In the last few blogs we have seen the connection between our 3rd-Day resurrection and Israel’s 3rd-Day revival at the start of the 7th Day, the Day of the Lord. We’ve seen that first the final invasion of Israel by the Antichrist and his coalition of Middle Eastern kingdoms has to happen. Then God turns out the lights, temporarily halting the invasion, as the final sign of this age (the 6th Day). God rends the heavens, and the whole world sees Christ coming to gather His Bride and take us back to Father’s House.
When Christ comes and physically stands on the Mt. of Olives, His presence causes an earthquake, making a way of escape for the now redeemed Jews. Infuriated, the Antichrist makes war with them for a time, times, and half a time (3½ years). This is confirmed in Revelation 12. Revelation 13:2 describes the Antichrist as the beast: “Now the beast which I saw was like a leopard, his feet were like the feet of a bear, and his mouth like the mouth of a lion. The dragon gave him his power, his throne, and great authority.”
Once again, the Spirit-inspired wording captures our attention. This description comes from Daniel 7, which just so “happens” to include this same poetic time frame and a pompous big mouth speaking blasphemies against God.
Daniel 7 is an example of how prophecy often gives us two views of the same event. The first is like going up a ladder in order to get a better view of the whole scene. We get to see the end to give us a better perspective. Then we go back down the ladder, following the same sequence of steps. Only this time, we get more details about the event.
In a nutshell, the vision shows us the rise of the Antichrist toward the end of this age (vs. 1-8). It also shows us the demise of the Antichrist (vs. 11-14). In between, we're shown an awesome scene. We see the Ancient of Days—the eternal God Almighty—and His throne, which looks like a fiery flame. It’s wheels look like a burning fire. A mess of angels are placing a mess of thrones before the throne of God just before we see the demise of the Antichrist.
Naturally, we have to ask: Why are we seeing these thrones at this point in the sequence—in between the rise and the demise of the Antichrist? Who are going to sit on these thrones? Hopefully by now, you know that we don’t have to guess. God always gives us the answer to such symbolic references either in the context close by or elsewhere in His Book. This time around, we don’t have to go searching; He tells us in verse 10. The thrones are for the court who is to be seated. When the court is seated, the books are opened.
That’s the overview. As we “go back down the ladder” in the second half of the vision, we see what opening the books releases. The beast (the Antichrist) is slain and his body is destroyed in the Lake of Fire, just as Revelation revealed.
So what do the books contain that brings such a result? Acts 17:30-31 clues us in. “Truly, these times of ignorance God overlooked, but now commands all men everywhere to repent, because He has appointed a day on which He will judge the world in righteousness by the Man whom He has ordained. He has given assurance of this to all by raising Him from the dead.” The books list the lawless deeds and ungodly rebellious actions of the oppressive times of the Gentiles.
Notice who gets to bring the righteous judgments. The Man. How does the Man gain this position? By being raised from the dead, overcoming death through resurrection. So if the Man has this position, then why are the angels so busy placing so many thrones in the throne room of God? Because the Man includes Jesus Christ the Head of the Church and His Body, His Bride, united together as One at the rapture.
You see, the books cannot be opened until all the heirs are seated. The will and testimonies cannot be “read aloud” until the immortal government is seated in the place of all authority in Heaven and over the earth. In short, we’re seeing the whole purpose of the rapture: the seating of the heavenly court. As for the whirling wheels and fiery stream? Stay tuned.
The power of the Spirit-inspired connections in Scriptures enables us to piece together the significant sequence of end-time events. We know that in 1 Thessalonians 4 and 5 Paul gave us four strategic features concerning Christ’s coming: (1) the resurrection of the Body of Christ; (2) the harpazo gathering (rapture) when we receive our immortal bodies; (3) this is tied completely to the start of the last Day, which is the Day of the Lord; and (4) just before that Day dawns, Israel is invaded by the Antichrist and his armies, which is described as labor pains coming suddenly.
Whenever we see any one of these four traits, we can know by extension that the passage is talking about the other three traits as well. Using these connections, we’ve been able to see that when Jesus comes to gather us, He literally descends and stands on the Mt. of Olives, splitting the mountain and making a way of escape for the Jews. We’ve seen that we do not remain on the earth, but ascend back to Heaven with Jesus to begin the ruling declarations that release the wrath of that Day. We’ve seen that this treading operation, which we’ve dubbed Operation Consume and Destroy, covers the first 3½ years of Christ’s 1,000-year reign over the earth.
So now let’s look at some more connections in order to pick up what is happening back on the earth. Joel 2 describes the coming of the Day of the Lord from Israel’s perspective. From the strategic connections, we know they are being invaded by the Antichrist’s coalition of armies. We should expect to see God turn out the lights to stop the invasion—which is exactly what we see in verse 10.
God speaks to His people in verses 11-12, telling them to rend their hearts and repent. Facing another Red-Sea moment, Isaiah 64:1-3 tells us what the people do. They call out to God to rend the heavens and come down so that the mountains shake at His presence, as He did at Mt. Sinai with Moses. He obliges with a repeat performance—sort of. He rends the heavens and they see Jesus seated at the right hand of the Father. Then He stands and comes to earth. It is Jesus’ presence that shakes the mountain. And they finally recognize Jesus as the Son of God. They finally cry out collectively, “Blessed is He who comes in the name of the Lord!”
So what does this have to do with Hosea’s mystery? Hosea prophesied about this very moment (Hosea 6:1-2). “Come, and let us return to the Lord; for He has torn, but He will heal us; He has stricken, but He will bind us up. After two Days He will revive us; on the third Day He will raise us up, that we may live in His sight.”
From the Day code connections, we know that the two Days that they are stricken are the 2,000 years of the Church Age, when the natural branch of Israel is cut off and the Gospel is extended to the Gentile nations. But when the 3rd Day comes (which is the last of the last Days), they shall be revived and grafted back into the Vine, receiving Christ as the Savior.
They are reborn through faith in the blood of Jesus and they have new life in Christ. The offspring of the Woman (Rev. 12:17) are now saints (Rev. 13:7; Dan. 7:18, 21-22, 25). The word “saint” simple means being set apart by God. They are set apart to God once more, even though they have missed out on being part of the Body of Christ because they did not believe until they saw Him.
So are they raised up to Heaven as well? No, both Joel and Isaiah tell us that they remain on the earth. You see, they have a new assignment. They become the natural head of the nations, representing Christ on the earth and preaching the Gospel to all the nations. They will, however, be raised up at the end of the 3rd Day at the final great white throne judgment.
As the firstfruits resurrection, the Church, His Bride, are raised up at the start of the 3rd Day. In a sense, our 3rd Day resurrection triggers Israel’s 3rd Day revival. Our 3rd Day seating as the immortal government releases divine intercession that empowers them to overcome their oppressors and protects them from the wrath of that Day.
“For I do not desire, brethren, that you should be ignorant of this mystery, lest you should be wise in your own opinion, that blindness in part has happened to Israel until the fullness of the Gentiles has come in. And so all Israel will be saved, as it is written: ‘The Deliverer will come out of Zion, and He will turn away ungodliness from Jacob; for this is My covenant with them, when I take away their sins’ ” (Romans 11:25-27).
In an earlier blog we said that the first crooked place that needs to be made clear is the purpose of His coming. The purpose of His second coming is to gather His Bride to Him and take us back to our prepared place and our future calling. His coming is when we are resurrected at the rapture.
“For this we say to you by the word of the Lord, that we who are alive and remain until the coming of the Lord will by no means precede those who are asleep. For the Lord Himself will descend from heaven with a shout, with the voice of an archangel, and with the trumpet of God. And the dead in Christ will rise first. Then we who are alive and remain shall be caught up together with them in the clouds to meet the Lord in the air. And thus we shall always be with the Lord” (1 Thess. 3:15-17).
We know from the scriptural connections we’ve been making that we shall see the final sign of this age of celestial darkness over the whole earth as the 6th Day in God’s prophetic great Week ends. When the 7th Day (the last Day) dawns, we shall see our Lord coming in the clouds. We know this glorious Day is also called the Day of the Lord.
In His teaching about the end of this age and His coming known as the Olivet Discourse, Jesus told us to “watch therefore, and pray always that you may be counted worthy to escape all these things that will come to pass, and to stand before the Son of Man” (Luke 21:36). We’re to watch so that this Day doesn’t come upon us unawares or as a snare (vs. 34-35).
So why did Jesus say to watch when we know when that Day shall come? We know it happens 2,000 years after His baptism for ministry when He was 30 years old. Hebrews 10:25 reminds us that we can “see the Day approaching.”
The Greek word for “watch” here means to be awake, both physically and spiritually. It means to be spiritually aware of how God is moving. The Greek word for “pray” here is in the middle voice, which means to bind oneself to—another reminder for us to be knit together to His will. The phrase to “be counted worthy” means to be deemed entirely deserving. It means we know who we are in Christ, in right-standing with God through the blood of Jesus. We are righteous in Christ by faith. The word for “escape” here means to vanish away by overcoming strength, as we are changed in a twinkling of an eye.
Notice where we end up: standing before the Son of Man. The Greek word for “stand” here is to abide, to make our appointment, our covenant relationship. We are not kneeling or bowing, but standing with Christ as joint heirs in the presence of God!
Yet the scene doesn’t stop there. Daniel 7:9-10 gives us another view of this scene. “I watched till thrones were put in place, and the Ancient of Days [God the Creator] was seated; His garment was white as snow, and the hair of His head was like pure wool. His throne was a fiery flame, its wheels a burning fire; a fiery stream issued and came forth from before Him. A thousand thousands ministered to Him; ten thousand times ten thousand stood before Him. The court was seated, and the books were opened.”
In case you’re wondering, the raptured Bride is the thousand thousands and the ten thousand times ten thousand standing before our Father God. And yes, we are the heavenly court, the immortal government for whom the many, many thrones were put in place.
This is our next assignment, and the ultimate purpose of the rapture. We release the ruling judgments that defeat the Antichrist and bring God’s vengeance against Satan and all evil. So do you see who you are yet? Do you see the Day approaching? Is it changing how you respond to the news of our times? Does it change your priorities? Does it give you boldness to share your faith with others? Watch therefore!
We’ve been taking the analogy of the prophetic puzzle pieces scattered throughout God’s Word one step further to ensure that we build the actual biblical view and not our pet view or someone else’s view. We’ve learned that no single prophecy shows the whole scene.
We have to somehow make the right connections. How? By looking for key words and phrases, and symbolic metaphors that the Holy Spirit intentionally placed in God’s Word. These connections enable us to find the related pieces that reveal an event or scene in the end-time picture. We learned that Paul gave us the four strategic features in 1 Thess. 4 and 5 concerning Christ’s coming.
We connected the common key words, phrases, and symbolic metaphors—such as a pregnant woman experiencing birth pains—with Revelation 12, Zechariah 14, and similar passages in Jeremiah and Joel to identify that we see the rise of the Antichrist first, then the final sign of this age of total celestial darkness, and then Christ coming to rapture the Church as the last Day dawns.
In Revelation 12, we see the rapture and then we see Jesus ascending again, only this time He is not alone as at His first ascension nearly 2,000 years ago. This time Jesus does not ascend as the first born from the dead but as the firstborn among many brethren. That is, as the One New Man with Jesus as the Head and the Body of Christ, His Church, as His body, the fullness of Him. This is the harpazo event.
So what is the purpose of this harpazo event? Christ comes down to Mt. Zion, splitting the mountain to make a way of escape for the newly revived Jews. In that prepared place in the wilderness, they are fed for 1,260 days (3½ years). But it doesn’t end there.
We are caught up to the throne of God with power over the nations as joint-heirs, ruling over them with a rod of iron, as kings and priests. It is the fulfillment of our heavenly calling, as the heavenly Esther born for such a time as this to spoil the evil plot of Haman against her people. If you recall, when He comes in that Day and we are raptured, the Jews finally see Jesus as the Messiah.
We see the same literal coming down to the mountain, only to ascend back to God’s throne in Heaven to complete our next assignment in the age to come. The 7th Day or last Day is also Christ’s millennial reign over the earth. The first 3½ years of this 1,000-year Day of the Lord brings the destruction of the Antichrist and his evil forces. It begins gradually with the first 6 trumpets, like the plagues Moses brought against Pharaoh. And then this treading operation strikes suddenly with total destruction—the 7th trumpet. The Antichrist’s career is done, and it was short-lived, as was Jesus’ earthly ministry.
Our reigning with Christ begins with this successful treading operation. This, in turn, brings the restoration of the kingdom to Israel. They finally dwell in true safety and peace. They serve as the natural head of the earthly nations, as directed by the heavenly court above.
If you’ve been paying close attention, you have probably realized that every word in Scripture is intentional and significant. Now, perhaps, Ephesians 1:21 will make more sense when it tells us that Jesus has been given a name “far above all principality and power and might and dominion, and every name that is named, not only in this age but also in that which is to come.”
Why are these scriptural connections so important? They show us that we no longer have to cling to a secret sort-of-coming at any moment to assure us that we escape the wrath of that Day, the mark of the beast, and the command to worship the beast. We are raised up at the start of the Day of the Lord to execute God’s judgments—that wrath—against the Antichrist and his evil forces.
We still are taken to our prepared place in Heaven to reign as joint-heirs with Christ. We reign from above, from the position of all power and authority. That reigning begins with treading, which brings the downfall of the Antichrist and the False Prophet, as they are cast into the Lake of Fire. His armies are killed and devoured at the Supper of the Great God.
In other words, we lose nothing concerning our future hope in Christ when we make the complete scriptural connections. The counterfeit one-world order is still crushed, compliments of our heavenly ruling judgments. The original calling of the Jews still comes to pass, as they are regrafted into the Vine. The promise to King David is still fulfilled as the kingdom is restored to Israel and Jerusalem becomes the praise of the earth.
The evil plot of the modern-day “Haman” against the Jews is still foiled, and he is felled by his own devises. We get the privilege of saving “our people” just like Esther did for such a time as this. We don’t come back to this earth, for we rule from above for the rest of the 1,000 years. Instead, we come back at the end of the ages as the City, the New Jerusalem, to the new heavens and earth, to the Marriage Supper of the Lamb.
[For a more in-depth look at the connections summarized here, check out our video on our Chronos Messenger YouTube channel entitled, “Connections: Down to the Mountain…Up to the Throne.”]
Which comes first in the end-time sequence of events—the invasion of Israel or the rapture? Let’s start with Paul’s foundational teaching on the end-times in 1 Thess. 5:1-5, which connects the rapture described in 1 Thess. 4:15-18 with the Day of the Lord.
But concerning the times and the seasons, brethren, you have no need that I should write to you. For you yourselves know perfectly that the day of the Lord so comes as a thief in the night. For when they say, “Peace and safety!” then sudden destruction comes upon them, as labor pains upon a pregnant woman. And they shall not escape. But you, brethren, are not in darkness, so that this Day should overtake you as a thief. You are all sons of light and sons of the day. We are not of the night nor of darkness.”
We have two pronouns—they and you. Sudden destruction comes upon the “they,” as well as labor pains, and they shall not escape. From other prophetic passages about the end-times, we know the “they” refers to Israel. The “you” are called brethren, sons of the light, and of the Day. That destruction doesn’t overtake the brethren, for they know how that Day comes. The “you” are the believers.
The “thief in the night” aspect of that Day implies that Israel is not expecting it. They’re thinking peace and safety, despite all of the prophets’ warning about the coming of the Day of the Lord upon Israel. The phrase is also a reminder of the final sign Jesus said we would see that signals the end of this age and the coming of the age to come at the Day of the Lord. That is, total celestial darkness across the whole world at once.
So now we have a few Holy Spirit-inspired key phrases that we can use to look for the scriptural connections. Joel was one of the prophets who warned about the coming of the Day of the Lord. Joel 1:15 declares: “Alas for the Day! For the Day of the Lord is at hand; it shall come as destruction from the Almighty.” Joel 2 adds that the inhabitants of the land tremble because it is “a day of clouds and thick darkness, like the morning clouds spread over the mountains.”
At first we might assume that Joel is talking about the final sign. But we can’t make assumptions. We have to stick to what we see in the Scriptures. “A people come, great and strong, the like of whom has never been.” It’s the invasion of the Antichrist and his coalition of Middle Eastern armies invading Israel. No wonder the people writhe as if in labor or birth pains.
These key phrases connect to another prophet’s warning. Jeremiah 30:5-7 also prophesies about this Day. “We have heard a voice of trembling, of fear, and not of peace. Ask now, and see, whether a man is ever in labor with child? So why do I see every man with his hands on his loins like a woman in labor, and all faces turned pale? Alas! For that Day is great, so that none is like it; and it is the time of Jacob’s trouble, but he shall be saved out of it.”
So what we are seeing is the initial invasion of Israel as this age is coming to a close. We know from what Jesus taught in the Olivet Discourse that the final sign we see as this age ends is the celestial signs of darkness in the sun, moon and stars. Not surprisingly, that is exactly what we see next in Joel 2:10.
Verse 11 describes God’s response. We are the camp that executes God’s Word—Christ the Head and His Body as the heavenly immortal government. As the 7th Day dawns, the Day of the Lord, He comes and takes us back to Heaven. We are resurrected and perfected in the rapture, and seated at the throne.
Verse 12 is a call to repentance for His people, the Jews. Having seen Jesus come to gather His Church, the Jews finally recognize Him as the Messiah. Our heavenly declarations now include protection and deliverance for our new brothers and sisters in the Lord. They receive the latter rain outpouring of the Spirit, which turns them into mighty men of valor.
We now have our answer. The initial invasion of the Antichrist comes first. It is halted abruptly when God turns out the lights as the final sign of this age. The age to come dawns with His coming and the rapture. We rule from the throne of God, putting all our enemies underfoot. For the earth is His footstool (Psalm 110:1).