Zephaniah 2:1–3: A Promising Pre-Trib Prophecy Hidden in Plain Sight

A few years ago, back in the 2012–13 range, I distinctly recall asking the Lord for further confirmation of the Pre-Trib Rapture, specifically in passages of the Old Testament. Afterwards, I remember landing on Isaiah 26:19–21 one day and was overwhelmed with excitement. Maybe you know the feeling—that sudden burst of joy springing up from your innermost being the moment you discover a precious gem hidden deep in the minefields of Scripture.

Well, time has passed since then, and the discoveries of Pre-Trib truth tucked away in the OT haven't ceased. If you've been tracking with us at Unsealed for a while, then you may have noticed that even more passages in the OT have opened up since the amazing discovery of the Revelation 12 sign and its connection to the Rapture of the Church.

For example, Gary posted an article back on September 12, 2017 entitled "Blood Moons, Births, and Babies." Toward the end of that post, he cited one of the lesser-known OT prophets, Zephaniah, and highlighted the possible future fulfillment of Zephaniah 2:1–3 as applicable to the Church—the male-child of Revelation 12:5 who is born [resurrected to glory] and snatched up to God's throne.

While the timing of the Rapture of the Church in Revelation 12 as it relates to the onset of the Tribulation period isn't all that clear, other passages such as Isaiah 66:7–8 make the timing as clear as day (for a more detailed analysis, see my previous post "The Birth of a Nation: Part I").

The Pre-Trib timing is made crystal clear in Isaiah 66:7, most notably, because of the repetitive use of the temporal preposition "before." Likewise, Zephaniah 2:1-3 appears to be yet another confirmation of the timing of our deliverance in relation to the start of the 70th week.

Here's a quote from Gary's article mentioned above that I'll use as a launching pad for this post:

Most importantly, according to Zephaniah 2:1–3, this group who seeks righteousness is gathered together before a certain decree takes effect (the 7-year covenant of Daniel 9:27?) and is hidden away before 'the day of the anger of the Lord.' These ancient Old Testament prophecies are coming to light like never before and they seem to be painting an increasingly pre-trib picture" (emphasis his).

Indeed, the picture is coming into focus. It's not just one text or passage in isolation that illuminates the portrait of a Pre-Trib deliverance for the Church. Like a mosaic or impressionist painting, it's the composite pieces and individual brush-strokes seen together that reveal the whole.

So, put your fine-art glasses on [i.e. Holy Spirit lenses] and walk with me through the gallery of Scripture to view the bigger picture. As I hope you'll see, Zephaniah 2:1–3 is an integral piece of the Pre-Trib portrait. Therefore, the aim of this study will be to shore-up Gary's initial hunch about the relevance of this passage for the Church today.

Seeking Shelter Before the Storm (Hiding in Yahweh's Doomsday Bunker)

Zephaniah had a tough message to deliver to the people of his day. Most likely, he was not a favorite guest preacher in the synagogue circuit, and he definitely would not be first on the list to speak in the preeminent pulpits of our churches today.

It's not that he's a false prophet or anything like that. No, far from it. It's just, well...he's all doom and gloom, and nobody wants to hear that. Most people want to hear about how great tomorrow will be. Tell me something good. Tell me that God's going to prosper me and keep me healthy, wealthy, and happy. Ah, but that's not reality, and the truth is a hard pill to swallow.

The truth is that the Day of the LORD is near and rapidly approaching (Zeph. 1:14). It's a day of darkness and gloom, destruction and desolation (Zeph. 1:15). This isn't merely a local judgment, either. It's global and worldwide in scope (Zeph. 1:2–3; 3:8).

Ok, ok, so do I need to build a bunker in the ground? Gather supplies to outlast my neighbor through the Tribulation? No, listen to Zephaniah. He offers a glimmer of hope to a specific nation, a people who are living in the days right before God executes His judgment on earth:

Gather yourselves together; gather together, undesirable nation, before the decree takes effect and the day passes like chaff, before the burning of the LORD's anger overtakes you, before the day of the LORD's anger overtakes you. Seek the LORD, all you humble of the earth, who carry out what He commands. Seek righteousness, seek humility; perhaps you will be concealed on the day of the LORD's anger" (Zeph. 2:1–3, HCSB, emphasis mine).

A play on the prophet's name embedded in 2:3 underscores the opportunity for a certain, humble nation to be hidden away and concealed before God's judgments take effect. Clarifying the connection between the prophet's name and his message, Old Testament scholar, Ronald B. Allen, writes in his book, A Shelter in the Fury:

The name Zephaniah...is built on two Hebrew words, a verb meaning 'to hide' and the proper name of God, Yahweh. Zephaniah means 'Hidden by Yahweh" (pgs. 19–20, emphasis mine).

Thus, for those with eyes to see and ears to hear, this passage in Zephaniah is truly a hidden gem. Amidst all the "doom and gloom" in the surrounding context, this window of opportunity is a welcome sight for anyone in right standing with Yahweh who is living on earth before the final judgment begins.

To really grasp the full effect of this passage, however, we need to examine the original Hebrew text. Paraphrased translations have their place, but there is a reason why a more literal translation such as the KJV should be consulted in this instance.

For example, a survey of the English translations for Zephaniah 2:1–3 shows a couple of minor discrepancies that are relevant to our study, especially verses 1 and 2:

First, is the gathered nation of verse 1 shameless, or undesirable/unwanted? Does the answer help us to further identify these people who are hidden "on the day of the LORD's anger"?

Second, is "decree" the right word choice in verse 2? If so, what is this decree that is linked so closely with the Day of the Lord and its horrific judgments?

We'll address these questions next.

Which Nation? What Decree?

By now, many of you who have studied the Bible for some time know that the Hebrew language is really flexible. Certain words like ruach have a wide semantic range with possible meanings of "wind," "breath," or "spirit." Therefore, not only is the immediate Old Testament context crucial for interpretation and understanding, but we must also consider the New Testament's use of the Old to see how prophecy functions in God's economy.

In many instances, we discover that Old Testament prophecy can have multiple fulfillments as time and revelation progress. Perhaps the most striking and surprising example comes from Matthew's use of Hosea 11:1 (see Matt. 2:15). The historical context of Hosea 11:1 reveals God's son to be the nation, Israel, who is called out of Egypt during the Exodus. However, as time and revelation progress, Matthew is later moved by the Holy Spirit to latch on to this particular text. As a result, the referent shifts from the nation of Israel to Jesus, God's Son, who is protected in Egypt until it is safe to go back to Israel again. Wow!

Old Testament prophecies regarding the coming "Day of the LORD" are similar in that they establish a pattern, or template, which the Holy Spirit can later appropriate to another time and place for fulfillment. Dr. Darrell Bock confirms this critical point on the New Testament's use of the Old:

Although 'day of the Lord imagery' is fulfilled in certain events within the OT (e.g. parts of Joel 2), the nature of that fulfillment looks forward to the decisive period of such fulfillment (the 'day par excellence'). In all these examples, the imagery is such that an aspect of the passage demands fulfillment beyond the short-term event and thus points to the presence of pattern. The prophetic character of the text resides in this 'needs to be fulfilled' feature in the pattern" ("Scripture Citing Scripture," in Interpreting the New Testament Text, pg. 272, emphasis mine).

After marinating on Zephaniah 2:1–3 for a while, I now strongly believe that this passage fits the bill for the prophetic pattern previously described. For some, you will have no problem with this because you rightly discern the distinctions between Israel and the Church (for a study on an OT precedent for the continuity and discontinuity of Israel and the Church, see my previous post "Birthday Break-away").

For others who wish to blur the lines where they should not be blurred, I pray that you understand that the "nation" in Zeph. 2:1 isn't limited to ethnic Israel. In fact, as I will demonstrate below, the nation who fulfills Zeph. 2:1–3 in the future cannot be national Israel.

First, a word about the nation of Zeph. 2:1—are they shameless, or undesirable? The Hebrew text reads literally, "...gather together nation who is not longed for [Heb. kasaph]." For various reasons, rather than translating kasaph in its usual sense of "to long for; seek after," some scholars have decided that "shameless" fits the context better and justify their decision by pointing to a related Arabic root word.

Given that kasaph is never translated this way in the four other OT contexts where this word is found (see here), it seems best to keep the sense of "longed for" in Zephaniah as well. In agreement with this inner-biblical definition, see the English translations of the KJV, HCSB, NET, YLT, etc.

All right, so a nation not longed for, or undesired, is told to gather together—and this is when we are hit with a barrage of before's:

1) Before the decree takes effect...
2) Before the burning of the LORD's anger...
3) Before the Day of the LORD's anger...

Whenever you see repetition in Scripture, pay attention! The purpose of repetition is to emphasize something very strongly, especially a three-fold usage of a term like terem (Heb. "before") in Zephaniah 2:2 (note also the three-fold repetition of "seek, seek, seek" in 2:3).

There is a minor textual issue in that the Septuagint (LXX) reads very differently in 2:2 and does not have the word "decree." The weight of evidence, however, favors the Hebrew (MT) and the other ancient versions that all contain "decree" (the Latin Vulgate has a solid translation of our passage too, see here).

Since this is a critical juncture of our study, we need to examine this "decree" [Heb. choq] and its implications (see the nuanced meaning of this term especially in Ps. 2:7 and Isa. 24:5, here). The King James Version renders 2:2 quite well, "[gather together]...before the decree bring forth..." This is how the Hebrew reads literally and could even be translated, "...before the decree gives birth [Heb. yalad, a word also found in our major "woman in labor" passages such as Mic. 5:3 and Isa. 66:7].

When you survey the English versions, you'll find that most have paraphrased the Hebrew to read something like, "...before the decree takes effect...," or as the NLT renders it, "Gather before judgment begins..." These are all faithful translations that communicate the message of God's prophetic word: The call goes out for a nation not wanted (not desired) to gather together before the the Day of the Lord strikes—before the decreed judgments of the end-times take effect. This nation who seeks the LORD at this time will also have the opportunity to be hidden and concealed while judgments from above rain down on the earth below (2:3; cf. Isa. 26:19–21).

At this point you should take note of the intentional ambiguity (or flexibility) of Zeph. 2:1. This prophetic offer from the LORD was available to the nation, Israel, right before the Babylonian invasion and exile (Zeph. 1:1; cf. 2 Kgs. 23:24–27). However, as we near the final Day of the LORD, Jacob's trouble, and the 70th week of Daniel (7-year Tribulation period), this offer of a "Pre-Decree" escape is not for Israel anymore—it's for the Church.

In the next section, I'll demonstrate from key parallel passages how Zephaniah 2:1–3 applies to the Church (who was once an undesired nation: Deut. 32:21, Rom. 9:24–26; 1 Pet. 2:9) and cannot be fulfilled by national Israel (or Tribulation saints, to cover the bases).

Before the Decree Takes Effect (The Pre-Decree Resurrection/Rapture of the Church)

Are there other passages in the Bible that speak of a "decree" and also confirm its connection to the end-time judgments of the 7-year Tribulation period? Overwhelmingly, yes!

Let's check 'em out:

(1)  Isaiah 28:14–22

If you haven't already, take the time to read through this passage in its entirety. As noted in a previous post "Gimme Shelter," we have in this pivotal text the "rulers of Jerusalem" cutting a deal with "Death and Sheol [Hell]" (vv. 14–15, 18). This passage reveals the LORD's anger toward Israel for their agreement [covenant] with the Antichrist and his alliances. Now take a look at verse 22:

So now, do not mock [Israel], or your shackles will become stronger. Indeed, I have heard from the Lord GOD of Hosts a decree of destruction for the whole land" (HCSB, emphasis mine).

Thus, we have here one of the earliest hints of "peace and safety." Also, there is a strong word correspondence between Isa. 28:15 and Zeph. 2:3: The Hebrew word satar "to hide, conceal" is found in both texts. What irony! Israel seeks covering and shelter in a "peace" covenant with Gentile powers, but instead she will be "terrorized" and "trampled" (Isa. 28:18–19). Meanwhile, another nation (the Church) has found true security in Yahweh's hiding place on high (Zeph. 2:1–3; cf. Isa. 26:19–21).

(2)  Daniel 9:24–27

Seventy weeks are "decreed" for Israel (Dan. 9:24). Need I say more? Ok, one more thing needs to be said in order to shore-up the link between the "decree" of Zeph. 2:2 and Dan. 9:27. The decreed judgments of the Day of the LORD and Daniel's 70th week are explicitly connected in this monumental end-times text:

He will make a firm covenant with many for one week [7 years], but in the middle of the week he will put a stop to sacrifice and offering. And the abomination of desolation will be on a wing of the temple until the decreed destruction is poured out on the desolator" (HCSB, emphasis mine).

But one may object: The "decree" of destructive judgments from God [His wrath] may only apply to the latter half of the Trib, so the Church is not guaranteed an escape from the entire 70th week, perhaps only the trumpet or bowl judgments.

Hopefully, these next two passages will seal the deal for you. As the prophecy in Zeph. 2:1–3 clearly states, it's a "Pre-Decree" gathering and hiding away for the Church. Daniel 9:24 informs us that specific periods of time are "decreed" for Israel alone, and 9:27 reveals that a certain end-time covenant signals the start of the last seven years. This final "week" of seven years is loaded with reserved judgments for the nation of Israel and the rest of the world—all preordained by divine decree!

So, here's the last question to be answered: Does the New Testament confirm the 7-year duration of the "decree" in Zeph. 2:2 ?

(3)  1 Thessalonians 5:2–4

Right before chapter 5, we have a command for the dead in Christ to rise and gather together (1 Thess. 4:16), and don't forget the Rapture (4:17)! Immediately following this revelation for the Church, Paul then discusses the issue of timing:

For you yourselves know very well that the Day of the Lord will come just like a thief in the night. When they say, 'Peace and security,' then sudden destruction comes on them like labor pains on a pregnant woman, and they will not escape. But you, brothers, are not in the dark, so that this day would overtake you like a thief" (HCSB, emphasis mine).

Ok, let's trace the logic involved in these passages covered so far: The Isaiah 28 passage links "sudden [decreed] destruction" with Israel signing a covenant with Satan, essentially. Daniel 9:27 hammers it home that the Tribulation "week" (7 years) kick-starts when the Antichrist enters into a covenant with Israel, and destruction is "decreed." Furthermore, Paul explicitly reveals that the gathering of the Church [i.e. Rapture] occurs immediately prior to the time when "they" [Israel and the world] say "peace and safety" (also, don't forget the "birth before labor" in Isa. 66:7). 

The phrase "peace and safety" is code for the covenant of Isaiah 28 and Daniel 9. When this covenant is signed, then sudden destruction takes effect [i.e. the decree of Zeph. 2:2]. Notice, also, that Paul says "...the Day of the Lord will come...when they say, 'peace and security'..." This links the "Day of the Lord" and the start of the 70th week [the covenant of Dan. 9:27].

Whew! Take a breath. In summary, the "decree" of Zeph. 2:2 entails the entire Tribulation period, not merely the trumpets or bowls—but the seals too! This point will be made most explicit in the book of Revelation.

Before we venture on to the final frontier, first a quote from Arnold Fruchtenbaum:

This decree of destruction [Isa. 28:22] is the same as the Seven-Sealed Scroll of Revelation five...with the breaking of the seals, there is massive destruction of the earth. But this decree of destruction will be issued only when the covenant [Dan. 9:27] is signed. So then, the same point made in Daniel 9:27 is made by Isaiah. The Tribulation begins with the signing of the Seven-Year Covenant between the leaders of Israel and the Antichrist. Once that covenant is signed, the Tribulation begins and a decree of destruction is issued by God Himself" (Footsteps of the Messiah, pgs. 200–201, emphasis mine).

(4)  Revelation 5:1–7; 6

As Dr. Fruchtenbaum stated above, the "decree of destruction" issued by the LORD himself is the same as the seven-sealed scroll that only Jesus is worthy to open (Rev. 5:5, 7; 6:1). This decree of judgments written on a scroll (Rev. 5:1) is designated for Israel and a Christ-rejecting world. Among those who are excluded from this hour of the decree—a fully glorified Church (Rev. 3:10; 4:4; 5:9–10)!

*If you haven't already, please take the time to read Greg Lauer's articles: "The 24 Elders Revisited" and "A Missing Piece."  These well-researched and thought-through studies are a one-two punch confirming the Pre-Tribulation Resurrection and Rapture of the Church.

What Zephaniah previews in 2:1–3 is now a reality in Revelation 4–5. An unloved/undesired nation has been shown mercy and is now gathered and hidden in a most unexpected place—the throne room of God (Rom. 9:23–29; Rev. 12:5). This all takes place before a single seal is broken from the "decree" of Tribulation judgments. 

Then I saw the Lamb open one of the seven seals, and I heard one of the four living creatures say with a voice like thunder, 'Come!' I looked, and there was a white horse. The horseman on it had a bow; a crown was given to him, and he went out as a victor to conquer" (HCSB, emphasis mine).

The opening of the first seal coincides with Israel proclaiming "peace and security" after covenanting with the Antichrist, "...by peace [he] shall destroy many" (Dan. 8:25); and the rider on a white horse (counterfeit Christ) carries a "bow" and is given authority to conquer (the "bow" here could represent a counterfeit of God's own peace treaty that He created in the days of Noah; see Gen. 9:12–17 for God's "bow," a sign of the covenant).

The Day of the Decree is Drawing Near

According to God's word, the Church will not spend one nano-second in the coming 7-year Tribulation period. This time of trouble for Jacob (Jer. 30:7) is just that—the time of Israel's darkest hour. Rather than getting the anticipated peace and security from their covenant with the nations, the woman [Israel] will instead go into labor and be chastised with covenant curses (Lev. 26; Deut. 31:17; cf. Rev. 6:3–8). The flood of the end will continue unabated until Israel comes under the everlasting protection of the New Covenant, and, instead of saying "peace and security," the Prince of Peace will come when they say, "Blessed is He who comes in the name of the LORD" (Ps. 118:26; Matt. 23:39).

All Israel will be saved, but it will first be wittled-down to a purged remnant (Isa. 10:20–23; Zech. 13:8–9; Rom. 11:25–27). Israel will be given a hiding place, but not before the "decree" of destruction takes effect (Rev. 12:6, 14).

In this study we affirmed the prophetic principle of an OT prophecy applying to more than the original, historical referent (e.g. Hosea 11:1 and Matt. 2:15). The text of Zeph. 2:1–3 was established, key issues were examined, and overall, the prophecy was shown to be flexible enough to apply to a future "nation" other than Israel. Finally, we traced the thread of the "decree" in Zeph. 2:2 to other key passages that cemented the doctrine of a Pre-Decree [Pre-Trib] Resurrection and Rapture of the Church.

Be encouraged, brothers and sisters in Christ! We are not appointed to wrath (1 Thess. 5:9), and that "wrath" includes the full seven years of the seven-sealed scroll! Let's keep watch and eagerly wait for our rescue and escape. It won't be long now. Before the decree takes effect, you and I will effectively be gathered and hidden.

In closing, I've got three, nay four, words for you: Pre. Trib. Rapture. Amen!
Post A Comment


  1. Man, this is good stuff! Full of good insight and even some new discoveries. Right on!

    ...And maranatha! 🙌

    1. Thank you, Gary! Thank you for the planting the seed for this post.

    2. I've got something for you to consider.
      I had a thought about these verses
      But ye, brethren, are not in darkness, that that day should overtake you as a thief.  Ye are all the children of light, and the children of the day: we are not of the night, nor of darkness.
      1 Thessalonians 5:4‭-‬5 KJV

      I believe up till now we've been interpreting this as saying that we very well may know and recognize the time of his coming but could it be saying we are not of the darkness, that is to say we won't have any part of that dark time because we will be removed from the scene before the darkness comes, before that day, the day of the Lord which may very well not be referring to the rapture but the start of the dark days of tribulation

    3. Isaiah, strange you say that because this thought dawned on me just a day or two ago. Perhaps a confirmation from you! I think 1 Thessalonians 5:4-5 has been a powerful pre-trib proof staring us right in the face all this time 🙌🙌

      That day is not going to overtake us because WE WON'T BE HERE. We don't belong to the darkness.

    4. Great insight, Isaiah! Thanks for sharing.

      I added this yesterday under the 1 Thess. 5:2-4 section in the post:

      The phrase "peace and safety" is code for the covenant of Isaiah 28 and Daniel 9. When this covenant is signed, then sudden destruction takes effect [i.e. the decree of Zeph. 2:2]. Notice, also, that Paul says "...the Day of the Lord will come...when they say, 'peace and security'..." This links the "Day of the Lord" and the start of the 70th week [the covenant of Dan. 9:27].

      Zephaniah states that the "Day of the Lord" is a "day" of "darkness" (Zeph. 1:15). And we are not of it and will have no part of it—all 7 years of it!

  2. WOW!! Awesome work!! I'm printing this out to share with my Bible Study gals!! Thank you!!

  3. Amen. I still remember coming across that Isaiah 26 passage and the awe I felt as I realized it was speaking of the rapture. Same with the Zephaniah passage this last year. Great way to connect it all. Makes a lot of sense. Good job, and thank you for taking the time to help others understand this Very key concept. Im curious in putting this together though with the article on whether the rapture can be both at the 6th seal, and pre-covenant. That was written by a gal I think though. The signs in the heavens, the similarities with Christs death and resurrection, and the opening of the 6 th seal, with the next Revelation 12 verses about the dragon sign- seems to all point to a similar circumstance. I guess we'll see. Blessings! Maranatha!

    1. Thank you, Maranatha. Yes, Hillary wrote a post on the 6th seal here: http://www.unsealed.org/2017/11/the-mystery-of-sixth-seal.html

      She holds a different view and has defended it well. The major areas of disagreement are the identity of the 24 elders, the timing of chapters 4, 5, and 6 (past, present, and future, or strictly future), and the seals being minor tribulations rather than the beginning of the Tribulation (70th week).

      Blessings to you! Maranatha!

  4. Please prayfully ponder a few things in rebuttal to what you have laid out.

    1) Scripture does not indicate that the Day of the Lord is all of the tribulation or the last 7 years. All of the seal, bowls, and trumpets cannot possibly happen after the Day of the Lord has commenced like you indicated. Rev 6:12-17 clearly states that the wrath of Lamb does not happen until the 6th seal is open.

    2) Malachi 4:5 states that the prophet Elijah will be sent before the day of the Lord. Since most scholars believe that Elijah is one of the 2 witnesses who are present during the tribulation in Rev 11, then the day of the Lord can't happen until after Elijah is sent as one of the witnesses who will prophesy for 42 months.

    3) The timing of "Peace and safety" in 1Thessalonians 5:1-3 does not necessarily mean it is the very start of the confirming of the covenant in Daniel 9:2. In Daniel 8:25, the antichrist doesn't make his move until they feel secure, therefore it is expected that people will be working their way up to feeling peace and safety under this covenant.

    4)Daniel 12:1-2 states that the rapture happens during a time of distress such as has not happened from the beginning of nations. This is the exact reference that Jesus himself makes in Matthew 24:21 when He says that there will be great distress, unequaled from the beginning of the world. Jesus says this distress occurs AFTER the abomination that causes desolation happens in Matthew 24:15.

    5) Jesus comes as a thief in the night on the Day of the Lord like you mentioned in 1Thessalonians 5:1-3. Doesn't he also come as a thief in Rev 16:15 during the time of the 7 bowls of God's wrath. Do you think he comes twice as a thief? It would be hard to take people by surprise more than once. Doesn't it make more sense that he comes as a thief once near the end of tribulation and before he pours out his wrath?

    I write these comments knowing most people here are pre-trib, but my heart and spirit were pressed to write these things. I like visiting this site because of the love you have for Jesus and all the work that you all do to keep us watchful and ready. However tonight I felt very strongly to offer these comments in hope that some of you will read them and prayfully ponder their meaning.

    1. Thank you, Tracy. Ponder your points, I will!

    2. Thank you for speaking out Tracy. I struggle to "see" the pre-trib rapture as well and have prayed for some time that God would open my eyes to the truth. Obviously I would love to be raptured before the tribulation of those days, but no matter how may times I read Jesus' words regarding the end times, I just can't see any mention of a secret escape before the man of sin is revealed and the abomination of desolation occurs. At some point it will become obvious if the pretrib rapture theory is correct or if we must endure the persecution and tribulation until the end. I only hope that those who are so certain of escaping all these things will not be so shaken in their faith so as to fall away if it turns out we must remain . In any case, come Lord Jesus, come!

    3. Tracy and Jo and everyone, please see http://daniel11truth.com. I pray it helps with timelines for everyone to understand. Also on this page, checkout the section on the rapture happening on or before June 30, which happens to be EXACTLY 40 weeks after Rev 12 sign.

    4. Thank you for sharing that Stephanie, it looks like a great resource that I will be digging into as soon as I can.

    5. Good questions and ones that need to be considered. I personally think that Jeff has the allocation of the Church/Israel around the wrong way in the verses. Firstly - the words 'gather together' means to 'become sapless through drought' (kawshash). The old vine Judah was considered in the new testament fit only for burning on the fire. That nation that was gathered together were 'without shame' (lo nich-saf). Jeff notes in vs 2 the:
      1) Before the decree takes effect...
      2) Before the burning of the LORD's anger...
      3) Before the Day of the LORD's anger..

      But doesn't clearly note the "comes upon you" noted after each decree. Who does the 'you' refer to? The one without shame.

      Now note the nation in vs 3 is the juxtaposition to that noted in vs 1 - i.e. it is a humble people (cf 'without shame') that is hidden in the day of the Lord, which meets the requirements of pre-wrath. Some would even argue it for post-trib (Noah was 'hidden from the Lords wrath' while it raged on around him), but we won't go there. What do the meek (humble) inherit in Matt 5:5? - the earth of course. So I believe the verses clearly note Judah (and by extension, Israel) in vs 1, and believers (the meek who will inherit the earth) in vs 3 who will be hidden in the day of wrath (as you note, possibly 6th/intra-seal).

      Anyway - I am not arguing against a pre-trib belief, but against the notion that these scriptures clearly outline a pre-trib position, as it is clearly debatable.


    6. Ryan, I agree with you about Zeph2:1 as I am not quite sure about the "shameless / non desired people (goy)" either, even if I sympathize with Jeff very much - see my 2cents mentioned below. Good points, TY for the "gather" connotation which makes a lot sense. (The "stubble, straw, chaff" is mentioned there as well in Strongs Concordance.)

      As there are some who still seem to doubt a pre-trib rapture: Paul adressed this exactly in 2 Thessalonians 2:1-3 to PREVENT the church from ANY teaching other than pre-trib in fact! Please note: Paul doesn't say that the rapture has to happen before the AC is revealed; but he clearly says that the DAY OF THE LORD has not yet started for the same reasons so this is natural implication in verse 1. As BOTH events (end of church age by rapture-resurrection / beginning of tribulation period) are INTERTWINED (Scott Clarke did explain that very good recently as one single tent peg used for two tents standing nearby) you don't get one without the other in fact, so the conclusion is clearly PRE-TRIB and none other. EVERY other teaching - because it is is a mind-shaking and burdensome trouble for the body of Christ - has therefore to be sternly rebuked. These are Pauls words i.e. scripture, not mine. Blessings to you! :)

    7. Biblical scholars like John MacArthur, David Jeremiah and Dwight Pentecost (as well as others) ALL agree that the "Day" of the Lord begins with Christ breaking the first seal (in Revelation 6:1) and ends at the conclusion of Christ's thousand year Millennial kingdom.

      Tracy, with all due respect, all of your references appear to be taken out of context. For example, you make reference to the Rapture being mentioned in Daniel 12:1-2, where the prophet is clearly talking about the final 3 1/2 years, what we know as the Great Tribulation, leading up to Christ's return at the end of the final 7 years.

      You also mention the Rapture being discussed in Matthew 24 & 25 - the Olivet Discourse - when in truth this entire section is targeted at the Jews, preparing them for the final 7 years.

      I'm guessing, like most of us, you've been incorrectly taught Christian eschatology. That's okay; we've all been there. It wasn't until I found excellent spirit filled teachers (like MacArthur and the others) to guide and teach me the truth that everything fell into place perfectly, as I finally understood that the Rapture - as an eminent event - must take place before the Holy Spirit stops restraining Satan and the Antichrist (2 Thess. 2:6-7) at the Rapture of the Church, thus allowing the final 7 years to begin.

      However, it is important to understand the truth, so you can pass it along to others.

    8. Regarding Revelation 6:12-17, I don't think it follows that the sixth seal is the beginning of God's wrath. Instead, this is when the wicked begin to realize/acknowledge that they are under God's wrath. It isn't God saying that His wrath has begun, it is the wicked earth-dwellers.

      It is the Lamb who opens the seals, including the first five, and the first four especially, are every bit a judgment. The "day" of God's wrath (aka the Day of the LORD / the second global cataclysm) clearly begins with seal #1, imho. Every other explanation is far less clear-cut.

      Regarding Elijah, it must be emphasized that John already came in the spirit of Elijah BEFORE the Day of the LORD (Matt. 11:14). Will he also be one of the two witnesses? I personally think so, but that doesn't seem to present a problem and there have been some other interesting explanations with the timing.

      In short, the biblical promises for the righteous to escape BEFORE God's wrath are unequivocal. Noah didn't have to witness even a minute of God's wrath because he was safely in the ark BEFORE it commenced. Similarly with Lot, he was far away and told not to look back at the destruction, so he too wasn't around to witness even one minute of it.

      Believers have always had to endure "normal" tribulation and the wrath of the ungodly, but they will never experience or witness the wrath of God (save the believers IN the Tribulation, who didn't board the ark of salvation BEFORE the Day of the LORD begins).

    9. Tracy and Jo.....I would love to share my thoughts which are similar to yours. I vowed not to state them here ever again, except only if asked, and I keep my word! If you are interested in sharing like notes, please contact me at strbldr@yahoo.com

    10. Annabel - yes your 'goy' point is a valid one. There are circumstances however where this has been noted of the Israelites (whether the tribe of Judah, 'Israel' (minus Judah) or as the offspring of Abraham. THe link to where it notes the differences are here http://biblehub.com/hebrew/1471.htm under 'brown-biggs' b and c. Its interesting that as I was thinking about it further last night, I recalled a number of circumstances in the OT where God noted the shame of Judah and/or Israel, and about exposing their shame. Scriptures for example:
      - Ezekiel 16:1-5 - Jerusalem was considered unwanted/unloved from birth. And in vs 28, played the harlot/adulteress wife and it was the Philistines looking with shame on her, yet she was not satisfied with her adulteress ways.
      - Ezekiel 16:37 - God exposes Israels 'nakedness'. In vs 52 God tells her to 'be ashamed' at her actions.

      Probably the key point is that regardless of whether vs 1 is speaking of Israel or the ungodly gentile nations,I believe the language is there to act as an opposite to the 'humble nation' which could be believers, or thinking about this further - could also refer to the remnant of Israel who become believers during the tribulation (noted as being humble as having to humble themselves from their shame...perhaps?) and are protected (hidden) in the day of the Lords anger. Could be even referring to the 144 thousand who are sealed from Israel, although that would be conjecture at this stage.


  5. Thank you for a terrific piece of work, Jeff. And thanks for the tip of the hat. =:)

    1. Greg! And thank you, brother. I know that in the age of Twitter and shorter attention spans, it can be difficult to focus and persevere through a lengthy article. Nevertheless, anyone who has read through the articles I linked to will be blessed. I felt that you really did a great job covering the issue of the 24 elders and the Priest-to-King transition of Christ that solidifies the timing of the Rapture.

  6. Excellent job again, Jeff. Shared it just now. God is using you in a big way to bring these gems to light in these last days. Thank you for your effort and perseverance. Can't wait to be concealed along with my brothers and sisters on that soon coming day.

    1. I had some scribbles next to Zeph 2:1-3 in my bible pointing to Joel 2:15-16 which I think is quite applicable to this as well. If you read that passage you will see many parallels to Zeph 2:1-3... it even starts with a gathering of Gods people and ends with another rapture reference (Let the bridegroom leave his room, and the bride her chamber). The word "chamber" brings us full circle back to Isaiah 26:20 as well!

    2. Thank you, Brad! Great parallel passage in Joel. See you in the bunker...I mean chamber ;)

    3. A compelling thought for me is that we are not ready to be priests and kings and reign with Messiah. As much as we might rely on our connection in the Spirit, we are clearly not all getting the same message. Each with a precious piece, each with some error. Mutual respectfulness can carry us through for now. But we need the Truth and nothing but the Truth to be effective in a future role. The only way I can imagine getting that is sitting at Messiah’s feet having left behind our carnal selves.

  7. Thank you so much. That is hopefully a springboard from which we can just keep ascending.

    Some time back, I wrote a piece about a current event (a part of which follows.) Your mention of the ‘bow’ brought this back to mind. The ‘bow without arrows’ has taken my thoughts in a speculative direction. I don’t suppose the root word of both bows is the same, but perhaps there are word plays in English as well.

    A Rainbow of a Different Stripe

    Shiver me timbers. I just was reading Revelation, the fourth chapter, and came across the description of the rainbow around the heavenly throne. People have pointed out how the sky rainbow of promise has been appropriated by the dark side. But I hadn’t thought of the rainbow at the throne in connection with this recent travesty.

    The rainbow lights around the white house encircled the throne of this country we currently call home, though strangers and pilgrims. It seems like just one more presumptuous absconding of heavenly things with paltry, wicked substitutes.

    1. Great insights! You said, "I don't suppose the root word of both bows is the same..." In fact, the word used in Rev. 6:2 [toxon] is the same word found in Gen. 9:13-14 (in the Greek translation of the OT, of course).

      Wow, and a powerfully worded statement about God's bow being hijacked, "It seems like just one more presumptuous absconding of heavenly things with paltry, wicked substitutes."

    2. Now I can’t shuck this visual of a man with a flowing rainbow banner riding a white horse, going forth to conquer the world with lawlessness.

    3. Jeff and CY, just another note on the "toxon" BOW: Strongs Concordance says this word is "from the base of G5088 tikto" now please look that up for yourself! (surprise, surprise!!)

    4. @Annabel, WOW, nice catch! I'm sure seeing lots of evidence these days that the Church is about to be born and caught up to Heaven.


    5. Wow, Annabel! And tikto is used in Revelation 12:5, "And she brought forth [tikto] a male-child..."

      Before the decree brings forth, the woman will bring forth a male-child! Hallelujah!

    6. That is awesome.
      So, is the bow of the first rider bringing forth the anti-christ?

  8. Awesome!! God also gave me the Zeph passage insight last year ... so wonderful to have it confirmed so thoroughly here. I also wrote in my Bible next to it Song 2:14 ... 'Hidden in the clefts of the rock ...' So grateful for your site - your articles are always helpful, faith building and perspective sharpening.

    1. This passage suddenly reminds me of the plea of Moses in Exodus 33:18-23 thank you for sharing! :) Blessings to you!

    2. Thank you Joe & Hege! Yes, we will be hidden in the cleft of a very high rock, indeed.

  9. Jeff, dear brother I so much love your in-depth bible study gems as they make me always jump into Strongs Concordance and look for the original words and meanings! :) Perhaps one of the strongest proof for the Zeph2-"nation" to be the church and not national or ethnic Israel is the word "goy" which is always (or rather in most cases) used for NON-Hebrew people. In the Jewish custom, it is always meant as an INSULT towards the Gentiles. If it is applied to Israelites, Zephania might address them as "goy" in a way to humiliate them before God and call them to turn from their wicked ways before judgement is appointed. Furthermore, like Jesus Christ was described "not desirable" to any man in Isaiah 53:2 His followers will also be despised by everyone. MARANATHA! :)

    1. This comment has been removed by the author.

    2. I appreciate your zeal and readiness to dig deep into the Scriptures, Annabel! Thank you for giving us Isaiah 53:2—that fits this post perfectly. He is the Head, we are the Body. Both not desired by the world, but so desired by the Father!

    3. Annabel and Jeff, Amen and Amen. It simply leaps from the text! Do we have Jewish Eyes to see? What of the Christian 'Nation' is desirable to the Sons of Abraham? Either by rote or decree? None of it! Oh Praise Him! Maranatha!

    4. Dear brethren, TY for your kind reply, much appreciated! Just a note towards the possibility how Zephania could address the people of Israel as "not desired" in the sense of "lo ammi" (not my people), compare Hosea 1:9-11 but that would include the church as well which was yet future at that point of time.

      I admit I am not sure about the negation of H3700 'kasaph' as the word itself means "to long for / pine after" in a positive sense. Thus, it could also express the 'longing for' the Messiah, the word of Christ. In my German translations it also says "SHAMELESS people" I really don't know how they got to translate it like this. So either way, in the light of context to chapter 1 of Zephania God says he will punish especially 3 groups of people: the Gentile world, Judah (i.e. the "orthodox" Jews as the Pharisees) and the inhabitants of Jerusalem (i.e. all who think they are safe under Gods protection as professing Christians but by name only) which is simply EVERYBODY who has heard of Him but rejected the message until the time of the 'day of the LORD' happens (so this is endtimes then as the "chaff" is also mentioned in Zeph2:2 compare to Matthew 3:12). What is spared interestingly is the "remnant of Israel" (Zephania 3:13) and the church of course because it didn't yet exist.

      The "decree" (choq H2706) of Zeph2:2 can also mean "appointed (time)" so if this is related to "bring forth (children)" (yalad H3205) it could indeed refer to the rapture event. But here, I am really not an expert in Hebrew as Strongs Concordance tells me every single tense (Qal, Niphal, Piel, Pual, Hiphil, Hophal, Hithpael) has another connotation. Blessings to all of you! :)

  10. Replies
    1. And thank you for reading :)

  11. Jeff, thank you so much for a lovely morning study. Beautifully done. Blessings, Sherry

    1. Hey, Sherry! Thank you, sister.

  12. Thanks, Jeff. Abba used your article to cheer me up after a morning of adversity. I'm very much ready to go home. Come, LORD Jesus.

    1. Awesome. It's a blessing to know this was an encouragement to you. Thanks for sharing, Daniel.

  13. Amen im so ready to go home i csnt wait ! Did you guys and gals catch netanyahu speech at chicium confrence wow just wow and he said this is war on a entire new level and he also discussed the peace deal and how close israel and the arabs are now ! Lots of very prophetic stuff and may 14th big day lots of large quakes and just so much happening all the planets have left earth all alone on one side of the universe and we will have no full moon this entire month and they say that is rare ???

    1. I need to catch up on the Netanyahu speech. We're coming up on Purim, so I would imagine things will be heating up between Israel and Iran (Persia). In the same manner as Haman, Iran's wicked leadership is in the process of digging their own grave (Esther 9:24-26).

      So much is going on, it is hard to keep up. I'm ready to go home, too. Thanks, God's warrior!

  14. Matthew and Luke both record Jesus explaining to His disciples about the end and His return. Although, most of what He talks about may be about His return at the end of the tribulation, there may be some clues regarding the rapture. Just maybe.

    I noticed the verse in Matthew where Jesus says, "where the carcass is, there the vultures will be gathered" has another meaning in Luke. In Luke, it reads "where the BODY is, there the eagles will be gathered".

    I spent some time looking at the meaning of the original words using Strongs. It is clear that what Jesus said was an ambiguous and deliberate message. On the surface what He said could easily mean, "where theres a dead body, vultures will gather". Why would He say that though? It could be a symbol of wrath. People who are dead in their hearts will deserve wrath and it will come to feed on them like vultures.

    Based on Strongs though it could also quite accurately mean, "where the living body is, they will be gathered up like eagles (and received hospitably)".

    Other commentators and students of the Bible have noticed this two-fold meaning. I am not claiming any special skill or knowledge here. Please check my work, because I am not an expert in this.

    In looking at the use of eagle in the bible, I found two very pertinent passages:

    Job 39:27 Does the Eagle soar AT YOUR COMMAND and build its NEST ON HIGH? (This sounds like the command to call us up to Him)

    Isaiah 40:31 those who hope in the lord will renew their strength, they will soar on wings like eagles

    Exodus 19:4 You yourselves have seen what I did to Egypt, and how I carried you on eagles wings and brought you to myself

    I think all of this fits nicely with the discussion above. Let me know your thoughts.

    1. Spot on, Miguel! I think you got this! :) much love YSIC

    2. Very intriguing, Miguel!

    3. And actually Job 39:27-30 has several rapture and return of Christ implications. and the latter part of verse 30 is almost the exact same thing Jesus said in Matthew 24:28 and Luke 17:37. Was Jesus alluding to Job 39 when he said this?

    4. It appears so, Miguel. When I looked in my personal Bible today, I had actually scribbled in the margins Job 39:30 next to Matt. 24:28 :)

  15. HI Jeff,

    firstly thanks for an interesting study. I appreciate your love for the word, diligence and ability to communicate God's word. On this particular issue I still see this passage as being about national Israel, not the church (as does Arnold Fructenbaum in Footsteps of the Messiah whom you quote)... But that's ok.

    You said above "In fact, as I will demonstrate below, the nation who fulfills Zeph. 2:1–3 in the future cannot be national Israel." Apologies if I missed it but I didn't see the main point why it can't be national Israel. If you get time can you please just point me to the main reason why? Thx : )

  16. Hey elgordo, thank you for the encouragement. My demonstration of why Israel cannot not fulfill Zeph. 2:1-3 is found in the various passages from Isaiah 28, Daniel 9, 1 Thessalonians 5, and Revelation 5–6.

    Israel cannot ultimately fulfill Zeph. 2:1-3, because she is not gathered and hidden before the decree of destruction hits the ground. Rather, she bears the brunt of the decree and only a remnant survives the catastrophic judgments (cf. Isa. 10:20-23; Zech. 13:8-9).

    Therefore, it is another nation that ultimately fulfills Zeph. 2:1-3, namely, the once undesired nation of Deut. 32:21 that the LORD saves first in order to provoke Israel to jealousy (cf. Rom. 9:24-29; 11:11, 25).

    1. Thanks Jeff, appreciate the clarification. I'll just add an alternative thought if that's ok. I think you have read something into Zeph 2:1-3 that isn't there. It never says the entire "nation" will be gathered AND hidden before the day of the Lord. It only says the 'shameless' or 'undesired' nation is first gathered before the day of the Lord that is coming (vs 1) and that those that seek and humble themselves within that nation may be sheltered (vs 3). As mentioned, scholars such as Dr Arnold Fructenbaum teach that Zeph 2:1 is the gathering of Israel since 1948, in unbelief, back to the land of Israel in preparation for Daniel's 70th week. They are shameless or undesired because they are still in a state of unbelief and in their sins. This lines up with the famous regathering prophecy in Ezek 36 where God says that He will regather the nation of Israel but

      Eze 36:22,23,32 'This is what the Sovereign LORD says: It is not for your sake, O house of Israel, that I am going to do these things, but for the sake of my holy name, which you have profaned among the nations where you have gone. I will show the holiness of my great name, which has been profaned among the nations, the name you have profaned among them. Then the nations will know that I am the LORD, declares the Sovereign LORD... I want you to know that I am not doing this for your sake, declares the Sovereign LORD. Be ashamed and disgraced for your conduct, O house of Israel!"

      You'll note that God says that Israel should be ashamed and disgraced at their conduct but that He will regather them and fulfill all His promises FOR HIS NAME SAKE.

      So having gathered the nation of Israel before the Day of the Lord (Zeph 2:1), God then gives a promise to those among them that are humble, seek Him and follow His commands (vs 3) and that is "perhaps you will be sheltered on the day of the Lord's anger". This is the same promise as Rev 12:14 and by Jesus in Matt 24:15-20. A remnant (as you say) only will be hidden and sheltered, which Zech 3:8 seems to indicate will be 1/3 of those in the land of Israel.

      So what of the church? In my opinion you could say that the rapture of the church before the day of the Lord is a possible midrash (or repeated outworking) of Zeph 2 but not at the expense of the primary meaning of the passage - which is to the nation that, according to God, should be ashamed - Israel (but, praise God, one that He chose and loves and will fulfill all His promises to!)

      You have a good day! : )

    2. Ooops - Zech 13:8 above not 3:8. Close but no cigar! : )

  17. There are several wars the Bible speaks of; Psalm 83, Obadiah, Isaiah 17, Ezekiel 38&39. The day after Israel became a nation again on May 14, 1948, they were attacked by 5 Arab armies. What if the same thing happens on Israel's 70th anniversary on May 14, 2018 ? Does Daniel's 70th week coincide with Israel's 70th anniversary ? Will Persia attack again on Purim ? That drone Iran sent into Israeli airspace truly is the beginning of the road to Armageddon.

    1. Now THAT would be impeccable timing!

  18. Great article Jeff. Love those hidden rapture verses- God has truly lifted the veil from our eyes these last couple years. Amen Miguel, Annabel & Archangel. I truly believe this will be the year of the rapture and somewhere in the vicinity of that May 14th give or take few weeks either way. we ARE going home.

    1. Hey Donna! I agree. These last couple of years have been amazing. We're so close to going home.

  19. "Nations" created by God are usually hated. "Sons" created by God are usually hated, whether "begotten" or created at or after Pentecost.

  20. Unrelated... but I just saw this news article: http://www.newsweek.com/jupiter-great-red-spot-storm-over-812168

    The Great Red Spot of Jupiter is disappearing. If Jupiter = the Messiah, perhaps the time of the Messiah's body suffering is coming to a close?

    1. And also here is an article about the storm on neptune dying (I will include both clickable links)

      Neptunes Storm is ending

      Jupiters Storm is ending

      Are these storms signifying the end of a war in heaven which is now headed our direction? Just my two cents.

    2. This is intriguing. Great find, and I am reminded of the Jupiter-Venus conjunction back in November that signified our union with the Bridegroom.

  21. Unknown, good connect. I had seen the article but not gone there yet. More specifically, Jupiter's symbolism, as the Christ, includes the spot as identified with the wound in Christ's side. A recent video on Israeli News Live YTC titled 'New Evidence Stuns The Jewish World' (https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=r7nEltyhaYM)draws wonderful typological connections between the opening of Adam's side for Abba to draw out Adam's bride and the parallel to both the rock Moses struck to produce water and to the wound in Jesus side marking his entrance, like Adam, into a deep sleep during which time His bride has also been being fashioned for an impending wedding.

    Taking that a bit farther, was Adam's side left open by Abba once the rib was removed? Of course not. In like manner to the open wound marking the TAKING of the flesh of the giver(Adam(1st)/Christ(2nd ADAM),and the CLOSING of the wound being the last step to close that 'stage' of readying/creating the bride, wouldn't we expect the symbol of Christ's wound (Adams?) to also CLOSE immediately prior to the Bride of Christ's completion? Wow, Maranatha!

    1. Powerful. Thanks, Jimboni!

  22. Thank you Jeff. I very much enjoy this study.

    1. Thanks, Brandon. Glad you enjoyed it!

  23. New article on U.S. finalizing peace plan;



    1. Thanks for the lead, Alan.

  24. That glass is getting clearer and clearer (1 Col. 13:12) Thank you Jeff! Even so, Come Lord Jesus!!

  25. Beautiful and encouraging article, Jeff! Love your insights on the "befores." God bless you & your family in these last days!

    1. Thank you, Hillary! God bless you too, sister!

  26. Woohoo! Got only halfway through the article and had to comment! When studying the OT related to God protecting the righteous from His wrath, I studied the account of Lot. "Lot" also means "concealed; veiled" according to Strongs (https://www.blueletterbible.org/lang/lexicon/lexicon.cfm?Strongs=H3876&t=KJV) and the Youngs Analytical cites that it means "hidden" (http://lynmelvin.blogspot.com/2017/09/remember-lots-wife.html).

    1. Thank you for that added insight, Lyn!

  27. I have studied all the posts and references above. I have spent thousands and thousands of hours studying Biblical eschatology. This was suggested as an accurate timetable http://daniel11truth.com.

    Although I am 99% convinced of the Pre-Trib Rapture I must admit that there are huge gaping holes and large amounts of scripture that must be danced around in everybody’s proposal for their particular Eschatological time line.

    Just look at Matthew 24. Very many learned experts believe that Matthew, being a Jew expert in short hand wrote the most comprehensive version of the Olivet Discourse in Chapter 24, but wrote it only to the Jews and purport that nothing in it relates to the Rapture. Both Thomas Ice, Chuck Missler and many other experts are united on this. In Contrast, many other experts suggest that the verbiage in Matthew 24 relates to the Rapture. This is a massive chasm of difference!

    It is difficult for me to reconcile many many differences among experts who claim to be Holy Spirit directed. It is difficult for me to believe the verses written below from Luke 17:34-36 and Matthew 24:39-40 are not Rapture verses. There are three pairs of people both in the day and in the night being instantaneously separated.

    “and they did not understand until the flood came and took them all away; so will the coming of the Son of Man be. Then there will be two men in the field; one will be taken and one will be left.”
    ‭‭Matthew‬ ‭24:39-40‬ ‭NASB‬‬

    “I tell you, on that night there will be two in one bed; one will be taken and the other will be left. There will be two women grinding at the same place; one will be taken and the other will be left. [ Two men will be in the field; one will be taken and the other will be left." ]”
    ‭‭Luke‬ ‭17:34-36‬ ‭NASB‬‬

    And if the above two references are Rapture verses then how can these three couples be doing normal activities of daily living, ie, working and sleeping if the 6th Seal is ongoing. This is not logical.

    Be honest and recognize that whatever our interpretation is, there are experts much smarter than we are, that have dedicated far more time then we have studying exactly what has been discussed in these posts, and they completely disagree with our interpretation.

  28. At the coming of the Son of Man the tribulation is over, the millennial reign begins. The tribulation saints remain but the lost are removed. This removal is not good and "comes as a thief in the night" to the lost. A dark thought, that those that had all of those signs toward repentance will not repent.

  29. OmniSmiles, experts in Eschatology variously equate “the coming of the Son of Man” as either the Rapture, when HE is coming in the clouds to gather His Bride, OR to the end of the 7 year Tribulation when He descends to the Mt of Olives. There are two separate “comings of the Son of Man” that are yet to come. Here in lies the exact problem of interpretation I outlined just above your post. Do you believe in a pre trib Rapture? Does Matthew 24 discuss the Rapture? Are you confusing the Rapture with the final return of Jesus to Mt Olives at the end of the 7 year Tribulation? Jesus does not come as a “thief in the night” at the end of the Tribulation. Everyone knows exactly when that will occur; it is exactly 2,520 days after the antichrist “confirms the covenant”. Jesus comes as a “thief in the night” at the time of the Rapture.

  30. I think that you should reconsider what the experts are saying as I do not know of any legitimate experts that are confused about the two events. (There are wonderful contrasts in tabular form on the internet) I say this to help you. I am not sure that you are at peace about this. I hope that you are, I do not mean to frustrate you. I think that meeting Jesus in the air is of great joy but the coming of the Lord is a time of great distress and death. I believe in a pre-tribulation rapture but I am certain that the verses you have sighted are about the end of the age. As stated in Matthew 24, "when will this happen, and what will be the sign of your coming and of the end of the age?" The things described are often clearly of the tribulation. Thus at the end of the tribulation, when Christ returns is the subject of the chapter. You are assuming that because I quoted "comes as a thief in the night" and said it applies to the lost (As at the time of Noah when the flood came as God and Noah had warned them about but the did not pay attention.) You are assuming that I am referring to the rapture, but this also, I am sure, is referring to the end of the ages. (I believe that the end of the ages refers to the time that the Lord returns to reign for a millennium.) Consider the text, which is mostly Jesus response, and then consider the book of Revelation. Much of it is a match. If the topic is the rapture of the church then why all of this Jewish centered material? The church and the rapture are expounded upon by Paul (of course as God made it happen.) Jesus was still all about the Jewish people, the rejection came during Paul's ministry. I hope that this helps and that you realize that I am not rejecting a pre-tribulation rapture, neither the millennial reign or anything about that. I am saying the Jesus ministry was to the Jewish people and His answer was to them also. And I also am saying that the book of Revelation is also very centered upon the Jewish people. Tribulation saints (those that are converted after the Jewish people realize their mistakes) are not as front and center as the Jewish people. I am sad to say that as I understand the scripture there will be many (of the darkness) that day will overtake them, that is they will be surprised. Jesus is not going to be "as a thief in the night" when He comes to get His bride. A husband and bride are looking forward to the day in an expectant way. Again, if you disagree, remember I am sharing a view that I believe to be helpful to clarifying the truth. If you disagree, I am sorry but please do not be angry. Peace to you.

  31. Much obliged for your close readings of Scripture.

    For whatever reason, the clearest harpazo promise is rarely mentioned by prophecy students and watchers. Probly this is because they don't understand what the modern 'Church of Philadelphia' actually is. Not surprising, because real brotherhood is essentially dead in America, and in much of the modern West.

    Rev. 3:10 makes it crystal clear that this church -- which is only part of what Christ considers His whole church -- is 'kept from the hour of temptation [trial] that comes upon the whole world'.

    There is no more succinct a promise of harpazo anywhere in Scripture, and it is further buttressed by the Lord's immediately preceding provision of an 'open door' for this church and its angel. I think that the harpazo proper is only a part of the opened door available to this group. The passage (Rev. 3:8) also infers certain opportunities and powers available to last-days Philadelphia.




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