Sunday, April 04, 2021

What If The Last Trump Isn't What We Think It Is?

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Let me begin by first quoting the portion of scripture that we'll be discussing:

1 Cor. 15:51-52 "Behold, I tell you a mystery; we will not all sleep, but we will all be changed, 52in a moment, in the twinkling of an eye, at the last trumpet; for the trumpet will sound, and the dead will be raised imperishable, and we will be changed."

Many people are convinced that the last trump referred to here in 1 Corinthians is either referring to the last trump of Rosh Hashanah, or referring to the last trumpet judgment mentioned in the book of Revelation. We've all seen the blogs and vlogs, or sat in church services or bible studies where we were taught one theory or the other. Many Christians are convinced that it has to be one of the two. They're steadfast in their beliefs, and can offer up reasons why their adherence to that particular theory is logically correct, but I often question things, and after a while, I began to believe that neither one of these theories makes much sense to me, and here's why... 

In Matthew 24:36, Jesus says, "But of that day and hour knoweth no man, no, not the angels of heaven, but my Father only."

And again, in Mattnew 24:44, Jesus says, "Therefore, be ye also ready: for in such an hour that ye think not, the Son of Man cometh.

Again, in Matthew 25:13, Jesus says, "Watch therefore, for you know neither the day nor the hour in which the Son of Man is coming."

So, if no man or angel, or even Jesus, knows when that will be, and if He says that He's coming in such an hour that we don't even expect Him, then how can we even suggest that it will be at the last trump of Rosh Hashanah of any given year, since that last trump of Rosh Hashanah can be calculated? Even if it's not this year, it can be predicted that it will happen next year. If not next year, then the next one. It will always be expected at the end of Rosh Hashanah, so we could say that it can be predicted in any given year if it were to be this particular "last trump." Christians get hung up on the Feast of Trumpets every year, anticipating that at the last trump of this High Holiday, they'll be raptured. How many people are disappointed year after year when it doesn't happen? How many have fallen away from the faith after they were assured by those they deemed more mature than them, that this was the year of the greatest evacuation in the history of the planet?

I also question how we can be assured that it will happen at the end of the trumpet judgments that are spoken about in the book of Revelation. That can also be predicted, because the 7th trumpet judgment occurs mid-Tribulation. We may not know the hour, but if the tribulation lasts 7 years on the Luni-Solar calendar, also known as the Jewish calendar, we can calculate where the mid-point is in the Tribulation (1260 days), so knowing this date would give us the knowledge that Jesus said none of us would have. So, if both of those trumpet blasts can be more-or-less calculated, how is it possible that Jesus would say that we wouldn't know the day... that He would return unexpectedly???

I have a different theory that I'd like throw into the mix. What if God isn't referring to either one of those trumpet blasts? Think about that. What if there was a trumpet blast that we weren't even considering... that didn't even come to mind... because it's an Old Testament reference which can't be calculated, because we were never told that it would ever be used again? That would mean that it would be a totally unpredictable event, so even though we know we're in the season, we'd be taken by surprise when it actually happened, because there would be absolutely no way to predict the day or time of this other trumpet blast. So, if the last trump doesn't relate to Rosh Hashanah, or the seventh trumpet judgment, then what am I referring to?

There is a portion of scripture in Exodus that mentions another heavenly trumpet that was blown. The similarities between that event and the coming Rapture is compelling. Is it possible that the "last trump" spoken of in 1 Corinthians could be the same trumpet that was blown in Exodus 19:16-18? 

"So it came about on the third day, when it was morning, that there were thunder and lightning flashes and a thick cloud upon the mountain and a very loud trumpet sound, so that all the people who were in the camp trembled. 17And Moses brought the people out of the camp to meet God, and they stood at the foot of the mountain. 18Now Mount Sinai was all in smoke because the LORD descended upon it in fire; and its smoke ascended like the smoke of a furnace, and the hole mountain quaked violently."

Now, the trumpet in this portion of scripture wasn't just any trumpet. It was actually a special ram's horn that was blown from heaven. If we go back a few verses to Exodus 19:13b, it says, "...When the ram's horn sounds a long blast, they shall come up to the mountain."

This happened just after God's people were delivered from the hand of the Pharaoh and the bonds of Egypt. Just as they were delivered from the bond of Egypt, will we be delivered from the bonds of this world... of the flesh... at the next blast of the ram's horn from heaven?

Could the trumpet that heralded the arrival of God in a cloud at the top of the mountain, be the one that will herald the arrival of Jesus in the clouds as well? Could this be the heralding trumpet that's going to be blown one last time when God calls us up out of the camp to meet Him?

It's a point of view that I've never heard before, but it's highly likely I'm not the only one who's mentioned this point of view. Could this be why the bride of Christ is going to be unaware as to the actual time of the Rapture? We know the season, but how could we possibly know the day or the hour? This point of view makes the Rapture totally unpredictable, just as Jesus said it would be.

I think this is an interesting take on the subject, and one that I hope will generate some conversation in the comment section below. As I've said, we've been taught to believe in one theory or another concerning the "last trump," but if Jesus says it's not possible for us to know the day or hour, then why put much thought into it? Just know that it will happen, and that we need to be like the wise virgins who kept their lamps full. If we do that, then we won't need to be concerned about when the Lord will return, because we'll always be at the ready.





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Repent and be forgiven! Believe and be saved!
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Sunday, March 22, 2020

The Nephilim And End Time Biblical Prophecy

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Adding to the word of God is a very serious thing. I briefly hit upon this subject in one of my previous posts: The Spirit Of Python Is A Spirit Of Divination And Nothing More.  In that article, I shed light on all the false teachings out there concerning the spirit of python, and how a spiritual truth was being distorted and taught as biblical truth. The same thing seems to have happened with this idea that Nephilim will appear again during the end times. This false teaching has been around for quite some time. Here is the scripture that everyone seems to cling to when claiming that there will be Nephilim during the end times:

26And as it was in the days of Noe, so shall it be also in the days of the Son of man. 27They did eat, they drank, they married wives, they were given in marriage, until the day that Noe entered into the ark, and the flood came, and destroyed them all. (Luke 17:26-27)

God has said that in the days of the Son of man, life will be as it was in the days of Noah. Well, what does that mean exactly? God answers that question in the very next verse: "They did eat, they drank, they married wives, they were given in marriage..." Everything was going on as usual, "...until the day that Noe entered into the ark, and the flood came, and destroyed them all." So God explains what He meant when He said that the end times will be just as it was in the time of Noah.

Q: Well wait, where do the Nephilim come into the picture? 
A: They don't. God doesn't mention them, but that doesn't stop false teachers from cutting and pasting the Nephilim in to this end time prophecy.

Let's read the next few verses in that same chapter where God immediately gives us another example:

28Likewise also as it was in the days of Lot; they did eat, they drank, they bought, they sold, they planted, they bulided; 29But the same day that Lot went out of Sodom it rained fire and brimstone from heaven, and destroyed them all. 30Even thus shall it be in the day when the Son of man is revealed. (Luke 17:28-29)

So, in Lot's time, they were eating, drinking, buying and selling, planting and building, living their lives as they usually did on a daily basis. There was no warning judgment was coming just as there was no warning in the time of Noah. 

Do you see any Nephilim mentioned? No, you don't. Read Luke chapter 17 yourself. Any mention of Nephilim in that entire chapter? Again, no. Why? The reason they're not mentioned is because they're not part of end time prophecy. The Nephilim aren't even on God's radar in Luke chapter 17. On the contrary, God is giving us a picture of what it will be like when Jesus returns. Everyone will be living life as usual. Eating, drinking, marrying, working, going to the store, etc... God isn't warning us about Nephilim, He's telling us that Jesus' return will be totally unexpected and that judgment will come upon the world at a time when no one expects it.

Although there are many born again believers online who would have you believe that the Nephilim are part of this prophecy, it's just can't be supported by scripture. Ask yourself this question: If this teaching about Nephilim appearing during the end times is not supported by scripture, then what kind of teaching is this? Answer: It's a false teaching.

Let's look at it from the perspective of those who hold true to this false teaching. They will say, "Well, it doesn't necessarily mention the Nephilim, but they were alive at that time, so when God says that it will be the same during the end times as it was during Noah's or Lot's time, then logically it must also mean that the Nephilim will be around. God says, 'As it was in the days of Noah...'" WARNING!!! That's when they will begin using flawed human intellect to lead you down a rabbit hole and away from biblical truth to convince you to believe in something that isn't biblically sound and cannot be found in scripture. They'll explain to you that other things were happening at the time of Noah as well, so they must be included in this prophecy. If you listen carefully to what they have to say, you'll find that their logic is based on pure conjecture, and that their claim is in no way based on scripture.

Using their flawed logic, dinosaurs would also appear during the end times because dinosaurs were alive before the flood. If we're going to cut and paste Nephilim to the picture, then we have to do that with everything else, including dinosaurs, because God said, "As it was in the days of Noah..." 

Do you see where I'm going with this? Just as dinosaurs aren't going to return, neither will the Nephilim, because IT'S NOT SCRIPTURAL! What's one of the basic rules of bible study? You must interpret scripture in context. I had a friend who used to misquote scripture all the time, taking things totally out of context and using it haphazardly, like a child clumsily wielding a toy sword. It was not only annoying, but she truly believed that what she was saying was biblically sound. 

Misquoting scripture, or adding to scripture, shows a lack of wisdom, knowledge, and understanding of God and of His word. I guarantee you that many people who believe in the return of the Nephilim will take great exception to this article, but that's because they don't have scriptural truth to back up their claims of returning Nephilim, and they can't defend themselves with solid scripture references, so they'll angrily defend their indefensible position.

That's really all the time I'm willing to give to this false teaching. It's pretty straight forward. I urge you to stay away from any teaching that can't be supported by scripture and I warn you  not to let false teachers lead you down a rabbit hole of flawed human intellect disguised as spiritual teaching. 

God bless and please feel free to leave a comment down below. All comments are held for review before posting, so if your comment doesn't immediately appear, don't fret. 

If I don't see you here (on earth), then I'll see you on the other side!!! God bless!!!

REPENT AND BE FORGIVEN!
BELIEVE AND BE SAVED!

TRIBULATIONHARVEST.NET

Thursday, October 24, 2019

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

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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 harassing, bullying, threatening, or seriously/fatally injuring a born again believer.

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 those who have a different ideology or lifestyle than they do. 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 instead of the offender, 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 will you choose?

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Repent and be forgiven! Believe and be saved!
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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.

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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 Jesus. 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 from 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!

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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.

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!!!



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

READ THE BLOG, OR WATCH THE VIDEO!!!


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 Rapture Pt. 1 - The 24 Elders

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

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

Why I Believe In A Pre-Tribulation Rapture Pt. 5 - The First Resurrection

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!

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