The ‘Black Sheep’ of Bible Prophecy :: By Mark A. Becker


While not exactly an autobiography I had ever envisioned for myself, truly, through my own studies of the Scriptures for over a quarter of a century, I have found myself to be The ‘Black Sheep’ of Bible Prophecy!

During the first 15 years or so of intensive Bible study, I devoured many excellent books, articles, and videos from well-respected and qualified prophecy and Bible teachers. I am very grateful to all of them, as they were very foundational in my understanding of Scripture and future Bible prophecy.

Yet, during my later years of surveying the Scriptures – and especially when I began writing on Bible prophecy – I always attempted to go into my studies with as clean of a slate as possible, for I wanted the Scriptures to speak to my mind and spirit without the influence of the teachings I had been absorbing throughout the years. What I found was that many of the popular, traditional prophecy teachings of many of my favorite teachers did not stand up to scrutiny with what I was learning through my own studies.

It appears to me, from observation, that many prophecy teachers and writers will read or hear their favorite Bible teacher of the past teach a prophetic interpretation or doctrine that has been handed down to them from past teachers, and they seem to accept the teaching without ever investigating the claims for themselves. Lest one thinks I am being too judgmental, I am no exception to this observation and have been guilty of the same. I have even expressed this truth in a few of my articles.

In The ‘Black Sheep’ of Bible Prophecy, I would like to share with the reader 20 topical teachings I have encountered on my journey that are opposed – or found to be in the minority consensus – to most of the popular, traditional teachings found within the prophetic community.

Here are the topics we will be discussing in numerical order for easy reference:

What follows is a brief synopsis of the above 20 topics we have studied in the past – with links to the articles I have written – that reflect why I have either come to radically different conclusions than the popular, traditional views, or at least have found myself in the minority opinion as The ‘Black Sheep’ of Bible Prophecy.

Amazingly, many prophecy teachers say no. Because of this, I have written extensively that the actual answer to this question is an emphatic yes! My first article was aptly titled, Is the Rapture of the Church in the Olivet Discourse?

In “The Eagles be Gathered Together,” we investigated our Lord’s somewhat cryptic axiom and discovered that the two times He uses this phrase, He is referring to two different prophetic events!

Next was our exciting article, Jesus Was the First to Teach the Rapture! This article took from some other past articles and presented what I believe to be a clear-cut case for Jesus teaching the rapture in the Olivet Discourse.

The Paralambánō of Matthew 24:40-41 & Luke 17:34-36 was a follow-up article that investigated the Greek word, how it is used in Scripture and applied linguistically, and how it is to be interpreted within the Matthew 24:40-41 and Luke 17:34-36 passages.

And in our four-part series on the Olivet Discourse, as presented in the three synoptic gospels, which includes a concluding article on the combining of the three Olivet Discourses into one comprehensive unit, we noted how the Olivet Discourse is divided into two distinct portions. This four-part series included Luke’s Olivet Discourse, Mark’s Olivet Discourse, Matthew’s Olivet Discourse, and The Olivet Discourse in its Entirety.

When it comes to the subject of the rapture within the Olivet Discourse, I would be willing to debate any qualified Bible prophecy teacher who holds to the opposing view only because I feel it is so vitally important for the body of Christ to get this topic right.

  • #2 No One Knows the Day or Date of the Rapture

A point of contention in prophecy circles is the unbiblical idea that we should be attempting to predict the day or the date of the rapture.

When it comes to the truth that no one knows the day or the date of the rapture, I began to write about this fact in Imminence, Signs, and Feasts – Oh My!

The follow-up article to Imminence, Signs, and Feasts – Oh My! was The Imminency of the Rapture, which obviously discussed how the rapture has always been imminent as taught by the Apostles and our Lord Himself.

Shortly afterward, I released Rapture Soothsaying, which warns the saint against attempting to ever set a day or date of the rapture, which the Word of God never even suggests that the believer in Christ can or should ever do.

In The Trinity: Examining the Triune God, we discussed toward the end of the study that there is something that the Son doesn’t know, and this would be the day or the date of the rapture.

Mark 13:32 – ‘Neither the Son, But the Father’ was our deeper dive into this subject, as I attempted to show how it is much more Biblical and logical to accept Christ at His Words than to effort an esoteric and/or abstract alternative interpretation, which so many have chosen to do.

“And when these things begin to come to pass, then look up, and lift up your heads; for your redemption draweth nigh.”Luke 21:28

This beloved verse, so often cited by Christians as referring to the rapture of the church, has, unfortunately, been misinterpreted.

We first came across this discrepancy in The Parable of the Fig Tree while we were examining Christ’s famous parable.

Later, we did a full-on investigation, dissecting the entire Olivet Discourse as presented in the Lucian Gospel in Luke 21:28 – Rapture, Second Coming, or Both?

We summarized our finding in the following way:

In my personal investigative opinion – based on immediate context, general context, target audience, and the structural outline of the Olivet Discourse in Luke’s account – there is no doubt that Luke 21:28 is a Second Coming passage meant to encourage the Jews just before Christ’s coming deliverance for them at the end of the Tribulation.

The very words of this beloved passage of Luke 21:28 prove that this is not a rapture passage. How?

An observation that I failed to mention in Luke 21:28 – Rapture, Second Coming, or Both? was that if Luke 21:28 teaches that “when these things begin to come to pass, then look up and lift up your heads; for your redemption draw nigh,” and we apply this verse to the rapture, then this would negate The Imminency of the Rapture, would it not? Yes, it would. For if we were to be looking for anything to begin to come to pass before our redemption could draw near, then the rapture is no longer imminent as our Lord and His Apostles continually asserted in their teachings!

  • #5 What Exactly is the ‘Day of the Lord’ and Time Duration?

In An Examination of the ‘Day of the Lord,’ we dive into these questions and more.

Most people consider the “day of the Lord” to be Daniel’s last 7 in his 70 7’s prophecy (or “weeks”) – better known as the seven-year Tribulation (2,520 days) – and so it is; but there is so much more! Over 1,000 years more!!

In The Parable of the Fig Tree, we examined up front the idea of whether Christ was referring to the rebirth of Israel in His parable. Many have noticed that if Yeshua was speaking of Israel’s rebirth as a nation on May 14, 1948 – and that a maximum generation is 80 years, as spoken by Moses in Psalm 90:10 – then, while considering the seven-year Tribulation (2,520 days), we have effectively run out of time for that generation to see all those things that Messiah spoke of!

This article addressed this issue by offering an alternative interpretation while looking into many other areas of interest regarding The Parable of the Fig Tree.

  • #7 The Ezekiel 38 and 39 Invasion of Israel

In my two-part series on Ezekiel 38 and 39, we offered a few interesting possibilities and scenarios on diverse topics.

In Possibilities: The Ezekiel 38 Invasion, I discuss how I believe that Israel has already achieved the characteristics God declares of her state of affairs when this invasion would occur, as well as offering the possibility that a few other well-known prophetic wars and destructions spoken of by other prophets could be a feature of the Ezekiel 38 invasion of Israel but spoken through a different prophetic lens.

And in Possibilities: The Ezekiel 39 Aftermath, we offered what I believe to be a very realistic possibility on the much debated seven years of Israel burning the weapons of her invaders and how we might interpret this in light of the seven-year Tribulation.

  • #8 Seal Judgments Will Occur During the Gap Between the Rapture and the Beginning of the Tribulation

Before I dealt with The Gap of unknown time in between the rapture and the beginning of the Tribulation, I wrote Revelation 7: Bookends of the Tribulation, which gives the student of Bible prophecy a template of the beginning and the end of the seven-year Tribulation (2,520 days). Within these prophetic bookends of the Tribulation, the student of Bible prophecy can begin to fit in the other pieces of the prophetic puzzle.

Using this article as a jumping-off point, Revelation 6: Our Marriage and The Gap delves into how the Seal judgments will seemingly occur during The Gap of unknown time in between the rapture and the beginning of the Tribulation and, most importantly, how we came to this conclusion.

In addition, we investigate how this Gap of unknown time affects our seven-year consummation period with our Bridegroom, the Marriage Supper of The Lamb, and the ensuing Second Coming of Christ in relation to the seven-year Tribulation (2,520 days).

Many Bible prophecy teachers and writers have concluded that the first three beasts, or kingdoms, of Daniel 7 are the past empires of Babylon, Medo-Persia, and Greece. In Daniel 7: The Four Beasts of the End-Times, we offer a few reasons why we do not subscribe to this popular interpretation, why it doesn’t pass the logical and rational smell tests, and who we believe these contemporary kingdoms are, as they are on the geopolitical stage today.

Revelation 13 – The Beast is the first of a three-part study of Revelation 13 that goes into even more detail on how these three end-time empires fit into the Tribulation period, in particular, and the Antichrist kingdom, in specific, with the imagery of the beast coming out of the sea.

When I evaluated the limited Scriptural references to the mysterious Two Witnesses, my main inquiry was, Can We Know the Identity of the Two Witnesses? And I was astounded at where the evidence led!

Not only were we able to show how the popular interpretations of past historical figures do not have Scriptural support, but we were also able to offer a very real plausibility on who the Two Witnesses possibly are.

Because of this, through contemplation and prayer, I was able to offer up another amazing possibility when it came to how this question could play out in other future prophetic scenarios during the Tribulation, which resulted in Elijah and The False Prophet.

I consider A Combined Interpretive Scenario of Revelation 17 & 18 to be my seminal work which opened the door for me to personally fit all other pieces of the prophetic puzzle into order. In A Combined Interpretive Scenario of Revelation 17 & 18, we examine how Revelation 18 is nothing more than an extension of Revelation 17 that focuses specifically on the city where the Whore of Babylon sits, her opulent luxuries, her worldwide influence over the kings of the earth, and how she acquired her economic wealth during her 1,700 years of an ebb and flow reign.

In Isaiah 47: The Daughter of Babylon, we show how Isaiah saw this same entity and how his description is an exact match with Revelation 17 and 18.

Revelation 14: Tribulation Outline is an excellent resource to combine with Revelation 7: Bookends of the Tribulation in order to aid the student of prophecy in placing the events of Revelation in proper prophetic order. Fascinatingly, it is in Revelation 14: Tribulation Outline that we find conclusive evidence that Revelation 17 and 18 are indeed a unit that represents the Mystery Babylon religion and her short-lived One-World Religion (OWR) reign, and has absolutely nothing to do with Antichrist’s empire.

Because of this discovery – and after some meditation, specifically on Revelation 6:6 – I believe I was able to more fully understand Revelation 6:6 – The Oil and the Wine, and shared this prophetic interpretation with the reader. This article, in my view, shows precisely what the phrase “hurt not the oil and the wine” truly means and represents.

“Behold, the day of the Lord cometh, and thy spoil shall be divided in the midst of thee. For I will gather all nations against Jerusalem to battle; and the city shall be taken, and the houses rifled, and the women ravished; and half of the city shall go forth into captivity, and the residue of the people shall not be cut off from the city.”Zechariah 14:1-2

Zechariah 14:1-2 has befuddled many prophecy teachers and students down through the centuries. Some believe it is past history, while others think it immediately precedes the Second Coming.

In A Study of Zechariah 14:1-11, we meticulously go through the text and analyze what these two verses can be speaking of.

Later, I released The Abomination of Desolation: A Unique Link, which compares Zechariah 14:1-2 with Matthew 24:16-19. While I mentioned Matthew 24:16-19 in A Study of Zechariah 14:1-11, after reflecting on these two passages, I was stunned at the correlation between the two and how they emphatically confirmed our prior interpretation!

  • #13 Misunderstandings Regarding the Kings of the East

I have a difficult time, in general, understanding the lure of the popular, traditional interpretations we have been discussing within this article, but this one is really perplexing to me.

My first article on this subject attempted to answer the question: Do the Kings of the East Field a 200-Million-Man Army?

I have found myself at an utter loss to explain why many pre-Millennial, pre-Tribulation rapture proponents combine the sixth Trumpet judgment with the sixth Vial judgment. This observation and a detailed examination of the texts and more are dissected in Do the Kings of the East Field a 200-Million-Man Army?

Our follow-up article, The Kings of the East: Mission Impossible, takes on another perplexing issue for me when it comes to popular, traditional interpretations – that of thinking that the kings of the East are going to Israel to fight the Antichrist or another invading army.

We summarize our findings found in Do the Kings of the East Field a 200-Million-Man Army? and investigate why the kings of the East are coming, where they are going, and what their mission is in The Kings of the East: Mission Impossible.

  • #14 Armageddon: Megiddo or the Valley of Jehoshaphat?

In A Study of Zechariah 14:1-11, we look into aspects of Christ’s Second Coming, from where He will begin His campaign, the path He takes, and His ultimate destination. Interestingly, Megiddo, the valley of Megiddo, or the hill of Megiddo is never mentioned.

In The Valley of Jehoshaphat and ‘Armageddon,’ we take a journey examining every reference to Megiddo in the Tanakh (Old Testament) and rule out any prophetic relationship between Megiddo and the Second Coming.

Very importantly, there is a link to an article from my friend, Jeff Van Hatten, that breaks down the Hebrew of ‘Armageddon’ as we discover how this word has been misunderstood down through the centuries.

Lastly, we investigate Joel’s connection to the Messiah at the Valley of Jehoshaphat and analyze references to the Second Coming from other prophets and the Psalms. The Valley of Jehoshaphat and ‘Armageddon’ comes to a very interesting and Biblically-based conclusion that ‘Armageddon’ isn’t what the traditional, popular interpretation presents.

  • #15 Reverting to Primitive Times Toward the End of the Tribulation

In The Mark of the Beasts, we look into a few of the Vial judgments that will occur at the end of the Tribulation and the effects these will have on the world just before Christ’s Second Coming.

Many believe that nuclear weapons will be used because of Zechariah 14:12, but in A Study of Zechariah 14:12-21, we show this is not the case. In fact, The Mark of the Beasts illustrates to the reader that the evidence leads to the world reverting to primitive times and methods because of these Vial judgments, and the imagery is priceless!

In The Parable of the Fig Tree, we go even deeper and demonstrate that the world at that time will experience effects unknown in history just before Christ returns!

  • #16 Angels Having Sex with Women and Procreating

The idea that fallen angels had sexual relations with women and produced the Nephilim, as found in Genesis 6, has always troubled me. Granted, this appears to be what the text is relaying to the reader, but is this the only interpretation available to us in our day and age?

My first foray into this topic resulted in Genesis 6 Commentary and Genetics.

From my commentary as a foundation, we plunged into the subject matter headfirst and offered up what we believe to be a very viable, logical, rational, and, more importantly, a Biblically sound alternative to the popular, traditional interpretation in Genesis 6: Biology and Genetics.

  • #17 The Holy Spirit and Salvation in the Tribulation

Inspired by questions from believers in our Questions from the Body of Christ series, we offered another view that is at odds with the popular, traditional interpretation in QFTBOC: Salvation in the Tribulation.

We addressed the popular notion that the Holy Spirit will be inactive and will not indwell believers during the Tribulation. This would obviously be a step backward in God’s plan of redemption regarding salvation, as those who teach this view say that God’s purpose will revert back to Old Testament times after the body of Christ is raptured to heaven.

Does this thought make sense, and is there any Scriptural support for such a claim? Why would God’s plan of redemption, after Christ’s “once for all” sacrifice, result in a suspension of the ministry of the Holy Spirit?

We also hit on this subject, among a host of others, in 2 Thessalonians 2:3 – A Rebellion Interpretation.

  • #18 Judging the ‘Nations’?

In the first segment of The Mystery of the Last Sheep, we delve into the idea that when Jesus comes back to earth, He will judge the “nations” at the Separation of the Sheep and Goats judgment, and only those nations who are deemed worthy will be allowed to enter His Millennial Kingdom.

Is this logical? How would a “nation” be judged? What does the context of this portion of Scripture actually teach?

  • #19 Age of Accountability

Also, in our Questions from the Body of Christ series, we tackle the popular teaching that God has an “Age of Accountability” when it comes to salvation.

QFTBOC: ‘Age of Accountability’ asks some very poignant and intensive questions – most of which lack Scriptural answers – and use logic and rational thought in attempting to find out if God does indeed have an “Age of Accountability” that is overarching in His plan of Salvation. We also look at where this idea may have come from and if this teaching is, in fact, Biblical.

  • #20 Time in Eternity?

Most would say that the Eternal Kingdom will be timeless, as we will be in eternal bliss. But what does that mean? Will time cease to be? Will God’s creation of time be nullified and rendered to be needed no more in His Eternal Kingdom?

We hit on this topic, and so much more, in The Mystery of the Last Sheep.

Time is the Essence, though, is devoted entirely to this theory, and we investigate where the evidence leads us regarding time in the Eternal Kingdom.


I would like to reiterate that I, too, held to some of the popular, traditional views expressed within this article. But once I took the time to intently examine the claims of the popular, traditional views, I found many of them lacking any Scriptural support and ultimately came to fundamentally different conclusions.

The funny thing about being The ‘Black Sheep’ of Bible Prophecy is that I generally do not get correspondence from other prophecy teachers regarding my findings and interpretations, and it seems these prophetic articles really haven’t made much headway in popular prophecy circles. Maybe they have, but I am just not aware of this possibility currently.

But that is just fine with me. I do not do this for myself but for the Lord and the body of Christ. I have a personal saying that goes like this:

“If I am right about anything concerning Bible prophecy, then all of the glory goes to the Lord and the Lord alone. If I am wrong on anything concerning Bible prophecy, well, then that is on me.”

Nevertheless, I immensely enjoy studying the Scriptures, sharing my findings with the body of Christ through my writings, and especially having the privileged opportunity to communicate with such wonderful saints from all over the world. And Lord willing, our little ministry for our Lord and Savior will continue until my mind no longer functions at the level it needs to, or I die and go to be with our Lord, or, better yet, the rapture takes place and – together with all my family and beloved brothers and sisters in Christ – we go home to be with our Lord forevermore.

Now that I look forward to! That we should all look forward to!

So, until then, let us comfort, edify, and encourage one another each and every day in our blessed hope, Jesus Christ!

May the Lord richly bless you all as you all continue to bless others through Him and for Him, and keep reaching the lost for Christ while we still have time.

May we all keep Answering the Call of The Great Commission and giving an answer to every man and woman who so desperately needs Jesus and asks us, “Why Am I Here and What Is It All About?

Love, grace, mercy, and shalom in Messiah Yeshua, and Maranatha!

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