A reminder of our Zoom web meeting Saturday the 25th, 1pm US Central time. I'll be sharing on end time order and the Feast of Trumpets, Judgement Seat of Christ, and so on.
Last week I established the Jewish teaching of Paul's day that a blowing of the Last Trump at the Feast of Trumpets will one day cause the righteous dead to rise, and those who are alive and looking for Him, to be changed and join them with the Lord.
In many ancient Jewish tombs the shofar is engraved, and even now in some funerals the shofar is blown in anticipation of the resurrection - just as Paul taught.
Paul wrote in I Thessalonians 1:10 that we have been delivered from the wrath to come, and in 5:9 that God has not appointed us to wrath, but to salvation. In Jewish terminology, the 'time of Jacob's trouble' was also called the 'day of wrath'. Paul said God has not appointed us to the 'day of wrath/Jacob's trouble'.
Following the statements that we aren't destined to the days of wrath, he wrote there will be the blowing "of the trump of God" which would cause us to meet the Lord in the air in 4: 13-18. He told them to 'comfort yourselves with these words' - folks, if you think he is teaching believers would go through the Tribulation, then why did he tell them 2x we aren't, and to be comforted by his words?
In his 2nd letter he told them "He" (Christ, body of) must 'depart' before the man of sin can be revealed, and again told them to be comforted by his words.
Because there are believers in the Tribulation however, some teachers see that and think there is no rapture, not understanding Judaism teaches those will be people who believe after the resurrection of the righteous. Or, some don't understand the 7 days/7 years 'time of Jacob's trouble', and see us going through the first 3 1/2 years, and then being raptured.
Grammatically speaking, Jesus made distinct points in His Matthew 24 teaching to those who have a Jewish ear - His original listeners and readers of Matthew. When Jesus said in Matthew 24:8 "(false Christ's, famines, wars, diseases) are the beginning of birth pangs", to the Jewish ear the phrase 'beginning of birth pangs' was clearly the start of the time of Jacob's Trouble; what we call the Tribulation.
The full phrase in Judaism is "birth pangs of the Messiah". It was not taught that the birth pangs were the suffering of the Messiah, but rather the labor pains Israel must go through to 'birth' Messiah's Lordship into the world, culminating in the 'day of the Lord' (Coming of Messiah). (Jeremiah 40: 3-7, Isaiah 13: 6-9)
Fortunately it says for His return in v31, the angels will collect believers from one end of heaven to the other, not from one end of earth to the other. This agrees with Revelation 19: 6-8, 14, where the body of Christ is seen in heaven in the time of the Marriage Supper of the Lamb, followed by accompanying Jesus (on horses) at His return.
Why would a government implement a 666 system?
In part 1 we saw the 666 is an economic system without which a person won't be able to buy or sell. If we lay aside the religious implications of the 666 system, we can ask what are the conditions that make such a system needed?
Remember that on a personal basis God enters earth by invitation. He won't violate our free will. He came into each of our lives when we asked Him to, and perhaps became involved when a parent or friend asked Him to become involved in our lives, leading to our salvation. He won't violate our free will, but as Creator....
He retains complete sovereignty as Creator
According to Romans 1, knowing Him as Creator is the most basic means of knowing Him. And as such during the time called the time of Jacob's trouble, the Creator will allow creation that has been groaning and travailing under the weight of sin, to be used by Him to humble mankind.
Revelation 8: 8-12 and 9: 1-11 describe a double asteroid/comet hit on the earth; one in an ocean and one on land. It says one third of sunlight is blocked, (so it follows) that one third of plants die and one third of water is poisoned. (algae and sea plant life dependent on sunlight.) Of the one that hits land, chapter 9 tells of sores and disease that come to mankind, which agrees with scientific belief that a hit on earth would not only cause a world-wide dust cloud, but release everything from spores of mold to anthrax which would cause disease world-wide. Revelation 9 tells us demons are behind the spread of those diseases.
There are numerous statements about that being a time of economic hardship, especially inflation. Revelation 6:6 says: "A quart (.9 liter) of wheat for a denarius, and 3 quarts of barley for a denarius." In that day a 'quart' was a dry measure.
A denarius was 1 day's wage, and 1 quart was the amount of grain 1 person required each day. A day's wage will buy enough grain (wheat) to feed 1 person for 1 day. That same wage will buy the less valuable barley enough for 3 people. In other words, in the midst of political turmoil, in the midst of a double asteroid hit on earth, war and nature produce economic disaster and famine. There is some grace, for the verse says not to damage the oil or wine. Food grains will be in short supply, but people will have oil and wine, condiments we might say. In our day it might be like going to the store and there is no meat, no bread, but still oil and salt and spices are there to buy.
It is interesting to note that ancient Romans, Greeks, and Jews diluted their wine with water. Homer mentions 20 parts water to 1 part wine, but in day to day use by Jesus' time it was roughly 3 or 4 parts water to 1 part wine. There is much scripture that details the dangers of drinking full strength wine, but in day to day use it was diluted, which is why Paul advised Timothy to add wine to his water to help his stomach ailments (medicinally - I Timothy 5:23).
A strong ruler is needed
Beyond his importance to us as the anti-Christ, during his rule this man will have to bring order out of natural and man-made disasters, and the way to do that is unify the nations economically, and of course in religion. In every economic system there has always existed a shadow economy, a black market or a system outside the official system. And that's for next week - until then, blessings,
www.cwowi.org and email me at firstname.lastname@example.org