Jesus began His ministry by reading a passage from the scroll of Isaiah. “The Spirit of the Lord is upon Me, because He has anointed Me to preach the gospel to the poor; He has sent Me to heal the brokenhearted, to proclaim liberty to the captives and recovery of sight to the blind, to set at liberty those who are oppressed; to proclaim the acceptable year of the Lord” (Luke 4:18-19).
Then He closed the scroll. Oddly, He stopped mid-sentence. The full line from Isaiah 61 reads, “To proclaim the acceptable year of the Lord, and the day of vengeance of our God.” Why didn’t Jesus complete the sentence? What’s up with that?
The purpose of our Lord’s first coming was to make it possible for fallen humanity to be restored back to God. The Son of God became the Son of Man in order to pay the price for sin. In doing so, He brought forgiveness, healing, and deliverance. He established a new and better covenant established on better promises (Heb. 8:6).
If we continue reading in Isaiah 61, the rest of the to-do list is just as welcoming and encouraging. So why did Jesus stop where He did when quoting Isaiah? The simple answer: It wasn’t time yet.
If you’ve been following this blog, you know that the Day of Vengeance is the Wrath of that Day, that happens as the 7th Day—the Last Day in God’s prophetic great Week—dawns. The 7th Day dawns with our Lord’s return, when He gathers the Church to take us back to Father’s House in Heaven.
This gathering marks a shift in our assignment. We are raptured and taken to the throne in order to be seated as the heavenly immortal government. Our role is to execute God’s vengeance against evil through the trumpet and bowl judgments seen in Revelation. But that’s only half of the assignment.
The flip side has to do the fact that we replace the Ephesians 6:12 hierarchy of evil forces over the earth. Through our intercession and declarations we release: (1) comfort to all who mourn, especially the newly saved remnant of the nation of Israel; (2) beauty for ashes; (3) the oil of joy for mourning; and (4) the garment of praise for the spirit of heaviness. For what purpose? That the inhabitants of the earth may be called trees of righteousness, that planting of the Lord, that He may be glorified (Isaiah 61:2b-3).
Together with Christ, as One New Man, we finish the mission of the Good News. Together we usher in the restoration of all things. To God be the glory, forever and ever.
Recognizing our future role once we are raptured is a message of comfort, hope, and victory. The rapture isn’t “bad eschatology” as one prominent pastor declared in Charisma magazine. It’s God’s Word and His plan to complete the assignment in the only way possible. At the appointed time, by the perfected immortal government united fully with Christ in one Spirit.
In the meantime, we continue our Lord’s commission to preach the good news, heal, bring deliverance, and preach the acceptance that is available by grace through faith.
sWe like to use the analogy of a jigsaw puzzle when it comes to understanding end-time prophecy. The puzzle pieces are bundled into the "box" that we call our Bible. Most puzzle solvers like to begin by finding the border pieces, especially the four corners. Today we're going to share with you seven pivotal pieces to help you solve the prophetic end-time puzzle.
These pivotal pieces help you see into the mysteries of the end-time Scriptures. The word for "mystery" in the Bible doesn't refer to something that cannot be found or understood. It describes something that is hidden, but can be known through the ministry of the Holy Spirit. It is always revealed at the right time, the appointed time, and it takes a seeking heart to understand it.
#1: God's great Week and the mystery of prophetic time (2 Peter 3:8). In God's sight, 1,000 years of our time equals 1 great Day. His prophetic plan of redemption unfolds across 7 great Days or 7,000 years.
#2: Knowing the times and the seasons and the mystery of the unknown Day and hour (Matt. 24:35-37). God has predetermined set times with corresponding signs that mark significant events in His plan of redemption, which help us mark where we are in God's timetable.
#3: Daniel's 70th Week prophecy and the mid-week pause for the mystery of Christ and His Church (Daniel 9:20-27). The theme of the prophecy is the coming of Messiah the Prince, Christ's first and second coming, and what He would accomplish accordingly.
#4: Christ's end-time teaching on the Mount of Olives and the hidden mystery of the gathering that He revealed (Matt. 24, Mark 13, Luke 21). Jesus answered the disciples' questions regarding when the Temple would be destroyed and what would be the signs of the end of this age and His return, thereby introducing the rapture.
#5: Those sealed for the Day of Redemption and the mystery of their symbolic, numerical representation (Rev. 7 & 14). Why the Bride, the Church, is sealed by the Holy Spirit for that Day, and why we are pictured in Heaven before the throne of God at this point in the Revelation. It's all about His promise and our calling.
#6: The prophetic analogy of birth pains and the mystery of a royal priesthood birthed from death on that same Day (Rev. 12, Isaiah 66, Col. 1:18). This is when we are fully conformed to His image, including being raised on the Third Day and overcoming death.
#7: The Age to Come and the mystery of our heavenly calling (Rom. 8:17; Eph. 2:7; 1:17-21). We are raptured and taken to our prepared place in Heaven to fulfill our next assignment as joint-heirs with Christ. Complete in Him, we rule during the Last Day (the 7th Day) from the 3rd Heaven, until the time of the end and the restoration of all things. Then God makes the new heavens and earth, we descend to the earth as the City, and we enter the Perfect Day.
We've covered these keys throughout these blogs. They are documented in greater detail in Jeff's books that are available through this website (Resources Tab). For an introductory course on these keys, check out our link to our study guide called: Keys to Understanding Christ's Return--What You Need to Know About Your Future.
Many believers recognize that we are in the end-times and that Christ is coming soon. But both "soon" and the "end-times" are so vague when they stand alone, out of the context of the Scriptures. How do we deal with the uncertainty? How do we deal with the headlines and the chaos of these times?
Around a third of the Bible deals with prophecies and the time of the end. So why are so many churches ignoring the topic? Why do so many believers avoid the book of Revelation even though we know it tells us the end of the story? The simple answer: the clouds of confusion.
The Apostle Paul described it this way: "For now we see in a mirror, dimly, but then face to face. Now I know in part, but then I shall know just as I also am known" (1 Cor. 13:12). We've inherited conflicting views of the end-times from past generations who saw things dimly and in part. No one view of the end-times had it all correct, and none had it all wrong.
Daniel 12:4 (Amplified Version) describes it this way: "But you, Daniel, shut up the words and seal the Book until the time of the end. [Then] many shall run to and fro and search anxiously [through the Book], and knowledge [of God's purposes as revealed by His (Old Testament) prophets] shall be increased and become great."
We are now in the "time of the end" when we need to understand the times so that we know what we are to do (1 Chronicles 12:32). Consequently, God is bringing the breath of His Spirit to blow away the clouds. He is giving believers eyes to see and ears to hear, if they are willing to lay aside their preconceived ideas inherited from the past. It's time to put away incomplete, immature view of God's chronos time and kairos signs (1 Cor. 13:11).
It's not always easy to lay down the traditions of men, even when they came from the right spirit of pursuing the things of God. Yet we need the same heart that the Bereans had when Paul came to their city: "These were more fair-minded than those in Thessalonica, they received the word with all readiness, and searched the Scriptures daily to find out whether these things were so" (Acts 17:11).
Paul's anointed prayer in Ephesians 1:15-21 is so very crucial now, for it is time for the knowledge of the end-times to increase. The Spirit of wisdom and revelation is giving greater insight into the knowledge of Christ and His return. We need the eyes of our understanding to be enlightened. We need to know the hope of HIS calling in us, both our calling now to bring others to Christ, and our future calling as the heavenly Esthers, when He gathers us to Him and takes us to Father's House at the rapture.
We need to know the glory of HIS inheritance in us. And we need to know the exceeding greatness of HIS power toward us who believe. This is how we redeem the time now, because the days are evil (Eph. 5:16).
Throughout Church history, God's Spirit highlighted certain Scriptures to bring clarity to the elemental doctrines of our faith (Heb. 6:1-2). So it shouldn't surprise us that He is doing the same thing now in our time concerning the doctrine of resurrection and judgment (the end-times). In the next few blogs we will review the key truths that God wants us to grasp so that we can see clearly what lies ahead in His chronos timetable. Those same keys will help us see the Book of Revelation more clearly as well.
Father wants us to know what to do. We are the need-to-know generation who shall see Christ's return. We can be certain.
We've been looking at the Appointed Day, the Last Day in God's prophetic great Week of the plan of redemption. It dawns with the rapture and concludes with the final great white throne judgment. As we've seen, some will arise to everlasting life and others will arise to shame and everlasting contempt (Daniel 12:2).
Among those who arise to spend eternity with God are the Old Testament saints, including the prophet Daniel. "But you, go your way till the end; for you shall rest, and will arise to your inheritance at the end of the Days" (Daniel 12:13, emphasis added).
Every enemy is defeated, including Death and Hades. Satan's final sentence and incarceration is done. Eternal righteousness has come to the new heavens and the new earth. The restoration of all things is complete. It is the end of the great Week and the end of the Days.
So then what? Does a new "week" start? Or perhaps a new Day, an 8th Day? If you take the number 8 and lay it on its side, you get the symbol of eternity. That's our clue. What comes next is eternity future. It has several names in the Bible: the Day of God, the Perfect Day, and the Unknown Day and Hour.
That last one might surprise you. Jesus spoke about this unique Day when He mentioned heaven and earth passing away in Matthew 24. That is, when God makes the new heavens and the new earth. It is "unknown" because mere mortals cannot comprehend an eternal Day.
"The sun shall no longer be your light by day, nor for brightness shall the moon give light to you; but the Lord will be to you an everlasting light, and your God your glory. Your sun shall no longer go down, nor shall your moon withdraw itself; for the Lord will be your everlasting light, and the days of your mourning shall be ended" (Isaiah 60:19-20).
The Day never ends. Mind-boggling. Can we possibly imagine the glory of that Eternal Day when there is no sorrow, pain, sickness, death, injustice, war, tragedy, sin, deceit. . . ? "Oh Happy Day!" Nope, that doesn't do it justice.
If you've ever been blessed by being in the manifested presence of God on earth, then you've tasted of that glory. Now multiply that a zillion times over! No wonder we cry out, "Blessing and glory and wisdom and thanksgiving and honor and power and might be to our God forever and ever!"