(Continued from Part 1). Whatever may be the content of the Rapture, Old Testament saints and/or New Testament saints, it does not concern the nation of Israel. It results in the exclusive concentration of prophetic attention on Israel for the seven years identified by the seven-year covenant that is confirmed, according to Daniel 9:27.
“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.”
The person mentioned in the verse is one who comes out of the heritage of the old Holy Roman Empire, and he confirms a covenant with many who are nations confirming a peace plan for the nation of Israel with her neighbors. The only authoritative body now evident which can do this is the United Nations.
It is a covenant imposed upon Israel and her enemies for a short period. In Ezekiel 37:26-29, God’s message and promise to Israel is an everlasting covenant of peace, in contrast to that of the secular world.
Comparing Ezekiel’s and Daniel’s accounts shows no mention in either one of the Rapture, which is an interesting point. Ezekiel writes to the Jewish people, and his prophecy concerning the Jews—their revival, God’s promise of their restoration to the land, His promise of an everlasting covenant, the invasion of Gog, then the reconstruction of the temple. It is so spelled out in the Ezekiel chapters 36, 37, 38-39, then 40 and following with the instructions for the temple.
Daniel 9:27, then, opens with the imposed covenant, no mention of the Rapture or of the Gog-Magog war, then the Antichrist defiling a temple that had not been there before the covenant. Why is there no mention of the Rapture in either account? Could it be because these accounts in Daniel and Ezekiel are of Jewish content and the Rapture is of Gentile content, for the most part? The Rapture is of mostly Gentile content because the Jews have been set aside until this time of the Gentiles is ended.
Daniel also identifies a temple of the Jews which is not now present. It will be in place, however, by the halfway mark of the seven years, for this one who is mentioned at the first and apparently has been given world leadership authority cancels the Jewish temple sacrifices and activities and declares himself God, demanding their worship. This will happen at the midpoint of the seven years.
At the beginning of the seven years, the “time of Jacob’s trouble” begins with the Gog-Magog war described in Ezekiel 38-39 shortly afterward, when Russia sees that the state of Israel is lulled into a false sense of safety under that imposed, seven-year covenant prophesied by Daniel in Daniel 9:27, and the US is no longer able nor willing to defend therm.
Also shortly after that, Israel, possibly at the time of the Feast of Atonement, will recognize Jesus as their true Messiah and Atonement. According to the prophet Zechariah, it will be like this:
“And I will pour on the house of David and on the inhabitants of Jerusalem the Spirit of grace and supplication; then they will look on Me whom they pierced. Yes, they will mourn for Him as one mourns for his only son, and grieve for Him as one grieves for a firstborn” (Zechariah 12:10).
That will change everything! Selection of 144,000 Jewish evangelists, 12,000 from each named tribe, will happen according to Revelation 7, and their results of conversions are shown standing as souls in white robes before the throne of God, numbering in the millions! Three prophetic events come together at this point:
- Zechariah 13:8 says two-thirds of the Jews will be killed, while one-third will be protected and saved from destruction.
- The 12th chapter of Revelation tells of Satan’s rage at the ‘Woman [Israel] and the Son born to her” over the centuries past, and now he is cast out of heaven as a raging red dragon, destroying all whom he can, and finally, the remaining Jews were hidden from him in the wilderness. Though he, the dragon, huffed and puffed at them viciously, he could not go in after them!
- The multitude who appear before the throne of God in Revelation 7 are said to have come out of the Great Tribulation, that is, the last half of the tribulation period. That is the time when the Mark of the Beast is applied to all who will receive it, and those who do not are killed. No doubt that multitude is the result of the ministry of the 144,000 evangelists and the two witnesses in Jerusalem during that first half of the period. Quite possibly, the two-thirds of the Jews who are killed are in that number before the throne. They are identified as “souls in white robes,” not resurrected bodies, thus they are not from the Rapture.
Jesus will return in physical form, as recorded in Revelation 19, and will occupy the throne of David, so-called, in Jerusalem once He has overcome all of Satan’s efforts to destroy Him and His followers and has bound Satan in chains in the bottomless pit for the coming thousand years. There is the possibility that the remaining one-third of the Jews will be those who will be the beginning number who will re-populate the earth during the thousand years.
Read the end of Revelation 20 for the final wrap-up of mankind’s history, and then, in Revelation 21-22, how eternity begins for mankind.
As for signs of the times, at this point regarding Israel, there is no peace covenant in place; but that process has been bubbling constantly for at least a decade. It has become more of a swirling froth in these current months. Will Israel soon cry out, “Peace and safety?’
Parallel to the trail of the Jews as “signs of the times” are signs of equal significance. Look at the major domination in the news of any day the turn to more openly embracing of sexual immorality with demands that all should look favorably upon them. The truth is, and I think common sense calls for it, that the demand for acceptance of perversion is an attempt to gain social approval as an erasure of their sense of guilt. It will never work, for God has implanted in mankind a conscience that is responsive to moral law, written in them since the fall of Adam who then acquired the knowledge of right and wrong.
Another significant sign of the times is the trip of the Catholic Pope Francis to the Middle East with the goal of arriving at a unity of faiths. A worldwide religion is in the future, and who is best to want to lead that entity? A second beast like a lamb with two short horns, of course (Revelation 13:11).
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