being called by or taking the mark of his name and not only acting like Christians, but taking on his appearance, nature, and characteristics as your own.

In the same manner, this passage in revelation is showing that the mark is an imitation of What Christ has. Allows us to. It is a physical alteration of your body that causes you to display the physical characteristics of the beast. You will either look like him and rake on that aspect, or you will be given extra toes or fingers that can be counted.

We see this in the Bible through Goliath and other beasts, as well as through the bones of the Nephilim discovered, and the paintings and statues of the “gods” and giants across the globe that all had six fingers and toes, were tall, had animalistic characteristics, or had elongated skulls and long necks. The name Anakim means “long neck.”

That’s the first indication of what the number of his name is. We also have to look at the fact that there has been an anti-Christ in every generation. Their names will add up to 666 somehow because Satan doesn’t know when it is his time to shine (so to speak). So he grooms an anti-Christ in every generation such as Nero and Hitler. We have to remember the antichrist Spirit exists and it’s not able to be made manifest yet.

There’s a reason this spirit isn’t made manifest yet. 2 Thessalonians 2:7 “For the mystery of lawlessness is working already; there is only the one at present restraining it until he might be gone out of the midst.”

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