Monthly Archives: June 2016

Rapture timeline

The scripture verses in the book of Revelation present a timeline for when the rapture takes place during the tribulation. There are sign posts/events along the way within the chapters of the book of Revelation, that mark when the rapture takes place. In regards to this timeline, it is important to always keep in mind that the three woes are linked to the last three Trumpets.

Revelation 8:13 KJVS
[13] And I beheld, and heard an angel flying through the midst of heaven, saying with a loud voice, Woe, woe, woe, to the inhabiters of the earth by reason of the other voices of the trumpet of the three angels, which are yet to sound!

The above verse establishes a linear chronology throughout the 8th-12th chapters of Revelation based on when these three woes transpire within the narrative. We know for a fact that the two witnesses give their testimony during the first 3 1/2 years of what is commonly called the tribulation, because of what is written in the following verses.

Revelation 11:3,7-13 KJVS
[3] And I will give power unto my two witnesses, and they shall prophesy a thousand two hundred and threescore days, clothed in sackcloth. [7] And when they shall have finished their testimony, the beast that ascendeth out of the bottomless pit shall make war against them, and shall overcome them, and kill them. [8] And their dead bodies shall lie in the street of the great city, which spiritually is called Sodom and Egypt, where also our Lord was crucified. [9] And they of the people and kindreds and tongues and nations shall see their dead bodies three days and an half, and shall not suffer their dead bodies to be put in graves. [10] And they that dwell upon the earth shall rejoice over them, and make merry, and shall send gifts one to another; because these two prophets tormented them that dwelt on the earth. [11] And after three days and an half the Spirit of life from God entered into them, and they stood upon their feet; and great fear fell upon them which saw them. [12] And they heard a great voice from heaven saying unto them, Come up hither. And they ascended up to heaven in a cloud; and their enemies beheld them. [13] And the same hour was there a great earthquake, and the tenth part of the city fell, and in the earthquake were slain of men seven thousand: and the remnant were affrighted, and gave glory to the God of heaven.

These verses give us some very important details. The ministry of the two witnesses takes place before the first and second woe. The beast that ascends out of the bottomless pit, first woe (5th trumpet), kills the two witnesses. The second woe takes place when the great earthquake occurs in Jerusalem following the death and resurrection of the two witnesses. The seventh trumpet and third woe takes place shortly after the second woe.

Revelation 11:14-15 KJVS
[14] The second woe is past; and , behold, the third woe cometh quickly. [15] And the seventh angel sounded; and there were great voices in heaven, saying, The kingdoms of this world are become the kingdoms of our Lord, and of his Christ; and he shall reign for ever and ever.

Apostle John writes a verse in the tenth chapter of the book of Revelation that is in harmony with Rev 11:15, and with a revelation given to Apostle Paul.

Revelation 10:7 ESV
[7] but that in the days of the trumpet call to be sounded by the seventh angel, the mystery of God would be fulfilled, just as he announced to his servants the prophets.

The mystery of God is Christ in you the hope of glory, Col 1:27. Apostle Paul was given a dispensation by God to preach the revelation of the mystery of God, which fulfilled the word of God, Col 1:25. A short word study on the word mystery as it appears in the New Testament is helpful if one is unfamiliar with this mystery. Paul writes of this mystery in the often quoted verses in the 15th chapter of 1 Corinthians.

1 Corinthians 15:51-52 KJVS
[51] Behold, I shew you a mystery; We shall not all sleep, but we shall all be changed, [52] In a moment, in the twinkling of an eye, at the last trump: for the trumpet shall sound, and the dead shall be raised incorruptible, and we shall be changed.

At the seventh trumpet the members of the body will receive their glorified bodies and rule and reign with Jesus Christ for a thousand years, Rev 20:6. Which will be God’s glory in the kingdom to come, 1 Th 2:12. A interesting aspect of the mystery of God, mystery of Christ, is that God has to make known to a individual, what is the riches of the glory surrounding this mystery. So many bible experts do not understand this mystery because it is not given for them to know.

Colossians 1:27 KJVS
[27] To whom God would make known what is the riches of the glory of this mystery among the Gentiles; which is Christ in you, the hope of glory:

The last trump/trumpet that sounds, is the seventh trumpet and that is when the mystery of God is finished.

Revelation 11:15 KJVS
[15] And the seventh angel sounded; and there were great voices in heaven, saying, The kingdoms of this world are become the kingdoms of our Lord, and of his Christ; and he shall reign for ever and ever.

Many try to take the 12th chapter of Revelation and place it at the beginning of the tribulation, Rev 4:1, or at the sixth seal in support of a pre tribulation rapture theory. But again, the three woe that are linked to the last three Trumpets, makes that impossible. If in fact one views the man child as the body of Christ, and the man child caught up to the throne of God, Rev 12:5, as the rapture. The third woe is when Satan is cast down to earth, Rev 12:12, following the man child being caught up to the throne of God, Rev 12:5. And the third woe takes place shortly after the second, Rev 11:14. It is very easy to loose sight of the fact that the three woes are associated with the last three Trumpets, Rev 8:13, while reading the narrative within the 8th-12th chapters. Many also view the woman in Revelation 12 as Mary the mother of Jesus. But again, the three woes makes that also impossible since the three woes are linked to the last three trumpets. Then there are others who view the woman of Revelation 12 as Israel. Apostle Paul states that the mother of us all is Jerusalem above, Gal 4:26. Isaiah also states the mother is Zion, which is a synonym for Jerusalem, Isa 66:7&8. There are two seed of the woman mentioned in the 12th chapter of Revelation. The man child who is resurrected at the seventh trumpet, verse 5, and the remnant of the woman’s seed, verse 17, who Satan makes war against during the last 3 1/2 years of the tribulation.

Revelation 12:17 KJVS
[17] And the dragon was wroth with the woman, and went to make war with the remnant of her seed, which keep the commandments of God, and have the testimony of Jesus Christ.

So you have two seed of the woman, one group resurrected/changed at the middle of the tribulation and another group that are on the earth during the final half of the tribulation. The woman flys into the wilderness for three and a half years. The wilderness is a place where one is tested and tried by God. http://www.justifiedfreely.com/?p=724

Revelation 12:14 KJVS
[14] And to the woman were given two wings of a great eagle, that she might fly into the wilderness, into her place, where she is nourished for a time, and times, and half a time, from the face of the serpent.

Rev 12:17 may in fact account for verses in other parts of the Bible that point to a post tribulation resurrection. Possibly the resurrection of the just and unjust our Lord mentions in the latter half of the 25th chapter of Matthew. If I were to speculate upon the difference between those in the man child and those mentioned in Rev 12:17, I would say the baptism of the Holy Ghost.

Matthew 3:11-12 KJVS
[11] I indeed baptize you with water unto repentance: but he that cometh after me is mightier than I, whose shoes I am not worthy to bear: he shall baptize you with the Holy Ghost, and with fire: [12] Whose fan is in his hand, and he will throughly purge his floor, and gather his wheat into the garner; but he will burn up the chaff with unquenchable fire.

This baptism is a powerful and memorable experience, and in my case accompanied by speaking in tongues. When in fact might the rapture take place in regards to the timeframe in the book of Revelation?

Luke 3:1-3 KJVS
[1] Now in the fifteenth year of the reign of Tiberius Caesar, Pontius Pilate being governor of Judaea, and Herod being tetrarch of Galilee, and his brother Philip tetrarch of Ituraea and of the region of Trachonitis, and Lysanias the tetrarch of Abilene, [2] Annas and Caiaphas being the high priests, the word of God came unto John the son of Zacharias in the wilderness. [3] And he came into all the country about Jordan, preaching the baptism of repentance for the remission of sins;

Tiberius Caesar’s reign started in 14 AD, 15 years later the ministries of John the Baptist and our Lord started. The Lord’s ministry lasted for 3 1/2. Which places the crucifixion of our Lord in and around AD 33. There are two thousand year prophetic days, 2 Pe 3:8, before our Lord’s return at the start of the seventh day, which would place the start of the thousand year kingdom of God around AD 2033. Since the rapture, gathering of the Saints unto the Lord, is 3 1/2 years before 2033, Rev 10:7, that gives a rough target date of 2029 for the rapture, if not sooner, Mark 13:20. I for one, hope and pray sooner.

Hope of glory

Colossians 1:27 KJVS
[27] To whom God would make known what is the riches of the glory of this mystery among the Gentiles; which is Christ in you, the hope of glory:

There are certain words used in the New Testament whose meanings are not well defined and precise when they appear in scripture verses. These words cover a lot of ground. Glory is one such word, and is hard to nail down exactly what it means from one verse to the next. The obvious question to ask is exactly what does the word glory mean in Col 1:27? So let us take a look at two definition found in the Strong’s Concordance from a iPad bible app that I write with.

Strong’s Number
G1391
Original Word
δόξα
Transliterated Word
doxa
Parts of Speech
Noun Feminine

Strong’s Definition
From the base of G1380; glory (as very apparent) in a wide application (literally or figuratively objectively or subjectively): – dignity glory (-ious) honour praise worship.

Thayer’s Definition
1. opinion, judgment, view
2. opinion, estimate, whether good or bad concerning someone
a. in the NT always a good opinion concerning one, resulting in praise, honour, and glory
3. splendour, brightness
a. of the moon, sun, stars
b. magnificence, excellence, preeminence, dignity, grace
c. majesty
1. a thing belonging to God
a. the kingly majesty which belongs to him as supreme ruler,
majesty in the sense of the absolute perfection of the deity
2. a thing belonging to Christ
a. the kingly majesty of the Messiah
b. the absolutely perfect inward or personal excellency of Christ;
3. the majesty
of the angels
as apparent in their exterior brightness
4. a most glorious condition, most exalted state
a.of that condition with God the Father in heaven to which Christ
was raised after he had achieved his work on earth
b.the glorious condition of blessedness into which is appointed and promised that true Christians shall enter after their Saviour’s return from heaven

The Thayer’s Definition does a excellent job of giving detailed definitions for the word glory based on context as this word appears in the New Testament. 4b of the Thayer’s Definition is, in my mind, the closest meaning for the word as it is used in Col 1:27. There are several verses that uses the word glory with a similar meaning as in Col 1:27, which would support the meaning I am ascribing to Col 1:27.

Ephesians 1:17-18 KJVS
[17] That the God of our Lord Jesus Christ, the Father of glory, may give unto you the spirit of wisdom and revelation in the knowledge of him: [18] The eyes of your understanding being enlightened; that ye may know what is the hope of his calling, and what the riches of the glory of his inheritance in the saints,

As in Col 1:27, this verse in Ephesians is conditional. God the Father has to make known, give you the spirit of wisdom and revelation in the knowledge of the riches and glory of the mystery, in the inheritance we have in Christ. Both verses are what I call mirror verses and essentially point to the same thing. A recurring theme throughout the New Testament is our hope in the resurrection. Our inheritance in Christ is to inherit the world with Abraham, Ro 4:13, Gal 3:16&29. This is exclusive to the promise seed in Christ and entails receiving a glorified body. The next two verses may have well been written one right after the other.

Titus 2:13 KJVS
[13] Looking for that blessed hope, and the glorious appearing of the great God and our Saviour Jesus Christ;
Philippians 3:21 KJVS
[21] Who shall change our vile body, that it may be fashioned like unto his glorious body, according to the working whereby he is able even to subdue all things unto himself.

Apostle Paul goes in more detail of the changing of our vile body in the 15 chapter of 1 Corinthians.

1 Corinthians 15:41-43,50-52 KJVS
[41] There is one glory of the sun, and another glory of the moon, and another glory of the stars: for one star differeth from another star in glory. [42] So also is the resurrection of the dead. It is sown in corruption; it is raised in incorruption: [43] It is sown in dishonour; it is raised in glory: it is sown in weakness; it is raised in power: [50] Now this I say, brethren, that flesh and blood cannot inherit the kingdom of God; neither doth corruption inherit incorruption. [51] Behold, I shew you a mystery; We shall not all sleep, but we shall all be changed, [52] In a moment, in the twinkling of an eye, at the last trump: for the trumpet shall sound, and the dead shall be raised incorruptible, and we shall be changed.

Notice in verse 51 Paul uses the word mystery, which points to the very same mystery he mentions in Col 1:27. This mystery is Christ in you the hope of glory and Apostle John wrote of it in the book of Revelation.

Revelation 10:7 ESV
[7] but that in the days of the trumpet call to be sounded by the seventh angel, the mystery of God would be fulfilled, just as he announced to his servants the prophets.

I have wrote of this mystery in greater detail in other articles on this website. If I interested, a search on the word “mystery” in the search box in the upper right of the webpage can be made. But at the end of the day, God has to enlighten the eyes of a individual to understand the riches of the glory of this mystery of God and the inheritance we have in Christ.

1 Thessalonians 2:12 KJVS
[12] That ye would walk worthy of God, who hath called you unto his kingdom and glory.

The body of Christ receives a kingdom that cannot be moved, He 12:28, at the seventh trumpet.

Revelation 11:15 KJVS
[15] And the seventh angel sounded; and there were great voices in heaven, saying, The kingdoms of this world are become the kingdoms of our Lord, and of his Christ; and he shall reign for ever and ever.

For the law made nothing perfect

He 7:19 For the law made nothing perfect, but the bringing in of a better hope did ; by the which we draw nigh unto God.

That better hope is Christ in you, the hope of glory, Col 1:27. The law could not make anyone perfect or mature spiritually, because the flesh is too weak to consistently observe the law, Ro 8:3. Paul wrote a epistle to the Galatians church because outside Jewish elements had approached the members of the church and preached that church had to adopt the law of Moses. If asked to sum up the Galatians epistle with one verse within it, it would be this verse.

Ga 3:3 Are ye so foolish? having begun in the Spirit, are ye now made perfect by the flesh?

A verse in Philippians further hammers this point home.

Php 3:3 For we are the circumcision, which worship God in the spirit, and rejoice in Christ Jesus, and have no confidence in the flesh.

Paul in another of his epistles refers to the law as the ministration of death and condemnation.

2Co 3:6 ¶ Who also hath made us able ministers of the new testament; not of the letter, but of the spirit: for the letter killeth, but the spirit giveth life.
7 But if the ministration of death, written and engraven in stones, was glorious, so that the children of Israel could not stedfastly behold the face of Moses for the glory of his countenance; which glory was to be done away:
8 How shall not the ministration of the spirit be rather glorious?
9 For if the ministration of condemnation be glory, much more doth the ministration of righteousness exceed in glory.

I have asked myself what was Paul specifically referring to, when he used the term “law” in his epistles. Certainly not the Ten Commandments. But the 7th chapter of the book of Romans clears up that misconception.

Ro 7:6 But now we are delivered from the law, that being dead wherein we were held; that we should serve in newness of spirit, and not in the oldness of the letter.
7 ¶ What shall we say then? Is the law sin? God forbid. Nay, I had not known sin, but by the law: for I had not known lust, except the law had said, Thou shalt not covet.

Thou shalt not covet is the tenth commandment. The newness of the Spirit encompasses love of our fellow man. The newness of the Spirit would entail we forgive one another as we have been forgiven. It is a matter of what motivates our actions. A external law can’t change the inner nature of a man or a man’s heart but God can purify a man’s heart by faith, Acts 15:9. In the book of Colossians Paul put it like this.

Col 2:20 If you have died with Christ and have escaped from the world’s rudimentary notions, why, as though your life still belonged to the world, do you submit to such precepts as
21 “Do not handle this”; ‘Do not taste that”; ‘Do not touch that other thing”  — 
22 referring to things which are all intended to be used up and perish — in obedience to mere human injunctions and teachings?
23 These rules have indeed an appearance of wisdom where self-imposed worship exists, and an affectation of humility and an ascetic severity. But not one of them is of any value in combating the indulgence of our lower natures. Weymouth

Rules governing behavior, which try to enforce certain holiness standards, are often in the taste not, touch not, handle not variety. Often the person seeks to achieve holiness by sheer will power alone. But in actual practice these laws, and observing these laws, do nothing in combating or putting to death our lower natures, the flesh. But those with the Spirit of God, with the help of the Spirit, do mortify the deeds of the flesh, Ro 8:13. Only God, by His Spirit, can write His laws on our minds and put them in our hearts, He 10:16. Often it is called the law of love, James 2:8. The law of the Spirit of life in Jesus Christ makes us free from the law of sin and death. So the law is good, just and holy, Ro 7:12. It was added because of transgression, until the promised seed did come, Ga 3:19, which was Jesus. Israel of the promise was basically put into a holding pattern under the law, until the promised seed came, Ga 3:16-19. Apostle Paul in the book of Galatians makes these interesting statements.

Galatians 4:21-26,30 KJVS
[21] Tell me, ye that desire to be under the law, do ye not hear the law? [22] For it is written, that Abraham had two sons, the one by a bondmaid, the other by a freewoman. [23] But he who was of the bondwoman was born after the flesh; but he of the freewoman was by promise. [24] Which things are an allegory: for these are the two covenants; the one from the mount Sinai, which gendereth to bondage, which is Agar. [25] For this Agar is mount Sinai in Arabia, and answereth to Jerusalem which now is, and is in bondage with her children. [26] But Jerusalem which is above is free, which is the mother of us all. [30] Nevertheless what saith the scripture? Cast out the bondwoman and her son: for the son of the bondwoman shall not be heir with the son of the freewoman.

The covenant of the law from mount Sinai, is associated with the bondwoman Agar who is in bondage with her children and will not be heirs of the kingdom of God. Earlier in Galatians Paul makes this point.

Galatians 3:14 KJVS
[14] That the blessing of Abraham might come on the Gentiles through Jesus Christ; that we might receive the promise of the Spirit through faith.

One should always keep in mind the fact, that if you have not the Spirit of Christ, you are none of his, Ro 8:9. I used to be fairly proficient at woodworking. I have made my beds, end tables and a myriad of other furniture over the years. My neck is too unstable to do much of anything anymore. I used mortise and tennon joints, dove tail joints, and frame and panel construction to build much of my furniture. Scriptures fit together, in my mind, like the various pieces of wood that form a bed, a hutch or a table. So when I read the blessings of Abraham in Gal 3:14, a couple verses out of the book of Acts came to mind.

Acts 3:25-26 KJVS
[25] Ye are the children of the prophets, and of the covenant which God made with our fathers, saying unto Abraham, And in thy seed shall all the kindreds of the earth be blessed. [26] Unto you first God, having raised up his Son Jesus, sent him to bless you, in turning away every one of you from his iniquities.

I will briefly cover how the promised Spirit turns us away from our iniquities a bit later on. But first I would like to turn our attention to another matter. There are various books and studies centered around the law and the Old Testament tabernacle and sacrifices. Wherein the authors assign some spiritual significance and meanings to the tabernacle, altars, sacrifices and other various items contained therein, in regards to salvation. In my opinion, mistakenly so. The book of Hebrews contrast the Old and New Covenant. The High Priest in the Old Testament tabernacle in contrast with Jesus as High Priest of the New Covenant. It is a complex book full of persuasive language depicting Jesus to the Hebrews, as what he was, the Lamb of God who takes away the sins of the world. Types and shadows with figurative language, in which to use a phrase from the Apostle Peter, the unlearned and unstable wrest with unto their own destruction, 2Pe 3:16. There are more than a few verses in Hebrews that point out how the Old Testament law, with its sacrifices, lacked any value towards perfecting those involved in that religious system.

He 9:7 But into the second went the high priest alone once every year, not without blood, which he offered for himself, and for the errors of the people:
8 ¶ The Holy Ghost this signifying, that the way into the holiest of all was not yet made manifest, while as the first tabernacle was yet standing:
9 Which was a figure for the time then present, in which were offered both gifts and sacrifices, that could not make him that did the service perfect, as pertaining to the conscience;
10 Which stood only in meats and drinks, and divers washings, and carnal ordinances, imposed on them until the time of reformation.

One verse often used to lend credence to these books and studies covering the Old Testament tabernacle and the purposed spiritual significance of the structure, altars and various articles within, is He 8:5.

He 8:5 Who serve unto the example and shadow of heavenly things, as Moses was admonished of God when he was about to make the tabernacle: for, See, saith he, that thou make all things according to the pattern shewed to thee in the mount.

Moses was admonished by God to follow the pattern or model of the tabernacle he was shown on the mount. Some bible commentators suggest there is a additional meaning to the verse. That the tabernacle was a model of the layout in heaven. What is easy enough to fail to understand regarding that interpretation, at least from my understanding of scripture, is that if the Old Testament tabernacle reflected any aspect of heaven, it would reflect the status of mankind’s relationship with God, at that time. Mankind had no access to the third heaven at that time He 9:8&9, which did not change until Jesus Christ sacrificed himself and brought salvation and the reconciliation of mankind back to God.

Hebrews 9:23-24 KJVS
[23] It was therefore necessary that the patterns of things in the heavens should be purified with these; but the heavenly things themselves with better sacrifices than these. [24] For Christ is not entered into the holy places made with hands, which are the figures of the true; but into heaven itself, now to appear in the presence of God for us:

See also He 10:19-23. Hebrews is a extremely complex book to understand and one should take care when using it to formulate doctrine. Many of the books and teachings regarding the Old Testament tabernacle, extrapolate meanings and insights, using types and shadows. The Old Testament tabernacle and High Priest are used as a type and shadows of the New Testament tabernacle and High Priest, Jesus Christ. Hebrews 10:1 states that the law was a shadow of the good things to come but not the very image of the things. As such you cannot draw direct parallelisms from the Old Testament law as a shadow of the good things to come. It took me many years and untold readings of the book of Hebrews to be able to understand a majority of the verses in that epistle. One set of verses whose full meaning eluded me for quite some time are these.

Hebrews 13:9-13 KJVS
[9] Be not carried about with divers and strange doctrines. For it is a good thing that the heart be established with grace; not with meats, which have not profited them that have been occupied therein. [10] We have an altar, whereof they have no right to eat which serve the tabernacle. [11] For the bodies of those beasts, whose blood is brought into the sanctuary by the high priest for sin, are burned without the camp. [12] Wherefore Jesus also, that he might sanctify the people with his own blood, suffered without the gate. [13] Let us go forth therefore unto him without the camp, bearing his reproach.

For it is a good thing that the heart be established with grace; not with meats! Justification by grace is concerned with the purification of the heart by faith, Acts 15:9. Those Levite priest who served in the Old Testament tabernacle, performing sacrifices for themselves and others, did not profit from the activities they preformed in the tabernacle. The service they preformed did nothing towards eliminating their sinful natures or the sinful nature of those they sacrifice animal for. Only the grace of God, due to the salvation of Jesus Christ, teaching, chastising us, along with the washing of regeneration and renewal of the Holy Ghost changes our hearts and makes us righteous and worthy for our inheritance, Titus 2:11-12, Titus 3:4-7, 1Co 11:32, Col 1:12. It is remarkable the additional insight which can often be gained from studying scripture verses that are well traveled and often cited. The above verse He 13:9 states it is a good thing that the heart be established with grace; not with meats, which have not profited them that have been occupied therein. As said, our hearts are being purified by or through faith, Acts 15:9, a lifetime of faith during which God works in our life justifying and sanctify us. Paul, regarding his countrymen, and by extension those who seek to establish their own righteousness by works, sums it up nicely in Romans.

Ro 10:3 For they being ignorant of God’s righteousness, and going about to establish their own righteousness, have not submitted themselves unto the righteousness of God.

We are advised to go outside the camp and bear his, Jesus, reproach because we have no continueing city, He 13:13. The meaning of this is not readily apparent. But the reproach Jesus faced can be summed up nicely with this verse.

2 Corinthians 5:21 KJVS
[21] For he hath made him to be sin for us, who knew no sin; that we might be made the righteousness of God in him.

Religious institutions can often times present themselves to their members, as a essential part of the salvation process. And the body of Christ, the church is, but if these institutions do not teach sound doctrine and promote the believer to establish their own righteousness, by observing the law and other manmade law, then they are little different than the tabernacle and temple of the Old Testament. The altar we, as Christians eat off of, is the sin sacrifice altar outside the camp, where the bodies of the animals used as sin sacrifices were burned. Where sanctification takes place, He 10:10, 10:14, 2:11. For more detail on this altar please read a previous article concerning this subject, if you have not already done so. http://www.justifiedfreely.com/?p=178
But in short, our salvation is the work of God in our lives and is not a work of our fleshly efforts, Php 2:12-13. So it would seem obvious to me, that if a Christian wanted to go on into perfection, He 6:1, they would not look for spiritual significance in a religious system that was never designed to instill perfection. And that is still true today.

Ga 2:20 I am crucified with Christ: nevertheless I live; yet not I, but Christ liveth in me: and the life which I now live in the flesh I live by the faith of the Son of God, who loved me, and gave himself for me. [21] I do not frustrate the grace of God: for if righteousness come by the law, then Christ is dead in vain.