Do We Know the Time of the Rapture?
The ‘man clothed in linen’ lifted his hands toward heaven, and Daniel heard him swear by Him who lives forever, saying, “It will be for a time, times and half a time. When the power of the holy people has been finally broken, all these things will be completed.
Sounding the Seventh Trumpet – NIV Abridged Version – Part 1
Just a Moment Away?
We have seen so many scientific and political advances take place since 1948 when the miraculous happened and Israel became a nation in a day (Isa 66:8), making the impossible possible.
Fifty years ago, the idea that world government was possible would have been laughable. Now we see world bodies drawing together under the United Nations and we speak of a one-world government almost as though it is an established fact.
A hundred years ago, who could have thought it possible that the death of the two Witnesses of Revelation would one day be seen throughout the globe? Today, satellite television makes that a simple matter.
And before the advent of computers the prophesied Mark might have seemed like a fairy tale (Rev 13:16). Yet now we see almost every product throughout the world, bar-coded; domestic animals are micro-chipped daily, experimentation is being carried out on human beings, and computer banking unites the whole process. The implanted microchip in the right hand will be seen as a natural extension of the Smart Card.
With the advent of the corona-19 virus, we now see a great opportunity to accelerate the process. If you take the vaccine you will be separated from those who don’t. In the not-too-distant future, you will receive a mark in the skin that can be easily read on computer showing you are safe to be let loose in society. The mark will give you status and reward in the community. Those who, for whatever reason, refuse to be vaccinated will be penalised and lose privileges of movement, employment and, ultimately, of the ability to buy and sell. (Rev 13:16,17)
It was in the 1740’s, that Morgan Edwards, a leading Baptist historian of his day, argued for a mid-Tribulation viewpoint. Edwards believed the Rapture would occur in the middle of Daniel’s 70th week, about 3 1/2 years before the Second Coming. Prior to this, the over-riding belief was pre-millenialist – the belief that the Rapture took place at the Second Coming but was a separate event.
The modern pre-Tribulation view was put forward by John Darby (1800-1882). Darby was born in London and practiced law briefly before going into full-time ministry in the Anglican Church. He later broke away and formed the Plymouth Brethren. Actually, John Darby’s teachings were not new; he drew together the threads of earlier writers and threw his weight behind the pre-tribulation Rapture. His writing and preaching captured the imagination and this more comforting doctrine spread rapidly. As the Christian Church entered the 21st Century, if the end times were preached at all, it was generally the idea of a pre-Tribulation Rapture that won acceptance.
But what if it is wrong? What if there is a compelling argument for a different conclusion? Where would it leave those who fully expect to be swept away at the start of the last seven years of this era? Would they be able to stand under the massive wave of persecution that is certain to take place? many believers will be privileged to become part of a “cloud of witnesses” to the events leading up to the opening of the final seal when the kingdoms are reclaimed by our Lord Jesus Christ. However, a high price will be exacted from those chosen to remain on earth in those days, Where would it leave those who fully expect to be swept away at the start of the last seven years? Would they be able to stand under the massive wave of persecution that is certain to take place? Or would they even find themselves deceived into believing that the Antichrist is what he claims to be – the Christ? Why do we choose to believe the exhortations and warnings of Jesus in Matt 24, Mark 13 and Luke 21 are to the Jews only and not to His Church, when we accept every other part of the Gospel is addressed to all believers? When Jesus spoke of the turbulent times ahead He urged his disciples not to allow themselves to be deceived. Is it possible that we have already allowed ourselves to succumb to the deception of the enemy?
While on the bank of the River Hiddekel, known today as the Tigris, Daniel received a vision, the power of which caused him to faint and fall on his face. Like the vision of Christ, received by John in Revelation, this ‘certain man’ (Dan 10:5,6) was clothed in linen and girded in fine gold. His body was like beryl and his face had the appearance of lightning. His eyes were as lamps of fire; while his arms and feet appeared like polished brass and his voice was like the voice of a multitude. Daniel’s companions saw nothing of the vision but fled in fear and hid themselves leaving him alone. A hand touched Daniel and raised him onto his hands and feet and the powerful voice spoke again encouraging the prophet to stand. For twenty-one days, a battle had taken place in the heavens, he was told. An effort had been made to prevent Daniel from receiving the answer to his prayer but the Archangel Michael had rallied to the side of this ‘certain man’ and fought with Him, and together He and the mighty archangel had overcome the Prince of Persia (Dan 10:12,13).
Daniel was God’s chosen vessel to receive a detailed prophecy of events pertaining to Israel – events that would include the coming of Messiah and the last seven years before His final return.
Daniel asked the man for the time in which all things would be accomplished. When would be an end of the ‘wonders’ he had seen in his dreams and visions (Dan 12:6)? The ‘man clothed in linen’ lifted his hands toward heaven, and Daniel heard him swear by Him who lives forever, saying, “It will be for a time, times and half a time. When the power of the holy people has been finally broken, all these things will be completed.” (Dan 12:7). Daniel failed to understand and was told:
He replied, “Go your way, Daniel, because the words are rolled up and sealed until the time of the end. (Dan 12:9)
We are on the very edge of the “time, times and half a time” spoken of by the one in the vision. Are we to be counted among those Holy people whose power is to be broken in those first 1260 days of the seven-year tribulation period?
Jesus Christ will, in that first three-and-a-half prophetic years, each comprised of 360 days, legally open the seven seals. I am convinced that many believers will be privileged to become part of a “cloud of witnesses” to the events leading up to the opening of the final seal when the kingdoms are reclaimed by our Lord Jesus Christ. However, a high price will be exacted from those chosen to remain on earth in those days, because during the 1,260 days, there is one who is destined to break the power of God’s holy people. Christian believers will share in the sufferings of their Lord as He molds them in the furnace of affliction into the Church that is without spot or wrinkle.
Taken from the abridged version of Sounding the Seventh Trumpet