Our earthly assignment is often referred to as the dominion mandate, based on Gen. 3:28. Then God blessed them, and God said to them, “Be fruitful and multiply; fill the earth and subdue it; have dominion over the fish of the sea, over the birds of the air, and over every living thing that moves on the earth.”
God’s Word is “His-story” with mankind from Heaven’s perspective. It reveals the 3 W’s: His will, His ways, and His wants for the human race. It is also the Manufacturer’s Manual for operating on this earth as His Kingdom representatives. It is a picture of the Kingdom of God on earth as it is in Heaven.
Does that sound familiar? It’s the second line of the model prayer Jesus unveiled when the disciples asked Him to teach them how to pray. Prayer is relationship. It is accessing Heaven. It is communion with the Godhead.
What we commonly refer to as “The Lord’s Prayer” reads like a prophetic declaration of God’s timely chronos agenda. Our Father in heaven, hallowed be Your name. Your kingdom come. Your will be done on earth as it is in heaven. Give us day by day our daily bread. And forgive us our sins, for we also forgive everyone who is indebted to us. And do not lead us into temptation, but deliver us from the evil one (Luke 11:1-4).
This model declaration is very telling. It names the Author: Our Father in Heaven. He is not just the Almighty God, He is God the Father—the first Person of the Godhead. It reveals the theme or purpose of the story—His Kingdom come. It hints at the “how” of this assignment—by the Bread of Life (God’s Word) that reveals the power of forgiveness through the blood of Jesus the Son of God. It reveals our individual authority through the name of Jesus to resist the evil one.
The Chronos Lesson: As believers we are graciously delivered from the power of darkness and conveyed into the kingdom of the Son of His love—Jesus Christ our Lord. This is why the true grace message is so important in these times.
The love of God has been poured out in our hearts by the Holy Spirit who was given to us (Rom. 5:5). One of the fruit of the spirit is love. That God-kind of love is within us. When we walk by the Spirit, that love will naturally flow out of us no matter what the world throws at us. We are to respond with love, in grace and truth, and not react in the same way that the world does, stooping to their fallen ways.
If you are a believer, the fruit of the Spirit is already in you. But you have to partake of it in your daily life. You may not feel loving, patient, at peace, joyful, or longsuffering. That’s okay because your spirit isn’t based on feelings; it is based on knowing God and Christ. It is activated when you walk by the spirit instead of the flesh.
For example, if you feel overwhelmed, as if you can’t take it any more, then that is a signal that you’re walking by the flesh instead of the spirit. If you aren’t at peace or joyful, then you’re probably spending more time focused on this world’s news and media than on the Word of God.
Jesus told us in Matt. 28:20 that He is with us until the end of the age. Yet after His resurrection, He left and ascended to Heaven. What gives? God the Father gave us the Holy Spirit to live within every believer. This outpouring of the Spirit is one of the distinguishing kairos traits of this chronos time. It is how Jesus is still with us. In fact, Jesus said that having the Spirit within is far better for us. How? Now we have all access 24-7!
That takes us to the end of the age—this present age that we’re living in, the nearly 2,000 years or two great Days of the “Church Age.” Then what? Then comes the Age to Come, which begins with the rapture. Our Lord takes us back to Father’s House in Heaven as promised, and we are with Him for all eternity. For now, in this age, the way of the Kingdom is to live in such a way that we draw others to the Savior. In the age to come, our assignment will shift to reigning with Christ from above and executing God’s justice over Israel’s enemies and putting all things under His feet (1 Cor. 15:25).
Then God said, “Let Us make man in Our image, according to Our likeness”… So God created man in His own image; in the image of God He created him; male and female He created them (Gen. 1:26a, 27).
On the 6th day a unique relationship was established. God created a man in His image to be His representative on the earth. Because God is love, He created us for His pleasure to be loved and to show His love to others. Because God is just, He created us to also implement His kingdom ways and justice on the earth.
This opening scene speaks to the fundamental questions of humanity. How did we get here? Why are we here? What is the meaning of life? Where are we going? What does the future hold for us? It reveals God’s intentions toward us: He created us to function in His image as god-like guardians over the earth. He placed us in authority under His authority.
To understand this purpose, we need to know what “in His image” means. God is an eternal spirit. This means every person is first and foremost a spirit being—our eternal inner being. Like God, we have a mind that can reason and plan ahead. We can even think about how we think, which no other earthly creature can do. We can also create, although we can only create from the earthly material God provided, whereas He created from nothing.
This other aspect of our “inner man” is called our soul. It also includes our unique personality, emotions, desires, memories, conscience, imagination, and will. The Bible calls these two aspects of our inner being—our spirit and soul—as our heart. It is what “pumps life” through us.
This inner man is contained in a body—our earth suit—that is made from the elements of this planet. It is made mostly of water and dust, which in God’s amazing hands doesn’t turn to mud but is an awesome, intricate design. God pre-designed or predestined us to partake of His nature. That’s not being God, but godlike, walking in godliness (2 Peter 1:1-4). Do you know what it means to be God’s representative? Stay tuned.
The Chronos Lesson: We’re meant to become more and more godly in our daily lives. We do that by increasing in our knowledge of God and Jesus, and walking in that knowledge (2 Peter 1:3-4). We’re destined to look more and more like Jesus. We do that by renewing our soul and mind to the truths in God’s Word (Rom. 12:1-2). When our reborn spirit and our renewed mind are in agreement, then we partake of His divine nature already in us and experience God’s heavenly ways in our earthly lives.
We won’t get it perfect on this side of the rapture because, for now, we see in part (1 Cor. 13:12). Still, we’re instructed to press on toward that high calling in Jesus (Phil. 3:13-15). The good news for now is that as believers, our spirit is sealed for that Day of Redemption.
The hope of our calling is that at the appointed Day, the 7th Day, we shall be perfected. It happens when Jesus comes to gather us together with Him and take us to our prepared place in Father’s House in Heaven—His 2nd coming at the rapture. Then and only then will we be perfectly conformed to His image. “For whom He foreknew, He also predestined to be conformed to the image of His Son, that He might be the firstborn among many brethren” (Rom. 8:29).
Then and only then can we rightly execute God’s vengeance against evil and His righteous judgments against those who have rejected His authority as Creator.
Thank you, Father, that we shall spend eternity with you, and forever be with our Beloved Lord!
Remember the former things of old, for I am God, and there is no other; I am God and there is none like Me, declaring the end from the beginning, and from ancient times things that are not yet done, saying, ‘My counsel shall stand, and I will do all My pleasure…’ (Isaiah 46:9-10).
God declared the “Beginning” at the beginning of THE BOOK—the Bible, the Scriptures, God’s Word. The first book of THE BOOK is called Genesis, which just so happens to mean—you guessed it—“the beginning.” Immediately, we see the Godhead at work.
“In the beginning God created the heavens and the earth. The earth was without form, and void; and darkness was on the face of the deep. And the Spirit of God was hovering over the face of the waters. Then God said…” (Gen. 1:1-3a).
God created by speaking declarations of His Word. John 1:1-4 says Jesus is the Word of God. We see the move of the Spirit releasing God’s power on the earth.
Also immediately, we see a numerical pattern put into place that would resonate across the ages as the basis for God’s predetermined, set lengths of time for His “counsel.” In the Greek wording of the New Testament, these are God’s chronos times. It’s the prophetic shadow of a 7-day pattern.
Chapter 1 describes the six days allotted for the work of the earth and Chapter 2:1-3 sets apart the 7th day as a special day of Sabbath rest. The foundational apostles and the early Church understood this 7-day pattern as God’s prophetic great Week of the plan of redemption. “But, beloved, do not forget this one thing, that with the Lord one Day is as a thousand years, and a thousand years as one Day” (2 Peter 3:8).
Something very powerful and unique happened just prior to the 7th day Sabbath rest. Do you know what it was? Stay tuned.
The Chronos Lesson: God doesn’t change and nothing can change God’s counsel (Malachi 3:6a). His timetable is set. Only God the Creator determines the times and the seasons (Daniel 2:21). That is, only God removes and raises up kings. He gives wisdom only to the wise who seek godly wisdom.
Likewise, Jesus is the same yesterday, today, and tomorrow (Heb. 13:8). If we are in Christ, then we can be steadfast, being rooted and grounded in Him. We don’t have to be blown about by contrary doctrines or shaken by the shenanigans of the world. We can trust God’s chronos timing and His plan.
In the weeks ahead we will be looking at the Big Picture of the Chronos in the Bible. We need to be rooted in God’s Word and centered on Christ the Word.
“Now to the King eternal, immortal, invisible, to God who alone is wise, be honor and glory forever and ever. Amen” (1 Timothy 1:17).
There is a lot of confusion in the world today about the end-times, even in the Church. We are not unlike the two disciples who journeyed from Jerusalem to Emmaus on the day that Jesus was raised from the dead. In the midst of their confusion, they were unknowingly joined by the risen Master.
Luke’s gospel tells us that as they walked together, “Jesus expounded to them in all the Scriptures the things concerning Himself.” When His true identity was revealed at the evening meal, He vanished from their sight. They exclaimed, “Did not our hearts burn within us while He talked with us on the road, and while he opened the Scriptures to us?”
Jesus appeared again later that same evening as more of the disciples were gathered together. Once again, “He opened their understanding that they might comprehend” what was prophesied about Him in the Law of Moses, the Prophets, and the Psalms (Luke 24:13-47). By the day’s end, the disciples were no longer in a state of confusion. They were in agreement concerning what the Scriptures said about His first coming.
Likewise, God’s agenda for this day and hour calls for a similar “opening of our understanding,” only this time, concerning what the Scriptures say about His second coming. This purposeful mission is intended to dispel our confusion concerning the end-times and unify His Bride for the next part of our mission—our heavenly calling.
This new Emmaus Road journey will appear to contain some new perspectives on the end-times. It must be said, however, that although these perspectives may be new to us, these things were commonly taught in the early church. Therefore, this end-time highway of understanding is not a new revelation, but a restoration of light that once burned brightly within the early church. This light was dimmed as the centuries passed. But the time has come for the light to dawn upon us again, only with even greater intensity than ever before.
It’s time to: “Prepare the way of the Lord; make straight in the desert a highway for our God.
Every valley shall be exalted and every mountain and hill brought low; the crooked places shall be made straight and the rough places smooth; the glory of the Lord shall be revealed, and all flesh shall see it together; for the mouth of the Lord has spoken” (Isaiah 40:3-5).
The calling to participate in this highway of truth has become the consuming passion of Chronos Ministries. We believe it will be the catalyst for one last great move of God on the earth through the Church before Jesus returns.
Chronos is the New Testament Greek word that refers to the chronological passage of time. In prophecy, it denotes a prophetic set time leading up to the fulfillment of a future prophetic event so marked by God. Jesus told us multiple times that He would come at the last Day to raise us up (the rapture). The last Day is the 7th Day in God’s prophetic great Week. We are nearing the end of the 6th Day.
Hebrews 10:25 says we are to see that Day—the 7th Day—approaching. Have your eyes been opened yet to understand God’s agenda and His chronos timing?
If you are in Christ, you can have this hope—the hope of your calling. One of the realities of the rapture is that every person who is in Christ shall be changed, first the dead in Christ and then we who are alive when He comes. In the preface of Jeff’s book, Rapture Realities, Jeff shares a personal note about this reality. I want to share it with you here.
During the year in which this manuscript was written, my mother suffered a stroke from which she did not recover. Even though the stroke occurred in January of 2011, she did not pass away until the 14th of June in the same year. The stroke seriously affected her short-term memory such that, occasionally, she would forget who my wife and I were. Nevertheless, God blessed us immeasurably by allowing her to stay in our home for her final three months.
One Sunday morning, about a month before her passing, she was in her room lying on her bed, when the house seemed to be filled with a reverential presence. The TV was not on and the house was peacefully quiet. There was a holy hush in the house, so much so that my wife and I both wondered if this might be her last day. It seemed like she was edging close to the other side that morning.
As I peeked into her room to check on her, her eyes brightened, and she playfully asked, “so watcha doing?” I casually replied, “Oh, nothing much.” She pondered my reply for a moment, and then abruptly responded, “You should write a book!”
The Lord had dealt with me several years earlier about writing a three-book series about His return. I had already finished the first book originally called, The Chronos Agenda, but I was sure that she didn’t remember ever reading it due to the stroke. I was already in the middle of writing this second book.
Startled, I asked her, “What in the world made you say that?” With a quizzical look on her face she said, “I don’t know. It just popped into my head to say it.” I told her that I was actually in the process of writing a book, but that it wasn’t finished yet. Again, she thought for a moment, and sounding something like Shirley Temple, chirped back, “Then I will read it when I get to Heaven!”
That brief exchange affected me profoundly. The poise of her spirit and the tone of her voice that day did not remind me of my mother. There was something unusual about the way she spoke. There was a child-like joy in her voice that was disarming. Later I wondered, “Is such a thing even possible? Do people up there actually read the works of believers from this realm?”
Then I reasoned within myself. “If such a thing is even remotely possible, I better make sure that this book contains no ill thoughts or earthly contamination. My policy should be: if it cannot be said up there, then it should not be said down here either. I pray that I have not strayed from that policy in the pages of this book.
There is a special grant of revelation in his hour with respect to our Lord’s coming, similar to what the two disciples experienced on the road to Emmaus. It was as they walked and reasoned together that the resurrected Christ, though unbeknown to them at the time, joined them and proceeded to open their minds to all that the Scriptures said about Him. I believe that this Emmaus-bound Stranger is doing the same thing today, only with respect to end-time prophecy and His second coming.
A final word regarding my mother (and my father who preceded her to Heaven) years ago: During my childhood, they acquired a piece of art depicting Christ with the two disciples on the road to Emmaus. The picture hung on our living room wall throughout all those years. At the time, I barely noticed it. Fast forward many years, when I set my hand to write these books, and it seemed that my wife and I were joined by another Stranger along the way. I can now testify that His insightful presence has changed everything. As for the picture, we had it re-framed. It now hangs in a prominent place in our home. I think you will see why when you read the pages that follow!
You can download a free copy of Rapture Realities from our website. That which we freely received we now freely offer to any who desire to have their own Emmaus Road journey with the Lord.
The Apostle Paul opens Romans 11 with this bold statement: “I say then, has God cast away His people? Certainly not!” Paul goes on to show us God’s loving and just nature by explaining God’s plan in verses 11-12. “I say then, have they stumbled that they should fall? Certainly not! But through their fall, to provoke them to jealousy, salvation has come to the Gentiles. Now if their fall is riches for the world, and their failure riches for the Gentiles, how much more their fullness!”
What does this have to do with our current series about restoring end-time terms and concepts?
In the last blog we saw how Jacob wrestled with God because of our human tendency to want to justify ourselves with our own works or human strides. We will always fall short. That’s why grace is a crucial message in these last of the last Days.
In Jesus’ ground-breaking teaching about His coming at the rapture, known as the Olivet Discourse, He made a declaration that stunned the disciples. “Assuredly, I say to you, not one stone shall be left here upon another, that shall not be thrown down.” He was referring to their beloved Temple. Hearkening back to Daniel 12, He declared the desolation and the beginning of sorrows as the signs of this present age. To the Church, it was the beginning of the tribulation of those Days. To the Jews it was known as the time of Jacob’s Trouble.
When Jesus made that declaration, something happened in the spiritual realm. The archangel Michael, the chief prince assigned to Israel stood still. He had to hearken to God’s Word as spoken by the Messiah (Ps. 103:20). He had to stand by and do nothing when the Romans laid siege to Jerusalem. He had to stand still when the Temple was destroyed from within by the Jewish people in 70 AD.
Choices always have consequence. Yet God was able to use the Jew’s rejection of Jesus to bring about His divine will. Although He had to allow the natural branch (the Jews) to be cut off, it allowed the Gospel to be extended to the Gentiles (the wild branch). Paul reminds us that the Jews were not cut off or cast away permanently, as some scholars teach despite what Romans 11 declares. They shall be restored at the appointed time.
If you have been following these blogs, you know that the appointed time coincides with the rapture of the Church. Our being gathered in plain sight for all the world to see opens the eyes of Jacob, who then declares Jesus as the Messiah. The natural branch is thereby grafted back in. Hosea 6 refers to this as Israel’s 3rd Day revival.
Daniel 12:1 describes what will happen. Young’s Literal Translation of the Bible preserves the tense and word usage found in the original Hebrew (Old Testament) and Greek (New Testament) writings. The extremely literal translation is not exactly easy to read, but it does accurately record what the prophecy said would happen.
“And at that time stand up doth Michael, the great head, who is standing up for the sons of thy people [Daniel’s people—the Jews], and there hath been a time of distress, such as hath not been since there hath been a nation till that time, and at that time do thy people escape, every one who is found written in the book.”
The book is the Book of Life, which is the basis for God’s final judgment—if you are in Christ, then your name is in the Book of Life. The unparalleled time of distress is that of Jacob’s Trouble that spans Days 5 and 6 of God’s great Week. How do they escape?
You may recall from earlier blogs that when Jesus comes to gather His Body, the Church, His Bride at the rapture, He literally stands on the Mount of Olives. It causes an earthquake that splits the mountain, thereby making a way of escape for the remnant of Jews who are now our fellow saints in the Lord (Zech. 14:4-6). Note that Zechariah gives the same final sign before Christ’s return—total darkness over the whole earth. In short, our 3rd Day resurrection triggers Israel’s 3rd Day acceptance.
So far in our video series on restoring the end-time terms and concepts, we’ve looked at Jesus’ before and after statements concerning the tribulation. We’ve seen that the various terms such as the beginning of sorrows, the tribulation, the six seals of Revelation, and the great tribulation are all synonyms that describe the same period of birth pains surrounding the Church Age.
Here we will look at another synonym that looks at this same time period from a different perspective—that of the Jewish nation. It’s called the time of Jacob’s Trouble. The word for trouble in Hebrew refers to feminine distress. So how do we find a male name (Jacob) tied to feminine distress?
We’ll answer that question with another question from Jer. 30:6. “Ask now, and see, whether a man is ever in labor with child?” Unheard of, you say! Yes, and that is the point. The Holy Spirit is shocking us with an unusual situation to alert us to pay attention. “So why do I see every man with his hands on his loins like a woman in labor, and all faces turned pale?” In short, Jacob is in trouble, distress, and pain—the kind that leads to a birth.
Jesus explained that this time of trouble for Jacob would begin with the destruction of the beloved Temple. It occurred in 70 AD when the Romans laid siege to Jerusalem and not one stone was left upon another. They were scattered among the nations (what is historically called the Diaspora). The trouble continues to our current time. Even though they have returned to the Promised Land as a nation, they still reject Jesus, the Way, the Truth, and the Life.
So why does the Holy Spirit use the name Jacob, whose offspring became the 12 tribes that would become the nation of Israel? You may recall that Jacob, the grandson of Abraham, supplanted Esau as the heir apparent of the lineage of Israel, and wrestled with God all night (Gen. 32:24-30). It was a poignant struggle for it prophetically pointed to this same time period that precedes the Day of the Lord and Christ’s coming.
Jacob’s dark period of wrestling with God and rejecting the Messiah would end at daybreak with a blessing. God changed his name to Israel—literally, one who wrestles with God. Likewise, Jacob’s period of darkness in this age will end at Daybreak, at the dawn of the last Day, which is the Day of the Lord.
The heavens will scroll back to reveal Jesus Christ seated next to God’s throne. Jacob’s remnant will finally recognize Jesus as the Messiah. They will rend their hearts and turn to the Lord. It will be their 3rd Day revival as prophesied (Hosea 6:1-3)—“His going forth is established as the morning.”
So what does this have to do with feminine distress as a woman in labor? Birth pains ramp up big time when a woman goes into the transitional stage. Or in this case, when Jacob doubles over in pain. As this age comes to a close, the nation will think they are dwelling in relative peace and safety due to their military prowess. Then suddenly destruction shall come upon them (1 Thess. 5:3). It’s the initial invasion of the Antichrist and his coalition of armies just before the Day of the Lord.
The invasion will come to a screeching halt when God turns out the celestial lights as the final sign of this present age. The Day of the Lord will dawn with a birth—the rapture of the Church that is birthed from death to live forevermore with Jesus Christ as the New Man. Our resurrection triggers their acceptance of Christ.
The revived Jewish remnant, who are now part of the redeemed, experience their latter rain outpouring of the Spirit, which empowers them to go forth as mighty men in the Day of battle. For the first 3½ years of the final 1,000-year Day of God’s prophetic Week brings the last 3½ years of Daniel’s 70th Week prophecy, including the final war for Jerusalem. Needless to say, they shall prevail, compliments of the raptured Church now seated as the heavenly court.
Jacob’s transgressions have ended. They are now part of the redeemed. The bottom line is this: the time of Jacob’s Trouble is another synonym of the tribulation of those Days—Days 5 and 6 of the prophetic Week—from the perspective of the Jews. For nearly 2,000 years they have wrestled with God after rejecting the Messiah. But when the Day of the Lord comes and they accept Jesus as their Savior, they shall receive the Daybreak blessing of being children of God and part of the family of the redeemed.
In our video series we’ve been restoring the end-time terms and concepts based on what Jesus taught in the Olivet Discourse (Matt. 24, Mark 13, and Luke 21). We’ve learned that the Great Tribulation, the beginning of sorrows, and the tribulation of those Days are all synonyms for the events that unfold during the Church Age. That is, Days 5 and 6 in God’s prophetic great Week when counting from Adam.
In short, Jesus told us what would happen throughout this age. He gave us the specific signs leading up to the end of this age (the end of Day 6) and therefore His coming at the dawn of the 7th Day or last Day. It is called the Day of the Lord.
The idea that Jesus would be crucified and ascend back to Heaven to bring salvation to those who would receive the free gift was mind blowing as it was. To add the fact that He would remain at Father’s throne for an extended period before returning at the appointed time would have been information overload beyond compare. Jesus knew that the Holy Spirit would need to guide His disciples into these truths.
When Jesus appeared to John in a vision, as recorded in the book of Revelation, Jesus made sure to offer a quick review before elaborating on what would happen after His return at the rapture. Revelation is basically the rest of the story.
Our focus here is what Jesus showed John in the quick review. It parallels what He taught in the Olivet Discourse. In Revelation 6, He shows us six seals. The first four are what we call the four horsemen of the apocalypse. They are four evil spirits under Satan’s dominion who unleash four seals on the earth.
John records the sixth seal this way. “I looked when He opened the sixth seal, and behold, there was a great earthquake; and the sun became black as sackcloth of hair, and the moon became like blood. And the stars of heaven fell to the earth, as a fig tree drops its late figs when it is shaken by a mighty wind.”
Jesus described this final sign this way. “Immediately after the tribulation of those days the sun will be darkened, and the moon will not give its light; the stars will fall from heaven, and the powers of the heavens will be shaken.”
The descriptions are the same. In effect, Revelation 6 gives us a fourth “gospel” account of the signs of this age. It doesn’t get any clearer than this. The Church has always existed in the tribulation of those Days.
The beginning of sorrows and the tribulation culminate in what are called birth pains. When a pregnant woman moves into the latter stage of her pregnancy, the birth pains increase. They signal that a birth is about to happen. In this case, the rapture of the Church, seated as the heavenly court—with glorified immortal bodies, fully perfected and conformed to Christ. For only in Christ are we able to stand before the throne of God and execute the shaking of the heavens and earth in righteous judgment.
Acts 17:10-15 describes Paul’s encounter with the Bereans of Asia Minor. The NIV says they had “noble character.” The NKJV says they were “fair-minded.” Why did Paul commend them so? Because they didn’t take his words at face value just because Paul said them. They searched the Scriptures for themselves to make sure that what Paul taught lined up with God’s Word.
In other words, they didn’t just accept anything they were told. They didn’t just parrot what others said. They wanted to know what God’s Word actually said. That’s a noble and worthy practice. Not following their example is a major reason why there is so much confusion concerning the end-times and Christ’s return.
It’s the same practice we use when we make the Spirit-inspired connections between the prophecies concerning the coming of the Son of Man. It’s the same practice we use when we uncover the biblical definitions of end-time terms.
It is as if the Church has been bound up in barbed wire when it comes to Christ’s return. The Word has been twisted and distorted by the false concept of a future 7-year tribulation. For instance, do we see any of the scriptural terms about the future Antichrist in Jesus’ Olivet Discourse, when He gave us the signs of the end of this age and His subsequent coming? No. Yet so many cling to this twisted concept.
Sadly, many in the Church can’t bear such confusion and division because it doesn’t make sense to them. In reality, they have enough sense to recognize that this can’t be God’s will because He is not the author of confusion. All they can do is give up on understanding the times and what Scripture says about Christ’s coming. They want to know, but they don’t know how to watch.
It’s been said that we can see the setup for the Tribulation all around us now. Really? Jesus told us in His teaching on the rapture that the tribulation would be a distinguishing trait of the nearly two thousand years of the existence of the Church! That’s why Jesus warned us that we would be hated by all nations (Matt. 24:9). It’s not a future event. The Church has been living in it all this time!
Jesus told us that the last sign we would see before He comes again is total celestial darkness. The Gospel records confirm that this impossible-to-miss event signals His return at the Day of the Lord. It is the Day we are looking for. We don’t have to wonder when it will come because Jesus also told us it is the last Day of God’s prophetic great Week. The last and 7th Day is the Day of our Redemption. It doesn’t get any clearer than that—unless, of course, you want to twist God’s Word and add or subtract from it.
It’s time to lay to rest our inadequate man-made terms. We need not mourn them, but we do pay our respects. They at least kept the idea of our Lord’s return before the eyes of many generations of believers. But the views fell short. Let’s just bow our heads and say, “May they rest in peace.” It’s time to lay hold of the biblical truth, as did the Bereans.
It’s been said that the early Church wasn’t concerned about the rapture. Really? Then why did Paul feel it was so necessary to write two letters about it? And why did Peter caution believers about scoffers in the end-times? Knowing that his time was short, Peter wanted to make sure the Church remembered the one thing they should not forget about our Lord’s coming. That is, God’s prophetic timetable of seven 1,000-year great Days (2 Peter 3:3-13).
His biggest concern was not the tribulation. How could this be? Because Peter and the rest of the disciples came to understand that the tribulation would be a long event. It started pretty much after Jesus’ resurrection. That’s why John referred to himself as “our brother and companion in the tribulation and kingdom and patience of Jesus Christ” (Rev. 1:9, emphasis added).
So how did we get so many views about the timing of Christ’s return when Jesus gave us the before and after set-up we highlighted in the previous blog? Muddied linguistics. In recent centuries, the term tribulation started to be redefined. As we said earlier, it started with a misinterpretation of two verses in Daniel 9.
Like a snowball rolling down a mountainside, it picked up more momentum simply by being repeated over and over. The snowball was set in motion because the Church forgot the one thing Peter told us to not forget and never fail to consider—the great Week as the prophetic basis of Christ’s return.
The extended nature of the tribulation that Jesus taught was lost in an avalanche of tribulation terms that cannot be found anywhere in Scripture (e.g. pre-trib, post-trib, mid-trib, and mid-wrath). That should have been our first clue that mankind had added to God’s Word, despite the direct warning in Rev. 22:18-19 not to do so.
The Holy Spirit must have known this would happen because He gave us four replays of the same event—the signs Jesus taught so that we could see the Day approaching AND the chronos timing of His return. They are recorded in Matthew 24, Luke 21, Mark 13, and Rev. 6. The sequence of events is the same. Yet the Spirit directed the writers to use slightly different terms for the same event that would make sense to the specific audience they were addressing.
The same extended event was called the tribulation, the great tribulation, the beginning of sorrows, birth pains, and the seals. When Peter addressed the scoffers, he didn’t apologize for the delay. He didn’t say that he thought it was still going to happen but he wasn’t really sure when. No, he linked it to God’s prophetic timetable.
Jesus told us He would return on the last Day. He said it four times in John 6:39, 40, 44, 54. When we forget or purposely ignore the great Week, then we strip Jesus’ words of any meaning. It becomes an ambiguous any day sometime in the future. We are left in confusion because we have no shared meaning.
Think about it. How can is be the last 24-hour day if the sun is still there and the earth still exists? They have to be there to fit all the other events described in the various tribulation views. Without shared meaning, we have no way to move in union with God’s plan. Our light is dimmed. The world laughs in derision because we can’t event agree among ourselves.
When we stick to the written Word of God, what Jesus taught in the Olivet Discourse, and the Spirit’s inspired terms, we have both the scriptural kairos signs and the chronos times to ensure that we have the full, complete view of that Day. We lose nothing of the hope of our calling. And, more importantly, we don’t negate Jesus’ promise that His Body is not appointed unto the wrath of that Day (1 Thess. 5:9).
Using the scriptural terms, the rapture comes after the extended time of the tribulation—the nearly 2,000 years of the Church Age (Days 5 & 6 in God’s great Week when counting from Adam). Yet it comes before the snare of that Day which is God’s wrath and vengeance against evil that is unleashed through the trumpet/bowl judgments.
Jesus told us the final sign before His coming—total darkness over the entire earth at one time. Then the whole earth would see Him coming in the clouds to gather His Church on the last Day, the Day of the Lord. It is the 7th Day when counting from Adam, and the 3rd Day when counting from Christ. It is the Day of Christ. In effect, it is when the post-trib and the pre-wrath views become one view, as recorded in God’s Word. It doesn’t get any clearer than that!