God gave the Holy land to Israel, forever!
In numerous verses in the Bible, in no uncertain terms, God says He gives title to what we today call the Holy Land to Israel and her descendants—not to the Arabs.
for all the land which you see, I will give it to you and to your descendants forever. —Genesis 13:15
. . . all this land of which I have spoken I will give to your descendants, and they shall inherit it forever. —Exodus 32:13
. . . the land of which I swore to Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob, saying, “To your descendants I will give it.” —Exodus 33:1
. . . the land that I gave to your fathers forever and ever. —Jeremiah 7:7
. . . They will possess the land forever . . . —Isaiah 60:21
Then the LORD said to him, “This is the land which I swore to Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob, saying, ‘I will give it to your descendants’. . .” —Deuteronomy 34:4
God chose Israel, who are descendants of Abraham, Isaac and Jacob (Exodus 2:24) to be His chosen people (Deuteronomy 7:6, 29:13). He did not choose the Arabs, who are descendants of Ishmael (Genesis 16:12).
So never make the mistake thinking that the fighting in the Middle East is over land. Rather, they are fighting over whose god is the real God. Is it Allah, who says that Islam will eventually take over the world? Or is it Jehovah, Who says Jesus will reign over the world from His throne in the Old City of Jerusalem?
Because of all the events going on in the Middle East, my pastor says we should be “praying hard and standing on the east side of the church.” What does that mean? Do you think we’re getting close to Armageddon? And I get confused by Rapture and Second Coming—are they different?
Your pastor’s east/west comment is probably a light-hearted reference to this verse:
For just as the lightning comes from the east and flashes even to the west, so will the coming of the Son of Man be. —Matthew 24:27
Regarding how close we are to Armageddon, we are AT LEAST seven years away. Armageddon comes at the end of a future seven-year period referred to as “The Tribulation,” or the “70th Week of Daniel.” More info below.
Understanding the difference between Rapture and the Second Coming, both biblically prophesied “returns” of Jesus, is not too difficult. The first return, “Rapture,” comes before the Tribulation, and the second return, “The Second Coming,” happens at the end of Tribulation. Between Rapture and the Second Coming is a seven-year period referred to as Tribulation (Matthew 24:21). It is during this time when God returns to dealing with Israel as His chosen people (Romans 9-11). The seven-year period ends with Armageddon and the Second Coming of Jesus.
Rapture and The Second Coming can be distinguished with the words “FOR” and “WITH.”
“Rapture” is when Jesus comes in the air (but not to earth) “FOR” His Church (1 Corinthians 15:51, 1 Thessalonians 4:16) to receive His bride, who are all the Believers born again in the Church Age. All Believers still alive at the moment of Rapture will also go to be with Jesus, disappearing suddenly from earth as they are caught up to heaven.
Rapture could happen at any time. It’s called the doctrine of “Imminency.” Since Jesus ascended to heaven some 2000 years ago (Acts 1:9), every Believer has had the opportunity to look to the hope of His return (John 14:3). Jesus had to leave the earth before the Holy Spirit could come to earth (John 16:7), and therefore the Holy Spirit must depart prior to Jesus’ return. When the Holy Spirit leaves, ALL Believers will leave with Him (Hebrews 13:5). They simply vanish suddenly, without warning and in the “twinkling of an eye.” (1 Corinthians 15:51, 1 Thessalonians 4:16).
Rapture takes all Believers out of the way of the horrible “wrath” God has coming on the earth (1 Thessalonians 1:10, 5:9). They go to a Believers’ judgment in Heaven. This judgment is not for salvation as Believers’ salvation is already secure based on what Jesus did on the cross. Believers will be judged on motives, not actions—and they will receive rewards for things they allowed God to do through them (1 Corinthians 3:10-15, 2 Corinthians 5:10).
After judgment there is a huge celebration dinner called the “Marriage Supper of the Lamb” (Revelation 19:1-9, 17). After the great meal, the Believers accompany Jesus back to earth for the Second Coming, where they will live and reign with Him for 1000 years (Revelation 20:4, 6).
For additional information on the topic of the timing of the Rapture, Compass published an article in our monthly eNews titled Is the Rapture in September? You can read the article by clicking on the title below:
The Second Coming
The “Second Coming” is when Jesus returns to the earth and reigns over the earth for a thousand years from His throne on the Temple Mount in Jerusalem.
In the Second Coming Jesus comes to earth WITH His saints (Jude 14, 1 Thessalonians 3:13). He defeats Satan, who has made a mess of the world, and begins His rule of the earth (Revelation 12:5, 19:5) for 1000 years (Revelation 20:4, 6) during which time Satan will be bound (Revelation 20:3). This 1000-year reign begins at the end of the seven-year period of Tribulation, just after Jesus defeats the satanic armies (Revelation 16:16, 19:19-21).
Prophesied Events Leading Up To Rapture
The Bible says the world will have moved away from Godly values toward self-centeredness, a love for money, arrogance, ungratefulness, rebellious children, without God’s love, lovers of pleasure more than lovers of God . . . yet pretending to be Godly, they deny God’s power to be in total control all the time and His ability to do things such as create the world in six literal days (2 Timothy 3:1-5).
Israel would be back in their homeland (Ezekiel 27; 38:8) after approximately 2000 years of being dispersed around the world (Hosea 6:1-2), yet they would not have God’s “Spirit” (Ezekiel 37). (Israel today is 85% secular and the 15% that are “religious” are not Christians.)
Israel will have a very strong army after returning to their homeland (Ezekiel 37:10, Zechariah 12:6).
There will be a discovery of wealth in Israel so great (oil/gold/?) that Russia, Persia (Iran) and others invade to seize it (Ezekiel 38:12). This discovery of immense wealth has not yet happened, and it is unclear if it happens just before or just after Rapture. Regardless of the exact timing, a huge wealth is yet to be discovered.
Prophesied “After Rapture” Events
Russia and Iran (and others) come against Israel from the north (Ezekiel 38, 39).
Israel/Jerusalem becomes a burdensome stone to the whole world (Zechariah 12:3).
A need for a peace treaty to keep Israel from wiping out its enemies—Gog (Russia) and Persia (Iran) (Ezekiel 38:3, 5). Israel will negotiate a peace treaty from a position of strength, not weakness. Since the Holy Spirit will have already departed (the “restrainer” of wholesale evil—2 Thessalonians 2:6-7), the only reason for an evil world to offer a peace treaty/protection to Israel is if Israel is so strong militarily she is about to vaporize Iran, Russia, etc., for attacking her.
A world leader offers a peace treaty between 10 nations of the Old Roman Empire (Daniel 2:28, 41-43) and Israel for a specific period of seven years (Daniel 9:27). These peace treaty nations are represented by the toes on the Image of the Beast in Daniel 2:41-43, which refer to the Roman Empire that comes back together just before Jesus’ Second Coming (Daniel 2:44). The Roman Empire broke into East (Constantinople/Eastern Orthodox) and West (Rome/Roman Catholic) in 395 AD. Therefore, it is likely that five nations will be from Europe and five nations from the Middle East.
Rapture Timing Using the Jewish Feasts
God gave Israel seven feasts (Leviticus 23). Four were in the spring and, after a long summer break, the last three were in the fall. It is interesting that the first four major Christian events (Jesus’ death, burial, resurrection and the coming of God’s Holy Spirit) came EXACTLY on those first four Jewish feast days—Passover, Unleavened Bread, Firstfruits and Pentecost. The parallels of the feasts to those four major Christian events is amazing. As an example, while the Jews were slaying the Passover Lambs, Jesus was being slain on the cross (1 Corinthians 5:7-8).
Assuming this was not a coincidence, but rather God was teaching us something, the next Jewish Feast after the summer break is Rosh Hashanah. It’s “A day of gathering and celebration” (sounds like Rapture to us!). It is also a day they blow the shofar, the traditional ram’s horn (trumpet?). Rosh Hashanah is the symbolic anniversary of the creation of the world (creator Jesus?) and the walls of Jericho fell at the blast of the trumpet. Many theorize that Jesus was born on Rosh Hashanah. The theme of Rosh Hashanah is that God is truly King over all His creation.
So the theory is that whatever year Jesus returns in the air to gather His Church, The Rapture, it will be on Rosh Hashanah. This would not violate the statement that “no one knows the day nor the hour” —Mark 13:32) as the time zones around the earth are always spread over two days. But it does say we can discern the signs: “. . . when you see these things happening, recognize that the kingdom of God is near.” —Luke 21:31 This year Rosh Hashanah is coming up in a few days (it begins at sundown on September 29 in 2019). (In case you’re curious 🙂 Compass has a short DVD, The Bible’s Big Picture, that explains the 70th Week of Daniel, timing of surrounding events, etc. This link will take you to an address where Compass Pointes have graciously provided The Bible’s Big Picture for no charge. It’s a 30-minute summary of the entire Bible from Genesis to Revelation, including the timing of the future Anti-christ, Armageddon and the Second Coming of Christ. Or copy and paste into your web browser: www.compass.org/30. We subtitled this DVD “The Entire Bible in 30 Minutes.” It covers a lot! Enjoy! ______________________________ ______________________________
Additional Resource regarding the timing of the Rapture
This year Rosh Hashanah is coming up in a few days (it begins at sundown on September 29 in 2019). (In case you’re curious 🙂
Compass has a short DVD, The Bible’s Big Picture, that explains the 70th Week of Daniel, timing of surrounding events, etc. This link will take you to an address where Compass Pointes have graciously provided The Bible’s Big Picture for no charge. It’s a 30-minute summary of the entire Bible from Genesis to Revelation, including the timing of the future Anti-christ, Armageddon and the Second Coming of Christ. Or copy and paste into your web browser: www.compass.org/30. We subtitled this DVD “The Entire Bible in 30 Minutes.”
It covers a lot! Enjoy!
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