It is a momentous moment when Jesus comes again and stands on Mt. Zion. The angels and Old Testament prophets longed to see that Day. As believers, it is our hope of glory, our 3rd Day resurrection. We stand before the throne of God in Heaven wearing incorruptible bodies radiating with glory. We take our position as the heavenly government, ruling with Christ as one new Man.
For the remnant of Jews, that moment triggers their 3rd Day revival. It is the fulfillment of Hosea’s prophecy. “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. Let us know, let us pursue the knowledge of the Lord. His going forth is established as the morning; He will come to us like the rain, like the latter and former rain to the earth.”
For a time—the first two Days of the last Days—the natural branch of Israel was cut off and the wild branch was grafted in. God opened up the plan of redemption to the Gentiles and poured out His Spirit, empowering those in Christ to be His witnesses to all the earth. It is the time of the early rain outpouring.
At that momentous moment, after seeing Heaven open up and Jesus gathering His Body to take us back to Father’s House as promised, the Jewish remnant finally see. They finally recognize Jesus as the Messiah and receive salvation. True to form, the Spirit is poured out on our newly redeemed brothers and sisters so that they can now be His witnesses on the earth, as we fulfill our heavenly calling to rule with our Lord from above. It is the time of their latter rain outpouring.
Zechariah described the action of that Day centuries before. “They shall be like mighty men, who tread down their enemies in the mire of the streets in the battle. They shall fight because the Lord is with them, and the riders on horses shall be put to shame. “I will strengthen the house of Judah, and I will save the house of Joseph. I will bring them back, because I have mercy on them. They shall be as though I had not cast them aside; for I am the Lord their God, and I will hear them.”
Like King David’s mighty men, the Jewish believers do great exploits during the 3½ years of the war over Jerusalem. Spoiler alert: they prevail. For God’s purposes always come to pass. Ezekiel described the action of that Day this way: “And I will send fire on Magog and on those who live in security in the coastlands. Then they shall know that I am the Lord. So I will make My holy name known in the midst of My people Israel, and I will not let them profane My holy name anymore. Then the nations shall know that I am the Lord, the Holy One in Israel. Surely it is coming, and it shall be done,” says the Lord God. “This is the Day of which I have spoken.”
It is the waning days of the 6th Day in God’s prophetic great Week. For believers who understand the times and the seasons, they are earnestly expecting to see their Lord coming in the clouds. Israel is strangely at ease, rejoicing in a sense of peace and safety. In the land of Magog to the north, known as Turkey, a charismatic leader is gathering a coalition of armies to shatter the peace.
The prophet Ezekiel recorded the event centuries before. “On that day when My people Israel dwell safely, will you not know it? Then you [the Antichrist and his armies] will come from your place out of the far north, you and many peoples with you, all of them riding on horses, a great company and a mighty army. You will come up against My people Israel like a cloud, to cover the land” (Ezek. 38:14-16).
The prophet Zechariah recorded the destructiveness that would come in the sudden invasion: “Behold, the day of the Lord is coming, and your spoil will be divided in your midst. For I will gather all the nations to battle against Jerusalem; the city shall be taken, the houses rifled, and the women ravished. Half of the city shall go into captivity, but the remnant of the people shall not be cut off from the city” (Zech. 14:1-2).
Paul recorded it this way: “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 [the 7th Day] 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” (1 Thess. 5:1-3).
Then, just as suddenly, the lights go out. Completely out. All over the world. All at once. The earth is plunged into total darkness. The invasion is halted. It is the final, sixth sign of this age.
And once again, suddenly, the veil that keeps mankind from seeing into Heaven is pulled back. All the people see Jesus Christ seated at the right hand of God Almighty. The Son of Man stands in the power of His authority over all things. The Lord descends to earth and physically stands on the Mt. of Olives where He was crucified. His presence causes an earthquake that splits the mountain, making a way of escape for the Jewish believers. The remnant in Israel finally recognizes Jesus as the Messiah.
At the same moment, Jesus issues the command to the dead in Christ who have come with Him, “Arise.” The earth miraculously gives up the dust of their bodies and they are glorified, receiving new immortal bodies. Then He declares, “Shine.” Those who are His and still alive at His coming are instantly changed in a twinkling of an eye. They, too, are glorified, receiving new immortal bodies. Christ the Head and the Body of Christ is now totally united, completed, and perfected as one New Man.
Together with Him, we reenact His ascension, as He takes us back to Father’s House in the third Heaven. We are formally seated as the immortal, heavenly court. For we have overcome death through resurrection at the rapture, just as Christ overcame death.
It is just as Jesus told us in His revelation: “To him who overcomes I will grant to sit with Me on My throne, as I also overcame and sat down with My Father on His throne” (Rev. 3:21). “And he who overcomes, and keeps My works until the end, to him I will give power over the nations—he shall rule them with a rod of iron; they shall be dashed to pieces like the potter’s vessels’—as I also have received from My Father” (Rev. 2:26-27).
How do you know for sure that you will be raptured? Do you have the full assurance of your destiny in Christ, your heavenly calling? Here’s what God’s Word tells us.
Blessed be the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, who according to His abundant mercy has begotten us again to a living hope through the resurrection of Jesus Christ from the dead, to an inheritance incorruptible and undefiled and that does not fade away, reserved in heaven for you, who are kept by the power of God through faith for salvation ready to be revealed in the last time (1 Peter 1:3-5).
Part of your salvation in Christ is regeneration. It’s where your spirit is made new, when you are born again. In Him you also trusted, after you heard the word of truth, the gospel of your salvation; in whom also, having believed, you were sealed with the Holy Spirit of promise (Eph. 1:13). The Holy Spirit seals your new spirit so that it is incorruptible.
The Apostle Paul explains it this way: For all the promises of God in Him are Yes, and in Him Amen, to the glory of God through us. Now He who establishes us with you in Christ and has anointed us is God, who also has sealed us and given us the Spirit in our hearts as a guarantee (2 Cor. 1:22).
Another part of our salvation is forgiveness of all our sins for all time. “But this Man, after He had offered one sacrifice for sins forever, sat down at the right hand of God, from that time waiting till His enemies are made His footstool. For by one offering He has perfected forever those who are being sanctified” (Heb. 10:12-14). This doesn’t mean we don’t sin. Being sanctified is the ongoing process of learning to walk according to God’s ways instead of the sinful ways of the world (our old flesh). No believer is perfect—yet!
This is why Paul also cautions us, “And do not grieve the Holy Spirit of God, by whom you were sealed for the Day of redemption” (Eph. 4:30). If you have truly asked God into your heart and accepted Jesus as your Savior, then you are sealed for that Day of redemption—the dawning of the Day of the Lord when believers are raptured and fully redeemed and perfected.
The seal of the Spirit reminds us that we are not of this world, even though we exist in it. Yet it grieves Him when we ignore His leading and walk according to our flesh instead of our spirit. We are meant to lead fruitful lives in Christ. But that fruitful life is a daily choice. Thankfully, because of Christ’s ultimate sacrifice, our wrong choices do not remove the seal of the Spirit.
That is the significance of the sealing. It is our guarantee, our down payment of the hope of our calling to be conformed fully to Christ when He gathers us and takes us to our prepared place in Father’s House in Heaven. That is when our true destiny shall be revealed in the last time—the last Day of God’s prophetic week (the 7th Day). When we recognize this sealing, our hearts need not be troubled in the meantime.
Our Father God expects believers to understand the times and seasons of His plan of redemption because it is found in His Word. Acts 17 says we should be in the know. Verse 29 tells us we shouldn’t be duped by the vain plotting of the earthly kings/leaders. “Therefore, since we are the offspring of God, we ought not to think that the Divine Nature is like gold or silver or stone, something shaped by art and man’s devising.” That includes the physical idols of materialism, occult religions, and the ideological idols of humanism.
Verse 30 continues: “Truly, these times of ignorance God overlooked, but now commands all men everywhere to repent...” With the first coming of Christ, mankind no longer has an excuse for their fallen ways. Salvation is available freely to all who will believe. Verse 31 gives us the urgency of that command. “…because He has appointed a Day on which He will judge the world in righteousness by the Man whom He has ordained.” That pivotal Day is the Day of the Lord, the Last Day in God’s great prophetic week.
Which brings us to our title question. Since God is the Almighty One, why does it take 7,000 years to end the cosmic conflict with Satan? And for that matter, why does it take 3½ years and 7 trumpet and bowl judgments to crush Satan and the Beast?
We know that the great Week follows the divine pattern established in the 7 literal days of creation. Why did it take God 7 days? I mean, He is God after all. He could have done it in a nanosecond. Since God is all-knowing, He knew how long it would take mankind to reach the fullness of their evil ways. Along the way, He provided a road map in the Bible detailing God’s ways. That road map foreshadowed Christ’s redeeming work on the cross and the power of resurrection.
The answers have to do with His nature. He is perfectly loving and He is perfectly just. I know, that doesn’t jive with the so-called progressive Christianity or the woke secular culture. But that is because they have rejected absolute truth, including what is just and what is loving. Everything is based on fleeting feelings and what feels “right” at the moment (relativism).
When the heavenly hosts witnessed Lucifer’s Fall, they had no concept of sin. They didn’t know it’s devastating consequences. It didn’t take long, though. By Genesis 6 we find that “the wickedness of man was great in the earth, and that every intent of the thoughts of his heart was only evil continually (vs. 5). The Old Testament testifies to the wayward nature of even God’s own people due to their fallen nature. It was a vicious cycle of complacency, compromise with the ungodly nations around them, experiencing the consequences of their own choices, being delivered by God, only to become complacent again.
With Christ’s first coming, salvation was made possible. Through the testimony of Christ’s Body, the Church, His loving desire is that every person comes to see the true Light of the world. Yet He will not violate their will. He knows that it will take the full 2,000 years of the Church Age for humanity to see the full impact of rejecting God and choosing Satan’s evil ways instead.
For those who have eyes to see, this has become so clear over the last couple of years. Still, many cling stubbornly to their hardened hearts and deceived minds. Amazingly, Revelation 9:20 tells us that even after the initial plagues of Operation Consume and Destroy during the 3½-year war, “the rest of mankind, who were not killed by these plagues, did not repent of the works of their hands.” The bottom line is this: God is both patient and merciful. He has determined the beginning from the end.