Who is Left Behind? Understanding the Order of the Final Gathering (Rapture)

Who is Left Behind? Understanding the Order of the Final Gathering (Rapture)

The 1970’s Christian movie “A Thief in the Night” portrayed a woman waking up to a news report of millions missing. She then discovered that her husband was one of those taken. This concept is taken from the words of Jesus:

“I tell you, in that night there will be two men in one bed: the one will be taken and the other will be left. Two women will be grinding together: the one will be taken and the other left. Two men will be in the field: the one will be taken and the other left.” (Luke v17:34-36)

The question obviously is whether the people taken are taken to be the with the Lord or are they taken for judgment. Clearly, the movie “A Thief in the Night” interpreted those taken as Christians. Yet when the disciples asked Jesus where were those people taken he does not say to heaven or to His side.
And they answered and said to Him, “Where, Lord?” So He said to them, “Wherever the body is, there the eagles will be gathered together.” (Luke 17:37)

The disciples were asking where one of the people (in bed, grinding, in the field) would be taken and Jesus answered where the body is there the eagles will be gathered. The place where the eagles (Greek: “aetos” meaning “eagle”, “vulture” “bird of prey”) will be gathered is a reference to the invitation the birds to come and enjoy the feast of those slain in the battle of the great day of the Lord.

“And as for you, son of man, thus says the Lord GOD, ‘Speak to every sort of bird and to every beast of the field: “Assemble yourselves and come; Gather together from all sides to My sacrificial meal Which I am sacrificing for you, A great sacrificial meal on the mountains of Israel, That you may eat flesh and drink blood. You shall eat the flesh of the mighty, Drink the blood of the princes of the earth, Of rams and lambs, Of goats and bulls, All of them fatlings of Bashan. You shall eat fat till you are full, And drink blood till you are drunk, At My sacrificial meal Which I am sacrificing for you. You shall be filled at My table With horses and riders, With mighty men And with all the men of war,” says the Lord GOD. (Ezek 39:17-20)

This same feast is mentioned in Rev 19:17-18

Then I saw an angel standing in the sun; and he cried with a loud voice, saying to all the birds that fly in the midst of heaven, “Come and gather together for the supper of the great God, “that you may eat the flesh of kings, the flesh of captains, the flesh of mighty men, the flesh of horses and of those who sit on them, and the flesh of all people, free and slave, both small and great.”(Rev 19:17-18)

Thus, Jesus’ answer that they will be taken to where the eagles are tells us that they are not the righteous but rather the wicked and they are taken away for judgment. They are not taken to be with the Lord as the movie “A Thief in the Night” would have us believe.

This agrees with what Jesus said in Matthew 24:39 concerning the evil people who were taken in the flood: “and did not know until the flood came and took them all away, so also will the coming of the Son of Man be.” (Matt 24:39) Noah and his family were hidden away safely whereas the wicked, outside the ark, were carried away by the flood to destruction.

The idea of the wicked taken away and the righteous left is also taught in the Hebrew Bible where the righteous are not removed from the land but the wicked are removed.

The righteous shall inherit the land, And dwell in it forever. (Ps 37:29)
The righteous will never be removed, But the wicked will not inhabit the earth. (Prov 10:30)

The challenge of putting all of this together lies in the statement that Jesus will return on the clouds and then send out his angels to gather his elect and then if two are in the field and one is taken, it would seem the one taken must the good guy. However, if we understand there to be three classes of people, then things line up better. Those individuals are:

  1. The elect (Commonwealth Israel = followers of Christ)
  2. Those who took the mark of the beast (Hybrids/Rephaim cf. Isaiah 26:19, Rev 14:9-10)
  3. Those who were righteous but didn’t know it – they don’t take the mark or follow beast but they don’t necessarily seem to be followers of Christ either. (Matthew 25:37)

With these elements in mind, we can construct a likely outline for Jesus’ return and the gathering of the wheat and tares.

Rapture / Gathering Scenario

  1. Jesus returns in flame and fire
  2. Resurrection: Your dead shall live; Together with my dead body they shall arise. Awake and sing, you who dwell in dust; For your dew is like the dew of herbs, (Isaiah 26:19)
  3. Mark of the Beast Recipients Rephaim Hybrids fall – “And the earth shall cast out [tapil תַּפִּֽיל] the dead [rephaim רְפָאִ֥ים]” (Isa 26:19)
  4. Jesus sends his angels to gather his elect who will receive new bodies (I Cor 15:51-52)
  5. Resurrected and gathered believers are hidden away for a brief period (Isaiah 26:20)
  6. The tares (Rephaim/hybrids/mark of the beast recipients) are gathered (Matt 13:41)
  7. Two will be grinding, one taken – where? (Luke 17:34-36)
  8. To where the eagles/vultures are – great feast of the Lord, Mat 24:37, Rev 19:17, Ezek 39:17-20
  9. The non-elect righteous are left to inherit the earth as mortals (Matt 25:34; Ps 37:29; Pr 10:30)
    a. To have children, build houses, etc. (Isaiah 65:20-23)

In conclusion, we see that the ones taken from the bed, mill, and field, are not the righteous, but the wicked who have taken the mark of the beast. They are removed to destruction where the birds will eat their flesh. The righteous who didn’t know it will inherit the earth as flesh and blood and have children. The elect (commonwealth of Israel) are gathered by the angels and are transformed in a flash into their new bodies and become rulers with Christ during the thousand-year rule.

Reclaiming the Rapture (There are Dozens of Verses for the Gathering of Israel)

According to pretrib rapture teachers, there isn’t even a single verse that supports the rapture. They claim that it is all over the Bible in the form of types and shadows. However, the Bible clearly and “unmysteriously” speaks of the gathering of God’s people after the time of tribulation. Teacher Doug Hamp, a former pretrib teacher, takes you on a jouney through the entire Bible showing verse after clear verse detailing the timing of rapture.

The Emperor Has No Clothes & the Pretrib Rapture Doctrine Has No Verse!

THE EMPEROR HAS NO CLOTHES: An analysis of the so called pretribulational verses as taught by Mark Hitchcock, and many other prominent pretrib rapturists.

I had the privilege of eating breakfast with Hitchcock at the Pretrib Rapture Conference in Dallas, TX in 2012, so this is

“WHILE NO SINGLE VERSE SAYS JESUS IS COMING TO RAPTURE HIS SAINTS BEFORE the seven-year Tribulation…” Pg 136

not an attack on his character or love for the Lord. I simply think that it is time that we demand to see the evidence which the pretrib rapture doctrine is based on. We can no longer claim that the timing is a mystery on the one hand, and then on the other hand, claim that it will certainly happen before the tribulation. If someone has a verse or contiguous passage to prove the pretribulational rapture, let him submit that evidence once and for all.

Hitchcock admits that there isn’t a single verse for the pretrib rapture. Notice that his evidence rests on other verses, namely that we will be delivered from the wrath to come. So, if it could we show (which we can) that the wrath is not the entire seven years, but the very day that Jesus’ comes back (which the eye witnesses in Rev 6 shout out), then the entire pretrib rapture argument fails.

QUOTE from Hitchcock’s book, The End:
“WHILE NO SINGLE VERSE SAYS JESUS IS COMING TO RAPTURE HIS SAINTS BEFORE the seven-year Tribulation, there are clear statements that He is coming to deliver His people from the coming wrath (1 Thessalonians 1:10; 5:9; Revelation 3:10). Thus, it STANDS TO REASON that God will use the Rapture to accomplish this promise. Also, it’s important to note that many biblical doctrines, such as the Trinity, the inerrancy of Scripture, and the dual nature of Christ, are NOT SPELLED CLEARLY IN ONE VERSE.” Mark Hitchcock, The End, Pg 136. [emphasis mine] END QUOTE

As expected, Hitchcock, like every other Pretrib teacher, must call the “Trinity” to the stand as a witness as a distraction to the real question – “where is the timing verse for the pretrib rapture?” Let’s not get caught in that trap but actually look at the verses that he has offered as proof of the pretrib rapture.

The first supposed proof is in Revelation 6 where the men of the world in are eye witnesses of the return of Jesus! This fact is missed because pretribbers almost always read Revelation as a chronologically straightforward book, when it is anything but (we see ALL the islands and mountains moving out of their places in BOTH Revelation 6:14 and Rev 16:20 – thus proving that they are same exact event but repeated in the text.)

Then the sky receded as a scroll when it is rolled up, and every mountain and island was moved out of its place. (Rev 6:14) And the kings of the earth, the great men, the rich men, the commanders, the mighty men, every slave and every free man, hid themselves in the caves and in the rocks of the mountains, (Rev 6:15) And said to the mountains and rocks, Fall on us, and hide us from the face of him that sitteth on the throne, and from the wrath of the Lamb: (Rev 6:16) For the great DAY OF HIS WRATH is come; and who shall be able to stand? (Rev 6:17)

I have included the “pretrib rapture” verses that Hitchcock cites in his book The End, pg 150. Please read them slowly and thoughtfully. Notice that NONE of them…NOT EVEN ONE gives us the timing of the pretrib rapture. Some speak of the resurrection or the transformation but NOT EVEN ONE tells us that the (PRETRIB) Rapture will happen before the Great Tribulation. I hope that it will become evident that the EMPEROR HAS NO CLOTHES.

John 14:1-3 1 “Let not your hearts be troubled. Believe in God; believe also in me. 2 In my Father’s house are many rooms. If it were not so, would I have told you that I go to prepare a place for you? 3 And if I go and prepare a place for you, I will come again and will take you to myself, that where I am you may be also. ESV2011 [WHERE IS THE PRETRIB RAPTURE???]

Rom 8:19 For the creation waits with eager longing for the revealing of the sons of God. ESV2011 [WHERE IS THE PRETRIB RAPTURE???]

Rom 8:1 There is therefore now no condemnation for those who are in Christ Jesus. ESV2011 [WHERE IS THE PRETRIB RAPTURE???]

1Cor 1:7-8 7 so that you are not lacking in any gift, as you wait for the revealing of our Lord Jesus Christ, 8 who will sustain you to the end, guiltless in the day of our Lord Jesus Christ. ESV2011[WHERE IS THE PRETRIB RAPTURE???]

1Cor 15:51-53 51 Behold! I tell 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 trumpet. For the trumpet will sound, and the dead will be raised imperishable, and we shall be changed. 53 For this perishable body must put on the imperishable, and this mortal body must put on immortality. ESV2011 [WHERE IS THE PRETRIB RAPTURE??? – SURE, WE HAVE THE RESURRECTION, BUT NO TIMING REFERENCE AT ALL]

1Cor 16:22 If anyone has no love for the Lord, let him be accursed. Our Lord, come! ESV2011 [WHERE IS THE PRETRIB RAPTURE???]

Phil 3:20-21 20 But our citizenship is in heaven, and from it we await a Savior, the Lord Jesus Christ, 21 who will transform our lowly body to be like his glorious body, by the power that enables him even to subject all things to himself. ESV2011 [WHERE IS THE PRETRIB RAPTURE??? THERE IS A TRANSFORMATION BUT NO TIMING REFERENCE]

Phil 4:5 Let your reasonableness be known to everyone. The Lord is at hand; ESV2011 [WHERE IS THE PRETRIB RAPTURE???]

Col 3:4 When Christ who is your life appears, then you also will appear with him in glory. ESV2011 [WHERE IS THE PRETRIB RAPTURE???]

Col 3:1 If then you have been raised with Christ, seek the things that are above, where Christ is, seated at the right hand of God. ESV2011 [WHERE IS THE PRETRIB RAPTURE???]

1Thess 1:10 and to wait for his Son from heaven, whom he raised from the dead, Jesus who delivers us from the wrath to come. ESV2011 [WHERE IS THE PRETRIB RAPTURE??? THE WRATH OCCURS AT THE SECOND COMING, ACCORDING TO THE EYE WITNESSES IN REVELATION 6:16-17]

1Thess 2:13-18 13 And we also thank God constantly for this, that when you received the word of God, which you heard from us, you accepted it not as the word of men but as what it really is, the word of God, which is at work in you believers. 14 For you, brothers, became imitators of the churches of God in Christ Jesus that are in Judea. For you suffered the same things from your own countrymen as they did from the Jews, 15 who killed both the Lord Jesus and the prophets, and drove us out, and displease God and oppose all mankind 16 by hindering us from speaking to the Gentiles that they might be saved—so as always to fill up the measure of their sins. But wrath has come upon them at last! 17 But since we were torn away from you, brothers, for a short time, in person not in heart, we endeavored the more eagerly and with great desire to see you face to face, 18 because we wanted to come to you—I, Paul, again and again—but Satan hindered us. ESV2011 [WHERE IS THE PRETRIB RAPTURE???]

1Thess 5:9 For God has not destined us for wrath, but to obtain salvation through our Lord Jesus Christ, ESV2011 [WHERE IS THE PRETRIB RAPTURE??? THE WRATH OCCURS AT THE SECOND COMING, ACCORDING TO THE EYE WITNESSES IN REVELATION 6:16-17]

1Thess 5:23 Now may the God of peace himself sanctify you completely, and may your whole spirit and soul and body be kept blameless at the coming of our Lord Jesus Christ. ESV2011 [WHERE IS THE PRETRIB RAPTURE???]

1Thess 5:2 For you yourselves are fully aware that the day of the Lord will come like a thief in the night. ESV2011 [WHERE IS THE PRETRIB RAPTURE??? LATER PAUL SAYS THAT THE DAY OF THE LORD WILL NOT BE LIKE A THIEF TO US BELIEVERS BECAUSE WE ARE OF THE DAY AND NOT THE NIGHT]

2Thess 2:1 Now concerning the coming of our Lord Jesus Christ and our being gathered together to him, we ask you, brothers, ESV2011 [WHERE IS THE PRETRIB RAPTURE???]

2Thess 2:3 Let no one deceive you in any way. For that day will not come, unless the rebellion comes first, and the man of lawlessness is revealed, the son of destruction, ESV2011 [WHERE IS THE PRETRIB RAPTURE??? THE DAY OF THE LORD WILL NOT COME UNTIL THE MAN OF SIN IS REVEALED. NO MENTION OF THE RAPTURE.]

2Thess 2:1 Now concerning the coming of our Lord Jesus Christ and our being gathered together to him, we ask you, brothers, ESV2011 [WHERE IS THE PRETRIB RAPTURE???]

1Tim 6:14 to keep the commandment unstained and free from reproach until the appearing of our Lord Jesus Christ, ESV2011 [WHERE IS THE PRETRIB RAPTURE???]

1Tim 6:2 Those who have believing masters must not be disrespectful on the ground that they are brothers; rather they must serve all the better since those who benefit by their good service are believers and beloved. Teach and urge these things. ESV2011 [WHERE IS THE PRETRIB RAPTURE???]

2Tim 4:1 I charge you in the presence of God and of Christ Jesus, who is to judge the living and the dead, and by his appearing and his kingdom: ESV2011 [WHERE IS THE PRETRIB RAPTURE???]

2Tim 4:8 Henceforth there is laid up for me the crown of righteousness, which the Lord, the righteous judge, will award to me on that Day, and not only to me but also to all who have loved his appearing. ESV2011 [WHERE IS THE PRETRIB RAPTURE???]

Titus 2:13 waiting for our blessed hope, the appearing of the glory of our great God and Savior Jesus Christ, ESV2011 [WHERE IS THE PRETRIB RAPTURE???]

Heb 9:28 so Christ, having been offered once to bear the sins of many, will appear a SECOND TIME, not to deal with sin but to save those who are eagerly waiting for him. ESV2011 [THIS IS TALKING ABOUT THE SECOND COMING!]

Jas 5:7-9 7 Be patient, therefore, brothers, until the coming of the Lord. See how the farmer waits for the precious fruit of the earth, being patient about it, until it receives the early and the late rains. 8 You also, be patient. Establish your hearts, for the coming of the Lord is at hand. 9 Do not grumble against one another, brothers, so that you may not be judged; behold, the Judge is standing at the door. ESV2011 [WHERE IS THE PRETRIB RAPTURE???]

Jas 5:1 Come now, you rich, weep and howl for the miseries that are coming upon you. ESV2011 [WHERE IS THE PRETRIB RAPTURE???]

1Pet 1:7 so that the tested genuineness of your faith—more precious than gold that perishes though it is tested by fire—may be found to result in praise and glory and honor at the revelation of Jesus Christ. ESV2011 [WHERE IS THE PRETRIB RAPTURE???]

1Pet 1:13 Therefore, preparing your minds for action, and being sober-minded, set your hope fully on the grace that will be brought to you at the revelation of Jesus Christ. ESV2011 [THE REVELATION OF JESUS IS THE LITERALLY THE UNVEILING OF JESUS AKA THE SECOND COMING – AGAIN THIS IS NOT A PRETRIB RAPTURE VERSE]

1Pet 5:4 And when the chief Shepherd appears, you will receive the unfading crown of glory. ESV2011 [WHERE IS THE PRETRIB RAPTURE???]

1Pet 5:1 So I exhort the elders among you, as a fellow elder and a witness of the sufferings of Christ, as well as a partaker in the glory that is going to be revealed: ESV2011 [WHERE IS THE PRETRIB RAPTURE???]

1John 2:28-3:2 28 And now, little children, abide in him, so that when he appears we may have confidence and not shrink from him in shame at his coming. 29 If you know that he is righteous, you may be sure that everyone who practices righteousness has been born of him. 3:1 See what kind of love the Father has given to us, that we should be called children of God; and so we are. The reason why the world does not know us is that it did not know him. 3:2 Beloved, we are God’s children now, and what we will be has not yet appeared; but we know that when he appears we shall be like him, because we shall see him as he is. ESV2011 [WHERE IS THE PRETRIB RAPTURE??? THIS SPEAKS OF OUR TRANSFORMATION BUT NOT THE TIMING OF A PRETRIB RAPTURE…IT SAYS WHEN HE APPEARS]

Jude 1:21 keep yourselves in the love of God, waiting for the mercy of our Lord Jesus Christ that leads to eternal life. ESV2011 [WHERE IS THE PRETRIB RAPTURE???]

Rev 2:15 So also you have some who hold the teaching of the Nicolaitans. ESV2011 [WHERE IS THE PRETRIB RAPTURE???]
Rev 3:10 Because you have kept my word about patient endurance, I will keep you from the hour of trial that is coming on the whole world, to try those who dwell on the earth. ESV2011 [WHERE IS THE PRETRIB RAPTURE??? – AN HOUR OF TEMPTATION NOT A SEVEN YEAR TRIBULATION]
I remember looking at such a huge list of verses and thinking that it had to be true simply because there were so many verses in favor of it. But when we actually go through the list verse by verse and demand to see the evidence, it is clear that it just isn’t there. So, from one of the premiere pretribulational scholars of our day, there isn’t a single verse, which he already admitted, that gives the timing of the pretrib rapture. As a Bible teacher, I can teach nothing more than what is truly in the text and the pretrib rapture is not in the text. If you know of any other verse, please share the verse and show us where it says it.

Blood Red Moons and the Second Coming: Are the Four Blood Red Moons Signs of the Rapture

Blood Red Moons and the Second Coming

Are the Four Blood Red Moons Signs of the Rapture?

The rapture of the Church is believed by many to be very close due to a series of four lunar eclipses which fall on biblical feast days. According to Joel 2:31, the moon will be turned into “blood before

the Day of the Lord.” Because the “Day of the Lord” is frequently believed to be equivalent to the seven years of the tribulation, then the moon becoming blood red is considered to be a sign of the impending tribulation, and if the tribulation is near, then so too must be the rapture. In other words, the theory rests on two major premises and a conclusion:

  • a phenomenon which causes the moon to turn red points toward the Day of the Lord and
  • the Day of the Lord is equivalent to the tribulation;,
  • therefore, the rapture will happen soon because believers are taken out of the world before the tribulation.

When dealing with a syllogism (a logical argument), the conclusion can only be true if the preliminary premises are true. There are, however, two major mistakes in this theory of the blood red moons. The first is that they are focusing solely on the moon, when the Bible is clear that there will be a phenomenon in the sun and the stars too: the Bible clearly tells us how the sun, moon, and stars become darkened. The second error arises from assuming that the Day of the Lord is the same as the tribulation. The ­­­Bible is also clear that these are two distinct events. We will explore both issues in this article.

First though, to be fair, I must admit that I once believed in the blood red moon craze. It made sense and it was exciting because it just so happened that between 2014 and 2015 there would be a tetrad (a series of four lunar eclipses where the moon turns to a reddish color). Add to that fact that those would occur on biblical feast days, and voila! You have something of Biblical proportions!

Messianic pastor Mark Biltz was the first discover that these eclipses fell on biblical feast days, and then pastor John Hagee followed it up with a book of his own. As a dedicated researcher, I also went to the NASA website to check the dates for myself. I was excited to discover that there really would be eclipses at those stated times, and they had indeed occurred in the past. In fact, those occurrences in the past seemed to line up with other significant events in the life of the Jewish people. For example: There was a tetrad in 1492 when Columbus sailed the ocean blue which was the same year that the Jews also got kicked out of Spain…that was definitely significant. There was another tetrad in 1949, just after the War of Independence. Then there was another tetrad which was around the time of the 1967 Six Day War. Since all of those seemed to be very significant, then the tetrad of 2014-15 would invariably be significant as well and could in fact be a sign of the nearness of the rapture.

Is Just the Moon Affected?

Blood moon Figure 1

Figure 1 Hawaii Volcanoes National Park, Lava flow with full moon

I was sad to discover that I could not hold the theory any longer because the moon-turning-to-blood had to also be accompanied by a sign in the sun and the stars. The tetrad / blood red moon sign fails because it focuses solely on a phenomenon in the moon, when Scripture is clear that simultaneously with the moon turning to blood, the sun will be darkened, and the stars will not give their light. We see this when we look at the entire verse in Joel 2:31:

The sun shall be turned into darkness, ​And the moon into blood, ​Before the coming of the great and awesome Day of the Lord. (Joel 2:31)

In the same chapter of Joel, where the moon turns to blood, we discover that “the sun and moon grow dark, ​and the stars diminish their brightness.” (Joel 2:10) This is confirmed from the book of Isaiah where we read about all three phenomena occurring: the stars don’t give their light, the sun is darkened, and the moon doesn’t shine:

For the stars of heaven and their constellations ​will not give their light; ​The sun will be darkened in its going forth, ​and the moon will not cause its light to shine. (Isa 13:10)

Therefore, the blood red moon prediction fails twice in the book of Joel and also once from the book of Isaiah because three things must occur for the sign to be valid: the sun, moon, and stars must not give their light. Obviously, the sun has not grown dark, nor have the stars diminished their brightness.

 

The Day of the Lord is the Day Yeshua Returns

One of the strongest proofs we have that the Day of the Lord is the same as the second coming (and not the entire seven year or 3 ½ year tribulation, depending on how you see it) is the fact that God alone will be exalted in that day. In Isaiah 2, God twice declares (in verses 11-12 and 17) that in that day He ALONE will be exalted. If God exclusively will be lifted up in that day, yet during the tribulation, there exists someone who is blaspheming him, then the tribulation cannot be that day:

 

The lofty looks of man shall be humbled, ​The haughtiness of men shall be bowed down, ​And the LORD alone shall be exalted in that day. For the Day of the Lord of hosts ​Shall come upon everything proud and lofty, ​Upon everything lifted up– ​And it shall be brought low– (Isa 2:11-12)

 

Yahweh Himself declares to us in no uncertain terms that He only will be revered in that day, and hence, it cannot be the same as any part of the tribulation since we are also told in equally explicit language that one known as the Beast, Little Horn, or Antichrist, will exalt himself and speak blasphemies against God and against those in heaven for a period of forty-two months. God foretells this through several of His prophets, thereby confirming the matter by at least two witnesses as required by His own instructions.

 

Daniel sees this three times in his visions, thereby establishing it and even highlighting the future reality:

…And there, in this horn, were eyes like the eyes of a man, and a mouth speaking pompous words. ​ (Dan 7:8b)

“I watched then because of the sound of the pompous words which the horn was speaking… (Dan 7:11a)

He even exalted himself as high as the Prince of the host… (Dan 8:11a)

“Then the king shall do according to his own will: he shall exalt and magnify himself above every god, shall speak blasphemies against the God of gods, and shall prosper till the wrath has been accomplished; for what has been determined shall be done. (Dan 11:36)

He shall regard neither the God of his fathers nor the desire of women, nor regard any god; for he shall exalt himself above them all. (Dan 11:37)

 

Paul taught about the “son of perdition” who would exalt himself as God:

who opposes and exalts himself above all that is called God or that is worshiped, so that he sits as God in the temple of God, showing himself that he is God. (2Thess 2:4)

 

Lastly, in the Book of Revelation, John is told three times (which confirms the severity of the offense) that this person will blaspheme God and those who dwell in heaven:

And he was given a mouth speaking great things and blasphemies, and he was given authority to continue for forty-two months. Then he opened his mouth in blasphemy against God, to blaspheme His name, His tabernacle, and those who dwell in heaven. (Rev 13:5-6)

 

We must therefore conclude that during the tribulation, God is not being glorified or worshipped as God, but is in fact being blasphemed in a way unlike any in human history. That being the case, there is no way that the Day of the Lord, in which God alone is exalted, could be the duration of the tribulation. It must refer to the time immediately after the tribulation, also known as the Second Coming of Yeshua, because without question, He alone will be exalted in that day.

When and How Will the Blood Moons Take Place?

Since the tetrads are not an indicator of the timing nor are they the means by which the moons turns to blood and the sun and stars are darkened, what is? Does something physically happen to them? God has revealed to His prophets what will cause the darkness and blood red moon to occur.

 

God first declares that the conditions which cause the sun to be turned to darkness and the moon to turn to blood will be because of clouds and thick darkness:

A day of darkness and gloominess, ​A day of clouds and thick darkness, ​like the morning clouds spread over the mountains (Joel 2:2)

God goes on to declare that there will be “blood and fire and pillars of smoke.” (Joel 2:30) So, there will be lots of smoke and clouds. Yahweh repeats this through his prophet Zephaniah:

That day is a day of wrath, ​A day of trouble and distress, ​A day of devastation and desolation, ​A day of darkness and gloominess, ​A day of clouds and thick darkness, (Zeph 1:15)

 

Yahweh confirms it through the prophet Ezekiel as well:

When I put out your light, ​I will cover the heavens, and make its stars dark; ​I will cover the sun with a cloud, ​And the moon shall not give her light. (Ezek 32:7)

 

So, we see that the three things – sun, moon, stars – are going to be darkened because of a clouds and thick smoke. Finally, in the book of Revelation, Yahweh shows us from where the smoke comes that will cover the sun, moon, and stars. It is the Destroyer (Abaddon) opening the Abyss.

 

Satan and his angels (described as stars in Rev 12:4) will be cast to the earth. John is shown that the great star (Satan/Abaddon) is given the key to open the Abyss which results in a tremendous amount of smoke coming out which darkens the sun and the air, just as described in the former prophets:

 

“And I saw a star fallen from heaven to the earth. To him was given the key to the bottomless pit. And he opened the bottomless pit, and smoke arose out of the pit like the smoke of a great furnace. So the sun and the air were darkened because of the smoke of the pit.” (Rev 9:1-2)

 

Hence, Yahweh has revealed how the sun, moon, and stars will be darkened which will be from the great amount of smoke that will be released when the Abyss is opened.

 

Red moon from fire in California

Figure 2 Smoke from the Tea Fire 2008 gives full moon blood moon effect

How could smoke in the sky cause the moon to become blood red? Several years ago, there were some forest fires in Southern California, where I live. I looked up and saw that the moon was blood red. At first I thought it was a sign, but then I realized that when the moon is covered by smoke (ash), it appears red. Figure 1 shows a moon as seen through smoke.

Figure 2 is another picture of the moon seen through a layer of ash from a fire in 2008. The moon has predictably appeared to change color because of the smoke.

 

Figure 3 California fires darken sun

Figure 3 California fires darken sun

If that smoke is thick enough, it would cause the sun to be darkened, just like as if it were covered by sackcloth, and it goes without saying that the stars – which are lesser in light than the sun – will not give their light. This is not speculation, but observation. Figure 3 is from a California fire that darkened the sun. As witnessed from the smoke covering the sun, it then had the appearance of being covered by something thick and dark…like sackcloth.

In 2011, the Eyjafjallajökull volcano erupted, releasing smoke like a great furnace, offering us an example of what to look for. It covered the entire sky of Iceland and grounded flights across Europe because of the ash. The sun looked like it was covered with sackcloth (See figure 4).

 

Examine the photos in this article or conduct your own internet research to see for yourself. Notice

Figure 4 Smoke billows like a great furnace from Icelandic volcano

Figure 4 Smoke billows like a great furnace from Icelandic volcano

that the smoke coming out of a volcano is enough to cover the sky, “like out of a great furnace” and can cover the sun, moon, and stars.

 

 

 

 

 

We have seen that the sun, moon, and stars will all (simultaneously) fail to give their light because of the opening of the Abyss, which will be like the opening of a great furnace. The smoke that comes out will cover the sky and consequently block the light of the sun, moon, and stars; the verses we have discussed and the pictures in this article give an illustration of how it might happen and what

Iceland Eruption Sky covered billows of smoke figure 5

Figure 5 The 2011 Eyjafjallajökull volcanic eruption covers the sky

it could look like.

 

Thus the blood red moons of the four sequential eclipses are completely a non-issue when it comes to why the moon turns to blood. To suggest that the tetrads hold any biblical significance is fantasy; not a single Bible verse supports the theory. What the Bible does tell us is that the timing of the blood red moon will occur sometime after the Abyss is opened. This event will happen after Satan is cast down from heaven being defeated by Michael and his angels. Sometime after being cast out, he is given the key to open the Abyss and then smoke rises out like out of a great furnace so that it covers the sky, somewhat like what happens at the eruption of a massive volcano, like that of Iceland in 2011 (Rev 12:4,9; 8:10-12; 9:1,2,11). Thus the timing of the blood red moon is after the mid-point of Daniel’s seventieth week and the means of the moon turning to blood is the sky being covered by the smoke which rises from the Abyss. (See my video The Second Coming and the Battle of Armageddon for a more detailed explanation.)

Conclusion

In conclusion, the blood red moon craze is something that is based on a faulty foundation. Its first assumption, that the four total lunar eclipses are the fulfillment of the blood red moons mentioned in Scripture, fails because the sign must appear not only in the moon, but also in the sun and stars. The tetrads, both past and present, while very interesting astronomical occurrences, are not equal to or even related to the blood red moon as described in Scripture.

 

The second assumption undergirding the blood red moon craze is that the blood moons happen before the tribulation, and are therefore an indication of its imminent commencement. Because we are told that Yahweh alone will be exalted in that day, and yet the antichrist/beast is blaspheming Yahweh during that time, then there is no way that any part of the tribulation could be associated with the Day of the Lord. The Day of the Lord must occur immediately after the tribulation. Only when Yeshua returns will God alone be exalted. Therefore, the blood red moons, caused by smoke and cloud, are a sign of the return of Yeshua, not of a pre-tribulation rapture.

 

Finally, the Bible gives the reason for the moon turning to blood and the diminishing of the light of sun and stars – it is not an eclipse, but rather, it is the opening of the Abyss, which will probably happen around the mid-point of the tribulation. When the Abyss opens, smokes pours out like the smoke out of a great furnace, which will then cover the sky blotting out the light of the sun and stars  and will turn the light of the moon blood red.

 

 

Rapture: Pre, Mid, Post? How Do You Know?

Jesus spoke about his return in Matthew 24:29-31. He mentioned four key elements: He will come in the air, 2) on the clouds, 3) will command his angels (with a trumpet like voice) 4) to gather his people. Paul gives the same elements in his summary in 1Thess 4:16-17). Pretrib believers assert that the two accounts are two different events separated by at least seven years. Post trib believers maintain that they are one and the same event (the second coming of Jesus in which he gathers his people). Look closely at the two passages and leave a comment as to what differences you see between them (if you are pre-trib) or similarities (if you are post-trib). If you are mid trib, tell us what you see.

Immediately after the tribulation…They will see the Son of Man arriving on the clouds of heaven with power and great glory. And he will send his angels with a loud trumpet blast, and they will gather his elect from the four winds, from one end of heaven to the other. (Matt 24:29, 31)

 

For the Lord himself will come down from heaven with a shout of command, with the voice of the archangel, and with the trumpet of God, and the dead in Christ will rise first. Then we who are alive, who are left, will be suddenly caught up together with them in the clouds to meet the Lord in the air. (1Thess 4:16-17)

Both passages have

  1. Jesus coming in the air,
  2. On clouds
  3. He gives a command that sounds like a trumpet (note: Jesus speaks like a trumpet in Rev 1 and when God descended on Mt Sinai there was a trumpet
  4. people are picked up and gathered together

A matter must be established by two or three witnesses according to Scripture…Are these are the two different events (pret-rib) or the same event (post-trib). Please leave your comments below.

 

 

 

Nephilim: Common Objections Answered

A listener sent in these questions and I address them on the latest edition of According to the Scriptures Radio (Sept 13, 2012)

Who are the Nephilim? What does it mean when the Bible says “they came into the daughters of men”
and “they bore children to them”, if it is not talking about sex?There are all kinds of problems with thinking that either:

1) demons can create human bodies for them to indwell (only God can create ex nihilo), or
2) demons possessing humans can somehow infuse their demonic nature into the person’s sperm
so that the offspring is half-demon (demons are spirits with no physical body or DNA to pass on).

2 Pet 2:4 and Jude 1:6 are quite graphic about the angels that didn’t keep the proper domain and abandoned their own habitation – this is the same word that Paul uses in 2 Cor 5:2 to talk about our new bodies. So, angels did in fact put off their “spiritual” body and took on some form of flesh. How they did that we don’t know – but they are a lot smarter than us.
Basically, there’s no way for fallen angels (demons) to mate with women and procreate “demon offspring.” First, they are unable to materialize a human body out of nothing in order to have physical relations (only God can create ex nihilo). Even if a demon could inhabit a man’s body by “possessing” him, mating would only pass along the man’s DNA; it couldn’t pass along any “demon DNA” since (as a spiritual being) it doesn’t have any!
Another major assumption. How does this person know that they don’t have DNA? What is DNA? At its core, it is information.
Carl Kerby’s newsletter mentioned different views on this, including “the view that fallen angels mated with the daughters of men to produce extremely wicked and powerful offspring, which led to the extreme wickedness of Noah’s day.” His summary point is that God judged them in that day, just as He judges wickedness in our day. But, if God judged the extremely wicked people (creatures?) of that day by destroying them all in the Flood . . . then who are the giants we see later? That view also sort of elevates man, in suggesting that the population was “extremely wicked” only because it was half-demon–rather than acknowledging that man needs no help to be unbelievably wicked all on his own.Anyway, demons are bodiless spirits. So since it just isn’t possible for demons to create human/demon offspring, then obviously we need to look for another explanation, one that’s consistent with Scripture. Humans reproduce only after their own kind, and demons simply cannot create human bodies or procreate. No “Rosemary’s baby”! There are not human/demonic creatures walking among us, because Jesus said “a spirit does not have flesh and bones,” and also our battle is not “against flesh and blood, but against …spiritual hosts of wickedness.”
I address these questions in more detail on the show.

The Second Coming of Jesus and the Millennium: The Fall Feasts and the Budding of the Fig Tree

There are seven feasts of the Lord. On Passover Jesus died, during the feast of unleavened bread, He was in the tomb, on first fruits He rose and on Shavuot (Pentecost) the Holy Spirit came. Therefore, we anticipate something definite to happen on each of the three remaining feasts. This study will demonstrate the likely outcome of the remaining three. Could the feast of trumpets be when the Lord takes us in the rapture? Is the Day of Atonement representing the time of Jacob’s trouble? Is the Feast of Tabernacles representative of when the Lord dwells among us beginning in the Millennium?
Additionally, the parable of the fig tree in Matthew 24 demonstrates that we are living at the end of the generation that would see the budding of the fig tree. The Lord’s return appears closer than we could imagine!

According to the Scriptures Radio Aug 9th – The Rapture

Doug and Dave discuss aspects of the rapture and whether it is is pre, mid, post – tribulational, or all of the above. Have questions for the next show? Write in the comments below and we will answer it on air!

Read also https://www.douglashamp.com/the-six-raptures-of-scripture/