For yet in a very little while,
the Coming One will come and not delay. (Hebrews 10:37)
On August 1, 2016, in our posting “Rapture 2017: The day of our God’s vengeance,” we stated our belief that the Lord would be coming for His bride shortly. Several global publications mockingly and inaccurately picked up on our story, including:
End of world NEXT YEAR: ‘Prophets’ warn 2017 will be year of God’s vengeance / The Daily Star, September 21, 2016
Lots of Christians are convinced that the world will end in 2017 – here’s why / Yahoo News UK, November 4, 2016
Christians think ‘the Rapture’ is coming – and the signs are already here / Metro, January 31, 2017
The fact is, the Old Testament, New Testament, and early writings confirm that the church taught that there will be a thousand year millennial reign of Christ with His people on the earth. The common belief and teaching was that a millennial reign would come after a literal six thousand year reign of Man. This millennium is known as the Day of the Lord.
Biblical genealogy and confirmed historic dates suggests the creation of Adam was around 3,983 B.C. Subtraction shows that 6,000 years – 3,983 = 2017 (there is no “year zero” from B.C. to A.D.) There are also many, many other signs that 2017 is a momentous year, as seen in our other postings.
So, what are the facts on the ground, that indicate a reason for our hope? Is the Rapture and the Tribulation imminent? Look at these headlines in just the last few days:
Iran and Gulf nations prepare for war. Sudden reshuffle in Iran’s top army, naval commands / Debka, November 6, 2017
NEW ALLIES: ISRAEL AND SAUDI ARABIA? / Jerusalem Post, November 6, 2017
Iran threatens to hit Saudi, Abu Dhabi and Dubai air and sea ports, ships more missiles to Yemeni Houthis / Debka, November 8, 2017
Netanyahu: Israel Working to Reach Peace With Arab Nations That Stand Against Radical Islam / Haaretz, November 8, 2017
Taking Saudis’ side, Egypt warns Iran against regional ‘meddling’ / The Times of Israel, November 9, 2017
Saudi Arabia accuses Iran, Lebanon of acts of ‘war’ / Al-Monitor, November 11, 2017
Saudi Arabia has united with Israel against Iran – and a desert storm is brewing / The Spectator, November 11, 2017
Israel’s leadership talks up another war with Hezbollah in Lebanon / The Guardian, November 11, 2017
Israel’s political and military leadership appears to have concluded that a conflict with Lebanon’s Hezbollah is becoming increasingly likely, despite months of growing warnings that a third Lebanese war would be more dangerous and deadly than the last war in 2006.
Since the war in 2006 Hezbollah has emerged as the most capable and resilient non-state military actor, with 20,000 full-time and highly trained fighters, 25,000 reservists and upwards of 100,000 missiles, according to estimates.
Recent large-scale Israeli war games suggest too that any conflict could play out in an entirely different way to the last war, with 1,500-2,000 rockets being fired per day and even efforts to infiltrate Israeli communities by fighters crossing the border.
Then there is the wider question of whether a limited war could be contained without bringing in other actors.
Writing in Foreign Affairs in October, Dmitry Adamsky, who teaches diplomacy and strategy at the Interdisciplinary Centre in Herzliya, asked a question long festering in the background.
“Israeli strategists do not question the likelihood of a war with Hezbollah,” wrote Adamsky. “But they wonder how Russia, which is a comrade-in-arms with Iran and Hezbollah in Syria, would respond to such a conflict.”
Trump Team Begins Drafting Middle East Peace Plan / The New York Times, November 11, 2017
WASHINGTON — President Trump and his advisers have begun developing their own concrete blueprint to end the decades-old conflict between Israel and the Palestinians, a plan intended to go beyond previous frameworks offered by the American government in pursuit of what the president calls “the ultimate deal.”
After 10 months of educating themselves on the complexities of the world’s most intractable dispute, White House officials said, Mr. Trump’s team of relative newcomers to Middle East peacemaking has moved into a new phase of its venture in hopes of transforming what it has learned into tangible steps to end a stalemate that has frustrated even presidents with more experience in the region.
The prospects for peace are caught up in a web of other issues consuming the region, as demonstrated in recent days by Saudi Arabia’s growing confrontation with Iranian-backed Hezbollah in Lebanon. Israel is likewise worried about Hezbollah as well as efforts by Iran to establish a land corridor across southern Syria.
All the major players are picking sides right now, for the upcoming Shia vs. Sunni war, as outlined in the Book of Ezekiel, chapters 38 and 39. Israel is being pushed into a regional peace agreement, in order to form an alliance against Iran.
What will happen next? The Bible gives us the answer:
You nations, come here and listen;
you peoples, pay attention!
Let the earth hear, and all that fills it,
the world and all that comes from it.
The Lord is angry with all the nations—
furious with all their armies.
He will set them apart for destruction,
giving them over to slaughter.
Their slain will be thrown out,
and the stench of their corpses will rise;
the mountains will flow with their blood.
What are we, as Christians, doing to be prepared?
The very first event where Jesus demonstrated His power was at a wedding ceremony and the celebrations. When His mother Mary came to Him and explained that they had no wine left, Jesus turned water into wine for the wedding party and their guests. The celebration of the wedding was important to Jesus. He and his disciples enjoyed the dancing because a wedding is a wonderful covenant between a man, a woman, and God.
We will be going to another wedding very soon as we are nearing the time of the redeeming of the covenant people of God to His home in the heavens. How will we be dressed? Will we be dressed in the proper garments? Will our lamps be filled with oil or do we need to go out and buy some? Some are asking how to know that they are ready for the Rapture.
The Parable of the Wedding Banquet
Jesus spoke to them again in parables, saying: “The kingdom of heaven is like a king who prepared a wedding banquet for his son. He sent his servants to those who had been invited to the banquet to tell them to come, but they refused to come.
“Then he sent some more servants and said, ‘Tell those who have been invited that I have prepared my dinner: My oxen and fattened cattle have been butchered, and everything is ready. Come to the wedding banquet.’
“But they paid no attention and went off-one to his field, another to his business. The rest seized his servants, mistreated them and killed them. The king was enraged. He sent his army and destroyed those murderers and burned their city.
“Then he said to his servants, ‘The wedding banquet is ready, but those I invited did not deserve to come. So go to the street corners and invite to the banquet anyone you find.’ So the servants went out into the streets and gathered all the people they could find, the bad as well as the good, and the wedding hall was filled with guests.
“But when the king came in to see the guests, he noticed a man there who was not wearing wedding clothes. He asked, ‘How did you get in here without wedding clothes, friend?’ The man was speechless.
“Then the king told the attendants, ‘Tie him hand and foot, and throw him outside, into thedarkness, where there will be weeping and gnashing of teeth.’
“For many are invited, but few are chosen.”
Wearing the Right Garment
Always be clothed in white, and always anoint your head with oil. (Ecclesiastes 9:8)
Note: This is not about natural clothes; this is a clean heart and mind by the shed blood of Jesus through the Cross of Christ and the washing of the Word of God.
The angel said to those who were standing before him, “Take off his filthy clothes.” Then he said to Joshua, “See, I have taken away your sin, and I will put fine garments on you.” Then I said, “Put a clean turban on his head.” So they put a clean turban on his head and clothed him, while the angel of the LORD stood by. (Zechariah 3:4)
Yet you have a few people in Sardis who have not soiled their clothes. They will walk with me, dressed in white, for they are worthy. (Revelation 3:4)
And he said, “These are they who have come out of the great tribulation; they have washed their robes and made them white in the blood of the Lamb.” (Revelation 7:1)
The reason the guest was not accepted was that his was soiled from sin. The garment you need to wear is a robe of righteousness with humility. You receive it by repenting, turning from your sin nature, and accepting Jesus Christ as Lord and Savior of your life. “Redeemed” is what the Father sees when He looks at you when you have done this.
Keeping your Lamp Full of Oil
“Then the kingdom of heaven shall be likened to ten virgins who took their lamps and went out to meet the bridegroom. Now five of them were wise, and five were foolish. Those who were foolish took their lamps and took no oil with them, but the wise took oil in their vessels with their lamps. But while the bridegroom was delayed, they all slumbered and slept.
“And at midnight a cry was heard: ‘Behold, the bridegroom is coming;go out to meet him!’ Then all those virgins arose and trimmed their lamps. And the foolish said to the wise, ‘Give us some of your oil, for our lamps are going out.’ But the wise answered, saying, ‘No, lest there should not be enough for us and you; but go rather to those who sell, and buy for yourselves.’ And while they went to buy, the bridegroom came, and those who were ready went in with him to the wedding; and the door was shut.
“Afterward the other virgins came also, saying, ‘Lord, Lord, open to us!’ But he answered and said, ‘Assuredly, I say to you, I do not know you.’
“Watch therefore, for you know neither the day nor the hour in which the Son of Man is coming.”
This scripture is about ten virgins. Five who were wise and have truly have given their body, mind, and spirit to the Lord and have accepted Jesus as Savior. There were five who were foolish and did not make a commitment to the Lord and were expecting to be taken with the Lord when He arrived. This is why they were refused at the door to the wedding feast, because they did not have a relationship with the Lord Jesus (I do not know you).
It is time to get ready for the banquet!
I counsel you to buy from Me gold refined in the fire, that you may be rich; and white garments, that you may be clothed, that the shame of your nakedness may not be revealed; and anoint your eyes with eye salve, that you may see. As many as I love, I rebuke and chasten. Therefore be zealous and repent. Behold, I stand at the door and knock. If anyone hears My voice and opens the door, I will come in to him and dine with him, and he with Me. To him who overcomes I will grant to sit with Me on My throne, as I also overcame and sat down with My Father on His throne. “He who has an ear, let him hear what the Spirit says to the churches.” (Rev 3:18-22)