Thursday, October 24, 2019

How Many People Will Disappear At The Time Of The Rapture?

I've seen videos and read articles and comments about how "millions of people" or "tens of millions of people" will disappear at the time of the Rapture. I always knew that number couldn't be correct. The number of those who will be raptured will be much, much more significant than just a few million people. 

What many people don't take into account is the fact that all of the children on the planet will disappear at the moment of the Rapture. Those children, who are too young to understand what sin is and their need to repent of that sin, will be rescued from what's to come. They'll disappear from their cribs and playpens, from backyards and sleepovers, from schools and field trips, from vacation destinations like Disneyland, from beaches and parks, from cars and buses, from movie theaters and restaurants, from dinner tables, and even from their own parent's arms... they'll all just disappear!


How many children make up this demographic who will be raptured? Well, we need to do a little calculating to figure that out. It's a little tricky, because there are many variables.


As of September 2019, there are approximately *7.7 billion people on the planet. As of 2018, *approximately 25% (I rounded down) are between the ages of 0-15. So, we're talking about a demographic of 1,925,000,000 children. That's just shy of 2 billion.


Let's assume, for argument sake, that children under the age of 13 have not reached the maturity to truly understand what sin is and the consequences of an unrepentant heart (some people refer to this as the age of accountability). I am using this figure because in Jewish tradition, a child becomes an adult at the age of 13, so those who are younger than 13 years old will be considered for this purpose. Yes, I know it varies because children mature at different rates, but we need some sort of baseline for the calculations, so those are the figures I'm using right now. I also understand that we're not including the mentally disabled, who may not be able to comprehend what sin is. There are a lot of variables, and that's why I needed to set some sort of baseline. 


So the ages we're looking at are 0-12. Note: I am considering those under 1 year of age as it's own age group, that's why I am calculating the ages of 0-12 and not 1-12. This is important in the calculations below because it seems like I'm using a higher number of age groups, but it's increased by one because I'm counting those of 0-11 months old as their own age group (0-15 is 16 age groups, 0-12 is 13 age groups, and 0-10 is 11 age groups)


Assuming, for statistical reasons, the total number of children is equal for each age, that would mean that each year represents approximately 120,312,200 individuals (between the ages of 0-15). 


Calculation: Divide 1,925,000,000 children worldwide by 16 age groups and that equals 120,312,200 per age group. But we're trying to find out how many children are between the ages of 0-12, so let's perform another calculation.


Calculation: 120,312,200 per age group X 13 age groups = 1,564,058,600 children worldwide. That's just over 1.5 billion!!!


Let's reduce the age to 10 years old in order to satisfy some of you who may say that 12 years old is too old.


Calculation: 120,312,200 per age group X 11 age groups = 1,323,434,200 children worldwide. That's just over 1.3 billion children!


Just by calculating the children alone, approximately 1.3 billion to 1.5 billion will disappear at the moment of the Rapture. That's way more than the "tens of millions" or even "hundreds of millions" that most people refer to when speaking about the number of people who will take part in the Rapture.

So as you can see, just counting the children alone, we already have over a billion people who will disappear at the moment of the Rapture. Add to that all other born again believers above those calculated ages, and we're talking about 2 billion people or more in total. There are many professing "Christians" out there, but there's no way of knowing how many "true" born again believers there are, so that makes the projected number of raptured adults difficult, if not impossible, to calculate. 


Can you imagine a world where almost every child under 13 (or 10 and under, if you want to use that calculation) suddenly disappears? Even those in the womb! How devastating will that be for the unsaved parents who remain behind?!? The entire world will be in turmoil! 


If you think these devastated parents will be heading off to work, or even remaining at work (depending on what time it happens in different parts of the world) after this event, you're not being realistic. Just think what that means. Think about this on a worldwide scale! CLICK HERE if you want to know more about what will happen after the Rapture!


And what will happen immediately after that? The Antichrist will be right there to ride in on a white horse to save the day (Revelation 6:1-2). CLICK HERE to read more about the rider on the white horse.


If you think that the violent groups we see attacking innocent people on the streets and destroying personal property without any remorse for their victims or respect for law enforcement is horrific, if you think that the comments people post online or spew on television are filled with unbridled and venomous hate, and if you think politics is corrupt to it's core with back room deals, payoffs, and collusion with foreign powers, then just wait until that moment when the Holy Spirit and God's people are taken out of the way. "For the mystery of lawlessness is already at work; only he who now restrains will do so until he is taken out of the way." (2 Thess 2:7) God has been holding back the full force of evil in the world, and when the Rapture occurs, that dam is going to break, and those horrific things you've seen, heard, read about, and experienced will be multiplied and become normalized. Those who hate God and who hate born again believers think they're going to rejoice when every true born again believer is gone, but they're in for a rude awakening.


Remember, the United States isn't mentioned in biblical prophecy, so there's no knowing what shape the US will be in at this time in biblical history. Our military forces are not mentioned in biblical prophecy, so that's something to think about. In this country, at this moment, there is a huge population that calls good, evil...and evil, good. When every born again believer is taken out of the way, what will this country look like? New born again believers will be hunted down and executed if they refuse to take the Mark of the Beast on their right hand or forehead and if they refuse to worship the Beast. Think this can't happen? Look at what's happening in the streets, as mobs attack the defenseless and elderly, the unarmed and the bystanders. They attack with fists, bats, chains, and other makeshift weapons. They wear masks, incite mobs to violence, and justify their violent behavior by calling evil, good. In many instances, law enforcement is ordered to stand down and allow the violence and destruction. Yes, this is a real thing. If it's happening now, while the full force of evil is still being held back, can you imagine what it will be like when the dam breaks as billions of people disappear in the blink of an eye?

There are a lot of links for you to access on this web site. Just go to the tabs at the top of the page and check them out. There's a lot of information there. Thank you for taking the time to read this article. If you have any questions or comments, please leave them in the comment section below. God bless!!!


*These are the latest figures that I could find for this article.






Repent and be forgiven! Believe and be saved!
TribulationHarvest.net

Sunday, December 30, 2018

Unbelievers Waiting for the Rapture!

Believe it or not, it's true. Many unbelievers and haters of the Judaeo/Christian God of the bible concede that if the Rapture ended up being a real event, they'd be more than happy to see every single born again believer taken from the face of the earth. Many believe that born again believers are intolerant, sexist, immoral, homophobic, hateful, and judgmental. They equate Christianity with Hitler/Nazis, the KKK/white supremacy, and any other group out there past and present that they deem as hateful. It used to be, in the modern era, that born again believers were only persecuted in countries like China, North Korea, the Middle East and in other areas of the world where anti-Christian sentiment had a strong hold. Now Christians in free western countries like England and the United States are being persecuted. Sure, it hasn't reached the point where it has in other anti-Christian nations, but it's not a huge leap from suing the owner of a bakery or print shop because they won't produce a product that glorifies lifestyles that are contrary to Christian beliefs, or putting a street preacher in jail, to actually physically hunting down Christians. 

Sooner or later, persecution like we see it in other parts of the world will rear it's ugly head in the western world, bringing with it physical torture and death. Just look at how some of these individuals/groups treat supporters of President Donald Trump, many of who are born again believers. These individuals have had objects thrown at them, been spat upon, had their belongings ripped off of their body, been physically assaulted, been harassed to the point where they are forced to leave an establishment they're doing business with, had their house surrounded, received threatening phone calls and messages on their social media accounts, been face to face with someone spewing hatred toward them, and had their livelihood ruined by frivolous lawsuits. Look at what continually happens to those who are peacefully trying to educate the population that abortion is the torture and death of a child. They are assaulted verbally and physically, they have their educational materials (posters, signs and pamphlets) defaced, destroyed and taken from them, and they are often the ones removed from the space in order to quell any hostilities.

It's not just the average citizen exhibiting these types of vengeful, fascist, and anti-Christ behavior. Unbelievably, many of our political leaders and educators are actually endorsing these types of behaviors by standing in front of these crowds and encouraging them to act this way, conditioning them to believe that by violent and confrontational behavior, they're acting both for the good of the country and for the good of the world as a whole. These crowds are encouraged to use violence and intimidation to force those who don't agree with their belief system to fall in line or to retreat and be silent. How easy is it going to be for the Antichrist to whip up this type of resentment towards born again believers when the world is in the midst of a strong delusion? People are already displaying this type of behavior, so it wouldn't take much to kick it up a notch and solely focus this abusive and criminal behavior toward the Christian community. What the Christian community is dealing with as a whole in this country and other free countries in the world, is like a walk on the beach compared to what's coming in the near future.

All of the prophecies in the word of God have come to pass, except those that are linked to the build up to the Rapture and everything that follows. Want proof that prophecy is still relevant? Look to Syria. There is a prophecy that states that Damascus is going to be so utterly devastated, that it will become a barren city. This prophecy has yet to be fulfilled.

Isaiah 17:1 "The burden against Damascus. "Behold, Damascus will cease from being a city, and it will be a ruinous heap."

You may scoff at what is written here, but I guarantee you that when this prophecy becomes reality, right in front of your eyes, you'll be scrambling to find this blog site again and read more about what's to come. Either that, or you'll explain it away as something other than prophecy. It doesn't matter, because biblical prophecy will have come to pass. You can either accept it as the fulfillment of biblical prophecy or you can try to convince yourself that there is a more logical, more humanistic excuse for why this prophesied event came to pass.

In the mean time, this article is about many unbelievers halfheartedly hoping that the Rapture is a real event so that they can be rid of Christians once and for all. They believe that life on this earth will be a paradise without Christians getting in their way. They believe they'll finally be living in utopia once all born again believers are gone and they can run the world as they believe it should be run. What they don't realize, is that there will be global devastation when the Rapture takes place, and the world will never be the same after that event. Not only will they need to deal with the aftermath of the Rapture, which you can read about here, but there will be unexpected consequences that occur after that event. What will they be?

One of them will be the unexpected resurgence of Christianity all over the world. Yes, what many unbelievers don't realize is that this event will trigger spiritual conversion in the hearts and minds of men and women worldwide. Those who drifted away from the faith, those who had been witnessed to and evangelized by other born again believers in the past, and those who will have their heart pricked when they hear the word of God preached by the 144,000 Messianic Jews who God will be sending out to evangelize the world... they will repent and be forgiven! They will believe and be saved! The world, thinking they've finally rid themselves of born again believers, will find themselves in the midst of millions upon millions of new born again believers. 

The other unexpected consequences will consist of the events awaiting everyone during the seven year Tribulation. Worldwide earthquakes, pestilence, famine, the sun turning black, the poisoning of all of the worlds fresh water supply. There is so much that the world will have to endure and you can read more about it here.

Unbelievers don't realize that they will be living through biblical history. They'll be living and breathing biblical prophecy. They either won't be aware of it because of the strong delusion that will encompass most of those living on the earth at that time, or they'll reject the notion outright and refuse to see the truth because it will be in conflict with everything they've ever believed. They will be convinced to accept the lies and reject the truth, just as many people today are convinced by celebrities, politicians, mainstream media, and the like, to accept what is spoon fed to them instead of seeking out the truth or finding out if there's more to the story. They will experience the sights and sounds of all that was prophesied, and a majority will die shaking their fist at God because they couldn't bring themselves to believe that they were wrong. They will refuse to submit to God, who they will see as evil, unloving, and unjust. 

Unbelievers should be hoping that the Rapture is a long way off or that it's a fairy tale because the reality of it isn't what they're hoping for. They're going to expect man-made heaven on earth, but what they're going to experience a little taste of hell on earth. 

If you're an unbeliever who is scoffing at this, remember that there's no guarantee for tomorrow, but if tomorrow does come, and another month and another year, and you are allowed to live long enough to witness the destruction of Damascus or live through the Rapture, then don't harden your heart. Stop and understand that there's little time left. The Tribulation lasts seven years, but there's no guarantee that you'll live through the entire Tribulation. In fact, three quarters of the earth's population will perish before the seven years is up. 

I encourage you to read the Salvation Message on this web site. Think about what's to come and understand that biblical prophecy is real, that God is real, that Jesus lived and died to pay for your sins and remove the stain of that sin from you in order to save YOU from eternity apart from Him. 

Those who wish Christians would disappear are living on borrowed time. Yes, God blesses them with every breath they take and causes their heart to beat again and again. He causes the sun to rise on their day just as the sun rises on ours. He loves us all and wishes that none of us would spend an eternity apart from Him. There will come a time, though, when that last breath is taken, when the heart beats for the last time, and when the sun no longer rises on another day. Then, and only then, when they take that first step into eternity, will they realize that there is another life after this one. By then, it will be too late to change anything. Which future have you chosen?

If you like this article, or any of the other information on this web site, please consider following me. You'll be one of the first to be notified when I create new content! You'll find the section at the top of the right hand column on this page. It says, "Follow Tribulation Harvest by Email." After entering your email address, you may be prompted to sign in to your Google account. Thank you!!!

Repent and be forgiven! Believe and be saved!
TribulationHarvest.net

Wednesday, December 26, 2018

Re-Evaluating Our Christian Walk

There are times when we need to re-evaluate our lives as born again believers and make the changes necessary to strengthen our relationship with God.

I think this is a subject we can all relate to. There are times in our Christian lives when we need to stop, think about what we've done, where we are, and what we hope to accomplish in the future.

Knowing where we've been and reflecting on the road that has lead us to where we are now is a morale booster, but we can't live on past glories. The point to looking back is to check our progress and give us the opportunity to make any course corrections that are needed in order to continue moving forward. Of course, this needs to be done through prayer, through the leading of the Holy Spirit, and through the wisdom that the Lord has blessed us all with.

The older I get, the more I realize just how important it is to use my time wisely in order to accomplish what the Lord has sent me here to do. God sent me here, to this particular point in time, to complete specific tasks. As I get older and time grows short, I understand more that my time here on earth is valuable and I need to ask myself whether there needs to be a course correction. Am I accomplishing all that I can for the Lord?

I woke up from a dream a little while ago. In this dream I was helping a brother who had turned away from the church body. I felt the power of God flowing through me as I counseled him. I brought his plea before the pastor in order to create reconciliation between him and the person I was counseling. Long story short, I found myself begging with the the pastor to listen to reason. When I woke up from the dream, I understood even more how some of the decisions I have made in the past few years separated me from the church body and from the work that the Lord had planned for me to complete.

I began thinking of how many opportunities had been wasted apart from the body, and how much time had been used for other things, sin being chief among them. Although I've repented, I still find myself separated from the body of believers that I was born to be a part of. Phone apps, world news, social media sites, online videos... all of these things had taken the place of my relationships within the body of Christ.

I have come to terms with the fact that even though the structure of the modern day church doesn't reflect how the early church operated, I need to be okay with that because even in such a setting, God works through His body of believers. I don't agree with some of the traditions, but it's the best system we have in this modern age, and to abandon it wouldn't be wise. Yes, God has brought me full circle on this issue. 

Because of this, I believe it's my responsibility to work within this framework to complete the work that the Lord has for me. I'm currently seeking out a church body where I can be an active participant. I left a particular church body, and it wasn't a clean break, so going back to that particular church body will be difficult. Although, sometimes the most difficult choice is the one that brings the best results. Fortunately for me, I'll be approaching church participation from a different perspective this time around. 

Right now I have a fire in my heart that says I needs to move forward. I need to link arms with those brothers and sisters that are truly serious about their relationship with the Lord and who are in it for the long haul. We need to stand side by side at the front line, put our shields up and advance together, step by step, into the enemy's territory. We can't be looking back and patting ourselves on the back for the amount of territory we've taken. We just need to focus on what lies ahead and constantly move forward. There will be plenty of time to look back at the efforts we put in to the battle once the battle is over and we're home with the Lord.

The church has always been filled with social butterflies, chatterboxes, gossipers, the uncommitted, the "religious," etc... We won't ever find a church body where we won't find at least one or more of these types of individuals, but we can't let that divide us or stop us from encouraging one another. We can't let that stop us from fellowshiping with one another. We can't let that stop us from praising and worshiping God as a body. Whether we gather together in a church building, at someone's house, walking on the beach, driving in a car...wherever, we need to operate as one body in support of each other and encourage one another to continue the race, growing in wisdom, knowledge and understanding of God and His word. 

If going to "church" is too much for you right now, Christian social media is a start. You may want to think about joining a Christian social media site. For full disclosure, I'm a member of Lord'sBook and Jesus.Social. They're facebook-type web sites that have a lot of bells and whistles. You might want to check them out. If you do, please friend request me. Search for Ken Souza or souzak99. I have found them to be a pretty good place to start in entering back into fellowship.

I'm in the middle of re-evaluating my choices and the direction of my walk with the Lord right now. Join me and really commit to making some of the tough choices. Consider:

-Uninstalling unnecessary apps like games and other things that are time eaters.
-Limiting the amount of television or YouTube videos that you may be watching.
-Limiting your time on worldly social media, like facebook, Twitter, Snapchat,  Instagram, etc. (I deleted my accounts with facebook, Twitter, Snapchat and G+)
-Chatting or texting with your Christian friends about positive and spiritual things instead of spending time with worldly friends talking about worldly things.

These are just a few basic suggestions to get you to think about the things in your life that may be separating you from God instead of building up that relationship and drawing closer to Him. 

Consider whether the skills you have can be used to glorify God. If you're going to be using your skills to create a product, then why not use it to create something for God? The skills that the Lord has blessed me with have allowed me to create this blog site, tract cards, after rapture packets, booklets, a DVD, etc... I don't make any money off of any of it because I refuse to charge a fee for sharing the word of God. In fact, I've spent a lot of money on the after rapture packets and on keeping this blog site operational. That doesn't mean that every skill or craft has to be given away for free. As an example, I've been thinking of purchasing the equipment to create christian themed patches for clothing. I would sell those because I wouldn't be selling the word of God, which God has freely given to us and which we are to freely give to others.

Before I get too far off the subject, let me bring the discussion back around and say that just as we evaluate other things in our lives, our spiritual walk with the Lord deserves just as much attention. You may come to realize that the Lord has taken you in a totally unexpected direction, and that some of your choices now need to be re-evaluated. 

I pray that your walk with the Lord grows daily and that you will make an effort to draw closer to God so that He can fulfill His part of the promise and draw closer to you. May we all be more like Jesus every day, and may we all rejoice in His presence together on that great and glorious day when He returns to take us all home.

If you like this article, or any of the other information on this web site, please consider following me. You'll be one of the first to be notified when I create new content! You'll find the section at the top of the right hand column on this page. It says, "Follow Tribulation Harvest by Email." After entering your email address, you may be prompted to sign in to your Google account. Thank you!!!

Repent and be forgiven! Believe and be saved!
TribulationHarvest.net

Sunday, December 23, 2018

Christmas - Compromised Christianity?

Christmas is not a biblically sanctioned day of observance. Nowhere in the New Testament are there examples of born again believers celebrating the actual date of Jesus' birth, nor are there any commands from God about observing such a day. That is my shorthanded opinion on the subject. If you want to hear more, please continue reading.

In the Bible, there are God appointed feasts (appointed times) for His chosen people... Passover, Unleavened Bread, First Fruits, Weeks, Trumpets, Day of Atonement, and Tabernacles. These all reflect the work of redemption through Jesus Christ. These seven feasts were appointed by God, giving specific instructions on how they should be observed, including the dates and times. These feasts, and only these feasts, were appointed by God as a way to foreshadow Yeshua. Nowhere in the New Testament did God appoint a day or time to celebrate the birth (or the death/resurrection for that matter) of our Savior.

Tradition and nostalgia can be powerful weapons in the hands of the enemy. They can cause us to ignore scriptural truths in our blind attempts at keeping tradition alive and to keep those powerful feelings of nostalgia stirring within us. I know how powerful nostalgia can be. It doesn't just involve reliving past memories, it involves the things that trigger those memories as well. A sound, a photo, a song, a decoration, food, or even a "remember when" moment, but especially an anniversary or holiday.

Unbeknownst to me, the Lord had been bringing me to a point where I would be receptive enough to have my perception of Christmas challengedIt occurred one winter, when I sat staring at my beautifully decorated tree. It was nighttime. The lights in the house were off and I was alone. The only source of light was the Christmas tree. The colors were beautiful and the single set of bubble lights that I had somehow managed to spread out evenly on the tree were bubbling away among the multitude of multicolored mini lights strung evenly top to bottom. I sat looking at the hand painted angels hanging here and there on the branches. The blue glass ornamental balls painted with scenes of the manger and the three wise men (I have an issue with the story of the three wise men as well as their supposed visit to the manger, but that's explained in another blog) reflected the lights as they hung on the tree as well. Since she passed away, the angel my mother used to have on the top of her Christmas tree has adorned mine. I was so glad that I had a "Christian" tree that didn't reflect "worldly" themes. It was then, in the quietness of the evening, in the midst of my silent thoughts, that everything changed.

Clarity of mind suddenly came to me. It was as if I had an epiphany. At that moment, I asked myself, "What am I doing?" I had known for a while that the act of putting up a tree was a pagan ritual that I probably wasn't supposed to be participating in, but it was a subconscious thought that I always brushed off every holiday season, and by avoiding that thought, I was able to put the tree up every year without any guilt. At this moment, though, I was beginning to understand that what I had standing before me was a compromise tree. What do I mean by that? Well, as you know, compromise is something we all do sometimes in an effort to convince ourselves that we're not doing anything wrong (consciously or subconsciously). We deceive ourselves and disguise something that we know to be wrong as something that is acceptable. It's how I used to treat Halloween so many years ago. I knew I shouldn't be participating in Halloween, but I compromised because I didn't want my children to feel excluded. I used to tell them that they could go trick-or-treating as long as they wore a costume that wasn't considered "evil." They dressed as Moses, an angel, funny freaky Frankenstein, the spirit of Christmas, etc... They were compromise costumes. I eventually ended that practice, but now here I was, going in the same direction with the Christmas holiday. I was compromising. I was putting Christian decorations on a pagan symbol as well as using other pagan symbols around my home to celebrate Christmas. I was trying to disguise a pagan holiday with Christian themes and attempting, in my own mind, to pass it off as a celebration of Christianity. 

I had never heard of Christians totally abandoning the practice of celebrating Christmas, but that didn't stop me from turning away from what I saw as a celebration of paganism. It was the last time I participated in Christmas. 

It was a while after that when I met a married couple online who felt the same way that I did. They revealed to me that there were many other born again believers who were being led to reject the Christmas holiday. There are plenty of videos and articles out there that explain the paganism surrounding Christmas and the symbols associated with this day, so I won't get in to all of that here, although I will ask you a question. Have you ever questioned where holly, wreaths, mistletoe, trees, lights, candles in windows and yule logs originated? You should educate yourself in the origins of some of these traditions and symbols.

My favorite saying when talking about holidays such as these, is that you can't take a pagan tradition, wrap it in a Jesus ribbon, and think that this makes it okay to participate in it. It just doesn't work that way.

Christians have been trying to convert Halloween into a more biblical friendly event. Why hasn't it been a success? Simple. Christianity and Halloween are incompatible. The symbols and traditions of Halloween are evil and the only way to combine them with Christianity is through compromise. You need to change the symbolism and traditions of Halloween and create a new narrative where they meet Christian expectations. This is exactly what happened with Christmas. To put it in more modern terms, paganism was rebooted and re-branded as Christmas. Pagan symbols were whitewashed and given new meaning in order to make the pagan symbolism more acceptable, while still keeping their original meaning to those pagans who continued to worship outside of Christianity. Christianity took pagan wreaths, mistletoe, yule logs, etc... and decided to brand them as "Christian" for the faithful, even though they knew that these things were pagan in origin. One thing is for sure...God doesn't recycle paganism. Paganism is anti-God. 

The way I see it, I can't participate in pagan traditions that have been dressed up to look like a Christian holiday, even if I claim that my celebration of these symbols is my expression of faith in God. We can put a Christian spin on pagan objects and traditions to try to make it our own, but why? Why are we spending so much time, energy and money on a holiday that God never required or encouraged us to celebrate, that the early church never participated in, and that has pagan roots? There were times in "church" history when they tried to expand through compromise, and it only weakened the church as a whole because these compromises have become nostalgic traditions that have been blindly accepted by the majority of believers. 

There is no day more important on the calendar than any other day when it comes to how we are to live our lives as born again believers. We don't need a day to remember Jesus' birth or resurrection, because we should be living our lives celebrating those moments daily, which is how I believe God meant it to be. How can we witness to others effectively if we don't have that sustaining joy and thankfulness of Jesus' birth and resurrection? 

Most born again believers are not ready to accept the fact that Christmas is a man-made holiday based on pagan symbols, traditions and celebrations. That's understandable. The important thing is to keep an open mind and to leave yourself open to the leading of the Holy Spirit on this matter. 

I'd be interested in knowing what your thoughts are on this subject. Please keep your comments civil and profanity free. All comments are reviewed by me before being posted. Any comments that do not meet these requirements will be deleted before even making it on to the blog. 

If you like this article, or any of the other information on this web site, please consider following me. You'll be one of the first to be notified when I create new content! You'll find the section at the top of the right hand column on this page. It says, "Follow Tribulation Harvest by Email." After entering your email address, you may be prompted to sign in to your Google account. Thank you!!!


REPENT AND BE FORGIVEN!
BELIEVE AND BE SAVED!

TribulationHarvest.net

Sunday, April 02, 2017

It's Okay To Preach To A Quiet Room

This is my advice to pastors... It's okay to preach to a quiet room. Many pastors think that they need to elicit a certain amount of energy and response from the congregation in order to deem their sermon a success. I'm here to tell you that this is not the case.

If you are a pastor who instructs his congregation to yell "Amen" when you make a point or expects the congregation to shout out encouraging words to you while you preach, you may want to rethink that.

Time and time again I've seen pastors trying to elicit a response from the congregation, as if their lack of response is a direct negative response to his sermon (which, in many instances, is not the case). That is a dangerous thing, because such a pastor is more likely to alter his preaching style and the content of his sermons to elicit what he deems as a more positive response. In doing so, the pastor may begin compromising the word of God.

I remember when a former pastor of mine was preaching the word, and the Holy Spirit grabbed on to something the pastor said and planted it in my heart. As I sat there, trying to grasp what the Holy Spirit was doing, what He was sharing, the change He was making in me, the growth that was happening in me in that very moment... the pastor was up on stage trying to elicit an "Amen" from everyone. In that moment of silence, when the Holy Spirit may have been reaching into the heart of many others in the congregation, the pastor missed what the Spirit was doing because he was more concerned about receiving a positive response to his sermon. I gave him the "Amen" he was looking for, but that interfered with what the Holy Spirit was doing in me at the moment. I broke that silence and interrupted what the Holy Spirit was doing in me. I'm here to say I won't ever make that same mistake again, because I KNOW I robbed myself of a greater blessing.

Another reason the congregation may become unresponsive is when taking notes. I don't know about anyone else, but when I'm taking notes, I'm more concerned with getting the scripture reference right and taking down a few key words than I am about shouting anything out to the pastor. 

Yet another reason is that some are having their own personal bible study with the Lord, searching for a scripture that ties in with the scripture given by the pastor. Yes, some of us do have our mini bible studies during the sermon...ha ha ha. When the Spirit is showing you something, you have to go with it or you can lose it.

This is why I say that it's okay to preach to a quiet room. Pastors, realize that when it gets quiet, it's probably the Holy Spirit at work. In trying to validate your own worth by the response you receive during your sermon, remember that it's God, not you, that everyone should be there to receive instruction from. Pray for the discernment needed to know when hearts are being changed and when it's best to just continue instead of stopping the flow to beg for a verbal pat on the back. Be confident enough to know that if you are speaking the words God gives to you, then you can be sure that the Holy Spirit will drive the message home.

Please leave any comments you may have in the comments section below.

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Why I Believe In A Pre-Tribulation Rapture Pt. 4 - The Apostasy or Falling Away


How many of us have read 2 Thessalonians 2:1-5 and were confused when studying the subject of the Rapture? Some who read this portion of scripture are convinced that it shows that the Rapture cannot occur pre-Tribulation because the "day of Christ" comes AFTER a falling away and the Antichrist is revealed. Somehow, this didn't sit well with me because I believe in a pre-Tribulation Rapture. Could I be wrong? If not, how do I reconcile this scripture with my understanding of the Rapture?

I'm one for allowing my long held beliefs to be challenged. In fact, I find that many of those beliefs weren't even rooted in scripture, but were church traditions. Of course, some were based on incorrect understanding of the scripture itself.

This is a case of the latter. There are two things we need to focus on here. We need to discuss what the "day of Christ" is and we need to look at the original Greek word that has been translated "a falling away." Only then can we read this portion of scripture in context and see it's true meaning.

Here is the scripture being discussed:

2 Thessalonians 2:1-5 "Now we beseech you, brethren, by the coming of our Lord Jesus Christ, and by our gathering together unto him, 2That ye be not soon shaken in mind, or be troubled, neither by spirit, nor by word, nor by letter as from us, as that day of Christ is at hand.  3Let no man deceive you by any means: for that day shall not come, except there come a falling away first, and that man of sin be revealed, the son of perdition;  4Who opposeth and exaulteth himself above all that is called God, or that is worshiped; so that he as God sitteth in the temple of God, shewing himself that he is God.  5Remember ye not, that, when I was yet with you, I told you these things?" KJV

There are only five verses here, but these five verses say so much. Let's take this in piecemeal. We have to begin in the middle, in verse 3, in order to understand the other verses wrapped around this one.

The Falling Away

"Let no man deceive you by any means: for that day shall not come, except there come a falling away first, and that man of sin be revealed, the son of perdition;"

The Greek word being used here is, "apostasia." It is being translated in English as, "a falling away." What if that isn't the correct translation? I have listened and read teachings on this particular subject and have come to the realization that my long held interpretation of this phrase is incorrect. In earlier versions of the bible, this word was translated not as "a falling away," but as "the departure." Whoa! Yeah... it blew my mind when I sat there and re-read the verse using those words instead. This is what I mean: "Let no man deceive you by any means: for that day shall not come, except there come the departure first, and that man of sin be revealed, the son of perdition;"


The first seven English translations of "apostasia" all rendered the noun as either "departure" or "departing." Wycliffe Bible (1384); Tyndale Bible (1526); Coverdale Bible (1535); Cranmer Bible (1539); Breeches Bible (1576); Beza Bible (1583); Geneva Bible (1608). Jerome's Latin translation known as the Vulgate from around 400 AD renders apostasia with the word "discessio," meaning "departure."

So if the true translation is "the departure" and not "a falling away," then that makes a huge difference in how this scripture, taken in context, is understood.

That Day Of Christ

Many look to the words "that day of Christ" as reference to the Rapture. Could this be true? Let's take a closer look.

What is the mental state of the believers in ThessalonĂ­ki at this point? Here's what Paul writes:

"Now we beseech you, brethren, by the coming of our Lord Jesus Christ, and by our gathering together unto him, 2That ye be not soon shaken in mind, or be troubled, neither by spirit, nor by word, nor by letter as from us, as that the day of Christ is at hand." 

They were shaken down to their core. What would cause such a severe negative reaction in them? If they believed that the "day of Christ" was the Rapture that they were about to experience, then why would the body of believers be "shaken in mind" or "troubled?" That just doesn't make sense. Could it be that the "day of Christ" mentioned here is not referring to the Rapture but, instead, is referring to the time of Jacob's trouble... Daniel's 70th week... the Tribulation? Could it be that they believed that they had missed the great catching away and that they were living through the coming judgment, the day of Christ, that they had been warned was coming?

The believers in Thessaloniki at that time were worried that the "day of Christ" had come (the Tribulation) and Paul had to correct them. If I could be so bold as to paraphrase Paul, he basically told them, "Hey, we already spoke to you about the Lord's promise to gather together both those who have gone before us and for us as well, so don't fret about what you're hearing from people giving you false information or saying that we wrote letters to the fact that the Tribulation ("day of Christ") has begun. The Tribulation isn't going to begin until after "the departure" and after the Antichrist is revealed." He then briefly describes the Antichrist and then reminds them in verse 5 that while he was with them, he explained it to them.

If you go back to Paul's first letter to the church in Thessaloniki, you'll see that he never spoke to them about "a falling away," but he did speak to them about Jesus returning to gather together the saints: "For the Lord Himself shall descend from heaven with a shout, with the voice of the archangel and with the trump of God: and the dead in Christ shall rise first: 17Then we which are alive and remain shall be caught up together with them in the clouds, to meet the Lord in the air: and so shall we ever be with the Lord. 18Wherefore comfort one another with these words." (1Thess. 4:16-18)

So we can see that the saints in Thessaloniki were petrified that they had missed the Rapture and were now at the beginning of the Tribulation. Paul was calming them down by telling them that the promised Rapture had not yet happened, and that the Tribulation can't begin until it does happen, at which time the Antichrist will be revealed. Then, and only then, can the Tribulation begin. 

Important to note, is that in 1 Thessalonians 4:18, Paul told them that they were to comfort one another with the promise of a gathering together (Rapture). Why? Because they wouldn't need to worry about entering into the Tribulation. Jesus would come first to gather believers together to be with Him forever. It's no comfort to be promised a gathering together of believers AFTER suffering through the Tribulation, but it is a comfort to be promised a gathering together BEFORE such times begin.

So Paul's saying, "I already told you, we're going to be gathered together before the Tribulation, so don't listen to false doctrine and the twisted words of men, hold on to what you've already been taught. Remember what I told you before."

There is also the fact that the scripture doesn't contradict itself. Let's look at what Peter said in Acts 2:16-18 "But this is that which was spoken by the prophet Joel: 17And it shall come to pass in the last days, saith God, I will pour out my Spirit upon all flesh: and your sons and your daughters will prophesy, and your young men shall see visions, and your old men shall dream dreams: 18And on my servants and on my handmaidens I will pour out in those days of my Spirit; and they shall prophesy:" 

This does not sound like "a falling away," now does it?  People, even now, are saying that we are in the midst of the great falling away, but that conflicts with what is going on in the world today. Actually, it's the exact opposite. Thousands upon thousands of people are coming to Christ every day. Just look at what is going on in Asia and the Middle East and third world countries!

It seems that by interpreting the word "apostasia" as "a falling away" actually contradicts what God said He would do in the last days, and the proof is what is going on in the world today. Where Satan has made inroads into our nation's church system and those in Europe, God is more than making up for that with the influx of new born again believers worldwide. 

1 Tim 4:1 speaks of a departure from the faith, but it does not describe a great falling away: "Now the Spirit speaketh expressly, that in the latter time, some shall depart from the faith, giving heed to seducing spirits, and doctrines of devils;" There is a difference between what people expect as a great "falling away" and what Timothy described as "some." Some shall depart from the faith, and that is exactly what has happened, but there are more saints worldwide entering into a relationship with Jesus than there are departing the faith, so I can't support the notion that "a falling away" is the correct interpretation of the Greek word, "apostasia."

Here's another little nugget of information for you. 2 Thessalonians 2:6-7 says: "And now ye know what withholdeth that he might be revealed in his time. 7For the mystery of iniquity doth already work: only he who now letteth will let, until he be taken out of the way." 

Meaning? The Holy Spirit is holding back the reign of the Antichrist until He is "taken out of the way." Since God has already promised never to leave nor forsake us, and that we are born of the Spirit (and since scripture cannot contradict itself), the Holy Spirit will not depart unless we go with Him. Sounds an awful lot like the Rapture, doesn't it? 

I'm interested in your opinion. Please take the time to leave a comment below.

You can read the other parts of this series by clicking on the links below:

Why I Believe In A Pre-Tribulation Pt. 1 - The 24 Elders

Why I Believe In A Pre-Tribulation Pt. 2 - Noah, Lot, and Rabbit Holes

Why I Believe In A Pre-Tribulation Pt. 3 - The Slow Motion Replay

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Wednesday, September 16, 2015

Date Setting And Paranoia - What's A Christian To Do?

BIBLICAL PROPHECY! BLOOD MOONS! THE FALL FEASTS! THE RAPTURE! THE TRIBULATION! DESTRUCTION! DEVASTATION! THE END OF THE WORLD! ECONOMIC COLLAPSE!

Seeing the unsaved being influenced by their own fearful thoughts and gripped with fear about the possibility that mayhem and destruction is right around the corner is one thing, but when those who call themselves Christians let fear and uncertainty grip their heart and control their thoughts and actions, that's quite another. Yes, there are principalities and powers at work in this world, but Christians have One greater who lives within them... the Holy Spirit. We must not allow ourselves to get caught up in all of the hype of this season of change. For years, believers have predicted the date of the Rapture and unbelievers have predicted the destruction of the world, oft times to the determent of those who believed such stories. Neither the rapture nor the earth's destruction have occurred.

We can excuse the unbeliever for predicting the ultimate demise of the planet and everything on it, but can we excuse the believer of sharing the false assumption that the date of Jesus return can be predicted? Jesus said, "But of that day and hour knoweth no man, no, not the angels of heaven, but my Father only." Matthew 24:36  He didn't say, "...knoweth no man, except those who were clever enough to figure it out." No, he said, "...knowth no man... but my Father only." The blood moons and everything else being thrown out there by those believers who have studied God's word, Jewish tradition and world history, doesn't really give us a clue as to when the Rapture will take place. These individuals have absolutely no idea when the Rapture will take place. It's all guesswork. There's not going to be that one believer in Heaven who will be able to say, "Yep, no one else figured it out except me." There's no crown, special badge or honor, or special seat at God's throne for such a feat. Why? Because God has already said that no one will be able to know the date and time of the Rapture. To say that it's possible to do so would be to call God a liar.

September 13, 2015 was thrown out there by some Christians who believed that this was the date of the Rapture. That date has since come and gone. Now I understand that some are claiming that the Rapture will occur on September 28, 2015 at the next blood moon. Does anyone believe that the Lord will return on that date? Let's see a show of hands. Anyone? Let me state this as clearly as I know how. If you are absolutely positive, and believe in your heart, and you know that you know that you know that the Lord will return on a specific date, then you can be positive that you are wrong because Jesus said that no man would know the day nor the hour of His return. What? Are you calling Jesus a liar?

Be honest... how many of us, in the past, have bought in to the idea that the year had finally come for the Lord's return? (I'm raising my hand) That year passed without the Rapture, then the next and the next until we now find ourselves here in the latter part of 2015. Some are positive that this is the year. Really? What happens if and when 2016 rolls around. Will you then be positive that the Rapture will take place in 2016? What if we reach 2017? How positive will you be then that 2017 will be the year of the Rapture?

Even though we don't know the day or the hour, we've been told that we will know the season. Many of us believe that we are in that season even now, but we have no idea how long this season will last. We know that Jesus' arrival is imminent and it could occur at any time, but that's not to say that this season won't last another five or ten years. I hope that's not the case. I hope that the Lord does return this year, but I'm not going to listen to those false prophets who lead people on and choose their words to carefully craft a prediction while still weakly claiming that it's just an educated guess. 

While we're here, we have a war to fight. We're here to take back ground from the enemy and to advance the kingdom of God here on earth. We're here to rescue those who are unwittingly running headlong toward the edge of the abyss, and while we're doing this, the enemy continues to make his preparations for the coming of his Antichrist. God has Satan hemmed in so that he can only accomplish so much, but when the point is reached where the world is ripe for the great deception that will fall upon them, and when that last brother or sister that God is waiting for has repented of their sin and believes in the One who gave His life for them, then we'll be ripped from this world in a blink of an eye at the same moment that the full force of evil in this world is released!

There are people out there in the Christian community who will talk about the blood moons, the Jewish Feasts and the "last trump" and who will try to convince us that the blood moons signal catastrophe and that through their study they've concluded that the Jewish feasts and the scripture relating to the "last trump" show that the Rapture will occur on the last day of Rosh Hashanah. These individuals have received monetary gain from the books, videos, charts, posters, and anything else that they've sold online. Whether they receive monetary gain or not, they make these claims, all the while telling us that they're not date setting. If it's not Rosh Hashanah 2015, then all through next year the date setters will be talking about Rosh Hashanah 2016.  

What they don't tell you is that the Jewish calendar has gone through some changes since Jesus prophetically fulfilled the first four major feast days. Without getting into specifics, the Jewish calendar that was around when Jesus walked this earth isn't the same calendar that they use now. The Jewish calendar used to be based on the lunar cycle, and eye witness accounts of when the new moon appeared, but as I understand it, that was changed in the fourth century when it was changed to a fixed calendar. As you can imagine, those in Jesus' time would be celebrating a holy day on a particular day while those in the fourth century and beyond would be celebrating it on another, since they would be operating under two different systems of marking days and months. The modern calendar allows for the adding and taking away of days so that certain holy days don't fall back to back or on the "wrong day."

The point I'm trying to make concerning these two methods of marking time, is that it makes no sense to try to connect the "last trump" Jesus spoke of with the last trumpet blast of the modern celebration of Rosh Hashanah because it's more than likely that this holy day won't line up with the old lunar calendar. That's why if Jesus was referring to Rosh Hashanah when He made mention of the "last trump," it would most likely be blown on the date that Rosh Hashanah would have ended on in regard to the old Jewish calendar and not the last day of Rosh Hashanah that is marked on the modern Jewish calendar that they use today.

Many of us feel that we are in the season where we are to look up and expect the arrival of the Bridegroom, but it's not a time to panic and believe that every news story is going to lead to the immediate destruction of this nation. Yes, the United States is most likely going to fall, because the greatest and most powerful nation that there has ever been on this planet is found nowhere in biblical prophecy.

Instead of fearing what is to come, we need to prayerfully prepare for what we may need to go through before the Bridegroom arrives. We don't know how bad things are going to get in this world or how bad it's going to be for born again believers before the Tribulation begins. We are already seeing the leading edge of Christian persecution in this country and it's only going to get worse as we get closer to Yeshua's return. 

What's a Christian to do? We need to live each day in it's own time. We need to continue to believe, pray, share, witness, evangelize, teach, etc... We need to continue to depend on God to increase our faith, give us strength, and lead us by His Holy Spirit. Jesus said that His return would be as the great flood occurred in Noah's time. Everyone would be eating and drinking, getting married, and going on with their daily lives. His return will happen suddenly, as a thief in the night. In the blink of an eye we'll be ushered into His presence and our thoughts will no longer be focused on what is happening in the world, but will instead be focused on the One who saved us through His blood on the cross.

You know who I want to meet in heaven? I want to meet that man, woman or child who shares Jesus with that last person who receives salvation before Jesus returns. I want to go up to that saint and say, "Well done," before giving him or her a big hug in appreciation for being so faithful and obedient to God.

Last words: Don't fall into the date setting trap. Live your days one at a time while looking up in anticipation of the arrival of the Bridegroom. One day, when you least expect it, you'll hear that shout and that trumpet blast, and in that moment we'll be home!

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Repent and be forgiven! Believe and be saved!

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Friday, August 28, 2015

The First Resurrection And The Rapture

It's easy to confuse the first resurrection with the Rapture. After all, they both involve resurrected bodies. The Rapture isn't exclusively a resurrection. By that, I mean that yes, the saints that have gone before us will be reunited with their bodies and have them transformed into immortal and incorruptible bodies just a moment before we, who are living, have our bodies transformed in like manner. It isn't described as the first resurrection, but as being caught up. "For the Lord himself shall descend from heaven with a shout, with the voice of the archangel, and with with trump of God: and the dead in Christ shall rise first: 17 Then we which are alive and remain shall be caught up together with them in the clouds, to meet the Lord in the air: and so shall we ever be with the Lord." (1Thessalonians 4:16-17 KJV) 

The first resurrection won't involve the living, but the dead in Christ. Here we see both the living and the dead being "caught up" to be with the Lord forever. It's not known as a "resurrection Rapture," but only as the Rapture (the catching away of the living and dead in Christ). The Rapture won't be the first time that the dead have been resurrected either. If you remember, immediately after Jesus rose from the dead, others rose from the dead as well. 

"Jesus, when he had cried again with a loud voice, yielded up the ghost. 51 And, behold, the veil of the temple was rent in twain from the top to the bottom; and the earth did quake, and the rocks rent; 52 And the graves were opened; and many bodies of the saints which slept arose, 53 And came out of the graves after his resurrection, and went into the holy city, and appeared unto many." (Matthew 27:50-53 KJV)

It would be just as easy to confuse this with the “first resurrection” as it would be to confuse the Rapture with the "first resurrection."

So when does the "first resurrection" occur?

"And I saw thrones, and they that sat upon them, and judgment was given unto them: and I saw the souls of them that were beheaded for their witness of Jesus, and for the word of God, and which had not worshiped the beast, neither his image, neither had received his mark upon their foreheads, nor in their hands; and they lived and reigned with Christ a thousand years. 5 But the rest of the dead lived not again until the thousand years were finished. This is the first resurrection. 6 Blessed and holy is he that hath part in the first resurrection: on such the second death hath no power, but they shall be priests of God and of Christ, and shall reign with him a thousand years." (Rev. 20:4-6 KJV)

This scripture specifically mentions events that will occur only at the time of the Tribulation. Those who participate in the "first resurrection" were beheaded for their witness for Jesus and for the word of God, did not worship the beast, and did not receive the mark of the beast on their hand or forehead. It's clear that the "first resurrection" occurs AFTER the Tribulation, when Jesus returns to Earth along with those who had been raptured seven years prior. Nowhere in this portion of scripture does it mention that those alive in Christ will be caught up together with them. This event happens seven years AFTER the event known as the Rapture. 

Many will continue to support the idea of a post-Tribulation Rapture, but that just isn't the case. This "first resurrection" is exclusive to those who have experienced death and there is nowhere in scriptures of this kind that describe the catching away of those who are living as well. If you read the following verses, you'll see what I mean:

"And when he had opened the fifth seal, I saw under the alter the souls of them that were slain for the word of God, and for the testimony which they held: 10 And they cried with a loud voice, saying, How long, O Lord, holy and true, dost thou not judge and avenge our blood on them that dwell on the earth? 11 And white robes were given unto every one of them; and it was said unto them, that they should rest yet for a little season, until their fellow servants also and their brethren, that should be killed as they were, should be fulfilled." (Rev. 6:9-11  KJV - bold mine) There is nowhere in this scripture that even eludes to the fact that those who are alive will be caught up with them. This event coincides with Christ's return along with those who participated in the Rapture seven years before. 

God is very specific when He is describing those who are "under the alter." 
  • They are the souls who were slain for the word of God and for the testimony which they held.
    • Christians will be killed during the Tribulation
  • They are told to "rest yet for a little season."
    • "little season" - Remainder of the Tribulation
  • They are to wait until their fellow servants/brethren are killed as they were. 
    • Their fellow brothers and sisters will be killed during the Tribulation in the same way they were
These souls aren't representative of every Christian who is waiting to be resurrected at a post-Tribulation Rapture. These are specific souls that have been persecuted and killed because of their faith and it is during the seal judgments that they are first mentioned, linking their persecution and deaths to the Tribulation. These souls mentioned here in Rev. 6:9-11 are the same souls mentioned in Rev. 20:4-6. They are the souls who are part of the "first resurrection" and who "lived and reigned with Christ a thousand years." The importance of the "first resurrection" cannot be understated. After the pre-Tribulation Rapture, the "first resurrection" will be vitally important. It will give those who had previously rejected Christ the opportunity to repent, believe, and be saved before their physical death. They are assured that even though they did not participate in the Rapture, they will participate in the "first resurrection" and live and rule with Christ for a thousand years! They have escaped the curse of the second death. The Rapture was their wake-up call, and many will heed that call.

Is there a second resurrection?

Well, yes and no. It's not specifically called the "second resurrection." It's called the "second death." It occurs at the White Throne Judgment after Satan is finally defeated and condemned to eternity in hell. It is at this time that those who died apart from God, are resurrected and stand before Jesus to be judged by the law of God, receiving the eternal destiny that they have chosen for themselves… eternity in the lake of fire and brimstone. This is why you need to repent and believe, so that you can be part of the experience known as the Rapture or, if you are left behind, be a part of the first resurrection. Just as those who take the mark of the Beast are automatically condemned to Hell, those who are part of the “second death” are destined to spend eternity in Hell.


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