The Restoration of Israel: Into the Bond of the Covenant

The Restoration of Israel 1.3

This short letter speaks to Ezekiel 20:37 which states:

“And I will cause you to pass under the rod, and I will bring you into the bond of the covenant:”

This statement confirms that Israel had been set aside “from the bond of the covenant”.  This covenant must be affirmed to Israel as it had been deferred. This happens in Daniel 9:27.   Daniel 9, the great chapter about Israel’s covenant God named “Jehovah”, is a chapter rich in covenant symbols, ending with “God in Christ” confirming His “oath of covenant” to Abraham, Isaac and Jacob, as He restores the “remnant of Jacob”.  The theme of Chapter 9 is covenants.   We know this because Daniel used God’s covenant name “Jehovah” seven times.  Daniel never used God’s covenant name in any other chapter.  The context of Daniel 9 is founded exclusively in God’s covenants.

This view contradicts the traditional view that Daniel’s verse 27 covenant is a satanic covenant/treaty which the Antichrist makes with Israel.   Surely, God would not utilize a “satanic covenant” as the triggering event which brings in “everlasting righteousness” of verse 24.  Satan would be opposed to Satan and Jesus told us that would not happen in Matthew 12:25-26.   If King David was not permitted to build the Temple because he had too much blood on his hands, do you think the Antichrist would be allowed by God to permit it?

The Antichrist will surely enter into a league with the High Priest which will lead to the abominations of desolation of verse 27 just as it is figuratively spoken of in Daniel 11 in association with Antiochus Epiphanes’ abomination.  The Daniel 11:23 “league” is a form of agreement with the religious rulers of Israel.  This “league” is a type of future league with the High Priest of the Third Temple which will result in another and final abomination.   Therefore, Daniel 9:27’s covenant will not be a covenant with Israel’s the secular government.  Israel has no king.  The High Priest will control access to the Third Temple, not the Prime Minister. Only the High Priest will have authority to access to the Holy Place.

God’s promises to the “seed of Jacob” must be confirmed and fulfilled.  That is exactly what happens in the Book of Revelation.  There is no evidence of a “covenant of death” in the Book of Revelation.  There is no treaty.

Remnant Israel will be brought back into the “bond of the covenant” delivered, saved and restored.

The “oaths of God” are explicitly associated with Daniel 9:26 and 27.  These oaths are God’s bond of promise.  They are “super covenants” designed to get our attention.  They are special and worthy of study.   The Daniel 9:26 covenant oath was fulfilled is in Psalm 110:4-5.  The Daniel 9:27 covenant oath will confirm and ultimately fulfill the Genesis 22:16 and Psalm 105:6-11 promises.  God is a God of patterns.  He has not spoken in a dark place.  A detailed legal analysis is set forth in the article “The Literary Architecture of Daniel 9: Isaiah 59 A Case Study”.

Click on link above for details.

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THE END OF THE AGE: The Word, Doctrine and Prophecy

The End of the Age 2018

The following letter was originally begun as an introductory summary of all of the articles contained in this WordPress site.  While it surveys much of the site’s content, there is new material presented in a different manner.  It is more foundational and doctrinal in nature, but set in the context of my other articles.  My focused audience is the “soon to be” remnant Israel, our Jewish brothers, who after our departure, will carry our message.  Today, we preach Christ crucified!  They will “get Jesus’ testimony” and carry the “torch of God’s word” into Glory!

I write as a lawyer, which I am, so I provide biblical citations in great quantity.  It is the word of God which speaks.  I merely write a letter organizing Scripture as my story.   This letter was originally three pages when I began seven weeks ago.  Now it is twenty-six pages with 300+ citations.

I begin with the position that Israel in God’s Holy land today is the Daughter of Babylon from which God will call out His remnant inheritance in Jacob.  God is preparing the nation of Israel for Daniel’s 70th week which very possibly may begin following the end of Israel’s 70th year in the land.

The letters include a short personal testimony which leads into an analysis of the Sovereignty of God’s words.  This includes an overview of manuscript evidence for biblical translations and man’s obsession with constantly revising bibles.  I am very passionate and my testimony is meant to soften the harshness of my criticism.  I have great zeal for God’s pure words.

I have included overview of the original Hebrew pictographic script which is hidden treasure to be found in Genesis 1:1.  These treasures include literary proof of Jesus’ presence in Genesis 1:1 which is confirmed by John in his books.  These proofs connect Genesis and Revelation at the end of the Age as God’s wraps up the prophecy of Genesis 3:15.

The letter concludes with some personal application questions based on the discussion and analysis contained in the letter.  May our Lord be exalted.  The Day of Christ approaches!

Click on the link above for the Adobe formatted letter.

 

 

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Was the Revelation 12:1 “Woman” a Sign or a Wonder?

The purpose of a “sign” is to cause BELIEF in God’s words.(Exodus 4:8)    The purpose of a “wonder” is to display God’s power. (Psalm 77:14; Joshua 3:5; Daniel 4:3)   Wonders often follow signs.  Signs are for the JEW. (1 Corinthians 1:22)  If signs were for the “body of Christ” Paul would have included that additional requirement in verse 22.   He did not.  He said we do not require signs like the Jew, we are to “preach Christ crucified”!

So, on September 23, 2017 the “body of Christ” was completely unaffected by the Revelation 12:1 wonder.  Therefore, the Scriptures again ring true.  Assuming the Revelation 12:1 wonder/sign was true and correct, was it a sign or wonder?   The most popular Bibles use the term “sign” instead of “wonder”.  These two terms are different as defined by the Scriptures cited above.   The KJB uses the term “wonder” and not “sign”.

Do you want to know why the 47 scholars who collaborated on the KJB translation chose that word?  They translated the Greek word “semeion” as “wonder” and not “sign” in Revelation 12:1.  In their translation work they translated the word “semeion” as “sign” 50 times, yet in this verse they translated it as “wonder”.  Did they make a mistake?  Hardly.  They knew and understood the OT particularly the Book of Daniel.   You and I and most scholars alive today could not even approach their level of piety, humility and scholarship.    I defer to their judgment.   Do you think we might be able to figure out why they chose the word “wonder” in this case.  Unfortunately, their translation notes were burned in the Great Fire of London in 1666, so we will have to search the Scriptures for the basis of their word choice.

Open your Bible to Daniel 12.  Daniel 12 is contextually set in the same time as Revelation 12.  We know this because of Daniel’s use of the defining term “time of trouble”.  This is Jacob’s trouble. (Jeremiah 30:7) It is Daniel’s 70th week.   Additionally, Daniel and John’s use the identical term “a time, times and half a time”, in the case of Daniel 12:7 and “a thousand two hundred and three score days” in Revelation 12:6.  Those two measures of time are identical descriptions of time.   Now look at Daniel 12:6 in the KJB, not the NIV.  Daniel uses the term “wonders”, “pele” in Hebrew, in the context of the events which transpire in Chapter 12 and arguably Revelation 12.

The NIV deviates from the word “wonder” and instead says that “pele” means “astonishing things”, a translation which is not included in Strong’s Hebrew word H6381. Other copyrighted Bibles use the term “sign”.  The NIV is a copyrighted translation which is protected under 17USC 102(a).  Copyrights protect the literary works of original authorship.  Cite check 17 USC 102 and see for yourself that the NIV, as will all copyrighted Bibles, represent man’s protected words of original literary authorship. So, is it God’s words or man’s words.  These copyrighted Bibles are man’s protected words.  God’s word is free gift.  (Genesis 2:16,  Ephesians 2:8; Revelation 22:14, 17)  Remember Jesus’ discourse about the “end of days”.  The first sign is deception.  Deception, by its nature, is incredibly subtle.   “Take heed that no man deceive you”. (Matthew 24:4)

The KJB translators chose the word “wonder” because that is the word that Daniel used for the “end of days” events which he witnessed.   So, the correct description of Revelation 12:1 is wonder.  If a true configuration of the starry host from God’s perspective, then God’s power was on global display on September 23, 2017.  It was not the future wonder of the Rapture of the body of Christ.  That view, in Israel’s fall festivals, is simply latter days replacement theology dressed up by those who would corrupt or merchandise the words of God. (2 Corinthians 2:17; John 2:16; Jeremiah 23:36)  You will not find these indicting words in the NIV or NASB because they have been sanitized by the copyrighted original authorship of the latter day “gods” of the Laodicean Church. (Genesis 3:5)

Did you see the power of God displayed on September 23, 2017?  No?  Well, it was on display!   It was the nascent nation of Israel in the midst of her 70th year as a nation. (Isaiah 66:8)  They are in the midst of Isaiah’s restoration prophecy. (Isaiah 11:11)  That is a wonder!   Searching the Scriptures reveals what might be described as a literary hologram or the dimensionality of God’s wonders beginning with the original SIGN.   “Behold, a virgin shall conceive, and bear a son, and shall call his name Immanuel.” (Isaiah 7:14)   She is depicted as Virgo,  the first dimension of the vision in the Revelation 12:1 starry host.  Then, a nation is born of Jacob and his 12 sons, initially comprised of 70 souls. (Genesis 37:9; Exodus 1:5) This is the second dimension of the Revelation 12 wonder.   Finally, this wonder speaks to the remnant of Israel which God will call out during the time of Jacob’s trouble, the remnant which will be chosen out of the “furnace of affliction”. (Isaiah 48:10; Daniel 3:17, 19, 25)  The Son of God spoken of in Daniel 3:25 is He whose testimony the remnant will proclaim. (Revelation 12:17, 14:12, 20:4)  This Revelation 12 “woman” is also the woman which God divorced, and yet will recover nationally at the Second Advent. (Isaiah 50:1; Jeremiah 3:8; Deuteronomy 32:9;  Isaiah 19:25)  This remnant is God’s inheritance!

Revelation 12:1 speaks to the original sign and the wonders of God’s promises to Abraham, Isaac and Jacob.  God’s plan of redemption for both the Gentile and the Jew fully express God’s glory as we approach the end of the Pentecostal age.   We should expect the “fullness of Israel’s 70 years” on, or about May 14, 2018 to bring nation shattering events upon the world theatre in the ensuing months of the Spring, Summer and Fall of 2018.

Daniel studied Jeremiah’s book and understood “the number of years” whereby God would “accomplish 70 years” in the desolations of Jerusalem.   I understand that by Daniel’s recognition of the term “accomplishing 70 years” that he stated that a full seventy years would transpire.

If we recognize God’s use of patterns, we necessarily must conclude that Israel’s first 70 years as a nation represents the fullness and completeness of nation building and God’s promise to restore Israel the “second time” (Isaiah 11:11)   Israel will have become a nation ripe for judgment.  The Cup of Indignation is near full.

These 70 years will have represented the 70 years of indignation which Zechariah prophesied.  (Zechariah 1:12)  It is highly probable that the Age of Pentecost will terminate following the “accomplishment” of Israel’s 70 years in 2018.   As for me, I expectantly wait for the appearance of our blessed hope on, or about the Spring Feast of Pentecost, on that day which God so determines in His Sovereignty.

Surely, He has just announced the glory of the ages in this September 23, 2017 wonder, the promised “end of the age” redemption of His peoples.  The Church awaits glorification.   Israel awaits the furnace of affliction.

Following the departure of the “body of Christ”, the Lord will confirm His promises to Abraham. (Daniel 9:27, Genesis 22:16-17-18; 1 Chronicles 16:16, 17; Psalm 105:9-10)   The preceding cited verses fully support the fact that God “confirmed His covenant” to Abraham no less than three times.  It was a confirmed covenant based on the “oath of God”! (Psalm 105:9-10)

Abraham’s spiritual children, in Isaac, will have departed completing the Age of Pentecost in the great “two loaf wave offering” representing the resurrection of the dead in Christ and rapture of the living in Christ.   Then,  God will fulfill His promises to the physical seed of Abraham, in Jacob, which will commence with Daniel’s 70th week. (Daniel 9:27)   The promises to Abraham were suspended with the blood atoning sacrifice of Lord Yeshua Jesus, but following the rapture, God will once again, confirm His promises to the physical seed of Abraham, in Jacob.  It will be the time of Jacob’s trouble when God will call out His inheritance, those Messianic Jews who keep the commandments of God and have the testimony and faith of Yeshua. (Revelation 12:17; 14:12)

Three weeks before the Revelation 12:1 wonder, as reported in Haaretz, an Israeli publication,  on August 31, 2017, we have seen a foreshadow of Israel’s remnant following the future great departure of Christ’s own.  Haaretz reported that the Rabbinic Court known as the Sanhedrin had ruled that Jews in Israel who believe that Jesus (Yeshua) is Israel’s Messiah cannot marry in a traditional Jewish religious ceremony known as “halacha”.  The Sanhedrin, in its wisdom, has ruled that these types of Jewish believers are not “considered Jews” for the purpose of marriage. True enough today, but after the departure, they WILL BE the remnant. (Romans 9:27, Isaiah 10:21-23)   God affirms their wisdom for He states during the Pentecostal Age: “There is neither Jew, nor Greek, there is neither bond nor free, there is neither male nor female: for ye are all one in Christ Jesus.” (Galatians 3:28)

What shall we say!   O, Israel, return unto the Lord thy God; for thou hast fallen by thine iniquity. (Hosea 14:1)

Come quickly, Lord Jesus

P.S.   The battle for the word of God began in Genesis 3.  It rages today.  If you are curious, I recommend the following book as a worthy historical review of the battlefield.  No library should be without this book:   (https://www.amazon.com/Which-Bible-David-Otis-Fuller/dp/0944355242)

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VALIANT FOR THE TRUTH: The Time of Jacob’s Trouble

Valiant for the Truth 1.3   (Click on Link)

This article will analyze and discuss the first five verses of Revelation 12.  Its purpose is to understand the metaphor of the woman with child in travail.  The metaphor of the woman links her painful child birthing image with the birth of belief in a people during the difficult time in Israel’s future.  We will seek the “whole counsel of God” using His doctrines as the foundation for this analysis, discussion and resulting conclusions.

During the period known as the time of Jacob’s trouble, Daniel’s 70th week or the Tribulation, a portion of the nation of Israel, in the context of Judaism, will experience a national revival or transformation in its core doctrinal beliefs.

This future sect of Judaism will emerge after the period of time known as “the fullness of the Gentiles”.  The birth of this new doctrinal belief is metaphorically associated with the figure of the woman with child in travail and is expressed doctrinally as the birth of a people who (1) keep the commandments of God and (2) have the testimony and faith of Yeshua Jesus.   This new sect of Judaism will incorporate a form of Abraham’s belief with his justifying obedience and incorporating the testimony of Yeshua, all of this being possible because of their repentance and recognition of Yeshua as Israel’s suffering servant Messiah.

These new people will represent a new Israel, the remnant Jewish nation, which God seeks in the time of Jacob’s trouble.

This new Jewish age will begin at the “fullness of the Gentiles” which will be known as the day of the great departure of the Church, the body of Christ.  Following this departure, God’s jurisdictional protocols will have shifted from the Church of Christ to the Jew and Christ’s testimony.   God will remember Abraham and his oaths of promise to Jacob.   His call, then, will be a national call, “O Israel, return unto the Lord thy God; for thou art fallen by thine iniquity”.

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The Literary Architecture of Daniel: Isaiah 59: A Case Study

Architecture of Daniel 9     (Click on link)

James W. Bosanquet said “Every fresh interpretation [of Daniel’s 70th Week] only adds to the force of our conviction that some radical error lies at the foundation of all our Christian interpretations, and, till it is discovered, the Seventy Weeks of Daniel will remain unexplained and inexplicable to the comprehension of every unprejudiced inquirer.”

A radical error lies at the foundation of the historic interpretation of Daniel 9:27 concerning the person who confirms and the nature of the covenant.

Daniel 9:27 has been interpreted consistently by prophesy scholars as involving a future covenant, treaty or league made by the Antichrist with Israel.  This is often referred to as the 7-Year peace treaty which the Antichrist will breach after three and a half years.

This belief is based on a reading of Daniel which concludes that the “he” of verse 27(a)  is the “prince who shall come” in verse 26(b).   The “covenant” of verse 27(a) is therefore interpreted as a future satanic treaty with Israel.

This essay will offer a fresh and contrary interpretation of verse 27(a).   This interpretation will be based solely on a literary analysis of Daniel 9 and Isaiah 59.  The literary analysis will speak from the Scriptures ipso facto.   The logical conclusion flowing from the analysis will emphatically declare that “he” is not the “prince to come” but rather “Jehovah God”.  The “covenant” will not be a treaty with the “prince to come”, but rather will be “Israel’s salvation covenant” as declared by Isaiah.Literary

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The 70 YEARS OF INDIGNATION: Apocalypse Israel 2018

The 70 Years of Indignation 1.7

This article analyzes Zechariah 1 and proves that the 70 years of indignation is not the 70-year Babylonian exile, but very likely the 70-year period commencing on, or about May 14, 1948 and ending on, or about May 14, 2018.

Zechariah’s prophecy of a Third Temple construction is prophetically perfect when viewed in our day.

 

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A Controversy: Is Revelation 12:5 a Figure of the Rapture?

There is a controversy concerning verse 5. Some expositors argue that the verse 5 “caught up” wording represents the rapture of the Church.

Revelation 12:5 states:
5 And she brought forth a man child, who was to rule all nations with a rod of iron: and her child was caught up unto God, and to his throne.

The greatest obstacle to discovery of God’s truth in Scripture is not the lack of education or even ignorance, but it is the illusion of knowledge and understanding which opposes God’s truth, the light of His doctrines. This illusion is often rooted in pride and conceit when God desires to teach us in our humility and modesty.

Some biblical expositors have suggested that the figure of the man child, is the body of Christ being “raptured”. They argue that this event is the Church’s departure because of the usage of the word “harpazo”. This view is rooted in the belief that the seven churches of Revelation 2-3 doctrinally represent Christian churches throughout this Age.

Doctrine is a belief or set of beliefs held and taught by God in His Book. Doctrines necessarily require division. Timothy 2:15 clearly says that God’s truth requires division. That means that not all truth should be doctrinally applied to all groups in the Scriptures. The Scriptural doctrines are either focused at the Jew in Tribulation or the Church during the Pentecostal Age. This is why there are so many divisions in the churches. The works doctrine plainly alluded to in the Gospels, Hebrews, James, Peter, John, Jude and Revelation are doctrinally applicable to the Jew should not be applied to the Church, Christ’s own. You may make an application, a spiritual or inspirational application, but not a doctrinal application. All Scripture is profitable for “instruction in righteousness”. You may apply Jewish doctrine to a Pauline Christian for “instruction in righteousness”. Just do not make a member of Christ’s body keep the commandments, keep the feast, etc. as a necessary component of salvation.

If we were to attempt to prioritize God’s view on His doctrine we would look to 2 Timothy 3:16. The verse states:

“All scripture is given by inspiration of God, and is profitable for doctrine, for reproof, for correction, for instruction in righteousness:”

There are four listed purposes for all Scripture. Doctrine is first on the list. God is very concerned with teaching knowledge and making us understand doctrine. Studying God’s words and doctrines is laborious. In the future, Israel will finally understand God’s doctrines. Presently, they are confused. They continue to be steeped in tradition, not knowing the Scriptures.

There is only one true doctrinal application for these Revelation churches. There are only two doctrinal choices before us: (1) Jewish doctrine, or (2) Church doctrine. One doctrinal application and one inspirational application. If the churches are Jewish assemblies, then the Christian churches may draw an inspirational application and rightly so. If the churches are Christian assemblies, may the Jew draw an inspirational application? Why would they?

We must study the word clues in Revelation 1-3 in order to learn which doctrinal application is intended by Jesus, the revelator of this prophetic book. The Jews were often astonished at Jesus’ doctrines. God accused the Jewish leadership in Isaiah 28, a great chapter on the Crowns of Pride and Glory, as being doctrinally incompetent.
The doctrine of the coming Messiah, the sure foundation stone, the precious cornerstone to be laid in Zion. He was one of the major topics of this chapter. The “covenant of death” described in chapter 28 was the law, not some 20th century mythical peace treaty with the Antichrist. Paul clearly sets out God’s doctrine on this “covenant of death” law in 2 Corinthians 3. The “covenant of death” was buried with Jesus in Daniel 9:26. Jesus fulfilled the law in perfect submission to the Father. These mythological fantasies are the type of scholarship which permeates our “end of days” culture where people run to and fro from one wind of fanciful doctrine to another. God help us.

As Harry Ironside (1876-1951) said, in his book of lectures titled, “Revelation”, “if the interpreters are wrong as to the woman and the man child, it necessarily follows that they will be wrong as to many things connected with them.” Ironside asserts that the churches of Revelation 2 and 3 are Christian. Based on his doctrinal view, he concludes that Revelation 12:5 is the rapture of the Christian Church. I doctrinally disagree with Ironside.

The Scriptures should always be analyzed from three views: (1) historical, (2) doctrinal, and (3) inspirational or spiritual. If we err in doctrine, our understanding of the Scriptures will oppose God’s truth.

The Book of Revelation is principally a Jewish revelation by the Jewish Messiah to Daniel’s people, the Jews. Revelation 1:1 says that Jesus gave the revelation to show his “servants” the “things which must come to pass”. The Jew is the servant of God. Paul, while using this term from time to time , principally refers to “Christ’s own” as sons, not servants. The apostles are called servants until the resurrection, then called friends. Paul clarifies that Christ’s own is are “no more a servant, but a son”. The term “servant” begins to flavor the revelation with Jewish terms. In verse 13, John refers to Jesus as the “Son of Man”. This is another Jewish term given to Israel’s Messiah. Paul’s epistles never refer to Jesus by this Jewish title. He is the Son of God.

While the first three chapters of Revelation use the term “churches” they are, most probably Jewish assemblies from a doctrinal view. Surely, from an inspirational view, we may characterize them as Christian churches throughout the ages. But doctrinally, the seven assemblies are linguistically flavored with Jewish terms suggesting the differing factions of Judaism struggling to find the “faith and testimony of Jesus” during the Tribulation period. In fact Jesus, speaks, as the root and offspring of David, to these seven “churches” in the last chapter of Revelation. The reference to these churches is followed in the next verse by the statement, “The Spirit and the bride say, Come” to the churches. If the churches are Christian, as many commentators insist, then who is the bride in verse 17? Whomever is being addressed needs the “water of life”. The bride’s life is eternal in Christ, and has no need for the water of life.

Each of these revelations about the assemblies contain clues to their Jewishness. For example: Revelation 2:8 someone will eat from the tree of life. No Christian will be required eat of this tree for life because we have Jesus and eternal life in Him, not a tree. Revelation 2:9 refers to Jews in the Church of Smyrna. In Revelation 2:10 someone gets “a crown of life”. No Christian who gets saved is promised a “crown of life”. The verse says “if someone is faithful unto death” he will earn this crown. Our eternal life is in Jesus, based on His faith. There are no Christians in these assemblies.

This speaks to the Jewish tribulation salvation doctrine. The examples continue. My point is that the Book of Revelation is doctrinally written to Jews with a view that they (1) keep the commandments of God, (2) have the faith and testimony of Jesus, (3) endure unto the end, and (4) do not take the mark of the beast. This is the doctrine of Tribulation salvation.

When the Tribulation begins, there will be no true Christians on Earth. Christ’s own will have departed. Christ’s own are members of the body of the Judge. The Judge is not going to judge his own body. All of God’s judgment has been committed to Jesus. Christ’s own, upon receiving Jesus in their heart’s, had their sins forgiven by Jesus’ atoning self-sacrifice. There is no partial forgiveness. For all you who think Christians will miss the rapture because they have not attained a sufficient state of sanctification are in error not knowing the Scriptures. A person is either saved or not. Jesus did it all.

I am in agreement with Dr. Bullinger’s view that the Churches of Revelation 2 and 3 are fully Jewish based on the Scriptures, their Jewish terminologies, doctrines and facts found in the Old Testament describing each one. Bullinger sets forth a complete analysis of each of the seven assemblies leaving the reader with one conclusion. The assemblies are fully Jewish. This, however, does not exclude an inspirational Christian era church application. It is clear that such an application can be made to suit many of the characteristics of the seven assemblies. This does no violence to the Jewish doctrine, which then can lead an interpreter into a correct doctrinal application of Revelation 12. Remember the central goal of these seven years is the calling out of a Jewish remnant nation which acquires the testimony and faith of Messiah Yeshua Jesus. A group gets judged and a group gets protected, fed and ultimately saved.
This judgment and salvation work of these seven Tribulation years was emphasized by a material omission in the Scriptures. Omissions are important for what they do not say. Matthew 21:5 tells about Jesus’ arrival in Jerusalem on Nisan 10, the week of His death and resurrection.

Matthew 21:5 states:
“Tell ye the daughter of Sion, Behold, thy King cometh unto thee, meek, and sitting upon an ass, and a colt the foal of an ass.”

Many jump to conclusions and say that Jesus’ ride into Jerusalem on Nisan 10 fulfilled Zechariah 9:9. That is partially true. What Matthew omitted were the words, “he is just, and having salvation”. Doctrinally, this is Jewish national salvation which had not been included purposefully. National salvation is reserved for Christ’s Second Coming. Surely Jesus came and offered the free gift of salvation in the Pauline sense. The Book of Tribulation is not dealing with individuals, but the nations. Now, is the day of salvation where God is dealing with individuals, but that day ends at the “fullness of the Gentiles and the removal and departure of Christ’s own at the rapture event. Surely, God is going to judge the world and those Jews who will have rejected Christ as their personal saviors during this Age. God is principally going to save a remnant Jewish nation which possesses the faith and testimony of Yeshua Jesus.

At His First Coming, the nation of Israel rejected Him and manipulated His Roman execution. They did this because of envy. The patriarchs did the same thing to Joseph, an earlier type of Christ. They sold Joseph into Egypt for envy. This Zechariah omission tells us that just judgment and salvation have been reserved for His Second Coming as the Judge and Savior of Jacob.

The male child of verse 5 certainly speaks to Jesus in His Lord of Lords and King of Kings role. Jesus ascended to the Father the first day of His resurrection. Jesus ascended to heaven on Day 40 following His resurrection. The Scriptures speak of two returns, one for Christ’s own at the rapture and at the end of Daniel’s 70th week .

Prior to Jesus’ ascension we are given some additional information. Jesus ascended to Heaven immediately following His resurrection. This was not the Day 40 ascension. We know that there were three events: (1) Jesus was resurrected from the grave in the tomb, (2) then immediately following His resurrection, He ascended to Heaven, but returned, and (3) He ascended on Day 40 of the Omer count prior to the Feast of Pentecost.

Resurrection Ascension: Wave Sheaf Offering of First Fruits

John 20:17 states:
17 Jesus saith unto her, Touch me not; for I am not yet ascended to my Father: but go to my brethren, and say unto them, I ascend unto my Father, and your Father; and to my God, and your God.

Harpazo: Caught Up or Taken by Force

Some commentators have opined that the use of the word “caught up” in verse 5, the Greek word “harpazo”, implies that the “catching up” meaning “taken by force” matches the same words used in the two principal rapture verses. Does the “catching up” mean “taken by force”?

1 Corinthians 15:52 uses the term “raised” or “egeiro” for the dead in Christ and “changed” or “allasso” for the living in Christ. 1 Thessalonians 4:17 uses the term “raise up” or “anistemi” for the resurrection of the dead in Christ and the term “caught up” or “harpazo” to describe the rapture of living in Christ.

The usage of “harpazo” according to Strong’s Greek is “catch up”. It is used four times in the New Testament. Harpazo has another translation usage which is “take by force”. That phrase is used three times in the New Testament. The literal reading and understanding of the verse 5 leads the reader to the conclusion that the man child “harpazo” references Christ being “caught up” from Earth following his resurrection.

Commentators who favor an interpretation of the man child “harpazo” as the rapture of the Christ’s own argue that Christ was never “taken by force”. They describe the rapture as a “taking by force” only. They simply substitute their own words for they say that Jesus ascended with the implication being that it was a peaceful voluntary ascension. Which of the three events are they referencing. They are correct reading the Scriptures literally. Christ was resurrected once and ascended twice. Once on the Feast of First Fruits following His resurrection from death and a second time immediately following His resurrection and finally when He departed to the Father ten days prior to sending the Holy Spirit.

It should also be noted that the argument using “harpazo” as “taken by force” in a purported verse 5 rapture completely ignores the resurrection of the dead in Christ.
In the interest of settling the controversy we will dissect and analyze the language. Personally, I believe that the English is clear. The correct choice of words is “caught up” and not “taken violently”. I know many people prefer to study the Greek and arrive at an interpretation which is consistent with their doctrinal biases. My Book of Revelation bias is rooted in a Jewish doctrinal view not a Church doctrinal view.

Table 1. Resurrection of Righteousness

This table will compare the terms used in the two principal rapture verses of the New Testament. The Greek terms are the root form from Strong’s Greek Lexicon. It should be noted that the Blue Letter Bible indicates that the Greek root forms are identical between the KJB and the NIV.

Bible Verses                          Dead in Christ                                   Living in Christ
English             Greek                          English                   Greek
1 Thess.4:16-17      Shall rise            Anistemi G450          Caught up               Harpazo G726
1 Cor. 15:52         Shall be raised       Egeiro G1453           Changed                  Allasso G236

A review of the terminology associated with the two principal rapture verses clearly demonstrates that there are four different Greek words used to described the resurrection of righteousness, one of which is “harpazo” and it is confined to the living in Christ and not the resurrection of dead in Christ.

Table 2. Christ’s Ascension

This table sets forth the words used for Christ’s ascension as a type of rapture of Christ’s own. The word “harpazo” is not used. The two Greek words “anabaino” and “epario” differ from all of the rapture related words in the two principal rapture verses above. The John 20:17 verse is the post resurrection ascension and the Acts 1:9 is the Day 40 ascension. There is no biblical record concerning the nature of Jesus’ resurrection from death to life in the tomb as a harpazo type event. This, by the way, is the event which most closely resembles the resurrection of the dead in Christ and the rapture of the living.

Bible Verses                            First Fruits                                      Day 40
English             Greek                     English        Greek
1 Cor.15:3-5               Rose again        Egeiro G1453          N/A            N/A
John 20:17                 Ascended Anabaino G305               N/A             /A
Acts 1:9                        N/A                    N/A                      Taken up     Epario G1869
N/A: Not Applicable

In the context of the resurrection of righteousness, the subject matter of 1 Corinthians 15, Paul describes Jesus’ resurrection as “he rose again”. This word “egerio” Paul used to describe Jesus’ raising up is the same word Paul uses to describe resurrection of the dead in Christ in verse 52.

The ascension following the resurrection is described as “ascended” or “anabaino”. Anabaino is used ten times in the New Testament. When Christ departed on day forty, he used the term was “taken up” or “epairo”. This term is used once in the New Testament. There is nothing suggesting that Jesus was “caught up” in the nature of a forceful act. Neither is there any suggestion that the rapture verses speak about any “taking by force”. There is more in common with the “ascending” and “taking up” concepts of Jesus’ ascensions with the two rapture verses’ words, “rise”, raised, and “caught up”.

There is nothing in the translation in Revelation 12:5 to even suggest a “forceful taking” is relevant. Harpazo is never used in its “take by force” usage. The commentators who prefer this interpretation are crafting a private interpretation in order to craft a result which favors their interpretation. We search for God’s truth, not our preferred truths. If our beliefs are not aligned with God’s truth, the our beliefs will be irrelevant and erroneous. This must be the intellectual honesty to which we all aspire and submit. God’s truth first and foremost or nothing at all.

If one attempts to interpret the “harpazo” of Revelation 12:5 as the rapture of the Church, the argument is significantly weakened when comparing verse 5 to the two rapture verses above. Their proposition omits the dead in Christ. This is, without redefining the term “harpazo” to mean “take with force” as they assert, the distinguishing element.

Taken by Force

Strong’s Lexicon states that “harpazo” G726 has been translated into six English words any number of times. The following words, along with their frequency of usage, is as follows: catch up (4x), take by force (3x), catch away (2x), pluck (2x), catch (1x) and pull (1x).

The one rapture verse which uses the term “caught up” “harpazo” was not translated as “taken by force”. This is an important distinction.

The translation committees, which, in the case of the KJB translation work, were comprised of 47 Hebrew and Greek scholars of unparalleled intellectual stature. The translations which produced the 1611 KJB were subject to no less than fourteen independent reviews before word choices were adopted from the Textus Receptus manuscripts. Personally, I am inclined to defer to their word choices, not only in deference to their learned stature, but most significantly, because of God’s express promise to inspire and preserve His words. In no case, had the phrase “take by force” been used in conjunction with the two principal rapture verses.

The three New Testament verses which translated the word “harpazo” in its “take by force” characterization are:

Matthew 11:12
And from the days of John the Baptist until now the kingdom of heaven suffereth violence, and the violent take it by force.

John 6:15
When Jesus therefore perceived that they would come and take him by force, to make him a king, he departed again into a mountain himself alone.

Acts 23:10
And when there arose a great dissension, the chief captain, fearing lest Paul should have been pulled in pieces of them, commanded the soldiers to go down, and to take him by force from among them, and to bring him into the castle.
[Emphasis added]

These three examples all share one common theme. The object of the force objected to being taken. This theme is diametrically opposed to any notion that the “catching up” action could be associated with the rapture. Would anyone object to being “caught up” to Christ? Is this not the “hope of glory”? The proposition that the Revelation 12:5 “caught up” term represents the rapture of Christ’s own, must fail for lack of any logical support in the Scriptures.

Now, if you must insist that the translators erred, then your word choices may be substituted to craft a private interpretation to suit your particular doctrinal viewpoint. This is what Eve did in Genesis 3. She deleted the word “freely”. She added the phrase, “shall not touch”. Satan simply questioned God’s authority with the smug phrase “Yea, hath God said”. Satan did lie in Genesis 3:4 telling Eve she would not die if she ate the fruit. Questioning the words of God’s voice, adding words, deleting words, is where the whole problem began. If we are permitted to do these things, then we shall necessarily become “as gods”. I choose to believe that God was able to cause His Hebrew and Greek words to be accurately reflected in one English translation under the doctrines of inspiration and preservation. Is anything too hard for our God?

This refusal to take the Scriptures literally, as they appear in writing, is sign of the times when people will not endure sound doctrine. Doctrine is the foremost purpose of the Scriptures. And accordingly, this same 2 Timothy verse necessarily implies the first doctrine of Scripture is that “All Scripture is God breathed”. All means all, not some and not multiple versions of the voice of God’s words. God has established ideological rules for each of His doctrinal jurisdictions, a set for the Jew and a set for Christ’s own. If you do not learn to rightly divide God’s doctrinal jurisdictions , you will fall into error and believe in heretical doctrines. God forbid, doctrines of devils!
The Feasts of the Lord as Metaphors of Spiritual Resurrection

Symbolism of Christ’s First Fruits Resurrection

Let’s consider the symbolism that God chose to use for the resurrection of Christ as a witness to His form of ascension rapture. On First Fruits, when Jesus was resurrected, Sunday morning, the Temple priests had prepared the “wave sheaf offering of grain”. This sheaf of grain offering represented the first fruits of the harvest, but in God’s symbolic speech, it represented the spiritual harvest, the begotten Son of God. Jesus taught this doctrine in John 12:24 where He said:” Verily, verily, I say unto you, Except a corn of wheat fall into the ground and die, it abideth alone: but if it die, it bringeth forth much fruit.” Jesus was the corn of wheat, the first fruit of the resurrection of righteousness.

The Threefold Order of the Resurrection of Righteousness

Paul describes the three orders of this first resurrection. He says in 1 Corinthians 15:23-24:

“23But every man in his own order: (1) Christ the firstfruits; afterward (2)they that are Christ’s at his coming. 24 Then cometh(3) the end, when he shall have delivered up the kingdom to God, even the Father; when he shall have put down all rule and all authority and power. [Numbering added]

Jesus, the first order of the resurrection, was resurrected at the First Fruits festival when the Temple priests were waving up in the air the “sheaf of grain” offering to God. This offering represented Christ’s post resurrection ascension into heaven as the first fruits of the resurrection of righteousness. The sheaf of grain represented a sample of the greater harvest to come at Pentecost, also known as the Feast of Conclusion. Christ’s own, the second order of the resurrection, will follow Christ at His appearing as the greater harvest.

On the Feast of Pentecost, the Temple priests were concluding the Spring harvest offerings. God had instructed the priests to bake two loaves of bread with the fruit of the grain harvest and offer two loaves of bread baked up to God. This called the “wave loaf offering”.

Pentecost represents a two-stage transaction involving Christ’s own at His appearing. Now Christ did not appear at the first Pentecost. He had to depart before the Holy Spirit could come to his disciples. The first stage of Pentecost was the “earnest deposit” of the Spirit of God into and indwelling the believers.  The second stage is the Pentecostal Rapture.

One of the Holy Spirit’s works is to show Christ’s own “the things to come”. We are studying, with the guidance of the Holy Spirit, the “things to come”. What then, does Paul mean when he describes the second order of the resurrection of righteousness? Christ did not appear at the first Pentecost when the purchase deposit was made. The second stage of Pentecost is the redemption of the body. The third order of the resurrection occurs at the end of Daniel’s 70th week. This is “the end” prior to the Millennial reign. Revelation 20:5 days, “they came to life and reigned with Christ for a thousand years”. This third order concludes the three orders of the first resurrection to life. The third order of the resurrection resurrects the tribulation saints who will be included in the Millennial population.

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