Tag Archive | Rapture

Gap Between the Rapture and the Tribulation

By Frisco Vigario

 

Jesus perfectly fulfilled His first coming at the four spring festivals – Passover, the Feast of Unleavened Bread, the Feast of Firstfruits and the Feast of Weeks. These are God’s “appointed times,” also called “holy convocations.”

After the spring feasts, there is a period of time before the autumn feasts begin. This time is spiritually symbolic of the church age in which we live today. Christ’s sacrifice and resurrection are past, we have received the promised Holy Spirit, and now we await His second coming. Just as the spring feasts pointed toward the Messiah’s ministry at His first coming, the autumn feasts point toward what will happen at His second coming.

Rosh Hashanah, also known as the Feast of Trumpets, is a picture of the ‘catching away’ of the bride of Christ. The significance for ‘the believer’ is that the blowing of the ‘shofar’ is prophetic to the rapture of the church and will inaugurate the ‘End of days,’ the coming Day of the Lord – The Great Tribulation (also called Jacob’s Trouble, the day of wrath, day of desolation, day of the Lord, the wrath of God, the wrath, the tribulation and many more).

1 Corinthians 15:51-54 “Behold, I tell you a mystery; we will not all sleep, but we will all be changed, 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. For this perishable must put on the imperishable, and this mortal must put on immortality. But when this perishable will have put on the imperishable, and this mortal will have put on immortality, then will come about the saying that is written, ‘Death is swallowed up in victory’” (NASB).

1 Thessalonians 4:15-18 “For this we say 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. 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. Then we who are alive and remain will be caught up together with them in the clouds to meet the Lord in the air, and so we shall always be with the Lord. Therefore comfort one another with these words” (NASB).

Rosh Hashanah also commemorates the creation of the universe. Jewish tradition links Adam and Eve’s creation to 1 Tishri as the day of creation from Adam’s perspective – but how? The first words of the Hebrew Bible say “In the beginning.” By rearranging the Hebrew letters, the phrase “aleph b’Tishri” is formed, meaning “on the 1st of Tishri.”

Rosh Hashanah is also known as the head of the year – Jewish New Year’s Day.

Rosh Hashanah therefore represents the day that God began to rule as King of the Universe. It also anticipates the prophetic fulfillment of the Lord’s covenant faithfulness to Israel in Daniel’s 70th week when all of Israel will repent and their Messiah will return to restore Israel as Saviour, Lord and Deliverer.

According to Jewish tradition, on Rosh Hashanah the destiny of the righteous are written in the Book of Life, and the destiny of the wicked are written in the book of death. However, most people will not be inscribed in either book, but have 10 days until “Yom Kippur” (Festival of Atonement) to repent before sealing their fate. Hence the Ten Days of Repentance (days of Awe). At the Feast of Atonement, then, everyone’s name will be sealed in one of the books.

The Day of Atonement is the next of the three autumn festivals. It is the holiest day of the Jewish year, and it reveals the Priestly work of Jesus – Our High Priest. This festival, also known as Yom Kippur, provides prophetic insight regarding the Second coming of Messiah, the restoration of national Israel and the final judgment of the world.

The Day of Atonement marks the high point of the 10 days of Awe and is regarded as the day when Israel will seal her fate. It is the only day of the year when the High Priest could enter the Holy of Holies and offer blood sacrifices and prayer for the sins of the people. Their sins were ‘covered’ for one year only.

Only at Christ’s death on the cross were sins forgiven “by grace through faith.”

The Rapture of the Church and the relevance of the gap between the Feast of Trumpets and the Day of Atonement:

Why did God place 10 days between the Feast of Trumpets and the Day of Atonement? Does it mean anything? Is it part of His perfect will? Would it make any difference if it were 5 days or 20 days or 30 days? I believe that God in His perfection has a perfect meaning for every letter and number that appears in His word.

Does the rapture of the church take place before the Tribulation or in the now-popularized Rapture at the mid-tribulation point before “The wrath”?

How is it possible that anyone in their right spiritual mind would consider, even for a moment, that the Rapture could take place during the 7-year Tribulation?

There are many scriptures both in the Old and New Testament that prove that the church will not go through the Tribulation. How can it be that some are still going down this dark rabbit hole?

I offer just one Old Testament and one New Testament scripture that prove beyond a shadow of doubt that the church will NOT enter the Tribulation.

Daniel 9:24 “Seventy weeks have been decreed for your people and your holy city, to finish the transgression, to make an end of sin, to make atonement for iniquity, to bring in everlasting righteousness, to seal up vision and prophecy and to anoint the most holy place.”

Daniel’s people and Daniel’s holy city can only be the Jewish nation and Jerusalem. The church is not Israel and it does not have a capital. The church is the Temple of God; we are priests and we are filled with the Holy Spirit.

Nobody disputes that God has perfectly fulfilled 69 weeks at Jesus’ first coming and death on the cross and we now await the final week which will commence with “a firm covenant.” In the middle of the 7-year Tribulation, the “Abomination of desolation” will take place (see Daniel 9:27).

The purpose of the last 7 years is twofold – for the restoration of Israel (God’s “elect,” His covenant people and the “apple of His eye”) and the wrath of God to a sinful, unrepentant Gentile world.

2 Thessalonians 2:7-8 “For the mystery of lawlessness is already at work; only he who now restrains will do so until he is taken out of the way. Then that lawless one will be revealed whom the Lord will slay with the breath of His mouth and bring to an end by the appearance of His coming.”

According to Paul, the “lawless one” (the Antichrist) will only be revealed after the “Restrainer” is taken out of the way. Who is the restrainer? It’s not me or you, or Donald Trump or any other world or religious leader. So who can it be? Who has the strength to restrain evil, the devil and the Antichrist?

Surely it can only be the person of The Holy Spirit. So, if the “Restrainer” is taken out of the way, does that mean that Jesus says to His bride – ‘I have carried you in my hand for long enough – now you are on your own. Survival is now in your hands, so be careful. See you later.’ Is that the message of the Bible as you read it?

Or is it “…I will never desert you, nor will I ever forsake you” (Hebrews 13:5).

The Holy Spirit is in us. If the Holy Spirit is taken out of the way – then so are we – it is called the Rapture of the Church.

We can only conclude that we will not be here during the 7-year Tribulation. So, if we are raptured before the Tribulation – is it possible that there is a gap between the rapture of the church and the start of the Tribulation?

The rapture of the church does not start the 7-year Tribulation. According to Daniel, the signing of a “covenant” does. So, yes, there must be a gap – but how long? It could be a few days, weeks, months or years. Since every word in the Bible is significant, we do indeed question the reason for a 10-day gap between the Feast of Trumpets and the Day of Atonement.

The book of Revelation follows a progression of future events. Most commentators see the letters to the seven churches as representing actual churches that existed at the time that the book of Revelation was written, but it also represents the seven church ages – ending with today’s church, the church of Laodicea, the lukewarm church.

Revelation 4:1 alludes to the possible rapture of the church: “After these things I looked, and behold, a door standing open in heaven. And the first voice which I heard was like a trumpet speaking with me, saying, ‘Come up here, and I will show you things which must take place after this.’”

John then sees in heaven the things that follow. He sees the “scroll” that is sealed with seven seals. Inside the scroll are the seven Trumpet judgments and the seven Bowl judgments that come from heaven. Jesus then opens one seal at a time, but we are nowhere told that the events that are described with the opening of the seals take place before or after the start of the Tribulation.

Is it possible that the events that take place between the breaking of the first seal and the Trumpet judgments represent a 3-year time frame between the rapture of the church and the start of the 7-year Tribulation? I believe that it is possible.

First note Revelation 5:1 “And I saw in the right hand of Him who sat on the throne a scroll written inside and on the back, sealed with seven seals” (NKJV).

The scroll is sealed with 7 seals. The sealing of a document is intended to keep the message that is contained inside secret – until it is opened by an authorized person. Jesus has the authority, and He opens the seven seals that reveal events that will take place on earth during the 7-year Tribulation. The seals reveal earthly events as well as future events.

As the first four seals are removed, a message is given by each of the four living creatures. The messages are:

– A king goes out to take peace from the earth but with a bow only.

– Peace is taken from the earth by means of “a great sword.”

– Scarcity of food

– A fourth of the earth is affected by war, starvation, disease and by animals.

What do the four living creatures represent?

The four living beings described in Revelation chapter 4 and chapter 6 are the same as the seraphim shown in Isaiah chapter 6.

The four seraphim from Isaiah and Revelation are described as having A FACE – with one being LIKE a lion, one being LIKE a calf, one being LIKE a man, and one being LIKE an eagle. Also having six wings instead of four (Ezekiel’s Cherubim).

The Lion is the chief of land beasts, and the Eagle is the chief of birds with its superior speed and strength. These two creatures exert a great and dominant force on the earth, where people live. The face of a man is a reference to the crowning creation of God, intelligently-created human beings. The calf/ox represents the field-working/sacrificial animal.

In the history of ancient Israel, the ox was valuable to both the people’s everyday wellbeing as well as their religious life. The ox did most of the laborious field chores which could result in great prosperity. It was therefore mentioned as one of the things that should not be coveted from a neighbor. So great was the significance of the ox to the people that it was once infamously raised to a godlike stature in the incidence of the “golden calf.”

I believe that the inference of the announcements coming from the four living beings is that they are representative of earthly (natural/human) events that take place and not the wrath that comes from heaven in the 7 Trumpet and Bowl judgments.

The number “4” in scripture has a pattern of identifying the covering of all sides, or going in all directions, such as the “Four Winds” of Heaven, representing the Resurrection of the Saved from all directions of the earth. In Revelation 7:1 we see 4 Angels holding the Four winds of destruction back until the 144,000 are sealed with God’s Seal on their foreheads.

The 5th seal shows us “martyrs” that appear under the altar. These are very different to the martyrs that appear later in the 6th seal. I believe that the 5th seal martyrs are the Old Testament martyrs that are now asking, “How long, O Lord, holy and true, until You judge and avenge our blood on those who dwell on the earth?” If the Tribulation had already commenced, surely they would not ask this question. Of the second group of martyrs, it is stated: “These are the ones who come out of the great tribulation….”

In other words, they are still future. If the Tribulation had already started, scripture should read – These are the ones that came out – and not “who come out.”

There are several other factors that add weight to a 3-year gap theory, especially the revelation of the sixth seal ‘cosmic events’ and the 144,000 that I will not cover here, but you can see them on my YouTube teaching on the “Rapture of the church” – part 6.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Opi5LPLJcfs&t=1s

You will also find on YouTube the full series on “The Rapture of the church” which consists of an introductory study plus a 6-part teaching.

Some Thoughts on Matthew 24

By Daymond Duck

 

I know many people will disagree with me, but here is what I believe.

As Jesus and His disciples were leaving the Temple, His disciples pointed out the buildings. Jesus said, “There shall not be left here one stone upon another, that shall not be thrown down.”

They went out to the mount of Olives and asked three questions (Matt:24:1-3):

  1. “When shall these things be?”
  2. “What shall be the sign of thy coming?”
  3. “And of the end of the world (or age)?”

Question #1: When shall these things be?

Keep in mind that Jesus is talking to Jews and there was no church at that time.

Jesus mentioned false Christs and wars and rumors of wars and He added, “but the end is not yet.” He mentioned famines, pestilences and earthquakes and He added, “All these are the beginning of sorrows (birth pains)” (Matt. 24:4-8).

All of these things are plural meaning there will be many false Christs and many wars before the end. There will be many famines, many pestilences and many earthquakes before the Second Coming and the end of the age. These things are just the beginning of the birth pains.

For whatever it is worth, Dr. J. Vernon McGee taught that the first eight verses of Matthew 24 are about the Church Age (Thru the Bible with J. Vernon McGee, Volume IV, Matthew-Romans, pg. 126). The Church Age must run its course before the end of the age.

Question #2: What shall be the sign of thy coming?

Jesus’ Second Coming is at the end of the Tribulation period. The Church is not on earth. The Church comes out of heaven with Him (Rev. 19:1-16). So, starting at Matt. 24:9 Jesus is talking about those on earth (Israel and others) during the Tribulation period and the Church will no longer be on earth.

Jesus said they (Israel and others) will face persecution, martyrdom, betrayal, false prophets, deceit, iniquity (lawlessness or corrupt government) and cold hearts. He added, “But he that shall endure unto the end, the same shall be saved” (Matt. 24:9-13). All Israel will be saved at the end of the Tribulation period (Zech. 12:10-14; 14:1-11).

He said the gospel will go all over the world “and then shall the end come” (Matt. 24:14). The preaching of the 144,000 Jewish servants of God, the Two Witnesses and an angel will fulfill this during the Tribulation period (Rev. 7; 11 and 14:6).

He said the abomination of desolation will stand in the holy place (Matt. 24:15). This will happen at the Temple in Israel at the middle of the Tribulation period (Dan. 9:27).

He said, “Then, let them which be in Judaea flee into the mountains” (Matt. 24:17). Judaea is the West Bank in Israel. This is another event that will happen in Israel at the middle of the Tribulation period (Rev. 12:13-14)

He told those who flee to not try to take anything with them and to pray that they don’t have to flee on the sabbath day (Matt. 24:17-20). Why? Because Israel will be back under the Law, offering animal sacrifices, etc., and they will be limited to how much they can carry and how far they can walk on the sabbath.

He said, “then shall be great tribulation.” That is the last half of the Tribulation period, Satan will be on earth and he will hate and kill Jews (Rev. 12:15-17).

Jesus mentions the “elect” three times (Matt. 24:22, 24, 31). There is no doubt that the word “elect” refers to the Church in many verses of Scripture. But here Jesus is talking to Jews about Jews under the Law during the Tribulation period after the Rapture of the Church. Understand that the word “elect” can also refer to Israel. God called Israel the “elect” (Isa. 45:4; 65:9, 22).

God doesn’t change. The gifts and calling of God are without repentance (Rom. 11:29). He has not forsaken Israel (Rom. 11:25-26; Heb. 13:8). He also called both Old Testament and New Testament Jews “saints” (Psa. 79:1-2; Matt. 27:52; Rev. 17:6). The words “elect” and “saints” can refer to Israel or the Church. In Matt. 24, Jesus keeps talking about Israel, but He never mentions or uses the word “Church.”

He said His coming will be like lightning coming out of the east (Matt. 24:27). He was still talking about His coming at the end of the Tribulation period.

He said, “Whersoever the carcase is there will the eagles be gathered” (Matt. 24:28). This is a Jewish proverb about Palestinian eagles (vultures) gathering for a feast at the battle of Armageddon in Israel when Jesus comes back at the end of the Tribulation period (Rev. 19:17-18).

He talked about cataclysmic events that will happen immediately after the tribulation of those days (Matt. 24:29-31). The sun will dim, the moon won’t shine, stars will fall, the universe will shake and people will see Jesus coming in the clouds.

He talked about the fig tree and that is Israel (Matt. 24:32-34; Hos.9:10; Jer. 24:1-10).

He talked about the generation that sees all these things and all of it happening in one generation (Matt. 24:33-34). The Church won’t be on earth to see the Antichrist defile the Temple, but Israel will (II Thess. 2:1-12).

Question #3: What shall be the sign of the end of the world (or age)?

Jesus said, “Heaven and earth shall pass away, but my words shall not pass away” (Matt. 24:35). He added, “But of that day and hour knoweth no man, no, not the angels of heaven, but my Father only” (Matt. 24:36).

No one knows the day or the hour of the Rapture or the Second Coming (Matt. 24:42), but in Matt. 24:36, Jesus was saying no one knows the day or the hour that heaven and earth (the world) will pass away.

To bring this to a close, this writer believes most of Matt. 24 is about Israel and the Tribulation period not the Rapture, or the Church or the Church Age. Jesus answered the three questions that He was asked including the one about the end of the world (or age).

Rapture Theory and Myths

By Thomas Ice

Hardly a week goes by that I don’t receive material opposing the pre-trib rapture which is filled with all kinds of error, both Scriptural and historical. For example, I ran across an article entitled “Origin of the Secret Rapture Theory.” The first sentence said, “It may surprise and even shock you that neither the word ‘rapture’ nor the teaching of a secret rapture is not mentioned in ANY Christian literature prior to 1830-including the Bible!” I am hardly surprised or shocked that anyone could pack so much error into a single sentence, but there we have for all to see. This month I want to deal with some of the popular myths about the pre-trib rapture teaching that Dr. LaHaye and I very much believe is taught in the New Testament Scriptures.

The Term “Rapture”

First of all, the word “rapture” is found in the Bible, if you have the Latin Vulgate produced by Jerome in the early 400s. The Vulgate was the main Bible of the medieval Western Church until the Reformation. It continues to this day as the primary Latin translation of the Roman Catholic Church. Yet, as we shall see later, it was Protestants who introduced the word “rapture” into the English language from the Latin raeptius. It was Jerome’s Vulgate that translated the original Greek verb harpazô used by Paul, under the inspiration of the Holy Spirit, in 1 Thessalonians 4:17, which is usually translated into English with the phrase “caught up.” The leading Greek Lexicon says that harpazô means “snatch, seize, i.e., take suddenly and vehemently.” This is the same meaning of the Latin word rapio “to seize, snatch, tear away.” It should not be surprising to anyone, that an English word was developed from the Latin which we use today known as “rapture.”

In Europe, during the Middle Ages and Reformation periods, the theologians were from various countries and therefore spoke different native tongues. However, the single language of the church, both Catholic and Protestant was Latin. In fact, many of the first books written and published in the American Colonies during the seventeenth century were in Latin. For example, Cotton Mather’s famous history of the American Colonies during the seventeenth century was written in Latin and called Magnalia Christi Americana, or The Great Works of Christ in America. Because it was done in Latin it could be read throughout Europe by the educated class. Thus, it should not be surprising to anyone that many new words came into the English language from a Latin source, especially in the realm of theology. Rapture is just such a word.

While it is technically true that the word rapture does not appear in the English Bible, it does, nevertheless, appear in the Latin Vulgate translation of the Bible. Certainly the notion of a rapture appears many times in the Bible. Translators of the Bible into English could have been justified had they translated “caught up” in 1 Thessalonians 4:17 with the English word “rapture.” They also could have translated it by the word snatch. We could just as easily call the rapture “the great snatch.”

I have in my personal library at least 50 commentaries on 1 Thessalonians. Virtually all of them use the word “rapture” to describe the event in 1 Thessalonians 4:17. They do not appear interested in using it in a derogatory way nor do any of them go on an excursus about how this word does not appear in English translations. Most of these commentators do not hold to a pre-trib rapture view. They merely use the word because they know that it is one of the many Latin words that have made it into the English theological vernacular. Sorry that some have not yet heard.

The rapture does occur in the Bible, especially if you read the Latin Vulgate. However, there is no doubt that the Greek word harpazô in 1 Thessalonians 4:17, usually translated into English “caught up,” conveys the rapture concept.

“Rapture” Usage

Our anti-rapture diatribe noted earlier said, “the word ‘rapture’ nor the teaching of a secret rapture is not mentioned in ANY Christian literature prior to 1830.” Oh really! It is not hard to find out when English words were first introduced into the language. One needs only to check The Oxford English Dictionary (OED) and it will cite examples of the history of the usage of the word. The oldest word in the “rapture” family is “rapt.” OED cites examples of rapt occurring in 1400 in English literature. The earliest instances of “rapture” in secular English literature are cited as 1605, 1607, and 1608. OED provides seven nuances of the word Rapture. The fourth entry is the biblical one defined as “The act of conveying a person from one place to another esp. to heaven; the fact of being so conveyed.” Two examples of this use are cited from the seventeenth century. The first by a writer named Ward in 1647 and the other by J. Edwards (not the American Jonathan) in 1693. It does not take long to realize that these examples are well before 1830.

Joseph Mede (1586-1638), considered in his day, a brilliant English exegete wrote a commentary on Revelation in 1627 called Clavis Apocalyptica (Key of the Revelation). In it he said, “Therefore, it is not needful that the Resurrection of those which slept in Christ, and the Rapture of those which shall be left alive together with them in the air . . .” While Mede was a premillennialist, he did not hold to a pre-trib rapture. Nor did the commentator and theologian John Gill (1697-1771) who wrote around 1745 the following in his commentary on 1 Thessalonians 4:17: “. . . and to which rapture will contribute, the agility which the bodies both of the raised and changed saints will have: and this rapture of the living saints will be together with them; . . .”

To admit that the word rapture was used in the English language at least a couple of hundred years before J. N. Darby came along does not in the least mean that one believes in pretribulationism. The Greek word harpazô is used fourteen times in the New Testament. In addition to 1 Thessalonians 4:17, it is used at least three more times of one being raptured to heaven (2 Cor. 12:2, 4; Rev. 12:5). So there is no need to get upset over the use of the Latin based, English word “rapture.” It is a biblical word.

The “Secret” Rapture Myth

Included in the above tirade is an equation of the so-called “secret” rapture with pretribulationism. Sorry, but this is another mistake, another myth. In all my reading of pretribulationism and discussion with pretribulationists, I have never, that I can recall, heard a pre-trib rapturist use the nomenclature of “secret” rapture to describe our view. I have only heard the phrase “secret” rapture as a pejorative term used exclusively by anti-pretribulationists. Why? Apparently they enjoy fighting with a straw man.

Anti-pretribulationist, Ken Gentry declares, “On the very surface it is remarkable that one of the noisiest verses in Scripture is said to picture the secret rapture.” The truth of the matter is that Gentry wrongly assumes that pretribulationists characterize their view of the rapture as “secret.” We do not! However, there are anti-pre-trib rapture advocates, like Dave MacPherson who have taught this myth. As a result, unwitting critics like Gentry have absorbed this myth into their rhetoric without doing their homework.

Very likely it was Dave MacPherson who has spread this myth that equates pretribulationism with a secret rapture. “In 1880 William Reid, in his book on Brethrenism,” declares MacPherson, “stated that ‘Edward Irving contributed the notion of . . . the secret rapture of the saints.’” MacPherson later concludes, “The pretrib rapture eventually became known as the ‘secret rapture.’ This label was based on the presupposition that only certain persons would have privileged visibility or knowledge during the occurrence of this catching up.” MacPherson does not actually reference anyone who believes in a pre-trib rapture when he makes these statements. It is through slight of hand that he slips such an assumption into his plot of fictional myths about the origins of pretribulationism.

In fact, Brethren researcher R. A. Huebner refutes MacPherson’s misinformation about the pre-trib rapture and its supposed association with a secret rapture teaching. Huebner notes that supposed relation of pretribulationism and a secret rapture are built upon the following false historical assumptions: First, the “erroneous notions are the result of the myth that the Irvingites held a pretribulation rapture and also results from trying to link J. N. D. with this falsified Irvingism.” Second, when speaking of events transpiring in the 1830s, Huebner says, “the Secret Rapture as used at that point in time did not refer to the pretribulation rapture.” Third, “it seems that up to this point in time [the 1830s, T. D. I.], ‘Secret Rapture’ referred to a rapture at the appearing [the second coming, T. D. I.].” Fourth, “I am not aware if JND ever thought that the rapture would be ‘secret.’”

It was the Irvingites, and not the Brethren, who believed in the secret rapture. Since the secret rapture and pretribulationism are not the same, this is where much of the confusion resides. The Irvingite view of the secret rapture was a belief that a few enlightened ones would be taken right before the second coming at the end of the tribulation. This is what Irvingite, Margaret Macdonald’s revelation is about. It is impossible to find a pre-trib rapture of any kind in her vision.

Conclusion

I am sure that this call to anti-pre-trib rapture advocates will not result in much of a reduction of their zealous proclamation of mythological falsehoods about our blessed hope. It seems that too many are blinded by their zeal to oppose the biblical teachings of the any-moment hope of the rapture for them to take time to get their information straight. No wonder Columba Graham Flegg, in his scholarly work on the Irvingites spoke specifically of Dave MacPherson’s work as “less scholarly.” Flegg said, the “conclusions reached in this work and the rationale behind them are hardly convincing.” Now why is an expert on the Irvingites not impressed with MacPherson’s work? Because Flegg has a thorough knowledge about the times in which MacPherson writes and realizes that he is spinning out myths. Maranatha!

http://www.pre-trib.org

Things To Come – 2015 And Bible Prophecy

by Pete Garcia

Given that the United States, or any semblance thereof, is not mentioned in Bible prophecy, one has to take into account the how, why, and ‘so what’ of that particular implication.
If the US is not here, who then fills that vacuum? Who sets the precedence for a global order? What is the reserve currency the whole world leans upon for stability in the global markets? Logic and history tells us, that if the US isn’t filling that role, someone will. How and when does the world get from the current status quo, to one in which it isn’t?
So it is with the outline of Bible prophecy, I am 100% certain. It’s when we get into the subsections of the outline that my certainty drops to between 60-75%. IOW, I’m certain on the order of things, not so certain on the specifics of how those things come to pass. Here is the order:
The imminent Rapture of the Church (1 Thess. 4:13-18; 1 Cor. 15:51-55) The 70th Week of Daniel (Daniel 9:24-27, particularly vs. 27; Jeremiah 30:7-11) The Second Coming (Matt. 24:29-31; Rev. 19:11-21) The Millennium (Isaiah 65:17-25; Revelation 20) The Eternal State (2 Peter 3:10-13; Revelation 21-22)

Now, there are other events which must take place, to which I am 100% certain on their fulfillment, but not 100% on the when. These are:
The utter destruction of the city of Damascus (Isaiah 17) The temporary desolation of Egypt (Isaiah 19) The Gog-Magog War (Ezekiel 38-39) The signing of a peace covenant (Daniel 9:27; Revelation 6:1-2)

So where on God’s timeline are we, seems to be the reoccurring question that gets so often asked? So here is what we know as of now (December 2014):
The United States is in an increasingly rapid state of decline, particularly in three areas: spiritually, culturally, and economically

The economic decline appear to be intrinsically linked to the spiritual and cultural decline as the US embraces its national, post-Christian statu

The US economic decline is having a weakening effect on the US military, and our ability to project our force, and a strong image around the world

Paganism, secular humanism, and the normalization of aberrant sexual, cultural lifestyles and belief systems, appear to be filling the void of a declining Christian worldview (Days of Noah and Lot; Luke 17:25-30)

The revival of cultural paganism (Neopaganism) is in conjunction with trans-humanism, which is fast becoming a reality due to advancements in technology

The US Dollar is currently the world’s reserve currency for fiat systems. Factors that are negatively and positively impacting that standing are:

1.$18T in US debt (negative)

3.Rapid changes in currency technology challenging the current fiat system (both)

4.Instability in other currencies (positive)

5.Busts, booms, and general fickleness of the markets (both)

6.Increasing polarity in the US government (negative)

7.Economists and heads of state are currently planning for, and/or prepositioning themselves for the collapse of the US economy.

8.Global interconnectedness has reached an all-time high, and is partly due to the dependency on the US Dollar system, and the rise of the Internet age.

9.The EU is continuing in its growing pains. Economic woes and a rise in nationalism seem to be equally as troubling, as its burgeoning Muslim population. Either way, it’s not looking good like a good place to retire if you’re a Jew

Here is what I expect to occur due to the aforementioned realities:
10. The collapsing of the US Dollar (due to the global dependence on it for economic stability) presents the ‘perfect storm’ crisis that globalists need, in order to bring about a new order
11. Saudi Arabia will continue its oil output in order to:
– Weaken its enemies who rely on oil revenues – Destroy the US fracking industry

  1. Events are continuing to drive the world’s attention back to the Middle East in respects to Iraq, Iran, and Israel. Despite President Obama’s best efforts, events are compelling US forces to return to Iraq.
    I think there are two powerful forces currently fighting it out on earth right now. One group wants things to stay the way they are, because they are making money and living fat and happy. This would be groups like the Saudi’s, major energy providers, and anyone tied up with and making a healthy living under the current Petro-Dollar/fiat system. They want things to stay the same and they use oil and other energies, as an economic weapon.
    The other group, has grander plans, and sees the US Dollar dominance, as a hindrance to their globalist agenda. So they are actively working to debase the Dollar, and by so doing, can get the world onto a new, global, digital currency in which they control. I imagine that these are the movers and shakers in new technologies and multinational corporations, politicians of all stripes, those in the central banking industries, and the like. And seeing, as we are $18T in debt, one can guess which side is currently winning.
    Then of course, there is God, who has the first and final say in all things. (Isaiah 46:9-10)
    Assessment
    My best guess, all things considered, is that we are in a five year window awaiting major, radical, global realignments. If you’d have asked me that five years ago, I would have told you about the same…and yet, here we still are. But I’m no prophet. I’m only a man armed with an informed opinion. But unknown to us five years ago, was that certain things had to transpire that I think will make things significantly different in the days, weeks, months ahead. These ‘black swan’ events will have to play out in the next few years:
    Israel is no longer interested or invested in playing the ‘two-state’ solution game. They’ve been trying this for the past 21 years, and it has utterly failed each time

Israel realizes it can no longer depend on the US for its ‘Iranian Problem’ and realizes that their window for stopping Iran’s ambitious, nuclear program is quickly coming to a close and even with the 2016 elections, that may be too late. Events are going to force Israel to act unilaterally

If Russia risked military incursions into Georgia, Ukraine and Crimea before their financial woes, imagine what President Putin will do when his country’s economy is in a freefall

The US is significantly weaker than it was during the last financial crisis of 2008. Echoes of 1928-29 keep being rehashed in the news, and it is possible that another stock market collapse will effectively do, what 2008 could not

President Obama has/is continuing to rule through executive legislation that seems intent on dividing and weakening the US

The upcoming 2016 elections may prove the most contentious yet, depending on whether President Obama and the Democrats intend to go quietly into the night, or have a few tricks left up their sleeve. They can’t be too thrilled at the prospect of a Republican triumvirate

The last 100 years has seen more transition, tragedy, and change than the rest of recorded history. Pagans insist on all things continuing on cyclically. But according to Scripture, there was a beginning, and there will also be an end. Logically speaking, if the United States is the lone economic and military superpower in the world, and we do not warrant a mention by either name or type in the pages of Holy Writ whenever that end may be, then that means that something happens to us that makes us a non-factor in the final outline of things to come.

And if the US isn’t taking the lead, than someone has too because nature abhors a vacuum. We know according to Scriptures, that someone comes out of a revived Roman Empire who ends up controlling the whole earth. (Daniel 2:40-44, 9:26-27; Revelation 13)
The Terminal Generation
The Holy Spirit moved Moses to contribute one psalm to the collection we have in our Old Testament. Moses, who lived to be 120 years old still vigorous in mind, sight and strength said this in Psalm 90:10;
The days of our lives are seventy years; And if by reason of strength they are eighty years, Yet their boast is only labor and sorrow; For it is soon cut off, and we fly away.
In context, Moses was speaking to the brevity and frailty of a man’s life. When answering the question the disciples put forth to Jesus about the last days, Jesus’s caps off the numerous indicators with the Parable of the Fig Tree. Yet, the point of the parable isn’t an attempt to define the length of a generation, but to pin that generation who sees the aforementioned signs (Matt. 24:3-28) to the length of the average man’s life.
“Now learn this parable from the fig tree: When its branch has already become tender and puts forth leaves, you know that summer is near. So you also, when you see all these things, know that it is near—at the doors! Assuredly, I say to you, this generation will by no means pass away till all these things take place. Heaven and earth will pass away, but My words will by no means pass away. Matthew 24:32-35
Is it coincidence that Israel is alluded to in numerous places in the Old Testament as figs, or as a fig tree? [Judges 9:7-15; Song of Solomon 2:13; Jeremiah 24; Hosea 9:10; Micah 4:4; Zechariah 3:10; Luke 13:6-8; Mark 11:12-14] Is it coincidence that Jesus links the budding of a tree associated with national Israel, as being the one sign that some future generation would see and not pass away? Is it coincidence that Jesus states Jerusalem will be trampled on by Gentiles until the ‘age of the Gentiles’ has come to an end? Is it coincidence that the only Psalm Moses pens, happens to discuss the lifespan of a man being 70 to 80 years, when he himself lived to be 120? Is it coincidence that Jesus, being God, would know that we would come to these same conclusions some 2,000 years later, right about the time of all their fulfillments?
I do not believe in coincidence, and according to Scripture, God doesn’t either. God orchestrates kings and kingdoms to accomplish His will and in His time. (Dan. 2:27-45; Romans 13:1-3)
Conclusion
At the current rate, things cannot remain status quo. I don’t believe that all the signs and events listed above prove a Rapture. What I do believe is that they point to the signs of the coming seven year period of time commonly referred to as The Tribulation. I believe that due to the increasing geo-political and economic turmoil we are seeing in the world that we are exactly in the final moments (death throes) of the ‘times of the Gentiles’…hence the uptick in global turmoil. (Luke 21:24)
The final moments of the ‘times of the Gentiles’ has to coincide with Israel already being back in her land, which occurred in May of 1948. May is significant because that is when the early fruit (good fruit) first buds. Because the Jews had to have Israel back as a nation, before they could be attacked in the Six Day War, which resulted in them recapturing Jerusalem. The Jews have to be in control of Jerusalem again, in order to one day rebuild a future Jewish temple. (Matthew 24:15; 2 Thess. 2:4) All of that is colliding with the fact that they have been back as a nation going on 67 years. Coincidence?
The Bible is clear that we will not know the day or the hour of the Lord’s return. (Mark 13:32) But the Apostle Paul did say we would recognize the season. And just like one can know by looking at a calendar when roughly winter or summer should begin, we don’t know exactly until we start seeing and feeling the changes. I believe that over the last 100 years, we are increasingly seeing the signs and we can know with a 100% confidence that we are in the season of our Lord’s return.
But concerning the times and the seasons, brethren, you have no need that I should write to you. For you yourselves know perfectly that the day of the Lord so comes as a thief in the night. For when they say, “Peace and safety!” then sudden destruction comes upon them, as labor pains upon a pregnant woman. And they shall not escape. But you, brethren, are not in darkness, so that this Day should overtake you as a thief. You are all sons of light and sons of the day. We are not of the night nor of darkness. Therefore let us not sleep, as others do, but let us watch and be sober. 1 Thess. 5:1-6

There may be an inherent mistake in the question – “where is the USA in Bible prophecy?” It’s the presupposition that the USA meets the biblical criteria for a nation. It may not! It started life as a European colony. And as such, may share its prophetic future with the rest of Europe.