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Steve Conley

The Significance of the Technical Term "Earth Dwellers" to the Formation of a Biblical Eschatological Model

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Greetings in the name of the Lord Jesus Christ,

Years ago, in the course of my eschatological studies, I came across someone, I don't remember whom, that suggested that the "earth dwellers" was a kind of technical term for those who receive the mark of the beast and worship him in the last days. The statement meant little to me at the time, nevertheless it was filed away in my memory for a future day.

Years later that day came. It was at the end of a time in my life, a period of God's correction of my eschatological beliefs. Over the course of many months my fervent pretribulationism was challenged and suffered many devastating blows. These were not the assaults of men, but of the Word of God upon a system of belief that was fashionable within the circles of my fellowship, but entirely without scriptural foundation. However, I was stubborn and not prone to change, so, as long as there was even a single verse I could hold on to that appeared to indicate that the church wouldn't be around for the great tribulation, I remained steadfastly pre-trib in my belief and preaching. 

The one verse that I had remaining, out of what had been seemingly a multitude, was Rev 3:10. "Because thou hast kept the word of my patience, I also will keep thee from the hour of temptation, which shall come upon all the world, to try them that dwell upon the earth." (Rev 3:10) I thought, surely this verse was clear, the church will be kept from the hour of temptation, we will not go through the great tribulation.

I was very confident in my understanding of "kept ... from" (tēreō ek), I had spent much time studying and considering what that means. I defended the teaching, that the faithful church in Philadelphia would be kept from or out of the hour of temptation and that it wasn't saying that we would be kept through it, as many post-tribbers teach. (It is true that God will keep the 144,000 and the woman of Rev 12 who is hid and fed in the wilderness, both of these he keeps through the period of His wrath, but the church is out of here first.) I still have confidence that "out of" is the right understanding, God will remove His own before His wrath is poured out.

So, I had my one verse for the pre-trib rapture, Rev 3:10. However, I was still unsettled. The problem was that the weight of the rest of the Scriptures contradicted my understanding of this one verse. Then came that day, that's when I remembered that someone had said that "earth dwellers" was a technical term for the Beast worshipers. Rev 3:10 used that term (earth dwellers), "them that dwell upon the earth". So, I began to verify that idea and then apply it to this passage. What I found brought a harmony in my understanding of the eschatological texts.

"Because thou hast kept the word of my patience, I also will keep thee from the hour of temptation, which shall come upon all the world, to try them that dwell upon the earth." (Rev 3:10)

When considering Rev 3:10, it is very important to understand the focus of the trial in context. It is that which will allow you to rightly understand what the notable hour of temptation is. In this verse, the focus is said to be upon the earth dwellers, “them that dwell upon the earth.” “The earth dwellers” is a technical term throughout the eschatological portions of the New Testament. The term is the combination of two Greek words (gē and katoikeō or a variation thereof). It always refers to those dwelling on the earth that worship the Beast and receive his mark (even in Rev 12:12). This can be understood to be true by observing this combination of words in the following texts.

Jesus says concerning the Day of the LORD:

Luk 21:35  For as a snare shall it come on all them that dwell on the face of the whole earth.

Jesus uses this combination of words in an eschatological context. He says that the earth dwellers are going to be surprised by the Lord's coming and His wrath on the day of the Lord. They will be caught suddenly, unawares (Luke 21:34; 1Thes 5:3).

However, Paul clearly teaches that the Day of the LORD will not overtake the watching believer as a thief.

1Th 5:4  But ye, brethren, are not in darkness, that that day should overtake you as a thief.
1Th 5:5  Ye are all the children of light, and the children of the day: we are not of the night, nor of darkness.

So “them that dwell on the face of the whole earth” excludes the watching saints. This term is not all inclusive. It refers only to those who are caught unawares or suddenly by Christ's return. (The very elect will not be surprised, because we expect His coming and He has given us events to watch for which will indicate the season of His return and our gathering together unto Him.)

Next, let's look at what John records concerning the two witnesses:

Rev 11:7  And when they shall have finished their testimony, the beast that ascendeth out of the bottomless pit shall make war against them, and shall overcome them, and kill them.

Rev 11:10  And they that dwell upon the earth shall rejoice over them, and make merry, and shall send gifts one to another; because these two prophets tormented them that dwelt on the earth.

Notice here that the earth-dwellers rejoice at the death of God’s two witnesses, which no believer would do. These earth-dwellers are followers of the Beast and False Prophet and they rejoice when God's two witnesses are overcome and killed by the Beast. So, again we see that earth-dwellers excludes the saints.

Let's look at another instance of John's use of this technical term. Here, it is used for those who are deceived by the false prophet:

Rev 13:14  And deceiveth them that dwell on the earth by the means of those miracles which he had power to do in the sight of the beast; saying to them that dwell on the earth, that they should make an image to the beast, which had the wound by a sword, and did live.

Take notice that the earth-dwellers here are deceived by the False Prophet into worshiping the Beast and receiving his mark, but Jesus said that it was not possible for the “very elect” to be deceived (Matt. 24:24).

Eleven verses in the book of Revelation contain this technical term for those who worship the Beast and receive his mark.

Recognizing that the focus of the temptation in Rev 3:10 is upon the earth dwellers, we know that it refers to God's fierce wrath at the beginning of the day of the Lord and not Satan's wrath (Rev 12:12) upon the elect and Israel in the great tribulation. It is God’s tribulation upon the unbelieving, Beast worshipers, who will persecute the church and Israel in the great tribulation, that is referenced in Rev 3:10. The persecuted saints are said to be kept from the hour of temptation, that is, removed from the sphere of God’s, day of the Lord, wrath.

All praise, honour, and glory be unto the Lamb

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3 hours ago, Steve Conley said:

Recognizing that the focus of the temptation in Rev 3:10 is upon the earth dwellers, we know that it refers to God's fierce wrath at the beginning of the day of the Lord and not Satan's wrath (Rev 12:12) upon the elect and Israel in the great tribulation. It is God’s tribulation upon the unbelieving, Beast worshipers, who will persecute the church and Israel in the great tribulation, that is referenced in Rev 3:10. The persecuted saints are said to be kept from the hour of temptation, that is, removed from the sphere of God’s, day of the Lord, wrath.

The time, times, and half a time (1260 days) of the time of great distress found in Daniel 12 will be greater than any since the time that there was a nation.  It will affect everyone on earth.

It is at this time that the following time frames run concurrently:

  • Israel flees to the wilderness (time, times, half a time / 1260 days)
  • the false prophet is given authority over the saints (time, times, half a time / 42 months)
  • the two witnesses are on earth (1260 days)

The time of great distress begins with the great tribulation of the fifth seal when believers are martyred.  The great tribulation ends at the sixth seal some 3-4 months later.  By that time, everyone has decided whether to take the mark and worship the image or not.  The 144,000 then come on the scene and it is through them that the time of great tribulation is cut short of the full 42 months.  During the time of great tribulation there was nowhere to run, nowhere to hide to be safe.  The 144,000 provide that place of refuge, otherwise no flesh would be saved.  After the 3-4 months of great tribulation, the seven plagues begin.  The seven plagues are God's discipline and ultimately His wrath.  They are to convince people of their error in worshiping the false prophet and to repent of that idolatry.  Those who repent can seek shelter with the 144,000.

The time of testing is the seven plagues.  It is for those who were deceived into accepting the mark of the false prophet and worshiping the image.  Those who rejected the mark and the image are exempt from the testing of the plagues because they kept the word of God's perseverance as described in Rev 13 & 14.

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3 hours ago, Last Daze said:

The time, times, and half a time (1260 days) of the time of great distress found in Daniel 12 will be greater than any since the time that there was a nation.  It will affect everyone on earth.

It is at this time that the following time frames run concurrently:

  • Israel flees to the wilderness (time, times, half a time / 1260 days)
  • the false prophet is given authority over the saints (time, times, half a time / 42 months)
  • the two witnesses are on earth (1260 days)

The time of great distress begins with the great tribulation of the fifth seal when believers are martyred.  The great tribulation ends at the sixth seal some 3-4 months later.  By that time, everyone has decided whether to take the mark and worship the image or not.  The 144,000 then come on the scene and it is through them that the time of great tribulation is cut short of the full 42 months.  During the time of great tribulation there was nowhere to run, nowhere to hide to be safe.  The 144,000 provide that place of refuge, otherwise no flesh would be saved.  After the 3-4 months of great tribulation, the seven plagues begin.  The seven plagues are God's discipline and ultimately His wrath.  They are to convince people of their error in worshiping the false prophet and to repent of that idolatry.  Those who repent can seek shelter with the 144,000.

The time of testing is the seven plagues.  It is for those who were deceived into accepting the mark of the false prophet and worshiping the image.  Those who rejected the mark and the image are exempt from the testing of the plagues because they kept the word of God's perseverance as described in Rev 13 & 14.

Greetings in the name of the Lord Jesus Christ,

Last Daze, do you realize that there are two distinct periods of tribulation in the second half of the week. In the first the Beast tribulates the church and Israel, in the second God tribulates the Beast and the earth-dwellers which follow him.

Hallelujah

The End of the Age Diagram March 2018 jpeg.jpg

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6 minutes ago, Steve Conley said:

Greetings in the name of the Lord Jesus Christ,

Last Daze, do you realize that there are two distinct periods of tribulation in the second half of the week. In the first the Beast tribulates the church and Israel, in the second God tribulates the Beast and the earth-dwellers which follow him.

Hallelujah

The End of the Age Diagram March 2018 jpeg.jpg

I agree that those are the two groups, but their respective "tribulations" overlap in the time of great distress of Daniel 12.

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1 minute ago, Last Daze said:

I agree that those are the two groups, but their respective "tribulations" overlap in the time of great distress of Daniel 12.

Greetings in the name of the Lord Jesus Christ,

Last Daze, Paul says that the church is not appointed unto wrath (God's day of the Lord wrath).

1Th 5:2  For yourselves know perfectly that the day of the Lord so cometh as a thief in the night.
1Th 5:3  For when they shall say, Peace and safety; then sudden destruction cometh upon them, as travail upon a woman with child; and they shall not escape.
1Th 5:4  But ye, brethren, are not in darkness, that that day should overtake you as a thief.
1Th 5:5  Ye are all the children of light, and the children of the day: we are not of the night, nor of darkness.
1Th 5:6  Therefore let us not sleep, as do others; but let us watch and be sober.
1Th 5:7  For they that sleep sleep in the night; and they that be drunken are drunken in the night.
1Th 5:8  But let us, who are of the day, be sober, putting on the breastplate of faith and love; and for an helmet, the hope of salvation.
1Th 5:9  For God hath not appointed us to wrath, but to obtain salvation by our Lord Jesus Christ,
1Th 5:10  Who died for us, that, whether we wake or sleep, we should live together with him.

The church must be removed from the earth prior to the wrath of God being poured out upon the day of the Lord. God's wrath begins with the first trumpet judgement.

2Th 1:6  Seeing it is a righteous thing with God to recompense tribulation to them that trouble you;
2Th 1:7  And to you who are troubled rest with us, when the Lord Jesus shall be revealed from heaven with his mighty angels,
2Th 1:8  In flaming fire taking vengeance on them that know not God, and that obey not the gospel of our Lord Jesus Christ:
2Th 1:9  Who shall be punished with everlasting destruction from the presence of the Lord, and from the glory of his power;
2Th 1:10  When he shall come to be glorified in his saints, and to be admired in all them that believe (because our testimony among you was believed) in that day.

Paul says that the saints will find rest from persecution on the day of Christ's revelation, the very same day His wrath begins to be poured out upon those who had been persecuting the church.

Hallelujah

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Posted (edited)

Here's a description of 'Earth dwellers" from the Morrish Bible Dictionary. 

This is an emphatic expression in the Revelation characterising those that seek their portion on earth at the time when the Lord Jesus Christ is refused His rights in it: a great trial awaits them. Re 3:10. Others, persecuted by them, call upon God to avenge their blood. Re 6:10. The dwellers on earth will rejoice over the death of the two witnesses who stand before the God of the earth: they will worship the first beast, and be deceived by the miracles of Antichrist; yet the everlasting gospel will be preached to them, calling them to "Fear God, and give glory to him: for the hour of his judgement is come." We do not read of their repentance. Re 11:10; 13:8,12,14; 14:6;

There's a ton of evidence and scripture to support and believe in the pretribulation Rapture, too numerous to mention them all. Another thing that's seldom mentioned in support of the pre-trib Rapture is the traditional Jewish wedding. The wedding preparation, coming, snatching away, feast, etc. exactly mirror and it a 'type' of the Christian snatching away. We should all know that God's children are not subject to His coming wrath. It makes no logical sense for the Bride Groom to beat up His bride right before the wedding. 

Edited by Dennis1209
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1 hour ago, Steve Conley said:

The church must be removed from the earth prior to the wrath of God being poured out upon the day of the Lord. God's wrath begins with the first trumpet judgement.

You might want to reconsider this "necessity".

Were the children of Israel removed from the earth prior to the Egyptian plagues?  Or were they kept from them?  And didn't the blood of a lamb play a role in their protection?

Just because "removing the church from the earth" sounds like an easy solution from a human perspective doesn't make it a "must".  I hope you'll consider other alternatives, starting with perhaps the 144,000 who come on the scene just before the seven plagues.

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From the fact of there being NO Bible verse saying that anyone other than the two Witnesses, will be taken to heaven; to the great many that tell us what God WILL do for His people, we know it will be His PROTECTION that will save all who call upon His Name on the Day He destroys His enemies. Joel 2:32, Acts 2:21

Protection for His people:

Psalms 23:4 Even if I walk through a valley of darkness, I will fear no harm, for You are with me.

Isaiah 41:3 For I the Lord, will hold your right hand, saying: fear not, I will help you.

Isaiah 43:2b…walk thru fire and you will not be scorched, thru flames and not be burned.

Zephaniah 2:3 Seek the Lord, all you who obey Him, it may be that you will be sheltered on the Day of the Lord’s anger.

Proverbs 3:25 Do not be afraid when fools are frightened or when destruction overtakes the wicked, for the Lord will be at your side on that Day.

Daniel 3:25 An angel protects the 3 men in the furnace. THEY weren’t taken out of it!

 Jeremiah 30:7 How terrible is that Day….yet Jacob [Israel: My people] will come thru it safely.

1 Corinthians 10:13.... God will not test you beyond your powers and when the test comes, He will provide a way out to enable you to endure.

Psalms 9:10 The Lord does not abandon those who seek Him and trust in Him.

2 Peter 2:9 God knows how to rescue the godly from their trials.

Psalms 18:3 I shall call upon the Lord, then I will be made safe.

Psalms 31:23-24 The Lord protects the faithful. Be strong, all you whose hope is in the Lord.

Psalms 64:10 The righteous rejoice, their refuge in the Lord.

Zechariah 9:15-16 The Lord of hosts will protect His people...On that Day, He will save them, like a flock, for they are precious to Him. Isaiah 61:10

Psalms 37:18-19 The Lord watches over the righteous, when times are bad, they will not be distressed.

Job 22:30 He will deliver the innocent, because their hands are pure.

Psalms 91:1-16 ...He will rescue you, you will not fear the terrors abroad.

Psalms 121:1-8 Our help comes from the Lord, He will guard your life.

Psalms 109:31 The Lord stands at the right hand of the poor and saves them from trials.

Isaiah 51:16 I keep you covered under the shelter of My hand.

Psalms 97:10-12 He keeps His loyal servants safe and rescues them from the wicked.

Jeremiah 17:7-8 Blessed is anyone who trusts in the Lord, they will be like trees by a stream, when the heat comes it has nothing to fear.

Nahum 1:7 The Lord is a sure protection in times of trouble and cares for all those who make Him their refuge.

Psalms 60:4-5 To those who fear the Lord, He will show the way to escape from trouble.

Psalms 37:9 For evildoers will be destroyed, those who trust in the Lord will prosper in the Land.

Isaiah 26:20 On that Day, I will come to your aid.

Daniel 12:1 There will be a time of anguish, but at that time, Your people will be delivered, all those whose names are written in the Book of Life.

2 Thessalonians 1:7 ...to give you relief when the Lord Jesus comes in blazing fire.

Joel 3:16 The Lord roars from Zion, the heavens and the earth shudder, but He is a refuge for His people and a defence for Israel.

Isaiah 65:9b My chosen ones will take possession of the land, those who serve Me will live there.

Ecclesiasticus 34:13-17 Those who fear the Lord will live, for their trust in Him can keep them safe. The Lord keeps watch over those who love Him, He is their shield and support, a shelter from the scorching wind and the heat of the sun. He raises their spirits and gives healing, life and blessings.

                                                                           Reference: Revised English Bible.

 

 

 

 

 

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19 hours ago, Dennis1209 said:

Here's a description of 'Earth dwellers" from the Morrish Bible Dictionary. 

This is an emphatic expression in the Revelation characterising those that seek their portion on earth at the time when the Lord Jesus Christ is refused His rights in it: a great trial awaits them. Re 3:10. Others, persecuted by them, call upon God to avenge their blood. Re 6:10. The dwellers on earth will rejoice over the death of the two witnesses who stand before the God of the earth: they will worship the first beast, and be deceived by the miracles of Antichrist; yet the everlasting gospel will be preached to them, calling them to "Fear God, and give glory to him: for the hour of his judgement is come." We do not read of their repentance. Re 11:10; 13:8,12,14; 14:6;

There's a ton of evidence and scripture to support and believe in the pretribulation Rapture, too numerous to mention them all. Another thing that's seldom mentioned in support of the pre-trib Rapture is the traditional Jewish wedding. The wedding preparation, coming, snatching away, feast, etc. exactly mirror and it a 'type' of the Christian snatching away. We should all know that God's children are not subject to His coming wrath. It makes no logical sense for the Bride Groom to beat up His bride right before the wedding. 

Greetings in the name of the Lord Jesus Christ,

Dennis1209, I was a pretribulationist for 40 years and taught it for 30 years. Today I cannot find even one verse that would cause me to believe that the church will be raptured before the seventieth week begins or before the great tribulation starts in the middle of the week. For years I clothed myself with "all" the supposed evidence for that eschatological model but God in his grace and mercy furnished me with the true mirror of the Word that allowed me to see that as a pretribulationist I was naked. The emperor has no clothes.

A quick word to help you. God's wrath is poured out in the day of the Lord (1Thes 5:2-3). The day of the Lord is preceded by the cosmic sign of (Joel 2:31). The cosmic sign of Joel 2:31 takes place immediately after the great tribulation (Matt 24:29). Therefore the great tribulation is not God's wrath! Jesus isn't beating anyone up, in the great tribulation or now. Millions have died as Christian martyrs in the last hundred years alone, Jesus is not beating them up. It will get much worse for us when Satan is cast out of heaven in the middle of the week. (Rev 12:12) says he is cast to the earth "having great wrath". It is at this very time in the middle of the week when the man of sin is revealed in the temple shewing himself to be God (2Thes 2:3-10). Jesus called that the abomination of desolation (Matt 24:15). Jesus says that is when the great tribulation starts (Matt 24:21).

Any one that can read can understand what is in the previous paragraph. It is not complicated. It is not rocket science. All it takes is someone willing to believe what Jesus, Paul, John, Peter, Daniel, and others have to say as recorded in the Holy Scriptures.

Indeed the church is raptured before God begins to tribulate the unbelieving, Beast worshiping, earth dwellers (Matt 24:31; 1Thes 4:15-17; 2Thes 2:1; 1Thes 5:9; 2Thes 1:6-10).

All praise, honour, and glory be unto the Lord Jesus Christ.

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19 hours ago, Last Daze said:

You might want to reconsider this "necessity".

Were the children of Israel removed from the earth prior to the Egyptian plagues?  Or were they kept from them?  And didn't the blood of a lamb play a role in their protection?

Just because "removing the church from the earth" sounds like an easy solution from a human perspective doesn't make it a "must".  I hope you'll consider other alternatives, starting with perhaps the 144,000 who come on the scene just before the seven plagues.

Greetings in the name of the Lord Jesus Christ,

Last Daze, indeed, if God chose to, he could protect the church through His wrath as he will the 144,000 Jewish virgin men (12,000 from each of the 12 tribes with the exception of Dan) and the woman of Rev 12. However, we are told that we will be gathered by the angels unto Jesus before He pours out His wrath in the trumpet and vial judgements.

John witnessed the great earthquake and cosmic sign which will announce Christ's impending arrival (Ref 6:12-17). Jesus tells us that his appearing follows the cosmic sign and that it is at that time that the elect (the church) are gathered to Him by the angels (Matt 24:29-31). John describes what he saw in heaven following this gathering (Rev 7:9-17). It is an innumerable company of believers in Jesus Christ (the Church) having received their glorified bodies standing before the throne of God. "These are they which came out of great tribulation". These are the resurrected and raptured saints. Paul said that there was an order to the resurrection of both the just and the unjust (1Cor 15:23). He said that the just would be resurrected first, "they that are Christ's at His coming". The rapture is always associated with the first resurrection (1Thes 4:13-17; 1Cor 15:51-52; Dan 12:1-2). Also, the first resurrection is said to involve those who experienced the great tribulation but didn't worship the Beast (Rev 20:4-6). The first resurrection happens at His coming (parousia).

Following the scene of the church in heaven, John says the seventh seal is opened and the first trumpet blown bringing the first stroke of God's wrath upon the earth dwellers (Rev 8).

The reason we must be removed from the earth is because the Word of God says we will. That is how God chose to remove the church from (kept...from) the sphere of His fierce indignation. It might be good for you to reexamine the use of tereo ek in John 17:15, paying close attention to what it is that Jesus prays His disciples be kept from.

Hallelujah

 

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SUMMARY (You can freely download the pdf) 1 - Brief history of the Church 2 – God wants men to cooperate his plans 3 – The importance of prayer and the Lord’s prayer 4 – The Last Day 5 – While in the world 6 – Warnings 7 – Avoid misconceptions 8 – An unprecedented event 9 – SOURCES 1 - Brief history of the Church Along the history, many spiritual leaders did not listen to (Matthew 23:9-10) “And do not call anyone on earth 'father,' for you have one Father, and he is in heaven. Nor are you to be called instructors, for you have one Instructor, the Messiah.” Therefore, it comes as no surprise that many false teachings did spread for centuries. Nor it is a surprise that true Christians come to a better understanding of some concepts through centuries, because luckily some of them are able to get rid of the false teachings they have received. Indeed, luckily some listened to Matthew 23:9-10. Moreover, Jesus said (John 16:12): ”I have much more to say to you, more than you can now bear. But when he, the Spirit of truth, comes, he will guide you into all the truth. He will not speak on his own; he will speak only what he hears, and he will tell you what is yet to come.” Thus, an increasing understanding, founded on the Gospels and never contradicting them, is to be expected through history. 2 – God wants men to cooperate his plans Even though God could do everything alone, by not waiting his followers to align their will to His will, still he wants men to decide to cooperate with Him, to proceed in His salvation Plan. For those who knows the Scriptures, it’s not needed to quote the countless times in which God waited for men to turn to Him, and adhere His plan, before making things happen. Because being a loving Father, he doesn’t force His will upon men. 3 – The importance of prayer and the Lord’s prayer Point 2 on cooperation between God and men, is one of the reasons why Jesus stressed so much the importance of prayer. To be short, we only quote some passages, but there are countless ones in the Gospels alone: (Matthew 7:7) “Ask and it will be given to you; seek and you will find; knock and the door will be opened to you.” (John 16:24) “Until now you have not asked for anything in my name. Ask and you will receive, and your joy will be complete.” Of course, we need to make prayers aligned with God’s will. But even if something is already in God’s will, it’s really important for us to pray for it, because the Lord don’t want to force his gifts upon us, but want us to desire Him. Otherwise, there wouldn’t be any need for any prayer whatsoever. Now, what’s the only prayer that the Lord directly taught us? The Lord’s prayer. Let’s examine some passages: “your kingdom come, your will be done, on earth as it is in heaven.” […] “And lead us not into temptation, but deliver us from the evil one.” Now, let’s think about it, by knowing the Scriptures. When and how can the Lord completely fulfill these requests? Could they be fulfilled while we are still on earth? 4 – The Last Day It doesn’t take a leap of imagination, to realize that the Lord’s prayer promises will be fully fulfilled only with the Rapture and His Second Coming. [Even the only apparently not messianic request about the “bread”, is translated somewhere as “the bread of tomorrow”, thus indicating the bread of the Kingdom.] Now, it’s not a purpose of this work to choose which interpretation of the Second Coming is more Scriptural. Whatever it is, pre/post/multi/anti/tribulation,this is not the point here. The point is that only in the Last Day, the Lord will fully fulfill the Lord’s prayer requests. Now, are we aware of this? Are we, most Christians, praying that prayer with full intention and awareness, with the awareness that we are asking the Lord, according to His will, to shorten the days of His coming? It doesn’t seem like this awareness has been fully reached so far, but now the times may be arrived. Now this intention can be shared to Christians all over the earth. And it’s nothing new, it’s something fully Scriptural (Peter 3:12, Revelation 22:20, Matthew 6:13), it’s just a better understanding of the power of our prayer in the name of Jesus. We are not predicting the day or the hour, and we’ll never try to do it. There is no needing of knowing the day nor the our, to ask the Lord to come quick, according to His will. How powerful would be this prayer, shouted by all His elects? What if some wise pastors could be able to share this intention to Christians all over the world, and all together we could pray “Come”, and “Deliver us from evil”, with the full understanding that we are asking for the Rapture, instead of passively waiting for it? This would be an unprecedented event in History, since so far most Christians have passively waited for it 5 – While in the world Asking for the rapture, doesn’t cut off any obligation for a true Christian life. Before Jesus returns, we’ll still have the obligation to love everyone, serve other people, improve the society, improve ourself, spread the Gospel. All of these commandments are in the Gospel and are immutable. At the same time, with this prayer, we clarify our intention to God, we tell Him that we are ready, and it is now time for our plans to align with His plans, and that we fully want and responsibly request His return for the elects. 6 – Warnings Unfortunately, there will always be some Christians who don’t really want the Lord to come soon. They are not excited at all about Heaven. Exactly like in these Parables: (Luke 14:15-20) “When one of those at the table with him heard this, he said to Jesus, “Blessed is the one who will eat at the feast in the kingdom of God.” Jesus replied: “A certain man was preparing a great banquet and invited many guests. At the time of the banquet he sent his servant to tell those who had been invited, ‘Come, for everything is now ready.’ “But they all alike began to make excuses. The first said, ‘I have just bought a field, and I must go and see it. Please excuse me.’ “Another said, ‘I have just bought five yoke of oxen, and I’m on my way to try them out. Please excuse me.’ “Still another said, ‘I just got married, so I can’t come.’ (Luke 19:14) "But his subjects hated him and sent a delegation after him to say, 'We don't want this man to be our king.' (John 12:43) “For they loved the praise of men more than the praise of God.” But other Christians who aspire to Heaven, would have no reason to not pray this prayer. In the worst case, it will have no effect. In the best case, how glad we will be, to see the Lord coming quickly for us. 7 – Avoid misconceptions Q: “Does praying the Lord to come quickly mean that we don’t trust His promise that He will come?” A: “Absolutely not. The Lord knew the future. He knew about the prayers from His elects, and that he wouldn’t wait to fulfill them. Exactly as in countless other situations, in which the Lord has waited for men to ask Him for what is good. (Matthew 15:21-28). We are sure that His promise will be fulfilled, but we want to be among the ones that have aligned with His will and asked Him to fulfill it quickly.” Q: “Are we forcing the Lord to do something not in His will? Doesn’t He know the Right Time?” A: “He knows the Right Time, and we don’t know according to which criteria He has decided it. But according to the prayer He taught, when He decided it, part of the weight for the decision, came from considering the prayers of His elects (Peter 3:12, Revelation 22:20, Matthew 6:13, Luke 18:1-8). Exactly as in other situations, He gave importance and weight to the will of his disciples and prophets, when aligned to His will” Q: “Are Christians praying this prayer exempt to contribute to society, and to spend their lives serving others until the Lord come?” A: “Absolutely not. A real Christian will follow all Jesus words,not only ones about prayer,respect the laws of his country, and will spend His life helping other people, so that when the Lord will come, he will find him ready.” (Matthew 24:45-51) “Who then is a faithful and wise servant, whom his lord hath made ruler over his household, to give them meat in due season?Blessed is that servant, whom his lord when he cometh shall find so doing. Verily I say unto you, That he shall make him ruler over all his goods. But and if that evil servant shall say in his heart, My lord delayeth his coming; And shall begin to smite his fellowservants, and to eat and drink with the drunken; The lord of that servant shall come in a day when he looketh not for him, and in an hour that he is not aware of,And shall cut him asunder, and appoint him his portion with the hypocrites: there shall be weeping and gnashing of teeth.” Q: “Will shortening the return of the Lord prevent some people from salvation?” A: “First off, remember that there will never be a moment on earth in which everyone will be Christian, before the rapture. It is not written anywhere. On the contrary, it is written about an increasingly diminishing of faith. Moreover, people who haven’t met Christ but are seeking for the Truth in their hearts, and are loving their brothers, will be likely raptured too. Exactly as some other righteous people like Socrates, will be raised in the last day, while evil people who are not seeking for repentance because they don’t have the seed of repentance in their hearts, will be left. Therefore, there is no such risk in shortening the day. Otherwise, the Lord wouldn’t have taught us this prayer.” Q:”What about theological and philosophical implications of this event Why someone is taken and someone else left?” A: “These are not treated here. They will be treated in other works, and some wise pastors will be able to answer this, by following the Scriptures” 8 – An unprecedented event If most Christian living today will share this intention, and pray together for it, this will be an unprecedented even in the history of the world. If the rapture happened centuries ago, it would have likely remained unexplained and not testified everywhere. But nowadays, thanks to technologies and to the Gospel spread everywhere, it will be testified to people of all nations, and everyone will know what happened. Now, our hope is that some wise Christian, who spent their lifes in the hope of Jesus’ Return, will actively spread this prayer and this intention among other pastors and Christians, so that all of us may be reunited under the Lord’s prayer, and pray together, with full intention and understanding and without the usual countless distractions and desires: Our Father, who art in heaven, hallowed be thy Name, thy kingdom come, thy will be done, on earth as it is in heaven. Give us this day the bread of the Day that is coming. And forgive us our trespasses, as we forgive those who trespass against us. And lead us not into temptation, but deliver us from evil. Maranatha. Our Lord, come!  
      9 - SOURCES:
      http://learnbibleprophecy.blogspot.it/2010/12/come-lord-jesus-maranatha.html
      https://www.oneplace.com/ministries/love-worth-finding/read/articles/can-we-hasten-the-second-coming-of-christ-15204.html
      http://www.whatsaiththescripture.com/Timeline/Hastening.Lords.Return.html
      http://christianteaching.org.uk/blog/eschatology/hastening-the-return-of-christ/#comment-32538
      http://folkslisten.blogspot.it/2010/06/can-i-speed-up-return-of-jesus.html
      https://nathanaelflock.wordpress.com/2013/06/17/scriptural-conviction-hastening-the-day-of-the-lord/
      http://quailandmanna.com/god-justice/
      https://peteenns.com/why-jesus-hasnt-come-back-yet-according-to-the-new-testament/
      http://ifollowjesusnow.tk/hastening-ready-day-lord/
      https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=RIdjGyMTAds
      https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=bM67orv8VkYF
      PDF:
      maranatha.pdf
    • By Brother Duke
      Here is a study I have been working on.
       
      Woe, Woe, woe.

      Revelation uses woes as markers or time stamps. The trumpets, seals and bowls are grouped within the 3 woes. The word Alas is translated from the same word in the Greek that is Woe. I have also noticed the great earthquake is always around the resurrection. There was a great earthquake when Christ was resurrected and there was an earthquake when the two witness were brought back to life.

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



      1st woe devil is cast out and tribulation starts.

      Revelation 9:1 And the fifth angel sounded, and I saw a star fall from heaven unto the earth: and to him was given the key of the bottomless pit.

      Revelation 12:12 Therefore rejoice, ye heavens, and ye that dwell in them. Woe to the inhabiters of the earth and of the sea! for the devil is come down unto you, having great wrath, because he knoweth that he hath but a short time.

      Matthew 24:9 Then shall they deliver you up to be afflicted, and shall kill you: and ye shall be hated of all nations for my name's sake. 

      Matthew 24:21 For then shall be great tribulation, such as was not since the beginning of the world to this time, no, nor ever shall be.



      2nd woe resurrection/rapture. Babylon is judged.

      Matthew 24:29 Immediately after the tribulation of those days shall the sun be darkened, and the moon shall not give her light, and the stars shall fall from heaven, and the powers of the heavens shall be shaken: 30 And then shall appear the sign of the Son of man in heaven: and then shall all the tribes of the earth mourn, and they shall see the Son of man coming in the clouds of heaven with power and great glory. 31 And he shall send his angels with a great sound of a trumpet, and they shall gather together his elect from the four winds, from one end of heaven to the other.

      Revelation 9:12 One woe is past; and, behold, there come two woes more hereafter.

      Revelation 11:14 The second woe is past; and, behold, the third woe cometh quickly.

      Revelation 11:13 And the same hour was there a great earthquake, and the tenth part of the city fell, and in the earthquake were slain of men seven thousand: and the remnant were affrighted, and gave glory to the God of heaven.

      Revelation 16:18 And there were voices, and thunders, and lightnings; and there was a great earthquake, such as was not since men were upon the earth, so mighty an earthquake, and so great.

      Revelation 6:12 And I beheld when he had opened the sixth seal, and, lo, there was a great earthquake; and the sun became black as sackcloth of hair, and the moon became as blood; 

      Revelation 9:13 And the sixth angel sounded, and I heard a voice from the four horns of the golden altar which is before God,

      Revelation 11:11 And after three days and an half the Spirit of life from God entered into them, and they stood upon their feet; and great fear fell upon them which saw them.

      Revelation 18:10 Standing afar off for the fear of her torment, saying, Alas, alas, that great city Babylon, that mighty city! for in one hour is thy judgment come.

      Revelation 18:16 And saying, Alas, alas, that great city, that was clothed in fine linen, and purple, and scarlet, and decked with gold, and precious stones, and pearls! 

      Revelation 18:19 And they cast dust on their heads, and cried, weeping and wailing, saying, Alas, alas, that great city, wherein were made rich all that had ships in the sea by reason of her costliness! for in one hour is she made desolate.

      Revelation 14:8 And there followed another angel, saying, Babylon is fallen, is fallen, that great city, because she made all nations drink of the wine of the wrath of her fornication.

      Revelation 6:9 And when he had opened the fifth seal, I saw under the altar the souls of them that were slain for the word of God, and for the testimony which they held



      3rd woe God's wrath

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

      Revelation 11:18 And the nations were angry, and thy wrath is come, and the time of the dead, that they should be judged, and that thou shouldest give reward unto thy servants the prophets, and to the saints, and them that fear thy name, small and great; and shouldest destroy them which destroy the earth.

      Revelation 6::17 For the great day of his wrath is come; and who shall be able to stand?
    • By omharris
      I primarily use the NASB, but occasionally I find it deficient; I will insert other translations if they can clarify the context. Those translations will be duly noted.
      Chapter one was an appropriate greeting, but chapter two stands alone and begins to immediately address fears that have come as the result of some false teaching.
      This theme was not a new to Paul as he had written to the Christ-followers in Thessalonica on a previous occasion.
      1 Thessalonians 4:13-17 NASB 13) But we do not want you to be uninformed, brethren, about those who are asleep, so that you will not grieve as do the rest who have no hope. 14) For if we believe that Jesus died and rose again, even so God will bring with Him those who have fallen asleep in Jesus. 15) 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. 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 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.
      Considering the years between these two letters, the new members that had been added to the church body, and the addition of some false teachings, the fear has had a chance to creep in. I see the effects of false teachings frequently in the church bodies I have had dealings with, as people espouse things they know so little about; all the while continuing to cloud the issue.
      So let's dissect the passages and see if we can understand all that Paul is trying to say.
      2 Thessalonians 2:1-2 NASB 1) Now we request you, brethren, with regard to the coming of our Lord Jesus Christ and our gathering together to Him, 2) that you not be quickly shaken from your composure or be disturbed either by a spirit or a message or a letter as if from us, to the effect that the day of the Lord has come.
      “with regard to the coming of our Lord Jesus Christ and our gathering together to Him,”
      Coming – is the Greek word parousia; a being near, that is, advent (often, return; specifically of Christ to punish Jerusalem, or finally the wicked.) Strong's concordance.
      In the explanation above I see two distinctly different things.
      One being Jehovah's return in the clouds to catch His church away. This catching away is called the harpazo, but it is also known as the advent or return.
      The second possible understanding is this idea of the punishment of Jerusalem or the wicked. This concept pertains to the wrath of God being poured out. One of the keys to understanding the difference between Jesus return for His church and His coming as the conquering Messiah hangs on this phrase - " the day of the Lord.” Using the NASB concordance, the expression shows up in 22 verses. 18 of those references are found in the Old Testament. Since the Tenach is designed for a Jewish audience then the language and references are expressly Jewish; that means that the phrase – the day of the Lord, is almost exclusively about the return of the Messiah.
      Of the four verses left and found in the New Testament, three of them are exclusively about the catching away of the church. This catching away is that time when Jesus comes back in the clouds for His church, and they will be caught up to meet Him in the air. 2Peter 3:10 leans more toward the time of the end, as it tells us that, “the heavens will pass away with a roar and the elements will be destroyed with intense heat, and the earth and its works will be burned up.” While all of these things are a part of the seven-year period the implications are that this will happen almost all at once when Jesus returns to the earth for the final time. You see, this is one of those areas that are not that black and white.
      So, let's see if the context of the passage answers the question about when this event will happen.
      While I understand that Paul was addressing the body of believers in Thessalonica (a primarily Jewish audience,) these words also apply to us. I do not hear this complaint or question anymore, but I am aware that many do believe that Christ has already returned. If that is the case, what are we doing and why are we wasting our time?
      But Christ has not already returned. How do I know that? Well there are markers, or some might think of them as guideposts along the way, and Paul spells them out.
      2 Thessalonians 2:3-4 NASB 3) Let no one in any way deceive you, for it will not come unless the apostasy comes first, and the man of lawlessness is revealed, the son of destruction, 4) who opposes and exalts himself above every so-called god or object of worship, so that he takes his seat in the temple of God, displaying himself as being God.
      “The apostasy comes first.”
      Since apostasy means a falling away, I ask you, has that happened? Absolutely, and at an exponential rate.
      “and the man of lawlessness is revealed,”
      I want to show you some alternate readings.
      This second selection is from the Complete Jewish Bible, and it translates this passage entirely different from anyone else. Why is this significant? Because even the Muslims have prophecies, and one of them describes such a man;
      2 Thessalonians 2:3 Darby Let not any one deceive you in any manner, because it will not be unless the apostasy have first come, and the man of sin have been revealed, the son of perdition;
      2 Thessalonians 2:3 CJB Don't let anyone deceive you in any way. For the Day will not come until after the Apostasy has come and the man who separates himself from Torah has been revealed, the one destined for doom.
      A man who is a descendant of Aaron –
      The priests were to come from the lineage of Aaron. Since we know that the temple will be rebuilt, then practically every preparation would have to be made at this point, for a high priest to be installed. He then would be the one to enter the Holy of Holies and sprinkle the blood of the lamb.
      The Muslim prophecies tell us that this Jew will reject the Torah, pay homage to the Mahdi, and follow him.
      Do you grasp the depth of this action? Many who have esteemed this Jew enough to appoint him as the high priest over the new temple will be deceived, turn from the true God, and follow his actions as they too will bow to the Mahdi in worship. This Mahdi appears to be the Islamic religious leader that will soon be saying peace peace. Most of this takes place 1260 days into the time of wrath upon the earth.
      I am always concerned that people will see my words as unbelievable.
      If, you are a follower of Jesus Christ, then, you are under a mandate to study to show not only, yourself, to be approved by God, but to judge the words being said to you, as to whether they are true or not. You are not doing this type of study to bash people, although I sometimes think that many should shut their mouths, but you are studying these things so that you can know what is right.
      Let me show you an example: I believe in the pre-tribulation rapture, regardless of the poor choice of words we traditionally use. Although there is a voluminous amount of those in opposition to this understanding, I did my homework and became even more thoroughly convinced that Jesus is coming back for His church that is waiting for Him, and, He is going to do so before God's wrath is poured out upon the earth.
      Specific reasons why I believe in a pre-wrath rapture.
      Matthew 3:7 NASB But when he saw many of the Pharisees and Sadducees coming for baptism, he said to them, "You brood of vipers, who warned you to flee from the wrath to come?
      The obvious thing I see here is that Jesus just acknowledged that it is purposeful to flee from the wrath, and, that there is wrath coming.
      Luke 21:23 NASB ... for there will be great distress upon the land and wrath to this people;
      Here we can see that the intended target is the land and these people. Now the statement, "o this people" is relatively generic and needs some clarity. Luke 21:24 NASB tells us that “they will fall by the edge of the sword, and will be led captive into all the nations;”
      It is easy enough to see that a part of this fulfillment comes upon Israel and it's people, the Jews. However, pay attention, and you can see one other group, the Gentiles. The Gentiles and the nations are the same. If you are not a Jew, and you are a follower of Christ, then you have been engrafted into the vine and no longer fall under the category of being a Gentile in God's eyes.
      Those with a veil over their eyes will not get this concept. Since we are “in Christ” then we are part of the church and not subject to this wrath.
      Romans 1:18 NASB For the wrath of God is revealed from heaven against all ungodliness and unrighteousness of men who suppress the truth in unrighteousness,
      What is evident to me is the terminology, the wrath of God. Pay attention to the words being used and upon whom they are directed. Romans 1:18 can be taken as a somewhat broad spectrum statement.
      An example of this broad spectrum idea – I know a man who came to church for a time and did all the appropriate things. He came down front, cried his eyes out, made sorrowful and repentant statements. Why he even got baptized in a swimming pool as a symbol of this new and changed life he wanted to live. That didn't last long. Does he belong to God and is therefore not going to be subject to this wrath because he is part of the church. I do not know, because any fruit he produces is rotten and stinks before it falls off the tree. This pattern has been going on for years.
      Ephesians 2:3 NASB Among them we too all formerly lived in the lusts of our flesh, indulging the desires of the flesh and of the mind, and were by nature children of wrath, even as the rest.
      The Apostle Paul taught that we were formerly children of wrath, and no longer subject to the “wrath of God.”
      1 Thessalonians 1:10 NASB 10) and to wait for His Son from heaven, whom He raised from the dead, that is Jesus, who rescues us from the wrath to come.
      1 Thessalonians 1:10 is one of the most specific examples that Paul gave us. Since we are in Christ, Jesus has rescued us from the wrath that is to come.
      1 Thessalonians 5:9 NASB 9) For God has not destined us for wrath, but for obtaining salvation through our Lord Jesus Christ,
      Many think that we deserve punishment. Well, that might have been true, but as followers of Christ, we are of those who have agreed to and accepted His salvation. You see, you need to have a firm grasp on what Jesus did. I am continually trying to remind people that all sins were forgiven – past, present, and future. Then what are people being punished for? Look at what Colossians 3:5-6 tells us,
      Therefore consider the members of your earthly body as dead to immorality, impurity, passion, evil desire, and greed, which amounts to idolatry. 6) For it is because of these things that the wrath of God will come upon the sons of disobedience, NASB
      Simply put, you either follow Jesus, or you follow the god of this world, Satan. He will go to an eternal punishment, as will all those who choose to follow him. This punishment, as many want to believe, is not the end-all statement, as God is a merciful God beyond everything else; ask Jonah. And that is why we have the sheep and goats of Matthew 25. Take the time to study that.
      Revelation 6:14-17 NASB 14) The sky was split apart like a scroll when it is rolled up, and every mountain and island were moved out of their places. 15) Then the kings of the earth and the great men and the commanders and the rich and the strong and every slave and free man hid themselves in the caves and among the rocks of the mountains; 16) and they *said to the mountains and to the rocks, "Fall on us and hide us from the presence of Him who sits on the throne, and from the wrath of the Lamb; 17) for the great day of their wrath has come, and who is able to stand?"
      There are three things I want you to see here. Verse 15 gives us a description of some of the people affected by what is happening: kings of the earth; great men; commanders; the rich and strong, and every slave and free man. No one upon the earth is left unscathed by what is coming.
      In verse 16 we see them crying out to be hid from the presence of “Him who sits on the throne, AND from the wrath of the Lamb. This lamb is Jesus Christ. Since I used an example from the Revelation, let me point something out to you. This entire book is a Revelation of Jesus Christ. Even the rich, in this scenario, understood that God played a hand in this, and at the same time, they are acknowledging Jesus. It's all about Jesus.
      And the last thing, although I have already intimated it, is that this wrath is coming from God/Jesus.
      Since we are going to be like Bereans, a people who had enough sense to verify that what Paul was teaching was right, what then do we use as a basis for what is true? Keep in mind, that the Bereans did not have Bibles, they had some scrolls. Those scrolls were so valued that only a limited number of priests could handle them, and so the Torah and Tanakh were read aloud. This idea of scrolls changes the whole idea of Bible study. The Bereans had no New Testament, it was being spoken in their ears by Paul and lived out right in front of them. I, on the other hand, have over thirty translations of the Bible on my computer, and over forty commentaries that I can glean from. I have no excuses.
      The answer to the question is The Word of God. Now, since we know that there are errors across translations, is it wise to merely open the NIV for example, read it, and then say, “this is how that is supposed to be understood!” NO, because, as I said, there are errors. (Do not for a moment think that these errors are on God's part, as God's wisdom has been substantiated by His ability to get His message across plainly to those who choose to pursue this wisdom.)
      So, what am I saying to you? Be open but alert; trust the Holy Spirit to guide you; judge everything against the word of God, and, remove yourself, if you can, from false teachers. They will corrupt you with the simplest of things, such as David conquering Goliath when David was only four foot tall. That is not even close to the terminology used in the descriptions of David. King Saul, who knew David well for David was his ARMOR bearer, called him a youth. But what does that mean? Are these things critical to the story? NO, but if you are willing to build false images about the nature and character of David, what else will a false teacher do with God and His word.
      I can tell you what some will do, for I have experienced this first hand. These false teachers send everyone that comes to the Great White throne judgment to hell. There is nothing about that scenario that definitively points to that happening; these same teachers refuse to see that Matthew 25 and the story of the sheep and the goats, is just another picture of the Great White Throne. In other words, they will twist the gospel so tightly that in time, you will not be able to understand what is true.

       

       

       
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