Thursday, August 11, 2011

Judgment ready, but first things first

I've been thinking on the last days for the past few days, as I do every now and then, wondering if there is some clue in God's word to tell us that the time of judgment is drawing near. 

The "prophetic" last days is the time period in the bible right before the Lord Jesus Christ returns to set up his earthly kingdom. This particular time period involves a "judgment," known as the day of the Lord's wrath! In your email you included that very interesting about those Jews in Jerusalem seeking their temple, which is something that will take place when God begins his prophetic clock again and his program in the earth with Israel. So, I will be trying to explain both what I see from scripture and how I see it playing out today in our time—in God’s current mystery program.

A couple of things to know is that right after we are raptured out of  this world, although God's prophetic clock begins again, the actual day of the Lord's wrath, also known as the time of Jacob's trouble (that 7- year period in the which the Lord Jesus Christ is actively involved in what's going on) does not begin!

I say that because once we are raptured out, there is another event on our calendar called the "Judgment seat of Christ" and that event will take some time.

Romans 14:10-12
But why dost thou judge thy brother? or why dost thou set at nought thy brother? for we shall all stand before the judgment seat of Christ. For it is written, As I live, saith the Lord, every knee shall bow to me, and every tongue shall confess to God. So then every one of us shall give account of himself to God.

2 Corinthians 5:10
For we must all appear before the judgment seat of Christ; that every one may receive the things done in his body, according to that he hath done, whether it be good or bad.

1 Corinthians 3:13-15
Every man's work shall be made manifest: for the day shall declare it, because it shall be revealed by fire; and the fire shall try every man's work of what sort it is.  If any man's work abide which he hath built thereupon, he shall receive a reward.  If any man's work shall be burned, he shall suffer loss: but he himself shall be saved; yet so as by fire.

Notice that the focus of this judgment has to do with what every one of us has built up in Christ! Paul makes it clear that each and every member of the body of Christ will stand before the Lord Jesus and be judged. I see this as an individual thing, and therefore it will take some time to accomplish. My own personal opinion is that it will take ten years to accomplish. I say that because ‘ten’ in the bible is the number of "responsibility and judgment" (e.g., the Ten Commandments, etc.  A great study is to check out the number ten in scripture and see how much it is associated with "responsibility and judgment," whether it is ten days, months, years, etc. Interestingly enough, the term "judgment seat" is mentioned TEN times in scripture!)

Anyway, also we know that while the Lord Jesus is judging us, he cannot at the same time begin the day of wrath, because it is clear that he is the one who begins it in Heaven.

Revelation 5:1-8
And I saw in the right hand of him that sat on the throne a book written within and on the backside, sealed with seven seals.  And I saw a strong angel proclaiming with a loud voice, Who is worthy to open the book, and to loose the seals thereof? And no man in heaven, nor in earth, neither under the earth, was able to open the book, neither to look thereon. And I wept much, because no man was found worthy to open and to read the book, neither to look thereon. And one of the elders saith unto me, Weep not: behold, the Lion of the tribe of Juda, the Root of David, hath prevailed to open the book, and to loose the seven seals thereof. And I beheld, and, lo, in the midst of the throne and of the four beasts, and in the midst of the elders, stood a Lamb as it had been slain, having seven horns and seven eyes, which are the seven Spirits of God sent forth into all the earth. And he came and took the book out of the right hand of him that sat upon the throne. And when he had taken the book, the four beasts and four and twenty elders fell down before the Lamb, having every one of them harps, and golden vials full of odours, which are the prayers of saints.

Here we see a look at the future day of the Lord where the "Lamb," the Lord Jesus Christ, takes the scroll. When he does, he opens the first scroll to begin the 7-year tribulation period, and the very first thing that happens is that the Antichrist is manifest.

Revelation 6:1-2
And I saw when the Lamb opened one of the seals, and I heard, as it were the noise of thunder, one of the four beasts saying, Come and see. And I saw, and behold a white horse: and he that sat on him had a bow; and a crown was given unto him: and he went forth conquering, and to conquer.

So the 7-year tribulation cannot begin until our Lord Jesus breaks the seals. And he cannot break the seals until he is done judging us! So there has to be some time in between the raptured and the beginning of the "70th week of Daniel," the time when the Antichrist makes the covenant with Israel and rebuilds their temple. I believe that gap/transition will be 10 years.

Daniel 9:27
And he shall confirm the covenant with many for one week: and in the midst of the week he shall cause the sacrifice and the oblation to cease, and for the overspreading of abominations he shall make it desolate, even until the consummation, and that determined shall be poured upon the desolate

Another reason that we can see that there will be some time (years) between the end of our mystery dispensation and the beginning of the 70th week of Daniel is because Daniel prophesies that there will be.

Daniel 11:13-14
For the king of the north shall return, and shall set forth a multitude greater than the former, and shall certainly come after certain years with a great army and with much riches. And in those times there shall many stand up against the king of the south: also the robbers of thy people shall exalt themselves to establish the vision; but they shall fall.

Here we see what will go on in the Middle East as the Antichrist gains his power/prestige, etc. (later on in chapter 11). This will all take years to accomplish, and therefore he cannot be made manifest the day after the rapture. All this is prophecy and is not going on during our present mystery dispensation.

Hopefully this helps! 

Do you have a question for Pastor Ron?

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