LATEST WORLD NEWS AND ARTICLES
04th JUNE 2018
RAPTURED ON PENTECOST?
QUESTION: I understand that many Biblical scholars believe Jesus’ triumphal entry into Jerusalem was on Sunday, April 6, A.D. 32; His death on the cross was Thursday afternoon, April 10; and He arose before sunrise the Sunday of April 13. Pentecost, the birth of the Church, was fifty days later. While only God knows the precise year and timing of the Rapture, is there any Biblical reference that may give a clue that it could occur on a “birthday” of the Church?
ANSWER: I believe that while God knows exactly when everything will happen, as far as Earth is concerned, the Rapture is a number sensitive event not a date sensitive one. By that I mean that the Rapture will occur when the full number of believers has come into the Church, not on a predetermined day.
The Rapture of the church is not directly connected to any other end times event and doesn’t have to fulfill the prophetic implications of any Jewish Festival. However, if it did please God to have the Rapture occur on a Jewish feast day, by far the most logical candidate is Pentecost.
Tradition has it that Enoch, a Biblical model of the Church, was both born and taken live into Heaven on the date that would become Pentecost. Pentecost is also the only feast that specifically calls for bread baked with leaven, or yeast. (Leviticus 23:17) Leaven is a model of sin, and the Church is populated exclusively by sinners. The Book of Ruth is a beautiful analogy of the relationship between Naomi, a model of Israel, Ruth, a model of the Church, and Boaz, the Kinsman-Redeemer. It’s read in the synagogues on Pentecost.
WILL ALL CHILDREN BE RAPTURED?
QUESTION: Please consider I Corinthians 7:14 in your discussion of this topic. It seems to indicate here that children belonging to unbelievers are unclean. Children who have a believing parent seem to have a different status than children who don’t. I realize that our salvation is based on what Jesus did, not on what our parents do and that each person is responsible for their own decision to serve or not serve God.
However in a discussion of “innocent” children before the age of accountability, I have this question: Are they saved from the wrath to come, the tribulation? In the Old Testament judgment came upon “unclean” nations and the children were not saved from destruction. (I think they were not judged and sent to hell upon death, but it doesn’t look like God saved them from judgment upon the earth)
I have been a children’s pastor for over twenty years and have worked diligently to bring young ones to the Lord, not knowing when the age of accountability might be for each of them. I can believe that the innocent will not see eternal judgment upon death, but I think that is a separate issue from the issue of being in the rapture. I have always believed that the innocent children of believing parents would go in the rapture, but that the children of unbelievers would probably have to go thru the tribulation. Any thoughts?
ANSWER: You’re to be commended for your devotion to the salvation of children when sometimes even their believing parents seem willing to stand by and “let nature take its course.” I’ve always understood 1 Cor. 7:14 to mean that it takes at least one believer to make the marriage, and therefore the couple’s future children, legitimate in God’s sight.
Paul said that he had eternal life before reaching the age of accountability (Romans 7:9), and Jesus said that all children have guardian angels who regularly report to God (Matt. 18:10). I’ve taken this to mean that all children belong to God until they’ve developed the intellectual capacity to understand the spiritual consequences of their decisions. Just like our righteousness is imputed to us solely by faith, theirs is granted because of their intellectual immaturity.
I have trouble using Old Testament references to define the parameters of this issue because while there are a couple of types or models, there never was an Old Testament equivalent to the rapture. Noah and his family were preserved through a world wide judgment, and Lot and his family were escorted out of the immediate vicinity of a local one, but there’s never been a mass departure from the planet by a group whose only qualification has been their faith. This is an event unique to the Church Age.
Tracking Bible Prophecy Headlines – 6/1/2018
TERRORISM AND WARS:
GENERAL WORLD NEWS:
EARTH CHANGES – EARQUAKES/VOLCANOES/PESTILENCE ETC:
LATEST NEWS RELATED AND CHRISTIAN ARTICLES:
ARE WE INCHING OUR WAY TOWARDS THE FULFILLMENT OF ZECHARIAH 12?
Olivier Melnick – http://www.newantisemitism.com/antisemitism/are-we-inching-our-way-towards-the-fulfillment-of-zechariah-12
Jerusalem has been at the very center of religious, historical and geopolitical tensions for a long time. With the recent move of the US embassy from Tel Aviv to Jerusalem, it seems that fuel has once again been added to the fire already consuming the Palestinians with humiliation, or so would the media like us to believe. Some countries have welcomed the US embassy move and some have even announced their subsequent moves in the next few weeks. Honduras, Paraguay, Guatemala, the Czech Republic and Romania have all announced their plans to move forward with a relocation. While much of the world sees this as a defiant move, Israel welcomes the decisions of the few international friends she has. There will be more.
The move of the US embassy, had it been in any other country on the planet would have garnered no interest from anybody. Generally speaking, people don’t care where an embassy is located and they agree that it should be in the capital of each respective country. When the capital is Jerusalem, and its legitimacy is questioned, a move becomes a thorn in the flesh of political correctness. The locating or relocating of an embassy really shouldn’t be newsworthy, but it seems that lately, anytime Israel or Jerusalem is mentioned, the world gets on edge.
If nothing else, moving the US embassy from Tel Aviv to Jerusalem shows that this current administration supports Israel AND recognizes Jerusalem as its capital, something that previous US administrations had alluded to at best. The United Nations General Assembly voted 128-9 (35 abstentions) in favor of condemning the upcoming move, even though US ambassador to the UN, Nikki Hailey vowed that the United States would remember those who voted against the move. This was done in the form of an attempt at rendering the “Trump decision” null and void. The 9 countries that voted against it were: Guatemala, Honduras, Israel, Marshall Islands, Micronesia, Nauru, Palau, Togo and the US.
Then came the move to Jerusalem. President Trump chose the symbolic date of May 14, 2018, since Israel was declared a modern nation on May 14, 1948. Palestinian Authority and its close supporters declared that the move was counterproductive to any peace efforts. Simultaneously, Hamas tried to breach the Gaza/Israel border. These people flew kites with explosives over the border and sent terrorists mixed with civilians to cross to Israel. As it turned out, over 75% of the people killed at the border were terrorists. The days leading to the move to Jerusalem were supposed to be the “Palestinian March of Return” coinciding with the date of May 14th, considered by Palestinians as the Nakba or “catastrophe.” The results of the border breach attempt were far from what Hamas expected. There seems to be a “Palestinian narrative fatigue” going around, but don’t worry, the contempt for Israel will return before we know it. How is THIS helping with the peace effort?
As always, the media was extremely helpful in painting a picture promoting and vindicating a false narrative. The National Catholic Reporter boldly wrote that “Emboldened by embassy move, Israel unleashes on Palestinians.” making Israel sound like a murderous state killing harmless peaceful protesters. CNN reported, “The US opens new embassy in Jerusalem as dozens are killed in Gaza.” The article goes on to demonize Israel AND doesn’t show one picture of Palestinian terrorism. It only shows people looking desperate and trying to defend themselves, which is a far cry from reality. A few websites have the integrity to properly report the facts. One such outfit is honestreporting.com and they produced several short videos clearly exposing the lies of Hamas, and the denial of the media.
The 128 countries that drafted a resolution to render the decision to move the embassy “null and void,” are enemies of Israel and are not looking for peace in the Middle East. They have become co-conspirators of Hamas. While the resolution from the UN does not carry very much weight on the international scene an will likely not lead to a reversal of the embassy move, it is a symptom of something much deeper; it shows the world’s opinion on Israel. Over 75% of the countries of the world are ready to render the move null and void. They have spoken loud and clear, and the 35 that abstained, have spoken by their silence.
There is an interesting prophecy in the Jewish Scriptures found in the prophet Zechariah 12:1-9. In it, we are told that at some point in future history, the whole world will turn against Israel. “Behold, I am going to make Jerusalem a cup that causes reeling to all the peoples around; and when the siege is against Jerusalem, it will also be against Judah….”It will come about in that day that I will make Jerusalem a heavy stone for all the peoples; all who lift it will be severely injured. And all the nations of the earth will be gathered against it.
Bible students know that to be true. The day is coming when the whole world will turn against Jerusalem. 128 countries out of 193 is definitely a move in that direction. Somehow, even America will turn against Israel. We understand that even if a country corporately declares its hatred of Israel and the Jewish people, people of good faith do not have to follow suit. During the 30s and 40s, there were people who helped, protected and hid many Jews such as my mother. They were not Jewish, they risked their own lives and took no money to do so. Today, they are known as “Yad Vashem Righteous Gentiles” or “Gentiles Among the Nations.” All seems to indicate that the world is in need of a second generation of “Righteous Gentiles,” and they exist, I have met some of them.
We are indeed a lot closer to a fulfillment of Zechariah 12, but we must be humbly reminded of the end of that story in verse 9 “And in that day I will set about to destroy all the nations that come against Jerusalem.”
God will indeed have the final word!
APOSTASY, THEN AND NOW
By Grant Phillips – http://www.raptureready.com/2018/05/31/complacency-2/
Apostasy as defined by Merriam-Webster is: an act of refusing to continue to follow, obey, or recognize a religious faith; abandonment of a previous loyalty.
“Woe to them! They have taken the way of Cain; they have rushed for profit into Balaam’s error; they have been destroyed in Korah’s rebellion.” (Jude 11 emphasis mine)
As early as the first century, apostasy was already creeping into the Church. Paul, James, Peter, John and Jude all address this cancerous growth that was trying to eat away at the true Gospel. Jude, the half-brother of Jesus, wrote a very short letter, but it really packs a punch. I am only going to use verse eleven, but all twenty-five verses should be read.
Apostasy actually began with Satan in the Garden of Eden when he successfully seduced Eve to believe his lie against God’s truth. From Adam and Eve to Jude’s day this baby (apostasy) grew into a monster. Satan has had many years to improve his technique and increase his lies. From Jude to today, this monster has grown even more and is seducing millions away from the true Gospel.
The carriers of apostasy are said by Jude to go the way of Cain, rush to profit as in Balaam’s error, and will be destroyed as in Korah’s rebellion.
WAY OF CAIN
In Genesis chapter four we find the historical account of Cain.
Genesis 3:21 tells us that God made a covering for Adam and Eve to hide their nakedness. This covering, from an animal(s) that God sacrificed, denoted His righteousness covering them so they could be presentable to be in His presence. This sacrificial system was passed down by Adam and Eve to their children.
Both Cain and Abel knew they were to present a blood sacrifice before God. Cain refused and then became jealous when God accepted his brother’s sacrifice and refused his. This sinful attitude resulted in Cain murdering his brother Abel.
Adam and Eve explained to their children that because of their sin, they must present a sacrifice before God. They explained that they, their children, their children’s children and all their progeny would be required to offer a sacrifice for their sins until God provides the final sacrifice for all mankind (Genesis 3:15, John 3:16). They all knew that:
Man is a sinner and is not righteous
The unrighteous cannot be in the presence of God
Only the blood of the innocent can provide righteousness
The innocent must die for the guilty
Despite knowing this, Cain depended on his own works, denied his sins and the blood redemption that is required to be cleansed. He rejected faith and accepted religion instead without the bloody sacrifice.
Those in apostasy today do the same.
Don’t talk about blood. That’s gross.
Don’t mention the cross. The children might hear it.
Don’t need repentance. Just believe.
Don’t talk about judgment. That’s too scary.
Is Cain’s rejection of God’s blood sacrifice any different than what is being proclaimed today about the cross? Many in the so-called church crowd today deny the cross, the death, burial and resurrection of Jesus, any need for repentance, and any thought of judgment. Let’s just get together, have a salad, a meal, sing some modern praise me songs and pat each other on the back, say they.
This is the way of Cain and it is apostate.
ERROR OF BALAAM
The elders of Moab and Midian were afraid Israel would consume their land after they witnessed what Israel had done to the Amorites. Beginning in Numbers 22 God gives us the historical account of Balaam being urged by Balak (king of the Moabites) to pronounce a curse upon Israel.
At first Balaam could only pronounce blessings, but finally he told Balak to introduce the daughters of Moab to Israel. The beautiful daughters of Moab would marry the sons of Israel and destroy Israel from within.
Jude calls this the “error” of Balaam. Balaam knows that God is righteous, and assumes God must curse Israel. He also assumes God must punish sin and sinners cannot be forgiven. He thinks he has come up with a way for God to do the “dirty work” without him being directly involved. Let God pronounce the curse, he thinks.
Over in 2 Peter 2:15, Peter labels it the “way” of Balaam. Peter is describing Balaam as a profiteer seeking to make money from God’s gift. If you could number the fleas on a dogs back, you could probably have an idea of the number of apostate scammers that have fleeced mankind. Your television (among other sources) provides a daily dosage of these Balaam type apostates.
Revelation 2:14 mentions the “doctrine” of Balaam in that he taught Balak how to corrupt Israel.
So here again Jude rightly defines apostates with the likeness of Balaam who depicts God as without mercy and only out to harm mankind.
REBELLION OF KORAH
In Numbers chapter 16 Korah (a Levite) along with 250 of Israel’s finest, rose up against Moses and Aaron. They were power hungry.
God had placed Moses and Aaron in charge of leading Israel. Korah and this large group of power seekers saw something they wanted … power. They forgot though that the power was not of Moses and Aaron, but from God. So they said in effect, “We’re taking over.” God said, “No you’re not.” For their rebellion they were swallowed up by the earth and dropped alive into hell.
They rebelled against God’s authority, and that was their fatal mistake.
Way of Cain: The apostate rejects faith. His religion, whatever it may be, overrides anything God says.
Error of Balaam: The apostate does not believe that a holy God would actually provide a way of forgiveness through His Son.
Rebellion of Korah: The apostate rebels against God’s authority.
So there you have it. The apostate:
Rejects faith by grace and clings to works
Rejects forgiveness through Jesus Christ
Rejects God’s authority. In other words, it doesn’t matter what the Bible says.
This is a very condensed synopsis of what Jude was saying in this one powerful verse, but I’m sure you understand his warning against apostates. Nothing but lies drip from their tongues. The mother of these lies comes from the mouth of Lucifer as he whispered in Eve’s ear, “Hath God said?”
The Bible is clear that in the last days apostasy is one sign among many that the Lord’s return is near. Apostasy today is off the charts, and I can’t imagine how full-blown it will become during the Tribulation prior to Christ’s return.
How do I defend myself against apostasy? How do I know what is true and what is false? There is only one sure-fired way. Get in the Bible. Study God’s Word as we should be doing anyway (2 Timothy 2:15) and ask Him to teach you.
Pre-Rapture Commentary: http://grant-phillips.blogspot.com
Rapture Ready: http://www.raptureready.com/featured/phillips/phillips.html
HOW TO WIN YOUR CROWNS
A Bible Study by Jack Kelley
So, forgetting what is behind and straining toward what is ahead, I press on toward the goal to win the prize for which God has called me heavenward in Christ Jesus. All of us who are mature should take such a view of things. And if on some point you think differently, that too God will make clear to you. Only let us live up to what we have already attained. (Phil 3:13-16)
After we’re saved, we have the opportunity to win rewards, or crowns, which will be presented to us immediately after the Rapture. (1 Cor. 4:5) Jesus Himself will make the presentation in what will be the biggest awards ceremony ever in the history of mankind.
This awards ceremony is sometimes called the Bema Seat judgment, after the Greek word for judgment, because of the similarity. In the ancient Olympics, judges awarded ivy crowns (called stephanos) to the winners of the various contests at the “Bema Seat”, or judges stand, just like they award medals in our time.
The New Testament lists five categories in which crowns will be awarded to qualified believers.
These crowns are identified as the Everlasting Crown (Victory) in 1 Cor 9:25, the Crown of the Soul Winner in Phil 4:1 and 1 Thes 2:19, the Crown of Righteousness in 2 Tim 4:8, the Crown of Life in James 1:12 and Rev 2:10, and the Crown of Glory in 1 Peter 5:4.
The Everlasting Crown (Crown of Victory)
Do you not know that in a race all the runners run, but only one gets the prize? Run in such a way as to get the prize. Everyone who competes in the games goes into strict training. They do it to get a crown that will not last; but we do it to get a crown that will last forever. Therefore I do not run like a man running aimlessly; I do not fight like a man beating the air. No, I beat my body and make it my slave so that after I have preached to others, I myself will not be disqualified for the prize. (1 Cor. 9:24-27)
This passage most clearly defines the context in which crowns will be awarded, so it’s a good one to look at first. The Crown of victory is also the one that the Bible has the most to say about because it’s one that every believer can win. Paul used a sports analogy to help us understand the rules for winning so we wouldn’t be confused about how this works.
As in events like the Olympics, winning the Victors crown requires that competitors qualify and then compete. For us, qualifying means being saved, because these crowns are for believers only. Then we go into “strict training” in order to increase our chances for victory. Olympic athletes are not satisfied just to qualify for the games. They want to win the event they qualified for. In the same way Christians should not be satisfied just to be saved, even if it does mean gaining eternal life. That’s just the beginning. We should also want to win crowns. It’s a way to express our gratitude for the gift of salvation and be rewarded at the same time. And in going for this crown we’re not competing against each other, but against our old selves, also called “the flesh”.
Achieving victory means putting the flesh to death; getting rid of our selfish desires, our bad habits and attitudes, and any behavior that puts the Lord to shame. One of the places where the Bible has much to say about what it takes to win this crown is Ephesians 4-6. In fact every one of Paul’s letters to the Church exhorts us to compete for this crown, out of gratitude for what we’ve been given. Gaining victory over the flesh is the best thing we can do to show the Lord how thankful we are that He saved us.
As in all competitive events there’s no penalty for losing, only a reward for winning. And failing to win in one event does not mean that we forfeit rewards legitimately won in others. But we have to win fair and square, (2 Tim. 2:5) and more than anything else, our attitude has to be right. Any thought of recognition or personal gain, or even of making points with the Lord will disqualify us. The only acceptable motive is bringing glory to God. (1 Cor. 3:12-15 & 4:1-5)
If we’re in Christ we’re a new creation in God’s eyes. (2 Cor. 5:17) We’re now royalty in training. Our challenge is to live up to what we’ve already become by acting like who we are in Christ. Those who succeed will receive the Crown of Victory.
The Crown of the Soul Winner
Therefore, my brothers, you whom I love and long for, my joy and crown, that is how you should stand firm in the Lord, dear friends! (Phil. 4:1).
For what is our hope, our joy, or the crown in which we will glory in the presence of our Lord Jesus when he comes? Is it not you? Indeed, you are our glory and joy (1 Thes 2:19).
Paul was happiest when he thought of all the people who had come to the Lord through his teaching, writing, and church planting. And the harvest of his labors has continued unabated through out the entire Church Age. Since there’s no number stated as a qualifier we don’t have to be intimidated by Paul’s unbeatable results. We just have to make the most of every opportunity the Lord brings across our path. And remember, we’re judged here by our effort, not our results. Each person bears the responsibility for his or her own choice regarding salvation. So we don’t have to be argumentative or coercive or manipulative, we just have to make a clear and concise presentation of the gospel and then pray that it’s received. This is the model Paul established for us.
The Crown of Righteousness
Now there is in store for me the crown of righteousness, which the Lord, the righteous Judge, will award to me on that day—and not only to me, but also to all who have longed for his appearing (2 Tim 4:8).
Since our righteousness is derived from our faith, this Crown is not for those whose lives have been the most pure. You can’t get purer than God, whose righteousness has been imputed to us by faith. When we long for the Lord’s return we’re demonstrating our belief that He’s coming for us. We’re not afraid that we won’t measure up but are absolutely certain that when He comes for His Church, we’ll be among those He takes.
A person who depends on the righteousness of his or her own works can only feel either arrogance or fear, not longing. Some are arrogant enough to believe that they deserve entry into Heaven because of their exemplary life. Their pride keeps them from longing for the Lord because they’re getting so much satisfaction from feeling superior. They’re like the Pharisees who looked the Lord right in the eye and chose to rely on their own works rather than His Grace.
Others live in fear that they’ll be rejected at the last minute for some forgotten failure. They don’t long for the Lord because they’re scared to death of being rejected.
Only the one who depends exclusively on God’s Grace can long for the Lord. Since they know we can never measure up, they long for the day when we can no longer fall short.
The Crown of Life
Blessed is the man who perseveres under trial, because when he has stood the test, he will receive the crown of life that God has promised to those who love him. (Jas 1:12)
Do not be afraid of what you are about to suffer. I tell you, the devil will put some of you in prison to test you, and you will suffer persecution for ten days. Be faithful, even to the point of death, and I will give you the crown of life. (Rev 2:10)
This crown is for believers who’ve faced persecution and suffering for the Lord, even to the point of death. We’re familiar with the trials and tribulations of the First and Second Century believers, but even in our time hundreds of believers die for their faith every day, and many more thousands are evicted from their homes, incarcerated, or forced to live in fear for their lives. They will win the Crown of Life.
The Crown of Glory
To the elders among you, I appeal as a fellow elder, a witness of Christ’s sufferings and one who also will share in the glory to be revealed: shepherds of God’s flock that is under your care, serving as overseers—not because you must, but because you are willing, as God wants you to be; not greedy for money, but eager to serve; not lording it over those entrusted to you, but being examples to the flock. And when the Chief Shepherd appears, you will receive the crown of glory that will never fade away. (1 Peter 5:1-4)
Only those who are called into ministry can qualify for this crown. The requirements are clear, and many loyal shepherds of the Lord’s flock will finally get the recognition they so richly deserve. Others, who’ve lorded it over the believers entrusted to their care, or strapped heavy yokes of legalism to their backs, will be forced to stand aside and watch as the Lord rewards those who’ve stayed true to His word.
These are the five crowns listed in the New Testament. Some of us may receive all five of these crowns, but every one of us can qualify to receive at least one. And like I said above, there’s nothing we can do that will bring the Lord more pleasure than to reward us for striving for these crowns. And after all He’s done for us, it doesn’t seem like too much to ask, does it?
Therefore, I urge you, brothers and sisters, in view of God’s mercy, to offer your bodies as a living sacrifice, holy and pleasing to God—this is your true and proper worship (Romans 12:1). Selah 05-26-07