Road To Tribulation 3 – Prophecy Against Elam

I. Introduction.

What specific nations will come against Israel in the last days?

From John Ankerberg Show. Mar 18, 2013. This clip is from our series entitled, “Signs of the Last Days”. It answers the question: What specific nations will come against Israel in the last days? Credentials for the speaker, Dr. Jimmy DeYoung, and host, Dr. John Ankerberg can be found on the Sources Page of this website. All other sources that are listed in this article can also be checked for credential information on the Sources Page.

II. The Tribulation

A. We are now entering into a study of the future events that will lead to the tribulation. Scripture tells us of the destination of our journey of study. The events of unfulfilled events of prophecy will happen, and should not be dismissed.

B. The events of unfulfilled events of prophecy will happen, and should not be dismissed.

C. The Ryrie Study Bible divides the Tribulation into two stages in Matt 24. Verses 4-14 list the characteristics of the first half of the tribulation period, whereas verses 15-28 deal with the second half. Verse 21 identifies the second half of the tribulation as being “great tribulation.” The second coming of Christ to earth is shown to occur in verses 29-31, “after the tribulation.” (Notes are shown under Mt 24:3).

D. Consider the following passage that relates to the tribulation.

1. Jeremiah 30:7-9 (606 B.C.)
New American Standard Bible 2020 Update.

2. Verses:

7 Woe, for that day is great,
There is none like it;
And it is the time of Jacob’s distress,
Yet he will be saved from it.

8 ‘It shall come about on that day,’ declares the Lord of armies, ‘that I will break his yoke from their necks and will tear to pieces their restraints; and strangers will no longer make them their slaves. 9 But they shall serve the Lord their God and David their king, whom I will raise up for them.

3. Commentary: Ryrie Study Bible. Jer 30:7. “the time of Jacob’s distress.” The coming days of tribulation that will come upon all Israel (Jacob).

4. Commentary: Ryrie Study Bible. Jer 30:9. “that day.” I.e., the Day of the Lord, which will also see the restoration of Israel under Messiah, the son of David. (See the introduction to Joel, and the note on 1 Thes 5:2.

5. Joel Introduction (800 B.C.) Note: Ryrie Study Bible Note from Jer 30:9. “The Day Of The Lord.” The Day of the Lord, the major theme of this prophecy, involves God’s special intervention in the affairs of human history. Three facets of The Day of the Lord are discernable: (1) the historical, that is, God’s intervention in the affairs of Israel (Zeph 1:14-18; Joel 1:15) and heathen nations (Isa 13:6; Jer 46:10; Eze 30:3); (2) the illustrative, whereby an historical incident represents a partial fulfillment of the eschatological Day of the Lord (Joel 2:1-11; Isa 13:6-13); (3) the eschatological. This eschatological “day” includes the time of the Great Tribulation (Isa 2:12-19; 4:1) the second coming of Christ (Joel 2:30-32), and the Millennium (Isa 4:2; 12; 19-23=25; Jer 30:7-9).

6. 1 Thes 5:2 (54 A.D.) Note: Ryrie Study Bible Note from Jer 30:9.
New American Standard Bible 2020 Update.

a. Verse: “For you yourselves know full well that the day of the Lord is coming just like a thief in the night.”

b. Commentary: Ryrie Study Bible. “the day of the Lord.” An extended period of time, beginning with the Tribulation and including the events of the second coming of Christ and the millennial kingdom on earth. Here, Paul focuses on the beginning of that day, which will begin (come) unexpectedly (“like a thief in the night”).

c. Commentary: Mine. The Second Coming Of Christ occurs when Christ stands on the earth and sets up His earthly Kingdom. (Mt 24:29-31; Rev 19:11-21). The Rapture of the Church occurs when Christ comes in the air from heaven and catches up His born again believers, and takes them back to Heaven with Him. At the time of the Rapture, Christ does not set foot on the earth (John 14:2-6; 1 Thes 4:13-18, 1 Cor 15:50-54).

III. Prophetic Events That Take Place Prior To The Tribulation.

A. As part of this study, we will discover judgments upon nations that have been unfriendly to God’s chosen people, Israel (Deu 14:2). We will begin this study in regard to nations that have common borders with Israel.

B. A study on God’s judgments against Israel’s unfriendly nations, that do not share borders with Israel, will take place later in this series of articles.

1. The judgments upon Nations Adjacent to Israel. These predictions are set forth in various portions of the OT, e.g., Babylon and Chaldea (Isa 13:1-22; 14:18-27; Jer 50:1—51:64), Moab (Isa 15:1-9; 16:1-14; Jer 48:1-47), Damascus (Isa 17:1-14; Jer 49:23-27), Egypt (Isa 19:1-25; Jer 46:2-28), Philistia and Tyre (Isa 23:1-18; Jer 47:1-7), Edom (Jer 49:7-22), Ammon (Jer 49:1-6), Elam (Jer 49:34-49). 1

2. The prophecies that will be shown in this series will be identified as being NOW Prophecies, which deal with the most relative information for this present age. This is because they describe events that will likely find fulfillment during this generation’s existence. All unfilled biblical prophecy is important to understand, but of most value to any given group, past, present or future, is the information that was specifically provided through the ancient Hebrew prophecies for that generation’s benefit. The NOW Prophecies are the unfulfilled ancient biblical predictions that appear to be imminent, which means they could happen NOW. These foretellings have either minor or no remaining preconditions inhibiting them from happening. 2

3. The NOW Prophecies include, but are not limited to, the globally impacting events that are shown on page 10 of THE NOW PROPHECIES. We will begin our study with “The Disaster In Iran” (Jeremiah 49:34-39), as follows. 3

4. Scripture.

a. Jeremiah 49:34-39 (600 B.C.)

b. New American Standard Bible 2020 Update

c. Prophecy against Elam.

34 The word of the Lord that came to Jeremiah the prophet concerning Elam, at the beginning of the reign of Zedekiah king of Judah, saying:

35 “This is what the Lord of armies says:
‘Behold, I am going to break the bow of Elam,
The finest of their might.
36 I will bring upon Elam the four winds
From the four ends of heaven,
And will scatter them to all these winds;
And there will be no nation
To which the outcasts of Elam will not go.
37 So I will shatter Elam before their enemies
And before those who seek their lives;
And I will bring disaster upon them,
Even My fierce anger,’ declares the Lord,
‘And I will send the sword after them
Until I have consumed them.
38 Then I will set My throne in Elam,
And eliminate from there the king and officials,’
Declares the Lord.
39 ‘But it will come about in the last days
That I will restore the fortunes of Elam,’”
Declares the Lord.

5. Commentary. The prophecy concerning Elam referred to an area east of Babylon, known today as Iran. The destruction of Elam was described as breaking her bow, for, like Kedar, Elam was noted for archery. The complete destruction of Elam does not seem to have been fulfilled in history and may have its final chapter in the future in connection with judgments at the second coming of Christ. Elam was promised, however, restoration (v. 39). 4

6. Commentary. Jeremiah’s statement about Elam’s destruction seem to take on eschatological dimensions, as God said He would “set up My throne in Elam to supervise her destruction.” These events were to happen in the last days (cf. Jr 23:20). Yet, Elam’s destruction will not be total because God will restore the fortunes of Elam (cf.48:47; 49:6). 5

7. Commentary. Connect Jer 23:20 with Jer 49:39.

a. Jeremiah 23:20 – New American Standard Bible 2020 Update

“The anger of the Lord will not turn back
Until He has performed and carried out the purposes of His heart;
In the last days you will clearly understand it.”

b. Commentary. “latter days.” They wouldn’t listen, but the day would come (v. 12) when the judgment would fall and then they would “understand.” (MacArthur Study Bible).

8. Commentary. In this prophecy Jeremiah declares that a time would arrive when the Lord would be furious with the leadership of Iran. We know this because Jeremiah 49:38 says that the king and the princes will be destroyed. This most likely represents the Iranian government in place when the prophecy occurs. The Lord would never destroy good kings and princes, so we can safely presume that bad Iranian leadership is the problem. But, why is the Lord fiercely angry with the government of Iran at the time of the prophecy? The reason is because Iran wants to launch something powerful somewhere. This is why the Lord will break the bow at the foremost of Iran’s might in order to prevent such a lethal launch. This qualifies Israel today, because Iran has declared on numerous occasions that it wants to wipe Israel off of the map. Thus, it is safe to say that Israel and Iran are presently enemies. Should Iran get nuclear weapons, the destruction of Israel becomes a strong possibility. Even the attempted destruction of Israel is not something the Lord will tolerate. A few years ago, former Iranian president Mahmoud Ahmadinejad and Ayatollah Khamenei issued a decree to close all home churches, imprison all pastors and persecute all Christians. This ruthless behavior has increased with the advent of the JCPOA nuclear deal negotiated on July 14, 2015. Converting to Christianity in Iran today is a guaranteed push to severe persecution, if not martyrdom, and yet Iran has the fastest growing evangelical population in the world. But, the Supreme Leader of Iran, Ayatollah Khamenei, and his radical regime are proactively attempting to extinguish the growing flame of Christianity inside Iran. This can not please the Lord! 6

9. It is important to locate ancient Elam on a modern day map. Elam is the area of Iran that hugs the Persian Gulf. Elam represents about one-fifth of modern day Iran, and Persia spreads across the remaining four-fifths of the nation. Persia was the name for Iran until 1935. 7.

10. We must consider how God’s judgment will be inflicted on Iran. Psalm 83 was authored by Asaph about 3000 years ago. Among Asaph’s several spiritual attributes, was the gift of prophecy. He was a prophet according to 2 Chronicles 29:30. 1 Chronicles 25:1-2 informs that Asaph and his sons were specifically instructed by King David of Israel to prophesy. It is important to emphasize Asaph’s ability to prophesy because some Bible experts don’t consider Psalm 83 to be a prophecy. They treat it simply as an imprecatory prayer, or a prayer of lament. In the Psalm 83 War, the Psalm foretells of a coming Arab alliance that conspires together to eradicate the Jewish state of Israel. This confederacy will be soundly defeated by the IDF (Israeli Defense Force). 8

11. God will utilize whatever means of judgment that He finds to be sufficient for the task at hand. Gods will, “will be done.”

IV. Consider the following video.

A. Where is Iran mentioned in the Bible?

B. John Ankerberg Show. Aug 25, 2017. Drs. John Ankerberg, Ron Rhodes, and Mark Hitchcock discuss the situation of Iran vs Israel. From the Series, 5 Great Debates of the End Times https://www.jashow.org/resources/5-gr…
________
1 J. Dwight Pentecost, Things To Come, pg 314.
2 Bill Salus, THE NOW PROPHECIES, pg 9.
3 Bill Salus, THE NOW PROPHECIES, pg 10.
4 John F. Walvoord, Every Prophecy of the Bible, Prophecy concerning Elam, pg 151.
5 Charles Dyer with Eva Rydelnik, Moody Bible Commentary, pg 1181.
6. Bill Salus, THE NOW PROPHECIES, pg 31, 32, 34, 35.
7. Bill Salus, THE NOW PROPHECIES, pg 29.
8. Bill Salus, THE NOW PROPHECIES, pg 111.

Road To Tribulation 2 – The Rapture Described

The Rapture and the Return of Jesus

I. Introduction to this this article’s video speaker. Dr. Mark Hitchcock. Jun 25, 2014. 100huntley.

A. In the opening video, Dr. Mark Hitchcock talks a little about the end of the tribulation period. He distinguishes the difference between the rapture and the second coming of Christ. In our previous article, we discussed the conditions of the Tribulation. In this article we will discuss the Rapture, as to when it will happen, how it will happen, and those will be caught up in the rapture. Credentials for Dr. Hitchcock, can be found in the following paragraph.

B. “The one biblical truth that has affected my Christian life more than any other is the rapture of the church—the belief that Jesus could come at any moment to take His people away to be with Him. It deeply affects how I view my life, this world, and how I live each day. I have always wanted to write a book that clearly explains the truth of the any-moment rapture and how it should affect our daily lives. I’m grateful that the good people at Multnomah have given me the opportunity to share my passion for this blessed hope with others.” — Mark Hitchcock
https://play.google.com/store/books/details/Mark_Hitchcock_Could_the_Rapture_Happen_Today?id=5F0hAT_ZFXgC

1. Hitchcock Education (J.D.,Th.M., Ph.D.) https://www.dts.edu/employee/mark-hitchcock/

2. Hitchcock Education Details. BS, Oklahoma State University, 1981; JD, Oklahoma City University School of Law, 1984; ThM, Dallas Theological Seminary, 1991; PhD, Dallas Theological Seminary, 2005.

3. Hitchcock Accomplishments. Mark Hitchcock http://marklhitchcock.com/about/
Mark Hitchcock is a leading Bible prophecy expert, prolific author who has penned over 20 books on the end times, senior pastor, and adjunct faculty member of the Dallas Theological Seminary.

4. Hitchcock Books. https://www.thriftbooks.com/a/mark-hitchcock/227833/

II. Article Objectives.

A. In our previous article, we discussed the conditions of the Tribulation.

B. In this article we will discuss the Rapture, as to how it will happen, and those who will and will not be caught up in the rapture. We will also discuss a Godly accomplishment which will precede the occurrence of the rapture.

C. We will be referring to the word, or place, called Heaven. We must address:

1. Heaven.

Revelation 4:1 – New American Standard Bible 2020 Update.
Scene in Heaven
4 After these things I looked, and behold, a door standing open in heaven, and the first voice which I had heard, like the sound of a trumpet speaking with me, said, “Come up here, and I will show you what must take place after these things.”

2. New Heaven.

Revelation 21:1-3 – New American Standard Bible 2020 Update
The New Heaven and Earth
21 Then I saw a new heaven and a new earth; for the first heaven and the first earth passed away, and there is no longer any sea. 2 And I saw the holy city, new Jerusalem, coming down out of heaven from God, prepared as a bride adorned for her husband. 3 And I heard a loud voice from the throne, saying, “Behold, the tabernacle of God is among the people, and He will dwell among them, and they shall be His people, and God Himself will be among them,

III. Where did the term ‘rapture’ come from? https://bible.org/question/where-did-term-8216rapture%E2%80%99-come

A. Regarding the term rapture and its use in theology, the following should answer your questions. It is taken from Ryrie’s Basic Theology, Electronic Media from Parsons Technology.

B. Our modern understanding of rapture appears to have little or no connection with the eschatological event. However, the word is properly used of that event. Rapture is a state or experience of being carried away. The English word comes from a Latin word, rapio, which means to seize or snatch in relation to an ecstasy of spirit or the actual removal from one place to another. In other words, it means to be carried away in spirit or in body. The Rapture of the church means the carrying away of the church from earth to heaven.

C. The Greek word from this term “rapture” is derived appears in 1 Thessalonians 4:17, translated “caught up.” The Latin translation of this verse used the word rapturo. The Greek word it translates is harpazo, which means to snatch or take away. Elsewhere it is used to describe how the Spirit caught up Philip near Gaza and brought him to Caesarea (Acts 8:39) and to describe Paul’s experience of being caught up into the third heaven (2 Cor. 12:2-4). Thus there can be no doubt that the word is used in 1 Thessalonians 4:17 to indicate the actual removal of people from earth to heaven.

1. Ryrie Education. (A.B., Th.M., Th.D., Ph. D.)

2. Ryrie Education Details. Charles C. Ryrie. (A.B., Haverford College; Th.M. and Th.D., Dallas Theological Seminary; Ph.D., University of Edinburgh; Litt.D., Liberty Baptist Theological Seminary).

3. Ryrie Accomplishments. https://voice.dts.edu/article/dr-charles-c-ryrie-1925-2016-tribute/
Dr. Ryrie taught Systematic Theology at Dallas Theological Seminary before serving as dean of doctoral studies for more than two decades until his retirement in 1983. He passed away at 12:37 a.m. on Tuesday, February 16, 2016.

4. Ryrie Books. Charles Ryrie Ryrie Study Bible
https://www.thriftbooks.com/a/charles-c-ryrie/207331/
https://www.moodypublishers.com/authors/r/charles-ryrie/

5. Ryrie Lifespan (March 2, 1925-February 16, 2016).

IV. The Rapture In Verses (NASB 2020 Update).

A. John 14:2,3,6 (33 A.D.). “2 In My Father’s house are many rooms; if that were not so, I would have told you, because I am going there to prepare a place for you. 3 And if I go and prepare a place for you, I am coming again and will take you to Myself, so that where I am, there you also will be. 6 Jesus *said to him, “I am the way, and the truth, and the life; no one comes to the Father except through Me.” (Note: Christ will come from Heaven and take His believers back with him. We can not get to Heaven by any other way, or by anyone else.)

B. 1 Thessalonians 4:13-18 (54 A.D.). “13 But we do not want you to be uninformed, brothers and sisters, about those who are asleep, so that you will not grieve as indeed the rest of mankind do, who have no hope. 14 For if we believe that Jesus died and rose from the dead, so also God will bring with Him those who have fallen asleep through Jesus. 15 For we say this to you by the word of the Lord, that we who are alive and remain until the coming of the Lord will not precede those who have fallen asleep. 16 For the Lord Himself will descend from heaven with a shout, with the voice of the archangel and with the trumpet of God, and the dead in Christ will rise first. 17 Then we who are alive, who remain, will be caught up together with them in the clouds to meet the Lord in the air, and so we will always be with the Lord. 18 Therefore, comfort one another with these words.” (Note: Deceased and living believers in Christ will be taken to heaven by Christ. We will meet Christ in he air; He will not set foot on earth. Caught up in English is used for rapture, harpazo, and rapturo.).

C. 1 Corinthians 15:50-54 (59 A.D.). “50 Now I say this, brothers and sisters, that flesh and blood cannot inherit the kingdom of God; nor does the perishable inherit the imperishable. 51 Behold, I am telling you a mystery; we will not all sleep, but we will 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 will be changed. 53 For this perishable must put on the imperishable, and this mortal must put on immortality. 54 But when this perishable puts on the imperishable, and this mortal puts on immortality, then will come about the saying that is written: “Death has been swallowed up in victory.” (Note: We can not enter heaven or the eternal state in our mortal bodies; we must be changed to be immortal. This change was unknown until Paul spoke these words. The change will occur quickly. Not all believers will die, but all believers will be changed to be immortal/imperishable. Dead believers will be raised and made imperishable. Living believers will be changed and made imperishable. We will never die, or suffer from sickness again.).

V. Purposes Of The Rapture. https://bible.org/seriespage/4-translation-church

A. Explanation Of The Rapture. In Chapter 14 of John, in the very shadow of the cross, Christ reveals an amazing new revelation which He had not tried to teach them before, that is, that there was another purpose of God to be fulfilled first before bringing in the millennial kingdom. Christ told the disciples that He was going to leave them and go to heaven, that He would prepare a place for them in heaven, and that He would come back to receive them unto Himself. In other words, He revealed to them that before He fulfilled His purpose to bring in a kingdom on earth He was going to take them home to glory first. He would come back for them and take them to dwell with Him in the Father’s house in heaven before His return to the earth (Dr. John F. Walvoord).

B. The Coming Of Christ Details (Walvoord Commentary, 1-2 Thessalonians, pg 113).

1. Comes in the air (1 Thes 4:16-17).
2. Comes for His saints (1 Thes 4:16-17).
3. Believers depart the earth (1 Thes 4:16-17).
4. Christ returns to earth with His bride to establish His Kingdom (2 Thes 1:10).
5. Christ gathers His own (1 Thes 4:16-17).
6. Christ comes to reward (1 Thes 4:17).
7. Not in the Old Testament (1 Cor 15:51).
8. There are no signs; it is imminent (1 Thes 5:1-3).
9. It is a time of blessing and comfort (1 Thes 4:18).
10. Involves believers only (John 14:1-3; 1 Cor 15:51-55; 1 Thes 4:13-18).
11. Will occur in a moment, in the time it takes to blink. Only His own will see Him (1 Cor 15:51-52).
12. Tribulation begins (Rev 6).
13. Christ comes as the bright morning star (Rev 22:16).

C. Walvoord Particulars.

1. Walvoord Education (B.A., M.A., Th.M., Th.D., D.D., Litt.D.).

2. Walvoord Education Details. Attended Wheaton College in Illinois. He received his Bachelor of Arts degree in 1931. Entered Dallas Seminary, where he earned his bachelor’s and master’s of theology (Th.B., Th.M.) degrees, magna cum laude, in 1934 and doctorate in theology (Th.D.) in 1936. He went on to receive an M.A. in philosophy from Texas Christian University in 1945. Wheaton College awarded him a doctor of divinity (D.D.) in 1960; Liberty University conferred the Doctor of Letters (Litt.D.) on him in 1984.

3. Walvoord Books. https://www.thriftbooks.com/a/john-f-walvoord/203232/

4. Walvoord Accomplishments. https://walvoord.com/about-dr-john-walvoord
John was a member of the Dallas Theological Seminary faculty for 50 years, from 1936 to 1986. He served as president of Dallas Seminary from 1952 to 1986, and as chancellor until 2001. He continued to teach and preach until a few weeks before his death at the age of 92.

5. Walvoord Lifespan (May 1, 1910-December 20, 2002).

VI. Considering Rapture Distinctions.

A. The Nature Of The Church. There is a distinction between the true church and true or spiritual Israel. Prior to Pentecost, there were saved individuals, but there was no church, and they were a part of spiritual Israel, not the church. After the day of Pentecost, and until the rapture, we find the church which is His (Christ’s, mine) body, but no spiritual Israel. After the rapture we find no church, but a true or spiritual Israel again. These distinctions must be kept clearly in mind. The rapture will remove, not all who make a profession of faith in Christ, but only those who have been born again, and have received His life. The unbelieving portion of the visible church, together with unbelievers in the nation Israel, will go into the tribulation period.

B. The Doctrine Of Imminence. Many signs were given to the nation Israel, which would precede the second advent, so that the nation might be living in expectancy when the time of His coming should draw nigh. Although Israel could not know the day nor the hour when the Lord will come, yet they can know that their redemption draweth nigh through the fulfillment of these signs (prophetic signs, mine). To the church no such signs were ever given. The church was told to live in the light of the imminent coming of the Lord to translate them in His presence (John 14:2-3; Acts 1:11; 1 Cor 15:51-52; Phil 3:20; Col 3:4; 1 Thes 1:10; 1 Tim 6:14; Jas 5:8; 1 Pet 3:3-4). Such passages as 1 Thes 5:6; Tit 2:13; Rev 3:3 all warn the believer to be watching for the Lord Himself, not for signs that would precede His coming. It is true that the events of the seventieth week (the 70 weeks of Daniel; Dan 9:1-27; mine) will cast an adumbration before the rapture, but the object of the believer’s attention is always directed to Christ, never to these portents (signs, mine) (J. Dwight Pentecost, Things To Come, pg 202-203).

1. Pentecost Education. B.A., Th.M., Th.D.

2. Pentecost Education Details. Pentecost was Distinguished Professor of Bible Exposition, Emeritus, at Dallas Theological Seminary, one of only two so honored. He held a B.A. from Hampden-Sydney College (1937), in addition to Th.M. (1941) and Th.D. (1956) degrees from Dallas Theological Seminary. During his academic career he taught biblical subjects for over 60 years (Philadelphia College of Bible, 1948–55; Dallas Theological Seminary, 1955-2014).

3. Pentecost Books. https://www.thriftbooks.com/a/j-dwight-pentecost/202850/

4. Pentecost Accomplishments. https://voice.dts.edu/article/an-enduring-ministry-the-life-and-times-of-j-dwight-pentecost-karen-giesen/
DTS president John Walvoord invited Dr. Pentecost to teach in three departments—theology, Greek, and Bible exposition—while he completed his Th.D. This year marks Dr. P.’s fiftieth on the Dallas Seminary faculty. (Dr. Pentecost is now deceased).

5. Pentecost Lifespan (April 24, 1915-April 28 2014).

VII. Preceding The Rapture. The Fullness Of The Gentiles.

A. Romans 11:25, New American Standard Bible 2020 Update.

25 For I do not want you, brothers and sisters, to be uninformed of this mystery—so that you will not be wise in your own estimation—that a partial hardening has happened to Israel until the fullness of the Gentiles has come in;

B. Commentary.

1. Ryrie Study Bible, Rom 11:25. “This mystery.” A definition of a scriptural mystery: something unknown in times past but revealed in the NT ( Ryrie Study Bible, Rom 16:25). See other “mystery” verses: Eph 3:3, 5:32, 6:19; Col 1:27,2:2, 4:3; 2 Thes 2:7; 1 Tim 3:16; Rev 1:20. Keep in mind that the mysteries that were revealed in the NT were things of scripture that were not revealed anywhere in the OT.

2. Ryrie Study Bible, Rom 11:25. “Israel’s hardening” is partial (Jews are being saved today) and temporary (“until” they acknowledge Jesus at His second coming). “the fullness of the Gentiles,” i.e., the full number of Gentiles who will be saved (Acts 15:14). After that, God will turn again to the Jews and will save “all Israel” at the Lord’s return (vs 26).

3. John Walvoord, Every Prophecy Of The Bible, pg 454. The background of this (The Promise of Israel’s Restoration, pg 453, Rom 11:25-27), is the NT doctrine of the Rapture of the church. When the church is taken out of the world in fulfillment of Gods purpose for the church, Israel’s present experience of hardening will also be removed, and revival will come to Israel (vs 25). Their early conversion to the Gospel will help spread the Gospel throughout the world after the Rapture of the church, as there are Israelites in every major nation who already know the languages and the people.

4. J. Dwight Pentecost, Things To Come, pg 298. It is to be noted that the remnant of Rom 11:26 is not converted until the second advent of Christ and the 144,000 are ministering as sealed witnesses immediately after the church has been raptured.

5. MacArthur Study Bible, Rom 11:25 comment. “until the fullness of the Gentiles has come in.” “Until” refers to a specific point in time; “fullness” refers to completion; “has come in” translates a Gr. verb often used to speak of coming to salvation (cf. Matt. 5:20; Mark 9:43, 45, 47; John 3:5; Acts 14:22). Israel’s spiritual hardening (which began with rejecting Jesus as Messiah) will last until the complete number of elect Gentiles has come to salvation

C. Consider Today’s World.

1. Many things are going on in our world today, that make many people (including Christians) think that we are in the end times, or will soon find ourselves in the tribulation. But, there is nothing in scripture that tells us that rioting, the virus that began in China, or anything else is a precursor to the “last days, end times, or tribulation.” Matt 24-25 relates to the events that will take place when “left-behind Israel” finds itself in the tribulation (Matt 24:1-3). Ryrie states in his Mt 24 notes that vs 4-14 relate to the first half of the tribulation, whereas, 15-28 deal with the second half. Matt 24:36 states, “of that day and hour, no one knows.” Neither the rapture (John 14:2-6), nor the second coming of Christ (Matt 24:29-31) are events that can be tied to anything that is going on in the world today, or will take place in the future. (See Matt 24 of the Ryrie Study Bible for comments about Israel’s tribulation prophecies).

2. Consider Yesteryear.

a. Russian Civil War. 1917-1923.
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Russian_Civil_War

(1) There were an estimated 7 to 12 million casualties during the war, mostly civilians. Russia was an Orthodox Christian nation. https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/History_of_the_Russian_Orthodox_Church In 1914 in Russia, there were 55,173 Russian Orthodox churches and 29,593 chapels, 112,629 priests and deacons, 550 monasteries and 475 convents with a total of 95,259 monks and nuns.

(2) The year 1917 was a major turning point for the history of Russia, and also the Russian Orthodox Church. The Russian empire was dissolved and the Tsarist government – which had granted the Church numerous privileges – was overthrown. After a few months of political turmoil, the Bolsheviks took power in October 1917 and declared a separation of church and state. The government seized all church lands. Thus the Russian Orthodox Church found itself without official state backing for the first time in its history. One of the first decrees of the new Communist government (issued in January 1918) declared freedom of “religious and anti-religious propaganda”.

(3) The mass closure of churches continued until 1939, by which time there was only a few hundred left. According to the official data of the government Commission on Rehabilitation:[28] in 1937 136,900 Orthodox clerics were arrested, 85,300 of them were shot dead; in 1938 28,300 arrested, 21,500 of them shot dead; in 1939 1,500 arrested, 900 of them shot dead; in 1940 5,100 arrested, 1,100 of them shot dead.

(4) Because of the Christian population of Russia, it would be conceivable that some of those Christians may have thought that they were in the tribulation.

b. The Spanish Flu. 1918-1919.
https://www.cdc.gov/flu/pandemic-resources/1918-commemoration/1918-pandemic-history.htm

(1) It is estimated that about 500 million people or one-third of the world’s population became infected with this virus. The number of deaths was estimated to be at least 50 million worldwide with about 675,000 occurring in the United States.

(2) Because of the worldwide spread of the Spanish Flu, it is also conceivable that many of the world’s population thought that the tribulation had begun.

c. The Holocaust. 1933-1945.
https://www.jewishvirtuallibrary.org/an-introductory-history-of-the-holocaust

(1) The Holocaust (also called Ha-Shoah in Hebrew) refers to the period from January 30, 1933 – when Adolf Hitler became chancellor of Germany – to May 8, 1945, when the war in Europe officially ended. During this time, Jews in Europe were subjected to progressively harsher persecution that ultimately led to the murder of 6,000,000 Jews (1.5 million of these being children) and the destruction of 5,000 Jewish communities. These deaths represented two-thirds of European Jewry and one-third of all world Jewry.

(2) There may have been Jews who were alive, and who died, during the Holocaust who thought that they were present during the conditions of “Jacob’s Distress” (Jer 30:7) and “Daniel’s Seventy Weeks” (Dan 9:1-27), both of which will be the tribulation.

3. Consider History. Based on the events of history, it is obvious that we can not latch onto an event or group of events, that will let us know of God’s sovereign plan for His creation. We may ask if there is anything that we can identify as being a stimulus for the event that is described in Romans 11:25? Based on the information that is provided in the paragraph “VII. A. The Fullness Of The Gentiles,” we have learned that the tribulation will not occur until after the rapture of the church has taken place. The fullness of the Gentiles relates to a number of Gentiles coming to saving faith in Christ; such a determination of “church growth,” can only be determined, and known, by God.

4. Consider falling church growth. There is diminishing church growth in North America, and has been that way for years in Europe. Consider a report that relates to the Southern Baptist Convention: “The Southern Baptist Convention lost 2 percent of its membership last year—the largest drop in more than a century, according to its annual report.”
https://www.christianitytoday.com/news/2020/june/southern-baptist-sbc-member-drop-annual-church-profile-2019.html

5. Consider Evangelical Growth Areas. If church growth is not taking place in much of “the Bible Belt” (SBC), where can the needed growth take place? Consider the following report. https://www.operationworld.org/hidden/evangelical-growth

Countries with the Fastest Growing Evangelical Population (the list is long; check the link).

Rank Country Ann Gr*

1 Iran 19.6%
2 Afghanistan 16.7%
3 Gambia, The 8.9%
4 Cambodia 8.8%
5 Greenland 8.4%
6 Algeria 8.1%
7 Somalia 8.1%
8 Mongolia 7.9%
9 Kuwait 7.3%
10 Tajikistan 6.9%

6. Consider Global Missions. When we consider Romans 11:25, it is very clear that global missions are essential to church growth. We must never forget the emphasis that our Lord placed on taking the His message to all of the world, even to the United States Of America. When I use the words, “church growth,” I am relating to lost souls coming to saving faith in Christ as their Lord and Savior.

a. Matthew 28:18-20
New American Standard Bible – 2020 Update

18 And Jesus came up and spoke to them, saying, “All authority in heaven and on earth has been given to Me. 19 Go, therefore, and make disciples of all the nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and the Son and the Holy Spirit, 20 teaching them to follow all that I commanded you; and behold, I am with you always, to the end of the age.”

b. Acts 1:8
New American Standard Bible – 2020 Update

8 but you will receive power when the Holy Spirit has come upon you; and you shall be My witnesses both in Jerusalem and in all Judea, and Samaria, and as far as the remotest part of the earth.”

VIII. Consider the following video.

The World’s Largest Religious Gathering

IMB. Mar 7, 2017 .

IX. A list of my sources of information can be found on my Page, “About Sources.”

X. Please follow this site.

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Road To Tribulation 1 – The Tribulation Described

I. This website has taken on a new name, which is “Eternity.” The purpose of the change is to identify a greater scope of subjects that will tell of God’s plan for His written Word which extends from eternity to eternity.

II. This opening article will explain the scriptural definition and purposes of the Tribulation. Also, those whom will, and will not, find their place in the Tribulation will be identified, with the reason for both destinies being shown.

III. Consider the following Tribulation data.

A. The Jewish Prophet, Jeremiah, and his prophecy are discussed in the following comment from the Scofield Reference notes:

1. Book Introduction – Jeremiah

a. Jeremiah began his ministry in the 13th year of Josiah, about 60 years after Isaiah’s death. Zephaniah and Habakkuk were contemporaries of his earlier ministry. Daniel of his later. After the death of Josiah, the kingdom of Judah hastened to its end in the Babylonian captivity. Jeremiah remained in the land ministering to the poor Remnant (2 Kings 24:14) until they went into Egypt, whither he followed them, and where he died, early in the 70 year’s captivity. Jeremiah, prophesying before and during the exile of Judah, connects the pre-exile prophets with Ezekiel and Daniel, prophets of the exile.

b. Jeremiah’s vision includes: the Babylonian captivity; the return after 70 years; the world- wide dispersion; the final regathering; the kingdom-age; the day of judgment on the Gentile powers, and the Remnant.

c. Notice that the Book of Jeremiah is a prophecy from God, to a Jewish prophet, who passed the information on to other Jews, about Jewish matters (Jer 1:1-5; 2:1-4). Notice that God put His calling on Jeremiah before Jeremiah was born (Jer 1:5), as He also did with the Apostle Paul before he was born (Gal 1:15).

2. Jeremiah 30:7 – New American Standard Bible 2020 – 572 B.C.

a. Verse. “Woe, for that day is great, There is none like it; And it is the time of Jacob’s distress, Yet he will be saved from it.”

b. Comments.

(1) 30:7 “time of Jacob’s trouble.” This period of unprecedented difficulty for Israel, as the verse defines, is set in a context of Israel’s final restoration. It is best equated with the time of tribulation (cf. vv. 8, 9) just before Christ’s Second Advent, mentioned elsewhere (Dan. 12:1, 534 B.C.; Matt. 24:21, 22, 33 A.D.) and described in detail by Rev. 6–19. (MacArthur Study Bible)

(2) 30:7 “the time of Jacob’s distress.” The coming of days of tribulation that will come upon all Israel (Jacob) (Ryrie Study Bible).

(3) 30:7 “this period (tribulation)” is peculiarly the time when God’s wrath and judgment fall upon the earth. This is not wrath from men, nor from Satan, except as God may use these agencies as channels for the execution of His will; it is tribulation from God. This period differs from all preceding tribulation, not only in intensity but also in the kind of tribulation, since it comes from God Himself (Things To Come, J. Dwight Pentecost, pp 236-237).

(4) 30:7 The Time Of Jacob’s Distress Prior To Restoration (30:4-7). “The final return of Israel and Judah” to the land will be preceded by a time of national distress. “Cries of terror” will be heard among the residents of Israel in the latter days, during the time of Jacob’s distress, and there will be no peace. Jeremiah compared the anguish of men clutching themselves in fear to a woman in childbirth (cf. 4:31, 6:24, 13:21, 22:23, 49:24, 50:43). The second calamity will be so awful that there is none like it (cf. Mt 24:21; Dn 12:1).

(5) 30:7 “time of trouble” refers to a the still-future Tribulation period when the remnant of Israel and Judah will experience a time of unparalleled persecution (Dan 9:27, 12:1; Matt 24:15-22). The period will end when Christ appears to rescue His elect (Rom 11:26) and establish His kingdom (Matt 24:30-31, 25:31-46; Rev 19:11-21, 20:4-6) (Bible Knowledge Commentary, Charles H. Dyer). (My note: the elect are Jews, Deu 14:2, 1451, B.C.).

(6) 30:7 “(Jer 30:1-11).” This section is a far-reaching prophecy from Jeremiah concerning the ultimate regathering of Israel and restoration to their land (vv. 2-3). In particular, the Lord prophesied a time of distress for Israel, such as she had never experienced before (vv. 4-7; c Matt 24:15-30). God assured Israel, however, that “he (Jacob) will be saved of it” (Jer 30:7). (Every Prophecy Of The Bible, John F. Walvoord, pg 138).

(7) 30:7 “time of distress for Jacob.” The time of trouble for Jacob is identical to the tribulation. The great tribulation is the period of unexampled trouble predicted in the passages cited under that head from Psalms 2:5 to Revelation 7:14, and described in Revelation 11-18. Involving in a measure the whole earth Revelation 3:10 it is yet distinctly “the time of Jacob’s trouble” Jeremiah 30:7 and its vortex Jerusalem and the Holy Land. It involves the people of God who will have returned to Israel in unbelief. Its duration is three and a half years, or the last half of the seventieth week of Daniel (Scofield Study Bible).

IV. The Seventieth Week Of Daniel Examined (The Tribulation) (Things To Come, J. Dwight Pentecost, pp 194-200).

A. The church and Israel are two distinct groups with whom God has a divine plan. The church is a mystery, unrevealed in the Old Testament. This present mystery age (Inter-Advent age, mine), intervenes within the program of God for Israel because of Israel’s rejection of the Messiah at His first advent. This mystery program must be completed before God can resume His program with Israel and bring it to completion pg 193). The church will be raptured before the seventieth week (pg 194).

B. The seventieth week has the character of: (1) wrath (Rev 6:16-17); (2) judgment (Rev 14:7); (3) indignation (Isa 26:20-21); (4) punishment (Isa 24:20-21); (5) hour of trial (Rev 3:10); (6) hour of trouble (Jer 30:7); (7) destruction (Joel 1:15); (8) darkness (Joel 2:2). It must be noted that these references describe the period in its eternity, not just a portion of it, so that the whole period bears this characterization (pg 194-195).

C. This period of tribulation will see the wrath of God poured out upon the whole earth (Rev 3:10). While the whole earth is in view, this period is particularly in relation to Israel. Jer 30:7, which calls this period, “the time of Jacob’s trouble,” makes this certain. The events of the seventieth week are events of the “Day Of The Lord.” The use of the name of deity emphasizes God’s peculiar relationship to that nation. When this period is being anticipated in Daniel 9:24 (538 B.C.), God says to the prophet, “Seventy weeks are determined upon thy people and upon thy holy city. The whole period has special reference to Daniel’s people, Israel, and Daniel’s holy city, Jerusalem” (pg 195) (Daniel 9:20-27).

D. Since every passage dealing with the tribulation relates it to God’s program for Israel, the scope of the tribulation prevents the church from participating in it (pg 196).

E. The purpose of the seventieth week is two-fold (pp 197-200).

1. The first purpose is stated in Rev 3:10, “Because you have kept My word of perseverance, I also will keep you from the hour of the testing, that hour which is about to come upon the whole world, to test those who live on the earth.” Apart from the question involved as to who will be in this time of testing there are several other important important considerations in this verse.

(a) First of all we see that this period has in view, “them that dwell on the earth,” and not the church. This same expression occurs in Rev 6:10; 11:10; 13:8, 12, 14; 14:7; and 17:8. Since this period is related to “earth dwellers,” those that have settled down to permanent occupancy, it can have no reference to the church, which would be subjected to the same experiences if it were here.

(b) The second consideration to be noted here is to express purpose, when God is its subject, “to inflict evils upon one in order to prove his character, and the steadfastness of his faith.” Since the Father never sees the church except in Christ, perfected in Him, this period can have no reference to the church, for the true church does not need to be tested to see if her faith is genuine.

2. The second major purpose of the seventieth week is in relation to Israel. In Malachi 4:5-6 (397 B.C.) it is stated: “Behold, I will send you Elijah the prophet before the coming of the great and terrible day of the Lord: And he will turn the heart of the fathers to the children, and the heart of the children to their fathers, lest I come and smite the earth with a curse.”

(a) The prophet states that the ministry of Elijah was a ministry to prepare the people for the King who was shortly to come.

(b) In Luke 1:17 and Mark 9:12-13, the Lord was showing the disciples that John the Baptist had this ministry of preparing a people for Him. John’s ministry was a ministry to prepare the nation Israel for the coming of the King. It can only be concluded then that Elijah, who is to come before the great and terrible day of the Lord, can have only one ministry: that of preparing a remnant in Israel for the advent of the Lord. It is evident that no such ministry is needed by the church since she by nature is without spot or wrinkle or any such thing, but is holy and without blemish.

3. The two stated purposes of the tribulation, the testing of earth dwellers, and the preparation of Israel for the King, have no relation to the church, whatsoever. This is supporting evidence that the church will not be in the tribulation.

4. The rapture, the catching up of the New Testament saints (1 Thes 4:16-17) will remove, not all who make a profession of faith in Christ, but only those who have been born again and have received His life. The unbelieving portion of the visible church, together with unbelievers in the nation Israel, will go into the tribulation period.

V. The following article will focus on two key factors that relate to the removal of the church from the earth prior to the tribulation. We will discuss scriptures that explain the rapture of the church, and the Christ-likeness of those who will be taken from this world to Heaven prior to the tribulation.

VI. Sources of information.

A. Credential information on the sources of information for this article can be found by clicking onto the following link: https://equippingblog.wordpress.com/about-sources/

B. Reference documents that are used to support this article should be considered as additions to the libraries of all those who consider themselves to be serious students of God’s Holy Word.

VII. Anyone can follow this website. WordPress will automatically send new articles to anyone who clicks onto the following link (https://equippingblog.wordpress.com/), selects the Follow Button, and provides the necessary information.

VIII. Video Details.

A. The Seven Years of Tribulations. Jun 18, 2014. 100huntley.

B. Tribulation period is usually seen as 2 halves – first half where Israel enjoys peace and second half of terror of the world. Hear what Dr. Mark Hitchcock has to say on this much investigated topic about the end times.

IX. Please follow this site.