Merry Christmas! I wanted to take a moment to express my gratitude to you for being here. Your presence is a gift to me, as is every comment you leave or email you send in response to something the Lord has given me to write. Whether you are a long-time reader or this is your first time to join me, the fact that you are using your time to visit LeahAdams.org blesses my heart. Thank you.
Today we celebrate the birth our Lord, Jesus Christ! My prayer is that you know Him as your Lord and your Savior. He is my very best friend, my confidante, my guide, my strength, and the place where my heart is at home. If you do not know Jesus as Lord this Christmas, may I share with you a few reasons why I would recommend Him to you? Go HERE.
May this day of Christ’s birth be filled with the joy and wonder that His presence brings.
Ten years ago when I stepped into ministry I never could have dreamed the path on which that call would take me. There have been amazing highs, and painful lows…but really, isn’t that just how life is?
If I can be completely honest with you I always thought ministry would look like standing on a stage speaking to groups, both large and small. On that stage is where I feel most comfortable, yet pretty early in ministry God made it clear that the stage was only to be a portion of how I would serve in His kingdom.
A few years in, He led me to write….a blog, a book, a Bible study or three. The writing led to some opportunities to speak on stages. I felt complete and excited to be able to serve the Lord in these ways.
Then, something else happened. God began to draw in and draw down my ministry. There was less stage and more face-to-face time with women. Mentoring younger women, and a few older ones, became part of my ministry. Tasting Grace mentoring in the kitchen ministry was born, as was Tasting Grace, the Bible study. Now, surely I was where God desired for me to be!
Ah, but no. God seems to have a penchant for change.
In today’s short video I am sharing with you the latest ministry opportunity the Lord has laid before me. He has flung wide the door to another amazing ministry. Through Compassion International’s Child Sponsorship ministry I can blend my passion for speaking and sharing God’s love with the opportunity to mentor and encourage others. Words cannot begin to express how excited and humbled I am about this opportunity to partner with Compassion. Please click the video link to learn more.
If you are reading this post via email, please click HERE to be taken to my website where you can view the video.
Would your church or group be interested in hearing more about Compassion’s Child Sponsorship program?Would you be interested in hosting a Compassion Sunday in your church? If so, please use the form on my speaking page to contact me and I will happily share more information with you about how we can make this happen. You can also email me at email@example.com.
Click the link below to see the faces of beautiful children who are waiting for sponsors!
Happy December! Can you believe that we are now into the final month of 2017? Where did the year go? And do you have your Christmas tree up yet? Greg and I took a trip to the local tree farm a couple of Saturdays ago and got a beautiful tree. I have loads of Christmas ornaments that I have collected over the years. So, when I drag out the boxes and begin pulling out ornaments, it is like a little party. I ‘visit’ with each ornament, remembering where it came from and the circumstances surrounding it. It truly is a walk down memory lane.
On to our Revelation post today. Last time we studied in Revelation 12 we looked at the first six verses. You can review that post HERE.
Today I want to linger a tad longer in verse 6. Take a look at it:
And the woman fled into the wilderness, where she has a place prepared by God, in which she is to be nourished for 1,260 days.
If you are a grammar and word nerd like I am, you will see that virtually all of verses one through five of chapter 12 are written in the past tense. Then, when we get to verse 6 the verb tense changes in the final part of the verse to future tense, i.e. ‘is to be’. Verses 1 through 5 describe something that has already taken place, while verses 6 describes an event yet to occur.
I know all of you were sitting on the edge of your seats, so excited at the prospect of a grammar lesson! It is important stuff, even if it takes you back to your high school English class, which may or may not be a happy trip back in time.
Okay, now on to the focus of today’s study. Do you remember when we talked about the importance of numbers in Scripture? If not, here is a link to that post. In that post we looked specifically at a grouping of numbers that all reference the same amount of time: 1260 days, 3 ½ years, 42 months, and a time, times, and half a time. Twice in Revelation 12 we will bump up against a reference to this amount of time, so I thought it prudent for us to refresh our memories of the importance of it.
In Revelation 12:6 we are told that for 1260 days the woman, who we have established represents Israel, will be nourished or protected in a place that has been prepared by God. The same event is also referenced in Revelation 12:14, but the verbiage is different. In that verse the time frame is designated as a time, times, and half a time.
Allow me, if you will, to pull a quote from the April post on numbers:
After a decent amount of study, I believe (you may believe differently, and that is okay) that the 42 months/1260 days/time, times, and half a time/3 ½ years of intense persecution of Israel begins with the sounding of the 7th trumpet. I also believe that this time of persecution, what Matthew 24:21, Revelation 2:22 and Revelation 7:14 calls ‘the great tribulation”, takes place in the last half of what we call the tribulation period.
You may also recall from THIS post that I believe the Rapture takes place just prior to the sounding of the 7th trumpet and the beginning of the last 3 ½ years of the tribulation period. So, all of this tells me that God is going to take care of His people..both the Jewish people and Gentile believers. While Israel will be a huge target for Satan’s wrath administered through antichrist, God will protect her beautifully in a place and time set apart before the the foundation of the world.
That’s it for today. Next time we gather we will (probably) finish our study of Revelation 12. Have a great week.
Would you like to enhance your study of the book of Revelation? How about writing out the entire book in your very own Journible that is designed for Revelation? I love Journibles! Check it out using this link!
Advent: the arrival of a notable person, thing, or event. The first season of the Christian church year, leading up to Christmas and including the four preceding Sundays.
Today is the first Sunday of Advent and I woke with Jesus on my mind this morning. This year, for some reason, my heart is particularly tender toward Christmas (which, if you know me, is huge), and as I lay in bed this morning I began to ponder something that gave me huge cause for pause.
Jesus Left Heaven
The simplicity of those words belie the magnitude of their meaning. Think about them! Ponder the events and emotions that surround them.
Jesus, the second person of the Trinity, who had always existed in perfect, unbroken union with God, the Father, and God, the Holy Spirit, would very soon leave that perfect fellowship. When you and I are in relationships that are beautiful and sweet and harmonious the thought of leaving can cause great sadness, even if it is only for a short time. I cannot imagine the emotions of the Father as He turned to Jesus and said, “Now! Go!” Of course, I know I am projecting human emotions onto God, yet I have to believe that there was a void in heaven when Jesus stepped out and came to earth. Did the angels weep? Was there silence in heaven because everyone missed the presence of Jesus?
Jesus left heaven with full disclosure of the horrors awaited Him on earth. Was there dread in His holy heart? Angst? Fear? The teeniest bit of uncertainty? He could have said, ‘Nope! Not going. They are not worth leaving heaven.’ I certainly would have. We know from Scripture that as the final hours of His earthly life approached Jesus asked the Father if there was any way other than the cross. The stress on His body was so intense that He sweated blood. It makes me wonder what He felt in those last hours before He stepped out of heaven, put on human flesh, and submitted to the Father’s will for leaving.
Jesus left heaven for ME and for YOU. Whatever you feel you have been asked to give up in this lifetime, Jesus gave up far more. He laid aside His glory to put on human flesh. He stepped out of heaven knowing His mission on earth would be to die so that you and I could have restored fellowship with the Father.
Sometimes we resist stepping outside the walls of our homes or our social circles in order to bless another person, yet Jesus left heaven, not for His good, but for ours. Perhaps that does not impact you the way it has touched me this morning. I am slack-jawed at the sacrifice Jesus made in the leaving….a sacrifice that was for me.
As we begin this Advent journey I want to encourage you to be intentional in your preparation for the celebration of Christ’s birth. Allow your heart to fully engage with all that Advent and Christmas mean. To help you do so, I highly recommend Kris Camealy’s Advent devotion book, Come, Lord Jesus for your pondering pleasure. Here is a link to it on Amazon.
If I had to choose a motto for my life, this would be one of my top five. You might think, “why in the world would you choose a motto about trials?” Great question! You see, sometimes the most seemingly ridiculous things end up being beautiful and good. Let me explain.
Imagine that I had one of those moments where my life flashed before my eyes and I was blessed with the benefit of seeing a panorama of events, both good and bad. I would see moments of love and joy, sidled up next to moments of pain and heartache. I would see stellar life choices that I made, but also some amazingly poor choices that brought great sorrow and distress into my life. You, too?
But, let me tell you the beautiful thing in all of this hot mess that is my life. God never wastes a trial or a heartache. Every poor choice, every time those choices brought pain. Shoot! Even when my choices are good and right, there is the opportunity for God to bring something beautiful and useful out of a heap of ashes or bed of roses. AND HE DOES! I’ve seen it time and time again in my life.
Case in point! Years ago I shared about my decades-ago struggles with loving a family member in this video. Frequently, when I speak to women, I have the opportunity to share this same story. I cannot even begin to count how many times women have come up to me and said, “What? You too? I thought I was the only one who felt that way!” Just last week I had the privilege of coming alongside a beautiful young woman who is walking this very path in her own life. I pray that I was able to speak encouragement into her heart in regard to loving a family member when all you feel is anger toward them.
It is in those moments that the truth of 2 Corinthians 1:3-4 comes alive:
Blessed be the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, the Father of mercies and God of all comfort, who comforts us in all our affliction, so that we may be able to comfort those who are in any affliction, with the comfort with which we ourselves are comforted by God.
I cannot resist giving you verse 4 from The Message:
He comes alongside us when we go through hard times, and before you know it, he brings us alongside someone else who is going through hard times so that we can be there for that person just as God was there for us.
It is true, y’all…..God never wastes a trial. He has purpose in them. He has good in them. They may not feel good or purposeful. You may just have to grit your teeth and think, ‘this too shall pass. It is passing like a kidney stone, but I have faith that it will pass…and that God will somehow redeem it.”
Even as I type this post I am walking a path where another person is slandering my character and reputation with lies and twisted truth, yet I keep trusting that God’s got it and that one day I will be able to use the comfort I am receiving from Him to comfort another person going through similar circumstances.
Do you have a 2 Corinthians 1:4 testimony? Sister, God did not allow difficult circumstances in your life for no reason at all. He has purpose in them, but you must walk by faith toward that purpose until you can see it with your eyes. If you can see above the circumstances to the good that God is working in your heart, are you willing to share it to encourage other people? I would love to read how God has comforted you in a difficult situation so that you can turn around and comfort others going through similar situations. Would you share in the comments or via email?
God never wastes a trial!
Note: This post contains affiliate links.
Here is the link to a book that has brought me great peace in times of trial and trouble. I encourage you to check it out.
Hi there! I want to begin our time together today by asking you a question. Those who are reading this post will fall into one of two categories: those who have previously studied Revelation and those who have never done an in-depth study of Revelation. So, I have a question for each group.
To those who have previously studied Revelation: How did your study impact you?
To those who have never studied Revelation: Why have you never studied Revelation?
I want to address the last group first, because I once was one of you. The reasons I never studied Revelation were a few: I was frightened by the events of the book; I felt that there was no way I could understand what I studied because of all the symbolism in it; It seemed like even most pastors avoided the book of Revelation so maybe it was a book that was just in the Bible, but we really did not need to study it much.
In 2012-ish my small group began studying the book of The Revelation. Every last one of us entered the study ‘with fear and trembling’ because we had no idea if we could even do the study. The study was intensive and laborious, but boy, was it good! So, with that said, allow me to now answer the question I asked the first group. My study of the book of Revelation impacted me in two ways: It deepened my faith and trust in the sovereignty of God (God’s got this!) AND it encouraged me greatly to know that Jesus knows exactly what goes on in His Church. He will deal with any wrongs and He will reward faithfulness.
That is a perfect segue into why I am investing so much time and effort into writing this Revelation series here at LeahAdams.org. As a Bible teacher I believe God has tasked me with helping others dig into Scripture, and there is no Scripture that is less dug-into than Revelation. I am absolutely certain that God gave me the assignment of helping anyone who would happen by LeahAdams.org study the book of The Revelation. So, if you are new here, today’s post is the latest in an almost 2-year series. Would you like to read some of the past teachings? Please go here and you will find every teaching linked in the order in which they appeared on the blog beginning with Revelation chapter 1.
On to today’s study where we flip the page and journey into Revelation chapter 12. You may recall that my friend, Lisa Cockerham, graciously offered drawings of each chapter of Revelation. These drawings depict the major happenings of each chapter. You may click the following link to download and print the FREE drawing for chapter 12.
Beginning today and moving forward we will encounter much symbolism. Some of the symbolism’s meaning will be immediately obvious, while others will require some digging. Today’s passage includes symbolism that is pretty easy to understand and will not require much commentary from me. Take a look at Revelation 12:1-6 (ESV).
1 And a great sign appeared in heaven: a woman clothed with the sun, with the moon under her feet, and on her head a crown of twelve stars.
2 She was pregnant and was crying out in birth pains and the agony of giving birth.
3 And another sign appeared in heaven: behold, a great red dragon, with seven heads and ten horns, and on his heads seven diadems.
4 His tail swept down a third of the stars of heaven and cast them to the earth. And the dragon stood before the woman who was about to give birth, so that when she bore her child he might devour it.
5 She gave birth to a male child, one who is to rule all the nations with a rod of iron, but her child was caught up to God and to his throne,
6 and the woman fled into the wilderness, where she has a place prepared by God, in which she is to be nourished for 1,260 days.
Let’s break this passage down and take a look at the two signs that appeared in heaven detailed herein.
What does it say about this sign?
Clothed with the sun
Moon under her feet
Crown of 12 stars on her head
Pregnant and in the throes of childbirth
Gave birth to a male Child who will rule all the nations with a rod of iron
Child was caught up to God and to his throne
Woman fled into the wilderness to be nourished in a place prepared by God for her
The woman is generally accepted to represent the nation of Israel. The description of her being clothed with the sun, the moon under her feet, and the crown of 12 stars on her head draws our memories back to the vision/dream that Joseph had in Genesis 37. Recall that his dream was that the sun, moon, and eleven stars were bowing down to him. Ultimately his entire family (the beginning point of the 12 tribes of Israel) bowed to him in Egypt.
This woman (Israel) is pregnant with a male Child (Jesus) who will one day rule the nations with a rod of iron. Check out Psalm 2:9, Daniel 2:40, Revelation 2:27 and 19:15 for the prophecies linked to Christ ruling with an iron rod.
What does the passage say about this sign?
Great, red dragon
Ten crowns on his heads
Tail swept down a third of the stars of heaven and cast them to earth.
Dragon stood before the woman as she gave birth in order to devour her child
The dragon is accepted to be Satan, and the reference to his fall and the subsequent fall of 1/3 of the heavenly hosts pretty much seals this identification. Satan desired to get rid of Christ and the cross was his tool for that, but Jesus rose from the dead, ascended to heaven, and lives today with God.
Let’s wrap up for today, but I will be back soon with more from Revelation 12. Have a wonderful Thanksgiving, friend.
Most anyone who knows me know that I can hardly resist a trip to a bookstore. I love books, and in particular, I am crazy about Bibles and Bible commentaries. I, like many of you, am blessed to have multiple copies of the Bible within the walls of my home. Of all the Bibles I do have, the one that I have never purchased is a Bible written specifically for women. So, when the opportunity dropped into my inbox to review a Bible that is fresh to the market and targeted toward women, I jumped at it without hesitation.
May I introduce you to the She Reads Truth Bible?
“The She Reads Truth Bible aims to live at the intersection of beauty, goodness, and Truth. Featuring devotionals by the She Reads Truth team, and Scripture reading plans that include supplemental passages for deeper understanding, this Bible invites every woman to count themselves among the She Reads Truth community of “Women in the Word of God every day.” The She Reads Truth Bible also features 66 key verses, artfully lettered to aid in Scripture memorization.
Features include: almost 200 devotionals, 66 artist-designed key verses, 35 full-color timelines, 20 full-color maps, 11 full-color charts, reading plans for every book of the Bible, one-year Bible reading plan, detailed book introductions, key verse list, carefully curated topical index, smyth-sewn binding, two colored ribbon markers, and wide margins for journaling and note-taking.”
Go HERE to see a video about the Bible, then come back and read about all the things I love about the She Reads Truth Bible.
Y’all, I will go to my grave telling anyone who will listen that I am not the same woman I was prior to committing to a daily time of Bible study. My heart has been softened and molded by the Word of God. I make better choices because of my time in the Word. I speak kinder words because of the influence of Scripture on my tongue. I am a better wife, mom, mentor, speaker, author, and friend because of the living and active Word planted deeply within my heart.
So, why am I telling you about the She Reads Truth Bible? What makes it stand out among the hundreds of choices of Bibles on the shelves in bookstores? I’m so glad you asked.
First, and I’m going all girly here, it is pretty. The copy that was provided to me to review for B&H Publishing by FrontGate Media in exchange for my honest thoughts and opinions is a hard-back in a lovely poppy color. The Bible comes in several different colors, including gray, poppy, brown, and navy. I’m thrilled that mine is poppy.
Another reason that I am a fan of this Bible is a super nerdy one…..I like the interior font (Bible Serif). It is beautiful, inviting, and easy to read.
While I do not have an artistic bone in my body, I absolutely love the artwork at the beginning of each book of the Bible. The editors have chosen one verse from each book of the Bible that embodies what that book teaches. That verse is highlighted at the beginning of the specific book using beautiful artwork. “Together, these 66 verses present the complete arc of Scripture, book by book.” Y’all, I love that like crazy! It is like getting a clue on the first page of a book what the entire book will be about.
In addition, at the beginning of each book, there is an overview of the book and a timeline. I do love me a timeline, let me tell you!! The other feature that I am really digging about the She Reads Truth Bible is a guide, or checklist, for reading through that book. It is broken down into weeks and days. So, for example, if you wanted to read the entire book of Psalms, there is a 15-week plan that gives specific readings on five days each week. And, if you want to go deeper, there are additional references that one can explore that pertain to each daily reading.
As if all that were not enough, there are wonderful devotions written by women for women scattered throughout the She Reads Truth Bible.
The She Reads Truth Bible is not a word-for-word or thought-for-thought translation, but rather it uses ‘optimal equivalence’. ‘Optimal equivalence starts with an exhaustive analysis of the text at every level in the original language to determine its original meaning and intention. Then, relying on the latest and best language tools and experts, the nearest corresponding semantic and linguistic equivalents are used to convey as much of the information and intention of the original text with as much clarity and readability as possible.’ (Taken directly from my copy of the She Reads Truth Bible.)
The translation that is used in the She Reads Truth Bible is the Christian Standard Bible (CSB). This version of the Bible does not seek to be overly politically correct, but rather attempts to translate the ancient text faithfully. “While the CSB avoids using ‘he’ or ‘him’ unnecessarily, the translation does not restructure sentences to avoid them when they are in the text. (Taken directly from my copy of the She Reads Truth Bible.) I will tell you that the CSB is not my favorite translation of Scripture.
Thanks for letting me share this beautiful Bible with you today. I am tickled pink to tell you that you can register to win a copy of it! Simply go to this link to register to win.
Want to purchase your own copy? Head over to my affiliate link on Amazon and order away!
NOTE: This post contains affiliate links.
DISCLOSURE: I was given this Bible to review for B&H Publishing by FrontGate Media. While I was given the Bible for free all thoughts and opinions are my own.)
Welcome back to our study in the book of The Revelation. I know you must be thinking that we will still be studying Revelation when Jesus returns. Mmm-hmmm! You might be right. To be honest with you, my desire to write comes and goes…and by the look of my posting schedule, it goes more than it comes. So, with that said, here I am to offer you what the Lord has given me for this day. I have no idea when the next post will come, but Lord willing, we will move on and study Revelation more consistently in the coming days.
We have studied the book of Revelation up to our current passage of Revelation 11:15-19 over the course of almost two years. The last time we studied in Revelation 11, we finished our visit with the Two Witnesses from Revelation 11:1-14. In verse 14, we were told that the ‘second woe had passed, the third woe was soon to come’. These ‘woes’ correlate with the 5th, 6th, and 7th trumpets, and they signify an intensifying of the devastations of the earth. The 3rd woe/7th trumpet will take us on a journey from Revelation 11: 15 – Revelation 14:20, so buckle your seat belts, friends.
We took a break between the 6th trumpet/2nd woe and the 7th trumpet/3rd woe to study the Day of the Lord and the Rapture. Please go here to find those, and other posts in this series:
The reason we studied the Day of the Lord and the Rapture at this point is because I believe, and I may be wrong, that the Rapture occurs just prior to the sounding of the 7th trumpet. So, here we are, hearing the blast of that 7th trumpet. Let’s read about it.
15 Then the seventh angel blew his trumpet, and there were loud voices in heaven, saying, “The kingdom of the world has become the kingdom of our Lord and of his Christ, and he shall reign forever and ever.”
16 And the twenty-four elders who sit on their thrones before God fell on their faces and worshiped God,
17 saying, “We give thanks to you, Lord God Almighty, who is and who was, for you have taken your great power and begun to reign.
18 The nations raged, but your wrath came, and the time for the dead to be judged, and for rewarding your servants, the prophets and saints, and those who fear your name, both small and great, and for destroying the destroyers of the earth.”
19 Then God’s temple in heaven was opened, and the ark of his covenant was seen within his temple. There were flashes of lightning, rumblings, peals of thunder, an earthquake, and heavy hail.
We were told in Revelation 10:7 that when the 7th angel sounds his trumpet that the mystery of God would be fulfilled. The Greek word for mystery is ‘musterion’ and it means private knowledge or a divine secret. So, let’s take a look at all that happens when this 7th trumpet sounds.
There is an announcement in heaven saying: “The kingdom of the world has become the kingdom of our Lord and of his Christ, and he shall reign forever and ever.”
There is worship in heaven
God’s temple in heaven is opened and the ark of the covenant is revealed
There is lightening, thunder, heavy hail, and an earthquake
A sign appears in heaven pointing toward the increased persecution of the Jews
Satan is thrown to earth
The antichrist and the false prophet appear
There is a harvest of souls from the earth
Never before has Christ physically reigned on the earth, but it seems that the sounding of 7th trumpet heralds his reign on earth, and with that comes His wrath. Does that mean Christ is physically present on earth, or that Satan simply no longer has jurisdiction over the world? It may be that this is also a reference to the Day of the Lord.
The first time we read about the wrath of the Lamb was in Revelation 6:16-17 which correlated to the breaking of the 6th seal. We do not find the full wrath of God poured out until the bowl judgments that begin in Revelation 15.
I cannot state strongly enough how very significant this 7th trumpet is in the entire end time story. So much happens here, and it really is the beginning of the end. You will notice that much of what happens at the sounding of the 7th trumpet takes place in heaven: the announcement, worship, the temple is opened and the ark of the covenant is revealed, and a sign. The things that take place on earth are natural disasters, Satan, antichrist and the false prophet appear and there is a soul harvest. Many of these things we will study in more detail as we move through the events of the sounding of the 7th trumpet.
One more thought. I find it so interesting that when the temple in heaven is opened that the ark of the covenant is revealed. Not the cross. Not the empty tomb. The ark of the covenant. Why?
This is purely my speculation and you may think differently…and that is okay. I believe with all my heart that the entire Scriptural canon was written for the Jewish people…God’s chosen people. From beginning to end, the Bible is God’s love letter to Israel. A letter designed to draw her heart to Him. Because of Israel’s refusal to recognize Jesus as Messiah, you and I, as Gentile believers, have been ‘grafted into’ the lineage of Abraham (Romans 4:13-17 and Romans 11) and experience the blessings of God through Scripture. The Bible is for us, as well, but still it beckons Israel.
The Ark of the Covenant in the Old Testament tabernacle was where God met with the High Priest of Israel once a year. It was there that the priest offered a sacrifice for the sins of the nation. The Ark of the Covenant was the most holy part of the Old Testament tabernacle, and when the temple in Jerusalem was destroyed for the final time, the Ark was lost.
So, for the Ark to show up in the heavenly temple detailed in the book of The Revelation would be highly significant to a Jewish person. It would be God’s way to saying the Israelite, ‘this book, The Revelation, is for you! Pay attention!’ God continues to call Israel to Himself, even when they do not respond. It is a beautiful picture of love and faithfulness.
Okay, enough for today. I will see you back here soon.
Did you read The Left Behind series of books that were written by Tim LaHaye and Jerry Jenkins? I read every single one of them and really enjoyed them. In case you did not, the Left Behind series is a collection of fiction novels that focus on events that might take place when the Rapture happens. The characters are interesting and very relatable. The events are catastrophic, and likely, very realistic. The ultimate goal of these books is to point the reader to the need for a relationship with Jesus by using the coming Rapture and other end-time events to point out that salvation through Christ is the only way to heaven.
In our post today I want to give you my assessment and thoughts about the timing of the Rapture. I could be wrong, and I know that many people have a different interpretation of these events than I. But, after a great deal of study about this topic under more learned teachers, this is where I fall on the topic. No one can know for sure when and how it will happen, but the Bible seems pretty clear that it will take place at some point, and Scripture gives us sign posts that we can watch for on the journey toward that day.
Let’s summarize what we know about the Rapture from our previous discussions:
From 1 Thessalonians 4:13-18 we learned:
The Lord will descend from heaven
The dead in Christ will rise first (the bodies of those who have died as Christ-followers)
Believers living at that time will be caught up together with the dead in Christ in the clouds to meet the Lord in the air (this is NOT the second coming of Christ)
From 1 Corinthians 15:51-54 we learned:
A trumpet will sound
Dead will be raised imperishable
Those who are alive will be changed, too
In 2 Thessalonians 2 we learned a few things that must take place before the Day of the Lord:
An apostasy/rebellion/falling away
The ‘restrainer’ must be taken out of the way
The man of lawlessness (antichrist) will come on the scene in a big way
In 1 Thessalonians 5 Paul teaches on the rapture before he teaches on the Day of the Lord. Although we cannot write it in permanent marker, is it possible we can assume that the rapture precedes the Day of the Lord on the timeline of end-time events? I think it is highly possible.
Also in 1 Thessalonians 5, Paul, in teaching about the Day of the Lord, adamantly proclaims that believers in Jesus Christ are not appointed or destined to wrath. Scripture places the wrath of God within the events of the Day of the Lord, which begins at or shortly after the 7th trumpet. So, again, it seems that the rapture might take place before the Day of the Lord.
Although we have not studied the 7th trumpet yet, Scripture tells us that the man of lawlessness will be revealed at the 7th trumpet. (Revelation 13) So, it is reasonable to assume that the Rapture occurs prior to the 7th trumpet, perhaps?
Most people refer to the last 7 years/Daniel’s 70th week as the tribulation, and make no mistake, there will be horrors and tribulation. However, the judgments that come on the earth and on mankind ramp up significantly during the final 3 ½ years of this period. Matthew 24:21 records Jesus as saying there will be ‘great tribulation’ during this final 3 ½ year period. It seems that the trigger for this final 3 ½ year period are the events of the 7th trumpet.
It is my sincere belief, after much study, that the Rapture takes place just prior to the sounding of the 7th trumpet. Could I be wrong? Of course. Are there other rational explanations and timings for the Rapture? Absolutely. This is only my opinion, and my opinion is only worth what you paid for it. I do not write this in permanent marker,, and neither should you.
So, am I a pre-tribulation person? Well, yes, if you consider the last half of the 7 years to be the Great Tribulation. Maybe I am a mid-tribulation person. Yes, if you consider the entire 7 years to be the tribulation. Am I a pre-wrath supporter? Yep, if you believe that the wrath of God begins at the 7th trumpet and the 7th trumpet sounds in the middle of the 7 years. I am clearly not a supporter of the post-tribulation wrath hypothesis.
What I am is a woman whose faith rests in knowing that God has it all figured out and timed perfectly, so there is little reason for me to stress over the semantics and timing of the Rapture. I hope this teaching on the rapture has been interesting and informative for you. I strongly encourage you to search the Scriptures for yourself and formulate your own opinions on this, and other, end-time events. I also encourage you to give grace to those who belief differently from you.
Thanks for taking this journey through Revelation with me. We will continue our study back in Revelation 11 with a look at the events of the sounding of the 7th trumpet soon.
Eat your vegetables, and then you can have dessert.
It is mantra of moms everywhere. The plate is colorful with broccoli, carrots, corn, and a side of cornbread. Oh, and don’t forget the meatloaf. Definitely eat the meatloaf! And if you eat all of everything that is on your plate, then you can have dessert.
It is bribery of the highest order. That delicious coconut cake is sitting in the corner, calling my name, tantalizing me so much that my mouth waters just looking at it. But, in order to get to that little slice of heaven, I must wade through the green, orange, and yellow on my plate. Every bite of those vegetables is a little bit of torture for a girl with an incurable sweet tooth. Yet, because I am a Type A who has to do everything well and right, I rip my gaze from the coconut cake and focus on the vegetables and meat loaf. Let’s get ‘er done!
Meatloaf. Check! Check! (I do love me some good meatloaf.)
Now, the pièce de résistance. Coconut cake!
For a girl who is very much a productivity addict the idea of ‘finish your vegetables before you eat dessert’ can be crippling?
Oh, I see you frowning and wondering how I turned vegetables into a handicap. Let me explain.
As you know, if you have been around these parts for more than a few days, I am on a journey toward rest (it was my OneWord 2016) and observing Sabbath regularly. Part of that journey is navigating the tension of completing my checklist of things to do each week before my Sabbath begins on Saturday evening. I’m doing really well at it now, but that has not always been the case. You see, as a productivity junkie I reasoned that there were things that needed to be accomplished (i.e., all the veggies eaten) EVERY. SINGLE. DAY or the world might implode! So, while I desperately needed a day to rest (coconut cake), the veggies that needed eating (tasks on my to-do list) never ended. Which meant that I never set aside a day to rest (enjoy my piece of coconut cake).
Is that clear as mud? What I am trying to say is that the eat-your-veggies-before-you-eat-cake principle works well with a child, but for an adult with a need to always be productive, it doesn’t work so well. There has to be a point at which I say, ‘enough veggies!’ and settle down to enjoy my coconut cake.
May I share with you the part of all of this that makes me clap my hands in praise to my Jesus?
When I am obedient to carve out that Sabbath rest, the world does not implode, nor does my to-do list become an unmanageable Goliath. In fact, quite the opposite takes place. I am much more able to do what needs to be done in six days, and I do it with a greater measure of peace than I had when I was frantically striving seven days a week.
No one on the planet has ever had a greater agenda and to-do list than God:
Monday – Create light
Tuesday – Create the heavens
Wednesday – Create the earth and the seas, plants and trees
Thursday – Create the sun, moon, and stars, and set the seasons in order
Friday – Create sea animals and birds
Saturday – Create livestock, beasts of the earth, creeping things (eekk!), and Man
Then, on Sunday, the seventh day, God blessed His work and rested. If God decided to rest on the seventh day, who in the world am I to decide that I do not need rest? The Sabbath is for me, not for God, because He knew that I would need that rest. And oh, how desperately I need it! I need that time to slow down so that I can hear His voice in the stillness and silence of rest. I need that time for my physical body to decompress and relax. I simply need that time…..and so do you!
I want to encourage you to make Sabbath rest part of your week. I promise you will be glad you did.
Tell me about your Sabbath observance. How do you prepare? What does it look like?
NOTE: This post contains affiliate links.
I am linking to two books that have been great influences on my life this year in regard to making good choice and to observing a Sabbath rest. I hope you will check them out!