The Lost Ten Tribes And The 144,000
Spiritualizing and allegorizing biblical passages relating to Israel is not new. In the 1800s there were theologians who mocked the notion of regathering of the Jews into Eretz Yisrael and the reconstitution of Israel as an independent state in her native homeland. Many bible passages relating to Israel were allegorized to relate to the Church. Today many theologians propound the same replacement theology. This type of spiritualizing hermeneutics sees the 144,000 in Rev.7:1-8 as relating to the Church and not to Israel inasmuch as according to them the ten tribes of Israel were lost in captivity more than two millennia ago.
The ten northern tribes were taken into captivity by Assyria in 722 BC. “In the ninth year of Hoshea the king of Assyria took Samaria, and carried Israel away into Assyria, and placed them in Halah and in Habor by the river of Gozan, and in the cities of the Medes.” ( 2 Kings 17:6 ). There is no historical evidence of a mass return until the two southern tribes also were taken into captivity by Nebuchadnezzar king of Babylon in 586 BC. Indeed, there were three waves of deportations, 606, 596, and 586 BC. At the defeat of Assyria by Babylon in 612 BC, the Assyrian Empire was incorporated into the neoBabylonian Empire. So Babylon inherited the Israelite exiles in the realm of Assyria. The neoBabylonean Empire was conquered by Medopersia in 539 BC. So also the Medopersia empire absorbed all Israelite exiles from both the kingdoms of Assyrian and Babylonia as these two kingdoms were incorporated into the Medopersian Empire. In 538 BC king Cyrus of Persia freed all Israelites in his dominion ( Ezra.1:1-4 ). Only a handful of them from all the various tribes were willing to return ( Ezra.2 ). The majority of the Israelites remained in self-imposed exile in Medopersia. The Medopersian Empire extended to Africa and India ( Est.1:1 ). Israelites from both Northern kingdom and the Southern kingdom of Judah remained in self-imposed exile until the destruction of the Second Temple by the Roman general Titus in 70 AD. Thus began the final scattering of the Israelites all over the world.
There are historians who date The Diaspora from 70 AD. Prior to 70 AD, there were Israelites exiles from the ten Northern tribes in the Indian subcontinent, China, Japan, and Central Asia. The ten Northern tribes were not lost. There are ethnic groups in China, India, and Japan who claim ancestry to the Jewish people. The Ben Menashe have begun emigrating to Israel. The Falashas Of Ethiopia are already absorbed in Israel. The Shinlung in India have petitioned the Israeli government. The Shinto Japanese claim origin from the ten Northern tribes. So also the Pashtun in Afghanistan and Pakistan, and the Igbos of South Eastern Nigeria. There are those who doubt the Jewishness of these various ethnic groups. Ancestry is not only determined by paternity through DNA, but by other modalities like conversion to Judaism, adoption and legality. Orthodox Jews define a Jew as any person with one grand Jewish parent. In this regard there are any number of persons who do not know they are Jews. In the OT, if a servant refuses to part with his master, and has married and begotten children, he and his children are his masters irrespective of his ancestry ( Exod.21:1-6; Deut.15:12-18 ). There was one law for both the native Israelite and the stranger that sojourned amongst them ( Exod.12:49 ). If these claims are false, how come the Sacred Stones of the Aros and the Shinto Japanese are inscribed with the Jewish Tetragrammaton YHWH in Hebrew letters? The Igbos celebrate the First month and the Seventh month and also circumcise their male infants on the eighth day as do the Jews. These feasts and the practice of circumcision were observed by the Igbos long before the arrival of Christianity through colonial Europeans.
The 3 million Israelites who left Egypt during the exodus were not all from the ten tribes. There were other from the various peoples of Egypt who joined the Israelites. Israel in the wilderness was a mixed multitude. “And a mixed multitude went up also with them; and flocks, and herds, even very much cattle.” ( Exod.12:38 ). There were some who found it extremely difficult to continue the journey into the promised land and turned back in the wilderness. “And all the congregation lifted up their voice, and cried; and the people wept that night. And all the children of Israel murmured against Moses and against Aaron: and the whole congregation said unto them, Would God that we had died in the land of Egypt! or would God we had died in this wilderness! And wherefore hath the Lord brought us unto this land, to fall by the sword, that our wives and our children should be a prey? were it not better for us to return into Egypt? And they said one to another, Let us make a captain, and let us return into Egypt.” ( Num.14:1-4 ). The Igbos claim they migrated to South Eastern Nigeria from Egypt.
It was during the reign of the Medopersian kings that all Israelites irrespective of their tribe, whether they were from the Southern kingdom or Northern kingdom were generally referred to as Jews. They were named after Judah. This should not be a surprise because Judah would be the one his brethren shall praise. Following the fall of Reuben from grace ( Gen. 35:22, 49:3,4 ), the right of primogeniture was shared among his three brethren, Judah, Levi, and Joseph. The mantle of leadership fell on Judah ( Gen.49:10 ). Levi received the mantle of priesthood, whilst the right of double inheritance was given to Joseph by his father Jacob in recognition of his faithfulness ( Gen.48:1-22, 49:22-26, ). Levi and Simeon were scattered in Israel by their father Jacob in repudiation of the wrath they exhibited in their merciless massacre of the Shechemites in retaliation to the sexual violation of their sister Dinah by Hamor, the son of Shechem. ( Gen.34, 49:5-7 ). However the Levites obtained the priesthood because of their zeal for the Lord in the slaying of their brethren who apostasized in the Sinai and worship the golden calf ( Exod.32:26-29, Deut.32:8-11 ). The mantle of priesthood originally intended for the first born male from every tribe of Israel ( Exod.13:12-16, 34:19,20; Num.3:11-13 ) effectively executed their scattering amongst the tribes of Israel, whilst at the same time conferring the blessing of obedience to the voice of God through His servant Moses. How wonderful are the ways of God and His paths past findings? ( Rom.11:33 ). These developments were not immediate: they took sometime to evolve.
The Israelites of the Southern kingdom of Judah were called Yehudim, men of Judah by the Babylonians. This was because the Southern kingdom of Israel was lead by the house of David who were of the tribe of Judah. But we must also remember that the tribe of Benjamin was one of the two tribes alongside the tribe of Judah that constituted the Southern kingdom. So the appellation men of Judah was also applied to the Benjaminites. During the oppressive and idolatrous rule of the various dynasties in the Northern kingdom, there were some from the various tribes in the Northeast kingdom that emigrated to the Southern Kingdom.
Neither the Assyrians nor the Babylonians deported every Israelite. They were interested in their rulers, nobles and artisans. “And he carried away all Jerusalem, and all the princes, and all the mighty men of valour, even ten thousand captives, and all the craftsmen and smiths: none remained, save the poorest sort of the people of the land.” ( 2 Kings 24:14 ).
The poor and the downtrodden were not deported. “But the captain of the guard left of the poor of the land to be vinedressers and husbandmen.” ( 2 Kings 25:12 ). “And as for the people that remained in the land of Judah, whom Nebuchadnezzar king of Babylon had left, even over them he made Gedaliah the son of Ahikam, the son of Shaphan, ruler.” ( 2 Kings 25:22 ).
So, there was never a time when there were no Israelites from various tribes in Eretz Yisrael. There were also some nobles who escaped to neighboring nations and returned afterwards.
“And when all the captains of the armies, they and their men, heard that the king of Babylon had made Gedaliah governor, there came to Gedaliah to Mizpah, even Ishmael the son of Nethaniah, and Johanan the son of Kareah, and Seraiah the son of Tanhumeth the Netophathite, and Jaazaniah the son of a Maachathite, they and their men. And Gedaliah sware to them, and to their men, and said unto them, Fear not to be the servants of the Chaldeans: dwell in the land, and serve the king of Babylon; and it shall be well with you. But it came to pass in the seventh month, that Ishmael the son of Nethaniah, the son of Elishama, of the seed royal, came, and ten men with him, and smote Gedaliah, that he died, and the Jews and the Chaldeans that were with him at Mizpah.”( 2 Kings 25:23-25 ).
The point I would like to prove here is that all the various tribes were represented in the land of Israel at all times albeit in very small numbers. There were Israelites whose ancestral families never left the land of Israel. During the religious revival in the reign of Josiah, all Israelites from the twelves were present in Jerusalem during the celebration of the Passover and the Feast of Unleavened Bread. “And the children of Israel that were present kept the passover at that time, and the feast of unleavened bread seven days. And there was no passover like to that kept in Israel from the days of Samuel the prophet; neither did all the kings of Israel keep such a passover as Josiah kept, and the priests, and the Levites, and all Judah and Israel that were present, and the inhabitants of Jerusalem. In the eighteenth year of the reign of Josiah was this passover kept.” ( 2 Chronicles 35:17-19 ).
There is no need for us to allegorize and Christianize the 144,000. Oh! the ten tribes were lost, therefore God must be referring to Christians. Before the commencement of the 70th week, all the ten tribes of Israel will fully be represented in the land of Israel. The 144,000 will be sealed in the land of Israel. God would not need to go the Jews in the Diaspora to find the 144,000. He will not seal a few among the Shinto Japanese or Shinlung Indians or Igbos of South Eastern Nigeria. They will be found in the land of Israel. They will seek refuge in the Edomite wilderness during the outpouring of the wrath of God in the Day Of The Lord. “The breaker is come up before them: they have broken up, and have passed through the gate, and are gone out by it: and their king shall pass before them, and the Lord on the head of them.” ( Micah 2:13 ).
That is where Jesus will meet them. It is there they will match with Him to the summit of Mount Zion in Jerusalem.
“And I looked, and, lo, a Lamb stood on the mount Sion, and with him an hundred forty and four thousand, having his Father’s name written in their foreheads. And I heard a voice from heaven, as the voice of many waters, and as the voice of a great thunder: and I heard the voice of harpers harping with their harps: And they sung as it were a new song before the throne, and before the four beasts, and the elders: and no man could learn that song but the hundred and forty and four thousand, which were redeemed from the earth. These are they which were not defiled with women; for they are virgins. These are they which follow the Lamb whithersoever he goeth. These were redeemed from among men, being the firstfruits unto God and to the Lamb. And in their mouth was found no guile: for they are without fault before the throne of God.” ( Rev.14:1-5 ).
In the light of the above scenario, British-American Israelism is false. It has no biblical basis. It is founded on a faulty theological system. Replacement theology is not sustained by Scriptures neither is supersessesionism. It is based on a faulty eseigetical and allegorical hermeneutics. The Church does not, cannot, and will not replace Israel, neither are the British and the Americans the so called lost ten tribes.
Reaction To The Debate Between Dr. Tommy Ice And Alan Kurschner Titled: The Church Will Facsimile The AntiChrist Before The Rapture
For decades, I have asked fellow believers who hold the Pretribulational Rapture view to direct me to unequivocal Scripture verses that buttress their Pretrib belief. They all fail to give give any direct and pointed verses. They defend their view quoting unconnected Scriptures like imputing that the twenty and four elders before the Throne Of God in Rev.4:4 are the raptured Church. They also claim that the invitation to Apostle John, the revelator, to come up hither is the Rapture Of The Church. Yet again they say that the fact that the word “Church” does not appear again after Rev.3 until Rev.22 indicates that the church had been raptured; not withstanding the numerous use of words and phrases such as saints, witnesses to Jesus, martyrs for Jesus, fellow brothers of John after the third chapter. There are other verses they reference to input rapture before the AntiChrist’s physical bebut and unveiling at the rebuilt Third Jewish Temple on Moriah in Jerusalem. So I was pleased when I got the link to the debate on the eschatological timeline between Dr.Tommy Ice and Alan E. kurschner.
Link: click here to watch:
Click here to listen: http://link.center.io/wf/click?upn=xKsd1EbAQRQf6eXyF5mLYOgt3Zr1yu4wARb-2FzHcz58VPPHngD86dpHdaeUxFf6y93o0sL6CixnhLabQdoqRThLxLpP-2FNeFEBwBog5pDKnohbiXkrmdli6zYzj9CtI3gbPWRVi-2FPwHTo-2BJuKdYjqF6P37Ix-2F80GH7dqPAoPmBuPJ-2FqB2Dj3TtgNztTOQMIlih_87QjDsvgfD68-2FLwG96R5lTmrmnPBomJlbRck1K-2BOdsDa2ymXGT0PnQaDnoen3BaO610HwRUWRVU5-2B6IO3DR-2BcrjhS0ZXe1X0ufxBOe-2FVO8KtdiM4H5lP1wI3DIyKEsqym8CHdQT8h-2BcyAF9juuQf2sGpHH7rxWKkIx3wyGJund8a-2BcQitUMIw45dhBydBajoQjUH0pUvEL4-2BQoGe9wvIwd-2B7IxNpAVIPT9yUixtkmqOSHCyOEpcTh4hAE0Wxt4bJTqVD9zLvv93CtbfFLBQeOffwOwDofKTXHCBDoBaTP0SW-2F0jBq7ZpTBlqu-2FoRQJ-2BA
Click here for transcript: https://www.alankurschner.com/2018/04/12/the-transcript-of-my-2015-debate-with-thomas-ice-is-now-available/
Dr. Tommy Ice did expatiate the Pretrib Position much more than hitherto, while Alan Kurschner espoused the Prewrath Rapture Position better called Pre-God’s-wrath Rapture Position. As stated earlier I was more interested in Dr. Tommy Ice view. I kept an open mind, hoping and wishing to understand and appreciate the Pretrib view. At the end of it all, Dr. Tommy Ice reinforced my prewrath ( PW ) Rapture Position because he too was unable to give unequivocal and direct Scriptures that I might have missed.
I came to the understanding that the Church would go through the Great Tribulation and be raptured thereafter by simple Bible reading, not even serious Bible study. At that time I had no knowledge of the Prewrath Rapture position expounded by Marvin J. Rosenthal and Robert Van Kampen. And who am I in this regard? A simple believer with no fringes. Just a plain believer who read the Bible and came away with the understanding that a generation of believers would be around when the Antichrist debuts in the Temple.
I would now address and comment on Dr. Ice submissions. Let us refresh our minds on what the debate is on. It is whether the Church will face the AntiChrist before rapture or not. Alan E. Kurschner is for ( affirmative), whilst Dr. Ice is against ( negative ).
First, from the above, we see that the debate is about when the rapture occurs- an event in time relating to the AntiChrist. With no Scriptures to backup the absence of the Church during the short time of the AntiChrist on the world stage in bodily form, Dr. Ice chooses to tell us why the Church will be gone. He submits that the 70th week is appointed for Israel and not the Church. So, the Church cannot be on the scene in the 70th week. Jesus did not say that, neither did Peter, Paul or John the revelator, just a theological construct derived from Dispensationalism. My friend and brother Abraham Shallom has debunked this in his article, “The Prewrath Rapture Of The Church”: https://mtzionheritage.com/the-prewrath-rapture-of-the-church/.
To crown it all, Dr. Ice says “it makes sense.” Our view on the rapture should not depend on human sense but should rest on the validity of the Scriptures.
This mutual exclusivity of the Church and Israel in God’s scheme of things is strange. For most of the first century AD the Church was a sect within Judaism. From Jerusalem, it dispersed to the Gentile world ( Act.8:4 ). Israel was reestablished as an independent state in 1948. For the past 70 years, it has co-existed with the Church. And God has worked with both at the same time. By the pretrib’s submission, the Church should be gone. Israel is back in its native homeland. Jerusalem is in Jewish hands since 1967, and soon, the Third Temple would be rebuilt. God has never stopped relating with Israel during the Church Age. He ensured their survival all over the world. So this mutual exclusivity in the gap between the 69th and the 70th week is a human construct to suit the Pretrib view. There are no Scriptures to support it.
Now note, in Rev.12:17, we see Satan go at both Israel, the woman and Christians- those who hold firm to the witness of Christ in the face of Satan’s wrath. The reason for the rapture has been given by Jesus Himself. It is to rescue believers from total annihilation during the Great Tribulation.
Dr. Ice and Pretribbers assert that the Rapture is sudden with no events or “sign” to warn believers. Some assert it is secret and not seen by all especially unbelievers. This is not so. Paul in his letter to the Thessalonians says while the unbelievers outside of their fold will be caught by surprise, the Thesssalonians should not be caught unawares as he has shared with them these things ( 1 Thess.3:4 ). Paul went on to give two future events that must happen before the Rapture: The Apostasy and The appearance of the AntiChrist in the Temple. I am sure we are familiar with this in Paul’s second letter to the Thessalonians ( 2 Thess.2:3 ).
When the disciples confronted Jesus in Matt.24 and asked for a sign to herald his coming, Jesus did not respond and say, oh! oh! there would be no sign: it would be sudden. Rather Jesus gave us the Olivet Discourse, and He zeroed in on a specific sign- the Shekinah, “SIGN” Of His arrival ( 30 ). Of course before this time He has spoken of world events like the standing of the image of the Antichrist in the Temple ( 15 ), and the cosmic disturbances ( 29 ), culminating in His appearance in the sky, and gathering us to meet Him- definitely the Rapture as He does not step on Earth.
To defend their Pretribulational stance, Dr. Ice and other pretribbers say this gospel is only for the benefit of Israel and Jews. Tell me please, is the Gospel Of Matthew read in Jewish synagogues?
Both our Lord Jesus and the Holy Spirit through Paul use the symbolism of a pregnant woman to describe his second Coming which starts with the Rapture. Have the birth pains started? I don’t think so, but I believe I see a “pregnant woman” in our purview with recent events- Jerusalem’s status as the capital of Israel and moves to build the Third Temple.
I believe that as there is no joy of a new birth without birth pains, so also there is no joy of Rapture without the birth pangs of the Great Tribulation that follows the Antichrist’s debut in the Third Temple in Jerusalem. Yes, these are tumultuous times, but Jesus says we should “look up” as these terrible times unfold. Meanwhile, the unbelieving world who took the Mark Of The Beast, who worshipped Him, probably celebrated as Christians were being persecuted would run helter shelter as our Lord intervenes and cuts short the Great Tribulation by usual never seen before cosmic disturbances. Yes, there are clear events that show Christians will have to contend with the unveiled Antichrist for a short time. Remember these gospels are not read in the synagogues. So, they are not primarily for the unbelieving Jews. They are read in the churches.
Events in Rev.4 are well detailed, with the 24 elders, the 4 beasts, and the tens of thousands of worshipping angels. The raptured saints were not featured, not even in the worship scene. So, where is the Church? Definitely not in heaven. To be continued.
My Objections To A Brother Whose View On The Rapture Is Pretribulational ( 3 )
The 70th Week Of Daniel
This is the last seven years of the 70 weeks or 490 years appointed by God for Israel to finish the transgression, make an end of sin, make reconciliation for iniquity, bring in everlasting righteousness, seal up the vision and the prophecy, and to anoint the Most Holy. “Seventy weeks are determined upon thy people and upon thy holy city, to finish the transgression, and to make an end of sins, and to make reconciliation for iniquity, and to bring in everlasting righteousness, and to seal up the vision and prophecy, and to anoint the most Holy.” ( Daniel 9:24 ). The starting point of this period is the signing of a peace treaty between Israel and the leader of the Eighth And Final Beast Empire of Satan, the leader of the most powerful empire in the history of man on Earth. “And he shall confirm the covenant with many for one week: and in the midst of the week he shall cause the sacrifice and the oblation to cease, and for the overspreading of abominations he shall make it desolate, even until the consummation, and that determined shall be poured upon the desolate.” ( Daniel 9:27 ).
This leader of a powerful confederacy of ten nations will enforce a false peace agreement between Israel and her Arab and Islamic neighbours who are part of the ten nation confederation. This leader will pose as the Saviour of Israel from her surrounding enemy nations who would want her driven into the Mediterranean Sea. Jesus told the Jewish leaders, “I am come in my Father’s name, and ye receive me not: if another shall come in his own name, him ye will receive.” ( John 5:43 ). It is most probable that many from within Israel, especially the scornful leaders ( Isa.28:14-19 ) of the nation will see this great and powerful emperor of a consortium of ten nations as the Messiah of Israel. This period is divided into two equal halves of 1, 260 days, 42 months or three and one-half years.
( a ) The Tribulation Period
Pretribs call the whole of this 7-year period the Tribulation Period. Obviously it will be a time of trouble. But does that warrant it being designated as the Tribulation Period? We must bear in mind that this period relates to Israel. It is the last 7-year period appointed for her to finish the transgression, and bring in everlasting righteousness. For the first three and one-half years, Israel enjoys relative peace under the protection of the this powerful leader of ten nation confederation. He will probably station a protection force in Israel and her Holy City, Jerusalem, as did the United States in South Korea and Japan, and Russia in East Germany, Poland, etc., after the Second World War. Although this leader is the antiChrist, he is as yet veiled. Apart from the saints who understand the end times, and some members of his inner circle who know his mission, the large majority of the inhabitants of the Earth, including the leadership of Israel will see him as the answer to humanity’s myriads of problems. He will enjoy wide acceptance. Designating the 70th week of Daniel as the Tribulation Period builds an a priori case for the Pretrib Rapture Position. There are no Scriptures that gives warrant to this designation. It is better to refer to it as simply the 70th week of Daniel.
( b ) The Time Of Jacob’s Trouble
Another error the pretribs commit which is like the first is the designation of the whole of the 70th Week as the time of Jacob’s trouble. “And these are the words that the Lord spake concerning Israel and concerning Judah. For thus saith the Lord; We have heard a voice of trembling, of fear, and not of peace. Ask ye now, and see whether a man doth travail with child? wherefore do I see every man with his hands on his loins, as a woman in travail, and all faces are turned into paleness? Alas! for that day is great, so that none is like it: it is even the time of Jacob’s trouble; but he shall be saved out of it.” ( Jere.30:4-7 ). Although not all pretribs share this view ( Dr. Ronald E. Showers ), the large majority do. Like the previous one mentioned above it builds an a priori case for the Pretrib Rapture Position. If the whole of the 70th week is the time of Jacob’s trouble, then the Church is exempt from it. After all, God is dealing with Israel and no the Church.
But the whole of the 70th week cannot be the time of Jacob’s trouble because Israel enjoys relative peace during the first three and one-half years of the 70th week under the protection of the antiChrist prior to his unveiling at the midpoint of the 70th week.
The antiChrist will enforce this false peace agreement for the first half of the 70th week. He will ensure that none of the surrounding hostile Arab and Islamic nations attack Israel during the first half of the 70th week. This is to give Israel a false sense of security. He will deal with Israel himself. Until the midpoint of the 70th week when he abrogates the False Covenant of peace, he does not attack Israel. It is precisely in the middle of the 70th week when the antiChrist breaks his Covenant with Israel, and surrounds Jerusalem with his armies in what is called the Jerusalem Campaign by Robert Van Camden of blessed memory that every Jewish Israeli will put his hands on his loins, and face turned into paleness as a result of fear. “And when ye shall see Jerusalem compassed with armies, then know that the desolation thereof is nigh.” ( Luke 21:20 ). At the same time he surrounds Jerusalem with his armies, he also desecrates the temple, and abrogates daily animal and grain offerings began at the ratification of the false peace agreement. This is the abomination of desolation spoken of by Daniel the prophet ( Dan.9:27, Matt.24:15 ). Therefore the time of Jacob’s trouble begins at the midpoint of the 70th week of Daniel. It does not include the first half of the 70th week of Daniel.
( c ) The Time Of God’s Wrath
It obvious from the Scriptures that the Church is exempt from the wrath of God: for God has not appointed us to wrath, but to obtain salvation through our Lord Jesus the Christ ( 1 Thess.1:10, 5:9 ). If it can be established or proven from the Scriptures that the wrath of God begins at the commencement of the 70th week, hurrah, the game is over, the Church cannot go through any part of the 70th week. But are there any Scriptures that teach explicitly or implicitly that the wrath of God begins at the beginning of the 70th week? Pretribs teach that the whole of the 70th week is the period of God’s wrath, thusly building an a priori case for Pretrib Rapture Position inasmuch as the Church is exempt from the wrath of God. But the Scriptures are unequivocal in teaching that the day of the Lord is preceded by cosmic and celestial disturbances, and that the wrath of God occurs in the day of the Lord.
The prophet Joel announced that the day of the Lord shall be heralded by the darkening of the Sun, Moon, and Stars, and the appearance of the blood Moon.
“The sun and the moon shall be darkened, and the stars shall withdraw their shining.” ( Joel 3:15 ).
“And I will shew wonders in the heavens and in the earth, blood, and fire, and pillars of smoke. The sun shall be turned into darkness, and the moon into blood, before the great and the terrible day of the Lord come.” ( Joel 2:30-31 ).
The prophet Isaiah spoke of the same. “Then the moon shall be confounded, and the sun ashamed, when the Lord of hosts shall reign in mount Zion, and in Jerusalem, and before his ancients gloriously.” ( Isaiah 24:23 ).
John the revelator told us that this event occurs at the breaking of the sixth seal, after the breaking of the fourth and fifth seals which signal the Great Tribulation and the martyrdom of the saints. The Great Tribulation begins at the midpoint of the 70th week. The sixth seal therefore is broken way into the second half of the 70th week. “And I beheld when he had opened the sixth seal, and, lo, there was a great earthquake; and the sun became black as sackcloth of hair, and the moon became as blood; And the stars of heaven fell unto the earth, even as a fig tree casteth her untimely figs, when she is shaken of a mighty wind. And the heaven departed as a scroll when it is rolled together; and every mountain and island were moved out of their places.” ( Rev.6:12-14 ). It is obvious therefore that the wrath of God which occurs in the day of the Lord begins in the second half of the 70th week.
The cosmic and celestial disturbances shall send men scurrying for non-existent refuge under the rocks and mountains in fear of the wrath of God which is about to begin. “And the kings of the earth, and the great men, and the rich men, and the chief captains, and the mighty men, and every bondman, and every free man, hid themselves in the dens and in the rocks of the mountains; And said to the mountains and rocks, Fall on us, and hide us from the face of him that sitteth on the throne, and from the wrath of the Lamb: For the great day of his wrath is come; and who shall be able to stand?” ( Rev.6:15-17 ).
In the Olivet Discourse, our Lord Jesus told His disciples that the darkening of the Sun, Moon, and Stars shall be preceded by the tribulation of those days. “Immediately after the tribulation of those days shall the sun be darkened, and the moon shall not give her light, and the stars shall fall from heaven, and the powers of the heavens shall be shaken:” ( Matt.24:29 ). The tribulation of those days is the Great Tribulation spoken of earlier in verse 21.
In the mouth of two or three witnesses every word shall be established. “This is the third time I am coming to you. In the mouth of two or three witnesses shall every word be established.” ( 2 Cor.13:1 ). We have established from the Scriptures that the day of the Lord is preceded by cosmic and celestial disturbances, and that this phenomenon is preceded by the Great Tribulation which begins at the middle of the 70th week. It is evident therefore that the wrath of God does not begin at the commencement of the 70th week but rather begins way into the second half of the 70th week after the Great Tribulation which begins at the midpoint of the 70th week.
( d ) The Tribulation
Pretribs generally label the first three and one-half years of the 70th week of Daniel as the Tribulation. Is this designation biblically accurate? Admittedly, the first three and one-half years of the 70th week of Daniel is a period of trouble. Apart from the emergence of false christs, prophets, and teachers, and of course the ultimate false christ, the antiChrist, there are wars, commotions, rumors, and threats of wars, famines, pestilences, and earthquakes in diverse places. These are troubles no doubt, but is there any biblical warrant to label it the Tribulation? Believers are not specifically targeted for genocide. The troubles are such as arise from attempt by the antiChrist to gain world domination. In the Olivet Discourse our Lord Jesus calls this period the beginning of birth pains. “For many shall come in my name, saying, I am Christ; and shall deceive many. And ye shall hear of wars and rumours of wars: see that ye be not troubled: for all these things must come to pass, but the end is not yet. For nation shall rise against nation, and kingdom against kingdom: and there shall be famines, and pestilences, and earthquakes, in divers places. All these are the beginning of sorrows.” ( Mat.24:5-8 ).
It is better therefore to stick to the biblical label or simply call it the first three and one-half years. If we designate it as the Tribulation, is it in relation to Israel or the Church. During this period the antiChrist protects Israel. So Israel enjoys relative peace, tranquility, and prosperity during this period. And because the notorious world leader has not yet declared himself God, nor has demanded worship by all mortals, the saints are not specifically targeted for genocide because of their refusal to worship the Beast and to give him allegiance. Who is persecuting who? Nations are at war with one another, jockeying for power and prominence, and there is realignment of nations. On top of that are famines, pestilences, and national disasters like earthquakes which are the natural consequences of war. There is utter chaos. The rules of engagement enshrined in the Geneva convention will be rubbished. International NGOs like Medicine Sans Frontier and WHO will not be able to function. The essence of the second horse and rider is to take away peace from the Earth in order that men shall kill one another ( Rev.6:3,4 ). This is not particularly against Christians and the Jews. But that is not to say it will be easy for the believers and Jews. Not at all. But this is the narrow window of opportunity for both Jews and Christians who understand the end times to abandon the cities and towns, move into villages, forests, and wildernesses to prepare safe havens, store away food, medicine, and other supplies. It will be extremely difficult to do these things once the Great Tribulation has begone, and the Christians and Jews, and any other persons who refuse to give allegiance to the antiChrist are targeted for genocide.
The Sign Of The End Of The Ages And Of His Coming
Some of the disciples of our Lord while with Him on the Mount of Olives, overlooking the Temple Mount, asked Him this question: “Tell us, when shall these things be, and what shall be the sign of the thy coming, and of the end of the ages?” ( Matt.24:3 ). The first part of the question concerns the destruction of the Jewish Temple on Mount Moriah which was accomplished in 70 AD by the Roman general Titus, and was witnessed by some of His disciples who were still alive at that time. Surprisingly, Jesus did not address that part of the question. To answer the second question, Our Lord started by enumerating a series of events in sequential order that shall unfold starting from the beginning of the 70th week of Daniel.
The 70th week of Daniel is divided into two equal halves of three and one-half years each. The first half shall begins when the antiChrist signs a seven-year peace treaty with Israel: ” and he shall confirm the covenant with many for one week” ( Dan.9:27a ). Events that shall transpire within the first half of the 70th week of Daniel are the emergence of false christs ( Matt.24:4,5 ), wars and rumours of wars, famines, pestilences and earthquakes. The first thing that Jesus did before he enumerated these events was to warn His disciples to take heed that no one deceives them no matter how holy his life and stellar his biblical scholarship; “For many shall come in My Name saying, I am Christ; and shall deceive many.” These three events are the same as the first three seals of Rev.6:1-6.
Precisely at the midpoint of the 70th Seven, after the first three and one-half years, the antiChrist shall abolish his covenant with Israel, putting a stop to animal sacrifice and grain offering which were resumed at the beginning of the 70th Seven. ” And in the midst of the week he shall cause the sacrifice and the oblation to cease, and for the overspreading of abominations he shall make it desolate, even until the consummation, and that determined shall be poured upon the desolate” ( Dan.9:27b ). This shall happen when he relocates his headquarters to Jerusalem ( Dan.11:45 ), surrounds Jerusalem with his armies in what is called the Jerusalem Campaign ( Luk.21:20,21 ). At the same time, he withdraws the military protection he has offered Israel during the first three and one-half years of the 70th Seven of Daniel. He deifies himself, demands worship of all mortals by requiring everyone to take his mark of allegiance on the forehead or right hand ( Rev.13:16,17 ). The antiMessiah positioning himself as God in the Holy of Holies of the rebuilt third Jewish Temple on Mount Moriah built only for the worship of Jehovah, the one true God, Yahweh of Israel, is the abomination that maketh desolate. The unveiling of the antiChrist as God and his demand to be worshipped shall spark the apostasy and the Great Tribulation ( 2Thess.2:3,4; Matt.24:15 ). The chief architect of the apostasy is the antiChrist himself, The eschatological antagonist. These events are the same as the fourth and fifth seals of Rev.6:8-11.
Our Lord and Saviour, Jesus the Christ, makes it clear in His Olivet Discourse that the Sign of His Coming And Of The End Of The Ages shall occur immediately after the Tribulation of those days: ” Immediately after the tribulation of those days shall the sun be darkened, and the moon shall not give her light, and the stars shall fall from heaven, and the powers of the heaven shall be shaken: and then shall appear the Sign Of The Son Of Man in heaven: and then all the tribes of the earth shall mourn, and they shall see the Son Of Man coming in the clouds of heaven with power and great glory” ( Matt.24:29,30 ). There is only one sign of His coming, but it consists of two parts. The Greek word translated sign is seimeon and is singular. This sign signals His coming and the End of The Ages. This sign is given in the Sun, Moon, and Stars. The two parts occur back-to-back: the cosmic disturbances and the appearance of the Son Of Man in the heavens. The Scroll of Revelation makes it clear that this sign shall be preceded by a great earthquake. This is necessary to halt the Jehoshaphat Campaign which the antiChrist shall embark upon with the armies of the ten nation confederation of the 8th and Final Beast Empire to ferret out and kill all in the land of Israel who have not accepted his mark of allegiance. When this great earthquake occurs, the sun shall become black as sackcloth of hair, and the moon as blood, and the stars shall fall from the heaven, and every mountain and island shall move out of their locations. ” And I beheld when he has broken the sixth seal, and lo, there was a great earthquake; and the sun became black as sackcloth of hair, and the moon became as blood; and the stars of heaven fell unto the earth, even as a fig tree casteth her untimely figs when shaken of a mighty wind. And the Heaven departed as a Scroll when it is rolled together; and every mountain and island moved out of their places ( Rev.6:12-14 ).
This earthquake shall be worldwide to have this kind of effect on the sun, moon, and stars, and every mountain and island. It will most probably be a series of earthquakes accompanied by tsunamis and volcanic eruptions, spewing lava and ash. Or do we suppose that this is limited to the land of Israel? Even if it were so, the effects on the sun, moon, and stars shall be worldwide. This great earthquake is different from the earthquakes associated with the third seal in the first half of the 70th week of Daniel ( Matt.24:7 ). The Earth itself and the elements shall be ashamed because the Almighty is about to punish the world for her evils. ” Then the moon shall be a confounded, and the sun ashamed, when the LORD of hosts shall reign in mount Zion , and in Jerusalem, and before His ancients gloriously” ( Is.24:23 ). The darkening of the sun and the turning of the moon into blood are preludial to the coming of the Son Of Man in the heavens, and the outpouring of the Day Of The LORD Wrath ( Joel 3:31 ).
The eclipse of the sun and moon shall darken the heavens and frozen the earth. The stars shall fall from the heavens. We do not suppose that these are actual stars. The Sun is one of the smallest stars, and it is approximately 189 million km away from the Earth. If it gets closer, the earth shall melt away. If it gets farther away, the earth shall be frozen into one solid rock, and no flesh will survive. The prophets were using known terminology of their day to describe events in the last days. These are probably comets, asteroids, meteorites, or fragments of disintegrated novas and supernovas. Whatever they are, we can rest assured they are not actual stars; for one star impinging upon the earth shall pulverize it.
How will the inhabitants of the earth react to those cosmic and celestial disturbances? There are different kinds of people on earth at this time, and they react differently to the cosmic and celestial disturbances depending on their relationship to God and understanding and interpretation of what these celestial and cosmic phenomena portend.
By and large, the largest group of people on earth at that time shall be the unbelievers, both branded and unbranded. More or less their reaction shall be the same. At the breaking of the sixth seal, every man on earth shall acknowledge that there is God. Beyond that, they shall know that God is about to punish them for their evils. The atheists, the humanists, and all false religionists shall acknowledge that there is one and only true God, the God of Israel. This admission however does not bring them to a saving knowledge of Christ having sinned beyond repentance; for sin is a sicatrisant that sears the soul and deadens and hardens the conscience. ” And the kings of the earth, and all the great men, and the rich men, and the chief captains, and the mighty men, and every bondman, every free man, hid themselves in the dens and rocks of the mountains; and said to the mountains and rocks, fall on us, and hide us from the face of Him that sitteth on the throne, and from the wrath of the Lamb: for the great day of His wrath is come; and who shall be able to stand” ( Rev.6:15-17 ). They shall know automatically and instinctively that God is, and He is about to punish them for their evils, and their reaction shall be one of terror without true repentance.
Apart from the enlivened images of the Beast which shall be stationed at strategic locations for all to worship, the Second beast, the false prophet and enforcer shall instruct all worshippers of the Dragon and the First Beast to make images of the First Beast in gold, silver, precious stones, and wood to worship in the privacy of their homes, in their cars and offices, each according to what he can afford. “And deceiveth them that dwell on the earth by the means of those miracles which he had power to do in the sight of the Beast; saying to them that dwell on the earth, that they should make an image to the beast, which had the wound by a sword, and did live.”
Rev. ( 13:14 ).
At that time these branded worshippers of the image of the Beast shall cast their icons to the bats and to the moles to hide in the caves, rocks and mountains of the Earth.
“And the mean man boweth down, and the great man humbleth himself: therefore forgive them not. Enter into the rock, and hide thee in the dust, for fear of the Lord, and for the glory of his majesty. The lofty looks of man shall be humbled, and the haughtiness of men shall be bowed down, and the Lord alone shall be exalted in that day. For the day of the Lord of hosts shall be upon every one that is proud and lofty, and upon every one that is lifted up; and he shall be brought low: And upon all the cedars of Lebanon, that are high and lifted up, and upon all the oaks of Bashan, And upon all the high mountains, and upon all the hills that are lifted up, And upon every high tower, and upon every fenced wall, And upon all the ships of Tarshish, and upon all pleasant pictures. And the loftiness of man shall be bowed down, and the haughtiness of men shall be made low: and the Lord alone shall be exalted in that day. And the idols he shall utterly abolish. And they shall go into the holes of the rocks, and into the caves of the earth, for fear of the Lord, and for the glory of his majesty, when he ariseth to shake terribly the earth. In that day a man shall cast his idols of silver, and his idols of gold, which they made each one for himself to worship, to the moles and to the bats; To go into the clefts of the rocks, and into the tops of the ragged rocks, for fear of the Lord, and for the glory of his majesty, when he ariseth to shake terribly the earth. Cease ye from man, whose breath is in his nostrils: for wherein is he to be accounted of?” ( Is.2:9-22 ).
Humanism is the philosophy behind the rise of the antiChrist. Humanistic evolution says man was not created, he evolved. If man was not created, then, there is no God. If there is no God, then there is no standard for morality. Then every man is a law unto himself. If there is no God, man is god unto himself. But all that forsake God are cursed, and all that seek Him shall be blessed.
“And the third angel followed them, saying with a loud voice, If any man worship the beast and his image, and receive his mark in his forehead, or in his hand, The same shall drink of the wine of the wrath of God, which is poured out without mixture into the cup of his indignation; and he shall be tormented with fire and brimstone in the presence of the holy angels, and in the presence of the Lamb: And the smoke of their torment ascendeth up for ever and ever: and they have no rest day nor night, who worship the beast and his image, and whosoever receiveth the mark of his name. Here is the patience of the saints: here are they that keep the commandments of God, and the faith of Jesus. And I heard a voice from heaven saying unto me, Write, Blessed are the dead which die in the Lord from henceforth: Yea, saith the Spirit, that they may rest from their labours; and their works do follow them.” ( Rev.14:9-13 ).
Any man that bows to the image of the Beast shall never receive forgiveness from the Lord. The wrath of God abides on Him.
“Thus saith the Lord; Cursed be the man that trusteth in man, and maketh flesh his arm, and whose heart departeth from the Lord. For he shall be like the heath in the desert, and shall not see when good cometh; but shall inhabit the parched places in the wilderness, in a salt land and not inhabited. Blessed is the man that trusteth in the Lord, and whose hope the Lord is. For he shall be as a tree planted by the waters, and that spreadeth out her roots by the river, and shall not see when heat cometh, but her leaf shall be green; and shall not be careful in the year of drought, neither shall cease from yielding fruit. The heart is deceitful above all things, and desperately wicked: who can know it? I the Lord search the heart, I try the reins, even to give every man according to his ways, and according to the fruit of his doings. As the partridge sitteth on eggs, and hatcheth them not; so he that getteth riches, and not by right, shall leave them in the midst of his days, and at his end shall be a fool. A glorious high throne from the beginning is the place of our sanctuary. O Lord, the hope of Israel, all that forsake thee shall be ashamed, and they that depart from me shall be written in the earth, because they have forsaken the Lord, the fountain of living waters. Heal me, O Lord, and I shall be healed; save me, and I shall be saved: for thou art my praise.” ( Jer. ( 17:5-14 ).
Let us look at the 144, 000. They are perhaps the fewest of all the groups on earth at this time. The Scriptures do not tell us how they shall react in the face of the cosmic and celestial disturbances. Unlike the believers, they shall not be taken away from the Earth before the wrath of God is poured out on the living wicked Earth-dwellers. But they shall be sealed for protection with the seal of God ( Rev.7:1-8 ). Their reaction shall be probably more or less like those of believers. They shall be looking up for their deliverance from the antiChrist by the coming of the Messiah of Israel.
The next group of people we shall look at are the believers who do not take the mark of the Beast. They are probably one of the fewer groups, the Great Tribulation having taken its toll on them. The Scriptures tell us exactly how they shall react when they see the sign given in the sun, moon, and stars from their hiding places from the security agents of the antiChrist. “And there shall be signs in the sun, and in the moon, and in the stars; and upon the earth distress of nations, with perplexity; the sea and the waves roaring; Men’s hearts failing them for fear, and for looking after those things which are coming on the earth: for the powers of heaven shall be shaken. And then shall they see the Son of man coming in a cloud with power and great glory. And when these things begin to come to pass, then look up, and lift up your heads; for your redemption draweth nigh.” ( Luk.21:25-28 ). The believers shall not be frightened by these signs in the sun, moon, and stars, accompanied by the Son Of Man coming in a cloud with power and great glory. It portends deliverance. They know they are about to be rescued from the earth, the scene of their persecution by the antiChrist and his cronies. They shall look up, for their redemption draweth nigh. Immediately after the tribulation of those days, there shall be cosmic and celestial disturbances, and there shall appear the sign of the Son Of Man in the heavens, and all the tribes of the Earth shall mourn, and then shall He dispatch His angels with the sound of a great trumpet, and they shall gather together His elect from the four corners of the Earth, from one end of heaven to the other ( Matt.24:29-31 ). The elect, the saints of the Most High, the unbranded believers who did not bow to the image of the Beast shall be raptured after the cosmic disturbances which interrupt the Great Tribulation, and the appearance of the Shekinah in the heavens, and the subsequent dispatch of the angels with the sound of a great trumpet to gather them from all corners of the Earth ( 1Thess.4:15-18 ).
The other group of people we shall examine their reaction are the unbranded Jewish remnants other than the 144,000. These also are being hounded by the antiMessiah and his acolytes. They are in hiding in Jerusalem, and the whole land of Israel, and other parts of the world. They are also waiting for the coming of the Messiah to rescue them from the persecution of the antiChrist. However they do not believe that the Messiah is Jesus. When they see the sign in the sun, moon, and stars, and the other wonders God will show in the heavens and in the earth, blood, and fire, and pillars of smoke, the seas roiling, and the waves roaring ( Joel 3:30; Luk.21:25-28 ) which are reminiscent of the presence of God at the dividing of the Sea of Reeds ( Exod.14:19,20 ), at the giving of the Ten Commamdments on Mount Sinai ( Exod.19:16-18 ), at the rearing up of the Tabernacle in the wilderness ( Exod.40:34,35 ), and God’s presence amongst the children of Israel in their wilderness journeys ( Exod.40:36-38; Numb.10:11-13 ), and the dedication of the temple built by Solomon ( 2Chron.7:1-3 ), and the contest between Elijah and the prophets of Baal ( 1Kin.18:38,39 ); they will begin to rejoice, saying: “peace and safety” ( 1Thess.5:3 ). But they do not know they are not exempt from the trumpet judgments of the wrath of God. Their rejoicing is premature. Whereas the Great Tribulation is sufficient to purify the Church to appear before God, the unbranded Jewish remnants shall go through the trumpet judgments in order to be adequately purified, purged and cleansed to meet the Messiah of Israel. Therefore when they shall say peace and safety, sudden destruction shall come upon them as travail upon a woman with child, and they shall not escape ( 1Thess.5:3 ). They are the only ones on Earth at that time who can say peace and safety. The branded Beast worshipers are cowering in the dens, caves and rocks of the mountains for fear of the Lord and The Glory of His Majesty ( Is.2:21; Rev.6:15-17 ). The unbranded unbelievers are also in hiding. Who wouldn’t anyway! Besides they know nothing of God’s protection. The surviving unbranded believers are looking up for their redemption draweth nigh. The believers are not longing for the day of the Lord’s wrath. They are exempt from the wrath of God ( 1Thess.1:10; 5:9 ). They will be raptured on that day before the wrath of God begins. The unbranded Jewish remnants are the only ones longing for the day of the Lord. They know nothing about the rapture, and are not expecting to be raptured. But they do not know that they are not totally exempt from the day of the Lord wrath. The prophet Amos chided them saying: “Woe unto you that desire the day of the Lord! to what end is it for you? the day of the Lord is darkness, and not light. As if a man did flee from a lion, and a bear met him; or went into the house, and leaned his hand on the wall, and a serpent bit him. Shall not the day of the Lord be darkness, and not light? even very dark, and no brightness in it?” ( Amos 5:18-20 ).
The prophet Amos here speaks of the children of Israel who are under siege by the forces of the antiChrist in the Jehoshaphat campaign during the terminal stages of the Great Tribulation. They long for the day of the LORD. They shall take comfort in the Scroll Of the prophet Joel. When they see the sun darkened and the moon turned into blood, and the appearance of the Shekinah in the heavens, they begin to rejoice, saying: peace and safety, not knowing that the day of the LORD portends first of all wrath for them in the trumpet judgments before being exempted from the bowls which target specifically those with the mark of the Beast. The beast marked unbelievers cannot be the ones saying peace and safety because they know they are doomed once the sun is darkened and the moon turned into blood inasmuch as the wrath of God is about to fall on them, and they have to hide from the Shekinah in the heavens which no mortal man in sinful flesh can behold ( Rev.6:15-17 ).
As I have pointed out, those who are beast branded cannot be the ones invoking peace and safety; for they know they are doomed once the Shekinah appears in the heavens following the earthly and celestial disturbances. The unbelievers who are not beast marked, know nothing about the day of the LORD. They like the branded beast worshippers are cowering in fear in the caves and mountains. The ones on Earth at this time who know something about the day of the LORD are the unbranded observant remnant of Israel who have not the mark of the beast. They are the ones under seige by the forces of the antiChrist in the Jehoshaphat campaign which is an attempt by the antiChrist to once and for all put a period to Jewish opposition to his rule in the land of Israel during the final stages of the Great Tribulation shortly before the breaking of the sixth seal which is associated with the cosmic disturbances and the appearance of the coming of the Son Of Man, the Shekinah in the heavens. Once the sixth seal is broken, the sun is darkened, and the moon turned into blood, and the Shekinah appears in the heavens, the 144,000 from the twelve tribes of Israel are sealed for protection from the day of the Lord’s wrath having being brought into a saving relationship with the God of Israel, and the Church is raptured from the Earth, physically removed from the scene of the Great Tribulation and the impending wrath of God.
This leaves only the observant remnants of Israel who have rejected the mark of the Beast, who have knowledge of the day of the LORD. They are the ones the prophet Amos chided, saying, why do you desire the day of the LORD? It is darkness and not light. You are fleeing from the lion ( the Great Tribulation ), but a bear ( the day of the LORD ) is going to meet you. You are fleeing from a lion ( the Great Tribulation ), you are going to get into the house, and lean your hand on the wall, but a serpent ( the day of the LORD ) shall bite you. This is so because while the Great Tribulation was sufficient to purify the Church to stand before the presence of the Lord, Israel, with the exception of the 144,000, would need go through the trumpet judgments in order to be purged, purified and cleansed to stand before God. The bowls specifically destroy those with mark of the Beast, culminating in the war of Armageddon. The unbelieving Gentiles who have not the mark of the Beast, though not specifically targeted may suffer collateral damages, shall be further purified in the Sheep and Goat judgment, to determine eligibility for entry into the Millennium to repopulate the renovated Earth.
Finally, when Jesus appears in glory, all the Earth shall mourn.
“Behold, he cometh with clouds; and every eye shall see him, and they also which pierced him: and all kindreds of the Earth shall wail because of him. Even so, Amen.”
Rev. ( 1:7 ).
This of course excludes the 144,000 who shall be sealed for protection during the Day Of The LORD Wrath, and the unbranded believers who shall be raptured. The rest of the inhabitants of the Earth shall mourn. The branded worshippers of the Dragon-Beast because they shall face the unmitigated wrath of God. The unbranded unbelievers because of their unbelief. The unbranded Jewish remnants because of their rejection of the Messiah of Israel whom thy shall discover to be the Christian Jesus with nail-pierced hands. Jesus Himself corroborated these words in His Olivet Discourse that all the tribes of the Earth shall mourn when the see the Son Of Man coming in glory:
“And then shall appear the sign of the Son of man in heaven: and then shall all the tribes of the Earth mourn, and they shall see the Son of man coming in the clouds of heaven with power and great glory.”
Matt. ( 24:30 ).
The prophet Zechariah declared that the whole house of Israel, that is the unbranded remnants of Israel shall mourn for Him as one mourneth for his only begotten son when they look upon Him whom they pierced.
“And I will pour upon the house of David, and upon the inhabitants of Jerusalem, the spirit of grace and of supplications: and they shall look upon me whom they have pierced, and they shall mourn for him, as one mourneth for his only son, and shall be in bitterness for him, as one that is in bitterness for his firstborn. In that day shall there be a great mourning in Jerusalem, as the mourning of Hadadrimmon in the valley of Megiddo. And the land shall mourn, every family apart; the family of the house of David apart, and their wives apart; the family of the house of Nathan apart, and their wives apart; The family of the house of Levi apart, and their wives apart; the family of Shimei apart, and their wives apart; All the families that remain, every family apart, and their wives apart.” Zech. ( 12:10-14 ).
Having been purified through the Great Tribulation and the trumpet judgments, the unbranded remnants of Israel, shall receive from the Lord the Spirit of grace and of supplication, and they shall look upon Him who they pierced. “In that day there shall be a fountain opened to the house of David and to the inhabitants of Jerusalem for sin and for uncleanness.”
( Zech.13:1 ).
They shall mourn and repent as a nation for their betrayal of the Messiah of Israel. Even those that pierced Him shall wail because of Him. The Scripture makes it clear here that the whole house of Israel shall be involved, the royal family of David, the High priestly family, members of the house of Aaron, the prophets as represented by the house of Nathan the prophet, the levites, the priests, the remnants of the tribe of Levi, and the house of Shimei, the remnants of the other tribes of Israel, the Am Ha’ aretz, the ordinary people of the land. All the tribes of Israel shall be represented.
As we have pointed out, this event shall occur at the expiry of the 70th Week when Israel have been purified, purged, and cleansed from sin by the six trumpet judgments. Three of the six purposes of God to be accomplished within the 70 weeks allotted to the Gentiles to persecute Israel would have been fulfilled. “Seventy weeks are determined upon thy people and upon thy holy city, to finish the transgression, and to make an end of sins, and to make reconciliation for iniquity, and to bring in everlasting righteousness, and to seal up the vision and prophecy, and to anoint the most Holy.” ( Dan.9:24 ). The transgression of Israel would be finished, her sin brought to and end, and reconciliation made for her iniquity. This is the reason why Israel must go through the Great Tribulation and the six trumpet judgments. The seventh trumpet has no judgment of its own, but opens into the seven bowls which specifically target the branded Beast worshippers. At the sounding of the seventh trumpet, God Almighty reclaims His rule over the Earth. Thereafter, the other three purposes shall be accomplished, the sealing of the vision and the prophecy, the bringing in of everlasting righteousness, and the anointing of the Most Holy.
“And it shall come to pass, that in all the land, saith the Lord, two parts therein shall be cut off and die; but the third shall be left therein. And I will bring the third part through the fire, and will refine them as silver is refined, and will try them as gold is tried: they shall call on my name, and I will hear them: I will say, It is my people: and they shall say, The Lord is my God.” ( Zech.13:8-9 ).
As we have pointed out, Israel shall be relatively quiet and peaceful during the first half of the 70th week, enjoying the protection offered her by the antiMessiah secured through the 7-year peace treaty. But from the midpoint of the 70th week, trouble begins. After passing through the Jerusalem Campaign, the Great Tribulation, the Jehoshaphat Campaign, two parts of the Jewish population especially in the land of Israel would have been decimated, leaving only a third part. It is this third part that shall pass through the fires of the six trumpet judgments in order to be purified, purged, and cleansed from the defilement of sin. They are the ones that shall be reconciled to God when the nation’s transgression is finished and her sin brought to an end.
“Who hath heard such a thing? who hath seen such things? Shall the Earth be made to bring forth in one day? or shall a nation be born at once? for as soon as Zion travailed, she brought forth her children.” ( Is.66:8 ). This shall be the national salvation of Israel.
“And so all Israel shall be saved: as it is written, There shall come out of Sion the Deliverer, and shall turn away ungodliness from Jacob:” ( Rom.11:26 ). This event shall occur on top of Mount Zion on the third day of the 30-day reclamation period, shortly before the sounding of the Seventh trumpet on the 5th day. On this day, the mystery of God shall be finished, as God completes His spiritual kingdom by bringing in the purified and saved and reconciled remnants of Israel. “But in the days of the voice of the seventh angel, when he shall begin to sound, the mystery of God should be finished, as he hath declared to his servants the prophets.” ( Rev.10:7 ). Once the seventh trumpet is blown on the 5th day of the 30-day reclamation period, God Almighty reclaims His rule over the Earth, and begins His final purging and cleansing of the Earth from the defilement of Sin culminating in the war of Armageddon. “And the seventh angel sounded; and there were great voices in heaven, saying, The kingdoms of this world are become the kingdoms of our Lord, and of his Christ; and he shall reign for ever and ever.” ( Rev.11:15 ).
One more important point to note. There shall be no secret appearance of the Lord to rapture the Church. The events spoken of here are worldwide phenomena, to be witnessed by all living earth-dwellers. “Every eye shall see Him, even those who pierced Him. Even so. Amen.” ( Rev.1:7 ).
My Objections To A Brother Whose View On The Rapture Is Pretribulational ( 2 )
The Fifth Seal: Martyrs Under The Altar
“And when he had opened the fifth seal, I saw under the altar the souls of them that were slain for the word of God, and for the testimony which they held: And they cried with a loud voice, saying, How long, O Lord, holy and true, dost thou not judge and avenge our blood on them that dwell on the earth? And white robes were given unto every one of them; and it was said unto them, that they should rest yet for a little season, until their fellowservants also and their brethren, that should be killed as they were, should be fulfilled.” ( Rev.6:9-11 ).
Biblical scholars have long recognized the parallelism between the Olivet Discourse in Matt.24, and Rev.6. But when we examine the Olivet Prophecy in Matt.24, we observe that there is no segment of it parallel to the Fifth Seal ( Rev.6:9-11 ). The reason is simply because the Fifth Seal is in its entirety a heavenly scene. Christ is the author of both the Olivet Discourse and the Scroll Of Revelation. In the Olivet Discourse, Christ tells us what is going on here on Earth during the 70th Week of Daniel. In the Scroll Of Revelation, He gives more light by showing what is going on Earth as well as in heaven. He wants us to know that He is in sovereign control of the events both on Earth as well as in heaven. This does not mean however, that He is responsible for the activities of wicked men. God permits evil, but does not approve of it, neither does He perpetrate it.
The first four seals of Rev.6 are sequential, consecutive and progressive. But the Fifth Seal is concurrent, coincident, and simultaneous with the fourth seal. The Fifth Seal does not advance the chronology of events here on Earth in the 70th week of Daniel. It occurs in heaven during the fourth seal. In consonance with the parallelism of the Olivet Discourse and Rev.6, the fourth seal is the Great Tribulation. During the Great Tribulaion, believers are being hounded, ferreted out and killed, and some taken captive. Our Lord Jesus told us in the Olivet Discourse believers shall be led captive into all nations ( Luk.21:24 ). The Scroll Of Revelation tells us that those who will be taken captive were so destined. “He that is destined to go into captivity, into captivity he goes; and the he that is destined to be killed with the sword, with the sword the one shall be killed.” ( Rev.13:10 ). The Great Tribulation shall be worldwide but the epicenter shall be the Land of Israel and its capital city, Jerusalem.
During the Great Tribulation, the fourth seal, believers are being killed, and their disembodied spirits and souls are arriving in heaven. There is no distance in the realm of the spirit. As soon as these believers are killed, their disembodied spirits and souls arrive in heaven and are quartered under the golden altar of incense in the Holy Place in the Temple Of God in Heaven. Remember that the Tabernacle in the wilderness was patterned after the Temple of God in Heaven. God reminded Moses: “ see that thou do everything according to the pattern shown thee on the Holy Mount.” ( Exod.29:9,40; Heb.8:5b ). No Israelite who is not of the High priestly family of Aaron has access into the Holy Place, not even the Levites. In like manner, no Israelite who is not the High Priest, and of the family of Aaron has access into the Holy Of Holies, and that once a year, only on the Day Of Atonement, and after he has offered sacrifices for himself and the errors of the people of Israel ( Heb.9:6,7 ). Any violations of these ordinances attracted the death penalty.
That the Fifth Seal martyrs merited to be quartered under the Golden Altar Of Incense in the Holy Place Of The Temple in Heaven indicates that they were priests. And Christ has made us kings and priests. “John to the seven churches which are in Asia: Grace be unto you, and peace, from him which is, and which was, and which is to come; and from the seven Spirits which are before his throne; And from Jesus Christ, who is the faithful witness, and the first begotten of the dead, and the prince of the kings of the earth. Unto him that loved us, and washed us from our sins in his own blood, And hath made us kings and priests unto God and his Father; to him be glory and dominion for ever and ever. Amen.” ( Rev.1:4-6 ).
The Fifth Seal martyrs asked God how long it would be before He avenges their death on their murderers. If the wrath of God has already begun in the Day Of The Lord from the commencement of the 70th week as pretribs teach, would it not have been proper for God to tell them:
“ Can’t you see, I have already begun to punish those wicked murderers: the antiChrist has emerged on the World Stage, he has formed a coalition of ten nations. He has also tried to win the rest of the nations of the world to his side through subtle peace diplomacy. That has failed, and he has now resorted to war. There are wars and commotions, rumors and threats of wars. Nations have risen up against nations and kingdom against kingdom, and as a result, there are famines, pestilences and earthquakes in diverse places. My servant Michael has cast down my enemy Satan to the Earth. He is now angry with the inhabitants of the Earth, knowing that he has but a short time. He has possessed the antiChrist who has moved his headquarters to Jerusalem. He has desecrated my Temple, and is demanding that men worship him in place of Me. He is killing my saints who refuse to worship him, and that is how your souls come to be under the altar in my temple in heaven?” ( Rev.6,12,13 ).
Ridiculous you would say, and you are right. How can the antiChrist come to power in the Day Of The Lord and complish all these things including the martyrdom of the Fifth Seal martyrs at a time when God alone is to be exalted, in the day no man shall be exalted and the haughtiness of men brought low, in the Day when the idols shall be abolished, and the gods that had not made the heavens and the Earth perish from under the Earth and under these heavens? ( Isa.2:18-22; Jere.10:11 ).
If the wrath of God had already begun, they did not need to wait: in fact, there would have been no need for their question how long. God admonished them to wait until their fellow saints to be martyred had been accomplished. There is a certain number of saints to be martyred. It is a secret number known only to God. The secret things belong to God, but the things that are revealed belong to us and our children ( Deut.29:29 ). Those to be martyred were so destined, and those to be taken captive were also so destined. This is the patience and faith of the saints ( Rev.13:10 ). It is a display of ignorance to denigrate and cast aspersions on the Fifth Seal martyrs, and to make them the butt of a joke of being made the “bottom” of the altar. The Scripture did not say they were made the “bottom” of the altar, but that they were kept under the altar pending the completion of the number of the saints to be martyred during the Great Tribulation that was going on at that time.
If the Great Tribulation were allowed to run throughout the whole length of the three and one-half years allotted to the antiChrist, no believer will be left alive to be raptured. But because some believers must be raptured alive, God will cut short the Great Tribulation ( Matt.24:22 ). Also no Jew or Gentile who did not take the Mark of the Beast will survive the second half of the 70th week. But some Jews will survive and be reconciled to God on the 3rd day of the 30-day Reclamation Period when the Mystery Of God is finished and His spiritual kingdom complete ( Rev.10:7 ). And some Gentiles will survive the second half of the 70th week to appear at the Sheep And Goat Judgment ( Matt.25:31-46 ). The Sheep will be justified to enter the Millennium in their mortal bodies to repopulate the Earth alongside their Jewish counterpart.
God will cut short the Great Tribulation with cosmic and celestial disturbances ( Matt.24:29-31 ). This is the sixth seal which will send all the wicked scurrying for non-existent cover and protection under the rocks and mountains in lieu of the wrath of the Lamb before which no man shall be able to stand, abruptly bringing the Great Tribulation to a halt ( Rev.6:12-17 ). The Fifth Seal martyrs were executed for the word of God and the testimony which they held. They should be admired and congratulated not denigrated and disparaged.
We must distinguish the wrath of God from the wrath of Satan ( Rev.6:16; 12:12 ). The wrath of Satan comes first and is directed against the saints of the Most High. “And it was given unto him to make war with the saints, and to overcome them: and power was given him over all kindreds, and tongues, and nations. And all that dwell upon the earth shall worship him, whose names are not written in the book of life of the Lamb slain from the foundation of the world. If any man have an ear, let him hear. He that leadeth into captivity shall go into captivity: he that killeth with the sword must be killed with the sword. Here is the patience and the faith of the saints.” ( Rev.13:7-10 ).
The wrath of God comes last and is directed against the wicked Earth-dwellers who worship the antiChrist and the Great Dragon and have murdered the saints of the Most High during the Great Tribulation. This is the theology of the second. Carnal things first before spiritual things. “Howbeit that was not first which is spiritual, but that which is natural; and afterward that which is spiritual. The first man is of the earth, earthy: the second man is the Lord from heaven. As is the earthy, such are they also that are earthy: and as is the heavenly, such are they also that are heavenly. And as we have borne the image of the earthy, we shall also bear the image of the heavenly.” ( 1 Cor.15:46-49 ). The saints must be tested first to purify them before the sinners shall be subjected to the wrath of God.
“But fornication, and all uncleanness, or covetousness, let it not be once named among you, as becometh saints; Neither filthiness, nor foolish talking, nor jesting, which are not convenient: but rather giving of thanks. For this ye know, that no whoremonger, nor unclean person, nor covetous man, who is an idolater, hath any inheritance in the kingdom of Christ and of God. Let no man deceive you with vain words: for because of these things cometh the wrath of God upon the children of disobedience. Be not ye therefore partakers with them. For ye were sometimes darkness, but now are ye light in the Lord: walk as children of light:” ( Eph.5:3-8 ).
Apart from the sins listed in the above quoted segment of the Scriptures, the other reason anyone would be subjected to God’s wrath is to take the mark of allegiance to the antiChrist. “And the third angel followed them, saying with a loud voice, If any man worship the beast and his image, and receive his mark in his forehead, or in his hand, The same shall drink of the wine of the wrath of God, which is poured out without mixture into the cup of his indignation; and he shall be tormented with fire and brimstone in the presence of the holy angels, and in the presence of the Lamb: And the smoke of their torment ascendeth up for ever and ever: and they have no rest day nor night, who worship the beast and his image, and whosoever receiveth the mark of his name. Here is the patience of the saints: here are they that keep the commandments of God, and the faith of Jesus.” ( Rev.14:9-12 ).
God will recompense tribulation ( the wrath of God ) to those who have troubled us the saints during the Great Tribulation by the antiChrist ( 2 Thess.1:6 ). It takes time for sin to pile up to heaven. God cannot punish the wicked until their cup of iniquity is full. Until they have killed the saints in a rage that reaches up to heaven, God cannot begin to punish them for their evils. The wrath of God does not begin until after the breaking of the sixth seal.
The first four seals have nothing to do with the wrath of God, but have everything to do with the wrath of Satan; in fact, the Great Tribulation is the Great wrath of Satan which does not begin until Satan is cast down to the Earth at the midpoint of the 70th week and possesses the antiChrist ceding his power and authority unto him to act on his behalf, and the Restrainer is removed. As Christ is God’s representative on Earth to administer His wrath against the wicked Earth-dwellers and worshippers and adorers of the Dragon-Beast, so also is the antiChrist Satan’s representative on Earth to administer his wrath against the saints of the Most High, the Jews and Gentiles, who reject his Mark of allegiance.
The Fifth Seal martyrs were not feeble saints who missed the first round up, for the Rapture has not yet occurred. The Scriptures make it clear in both the Olivet Discourse and the Scroll Of Revelation that the Rapture occurs after the Tribulation of those days, after the breaking of the sixth seal with the attendant cosmic and celestial disturbances, shortly before the breaking of the seventh seal. The same day the Shekinah ( the appearance of the Son Of Man ) appears in the heavens, the 144,000 from the twelve tribes of Israel are sealed for protection, and the saints raptured to take them away from the scene of the Great Tribulation and the wrath of God which is about to begin at the breaking of the seventh seal ( Matt.24:29-31; Mk.13:24-27; Rev.7:1-17 ).
In a secular article titled “Emancipate yourself from Mental slavery,” I traced Africa’s problem to our slavish past and slavish mindset. To highlight the problem I compared the progress in North America and US known as the land of the free and leader of the free world with the stagnation in Africa, more so after the American civil war to free enslaved peoples. The Spirit then laid it on me that it is deeper than being secular.
Scriptural verses on this started coming up. For example, the Son frees us indeed ( Jon.8:32,36 ).Peter a “bondservant” of Jesus ( 2 Pet.1:1 ). Onesimus and Philemon ( Phil.1.10). Paul on many occasions called himself a slave of Christ ( Phil.1:1;Tit.1:1 2 Pet.1:1 ).
Some say the Bible is a story of good and evil contesting for supremacy. It is also a battle of where lies our allegiance. Who is our master ?
In retrospect, we see that the bible did not couch slavery in moral terms of good and bad. However, enslaved peoples were encouraged to gain their freedom. Slavery existed in other climes like in Russia, where there was serfdom. Slavery existed for long in China and all over Asia. These have been downplayed leaving us to think slavery is solely an African phenomenon. Slavery and its concept is obviously a consequence of the fall of Adam with Satan becoming the number one slave master. Pharaoh, Antipas, Nebuchadnezzar Caessar were his foremen. Then Christ came to pay the price for the fall and free man from the scourge of slavery. If the son sets you free, then indeed you are free ( Jon.8:32 ).
Satan again, surreptiously, attempts to reverse this freedom on at least two fronts.
1) Counter Religion, specifically Islam. No wonder they call themselves slaves of Allah slaves they are indeed.
2) Then the interface of money in commerce. By this Satan is gradually re-enslaving mankind with money binding us to commerce and then the branding with his Mark ( Rev.13:11-18 ). So if Religion doesn’t get one ( atheist et al ) then commerce would. No wonder Jesus also said you can’t serve two masters ( Luk.16:13 ). A slave must have a master and can’t serve two masters. There is no place for double mindedness.
SUMMARY OF SPIRITUAL HISTORY
The First Fall
There was and is one master in the heavenlies until one of his “favored” creatures, Lucifer, thought in his heart he could do a better job than Yahweh ( Isa.14; Ezek.28 ). He rebelled and was able to win the loyalty of fallen angels ( Rev.12:4 ). The manifestation of this First Fall was in heaven. I beheld Satan fall like a star ( Jon.14:18 ). God then created the earth and then Man to whom he gave dominion and the Title deed of the earth. This prototype man Adam, created a shade lower than Elohim ( Ps.8:5 ), was to eventually see Satan off, ending his rebellion. After all, why would Yahweh condescend and stoop to confront Satan? The Son of Man did just that! So he made man lower than Elohim and the seed of the woman will bruise Satan’s head while Son of Man will deliver the final blow.
Despite this, a lot of focus remains on the second fall, Sin. The resolution of which can be viewed as having treated the symptoms of an underlying disease or problem.
A QUESTION offer ALLEGIANCE
What draws our heart? Satan was able to draw a third of angels to war against Yahweh in the angelic rebellion. Could the same thoughts beguiling Satan have been in them making them susceptible to rebellion?
Per chance the same heart remains in believers after redemption. Has the heart question of allegiance been resolved in a believer? Yes. Only by grace but a time of testing is coming to the world that leads to many believers falling away in the great Apostasy ( 2 Thess 2:3 ).
Why shoul this be ? We believe in our heart and confess that Jesus is our Saviour and Master, and we are Born again. However, Satan and worldly attractions assail our hearts to dislodge our loyalty to Jesus. A lot of importance is placed on our heart position beyond our confession. Jesus alluded to this when He said, ” people call me Master, Master but their hearts are far away from me.” ( Luk.6:46 ).
We see Satan being let loose after a thousand years in the abyss ( Rev.20: 7-10 ). Why was he let loose again ? What is the unfinished business? Why not straight to hell fire with the beast and false prophets upon his capture after the battle of Armageddon.How was Satan able to find peoples and nations to deceive after millennial rule by our lord.
Oh Man, guard your heart ( Prov.4:23 ). Don’t allow the allurement of Satan, money, possessions it buys and satisfaction it gives to draw the heart. That is the source and reason for the statement, “love of money is the root of all evil” ( 2 Tim.6:10 ). It was given to us for us to guard our hearts, for us to uproot weeds and tend our hearts to prevent the deceitfulness of much money. It was never given to negate the basic unrighteousness of money. If a believer sticks to the former (love of money being the root of all evil) he will be deceived by Satan to participate in world commerce not understanding the implications and at his own peril – gaining the world and losing his soul ( Mk.8:36; Rev.13:17 ). Even unbelievers who follow the evolution of finance, commerce and money have concluded that it is enslaving the whole world (see YouTube: https://youtu.be/iFDe5kUUyT0 ) thus affirming various statements by our master. We, to which this testation was revealed over 2000 years ago are being enslaved by money as flies that dropped into honey and can’t get out . You need to read articles on evolution of money and future of money ( https://mtzionheritage.com.
Yes, Jesus and through his disciples handled money but what happened to the treasurer ? ( Jon.12:6; Matt.26:14,15; Acts 1:18 ). Also note that in the old dispensation, Tithes and Offerings were from nature, not ever money as in the present. Note that money was changed in the temple to repurchase and offer sacrifices to God, never money ( Deut.14:22-29 ). Treasury Box into which the widow put her mite ( Mk.12:42; Luk.21:2 ) ? This does not negate my submission – might be human tradition mixing with early requirements of God.
When God was with us on earth, he, though raised a carpenter, there is no record of him participating in commerce especially after his temptation in the desert. So he could tell Satan nothing of his was in him ( Jon.14:30 ). When he was required to pay tax, he didn’t use coins from commerce with Satan’s Foreman’s image on it. He went into his creation, the seas and a fish delivered the required gold to pay the taxes ( Matt.17:24-27 ).This same ‘money’ was going to hit back in my Lord’s betrayal ( Matt.26:14-16 ). No wonder Jesus despised money because it acts as a glue that binds one to the prince of this world through commerce.
Talk of being in bondage. Government “bonds” are sold to create money making money a debt and an enslaver.Money has also evolved with the passage of time to become a necessity of life, just like the air we breath.It is as important as water to a vast horde of humanity. Thus the evolution of money continues and with time it’s real essence will be revealed.
Author: Gbenga Jaiyesimi ( Bondslave)
Why bondslave ? There is a scripture in the old testament that allows a freed slave to renounce his freedom and forever remain with his master. He indicates this by having his ear pierced with an aul ( Exod.21:1-6 ). Yes Jesus set us free but wisdom will tell us to revert to bondslave status to Jesus.This affords some protection against the snares of Satan.