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Two Groups—Two Returns

Introductory note from Gary: Greetings readers! I am very pleased to announce that articles from our brilliant friend and fellow brother Greg Lauer from A Little Strength will now be cross-posted here on Unsealed. You can learn more about him here. (Not to be confused with my dad Greg who cofounded Unsealed with me in 2010). I pray you will be greatly blessed by his encouraging and well-researched writing as we eagerly await our soon-coming King! Maranatha!

There are a number of denominations in the Church today—some of the most prominent ones, in fact—that embrace and espouse some variation of the idea that the Church has replaced Israel, or that the Church is the true Israel, or spiritual Israel, etc. This doctrine is commonly referred to as replacement theology, and also goes by the somewhat more respectable moniker of supersessionism—i.e. the Church has superseded or taken the place of Israel, which has been knocked from its pedestal as God's Chosen People, scratched from God's plan, and relegated to the trash heap of history.

In the first century—especially after the destruction of the Second Temple in AD 70, the seeds of replacement theology began to take root and grow, planted by the writings of men such as Marcion of Sinope (AD 85–160). Marcion undertook a crusade to purge the early Church of what he saw as dangerous and heretical Jewish ideas and influences; and although some may have regarded him as a heretic, his ideas spread and found their way into the writings of some of the most respected early Church fathers. For example, those of Irenaeus in the late second century:

For inasmuch as the former [i.e. the Jews, which he previously mentioned] have rejected the Son of God, and cast Him out of the vineyard when they slew Him, God has justly rejected them, and given to the Gentiles outside the vineyard the fruits of its cultivation. (Irenaeus, from Against Heresies; Book IV, chapter 36)

This continued to fester, and eventually blossomed to an even fuller extent in the works of some of the Protestant Reformers in the sixteenth century, chief among them the revered Martin Luther—easily one of the most virulently anti-Semitic men in the history of the Church. Here's a relatively mild taste:

Accordingly, it must and dare not be considered a trifling matter but a most serious one to seek counsel against this and to save our souls from the Jews, that is, from the devil and from eternal death. My advice, as I said earlier, is:

First, that their synagogues be burned down, and that all who are able toss in sulphur and pitch; it would be good if someone could also throw in some hellfire. That would demonstrate to God our serious resolve and be evidence to all the world that it was in ignorance that we tolerated such houses, in which the Jews have reviled God, our dear Creator and Father, and his Son most shamefully up till now but that we have now given them their due reward. (Martin Luther, from On the Jews and Their Lies)

I have discussed replacement theology on several occasions, and my purpose here is not to rehash the same material. I'm sure the great majority of prophetically knowledgeable believers understand the lies and errors of this insidious doctrine, and are aware that God's promises to His Chosen People are eternal and inviolable. They understand that Scripture clearly teaches that the Church and Israel are two separate bodies of people with different origins, purposes, and destinies (here's a quick review of these key points).

At this point, you may be wondering:

"So...if he's not going to get into a scriptural dismantling of replacement theology,
then why is he bringing it up in the first place?"

Recently the Lord hit me with a couple of stunning little gems in Scripture, and they are observations that help showcase the foundational scriptural truth that Israel and the Church are two distinct groups:

Two distinct groups
to which 
the Lord returns
at two different 
and in two different ways.

These observations help establish a crystal-clear distinction between Israel and the Church, as well as a crystal-clear distinction between the Second Coming and the Rapture. And they are stunning little gems that had been right there under my nose for decades, but I had just never consciously considered them in the proper light.

A fateful day in the temple

As I'm sure you know, throughout the New Testament Jesus delivers a number of extended teachings, often referred to as discourses. Sometimes He is talking to an audience of common people (which normally included His disciples), sometimes He is talking to a group of Jewish religious leaders, and often He is talking to a mixture of all the above. In some cases, however, He is talking to His disciples in private. Two of the most prominent discourses that the Lord delivers privately to His disciples are commonly referred to as the Olivet Discourse and the Upper Room Discourse.

Jesus delivered both of these discourses to His disciples during Passion Week, the last week of His earthly life. Now, Bible scholars a whole lot smarter than me debate over the details of what day during that week Jesus did certain things or specific events described in the Gospels occurred, so I'm not going to bother to try and pin down the days with precision. Fortunately, it's not critical to the points I want to make.

That said, however, many believe that it was Tuesday of Passion Week when we find Jesus in the temple teaching in Matthew 22–23. A crowd of people and His disciples are present, and as usual the Jewish religious leaders are there and make one last ditch effort to trap Jesus in His words and damage His reputation in the eyes of the common people, who have been flocking to Him in droves. These revered religious leaders fire their best salvos at Jesus, and each time His answer so transcends their legalistic little thought processes that He leaves them fumbling with their phylacteries.

The Jewish religious leaders have done their utmost to find (or perhaps I should say create the appearance of) a crack or a flaw in Jesus' teaching, and have failed spectacularly at every turn. After Jesus—the Son of God and the Jews' promised Messiah—has silenced them for the last time, however, He turns it back on them and lobs one final bombshell in their face:

41While the Pharisees were gathered together, Jesus asked them, 42Saying, What think you of Christ? [i.e. the anointed one, or the Messiah] whose son is he? They say to him, The son of David. 43He said to them, How then does David in spirit call him Lord, saying,

44The LORD [God the Father] said to my Lord [Christ the Messiah, whom the writer David refers to as "my Lord"], Sit you on my right hand [i.e. the right hand of the Father], till I make your enemies your footstool?

45If David then call him Lord, how is he his son? 46And no man was able to answer him a word, neither dared any man from that day forth ask him any more questions. (Mt. 22:41–46, AKJV)

Of course, David could call the Messiah both son and Lord because, although Jesus was actually David's descendant in the flesh, He also happened to be the Son of God and the Lord over all—including David.

David's statement only makes sense if the Messiah is literally God in the flesh, and this is the thundering scriptural revelation that had blindsided the Jewish religious leaders for the entirety of Christ's earthly ministry—and appropriately enough it is the bombshell He uses to torch them one last time.

As smoke pours from the ears of the Pharisees, Jesus delivers His final, scathing rebuke of the Jewish religious leaders, and His blistering litany of "Woe to yous" goes on for most of chapter 23.

But don't miss this: Even though God the Father and God the Son both knew in advance that the Jewish religious leaders would ultimately reject their Messiah, Christ's offer of the kingdom to them was a legitimate offer—it was on the table and theirs for the taking. All they had to do was embrace Jesus as their Messiah and believe His words, and they would have received their promised kingdom in full. In other words:

Christ had come to offer the Jews their promised kingdom,
and God isn't in the habit of making insincere offers.

But until this fateful, climactic day in the temple during the final week of Jesus' earthly ministry, their rejection of their Messiah and the kingdom He had come to offer them wasn't complete and fulfilled. It wasn't an accomplished fact—theoretically they could have still come to their senses, changed their minds, and embraced His teaching.

At this moment, Jesus is finished with Israel—He's done with them (for the time being). At this point, it's official:

The nation of Israel has now formally
rejected their Messiah and spurned
the kingdom He came to offer them.

Now it is an accomplished fact. As far as Jesus' dealings with Israel in the context of His earthly ministry are concerned...

It's all over except for a couple three nails and a crown of thorns.

Jesus walks away with His disciples in tow; and as they are leaving, one of the disciples—possibly trying to lighten the mood—pipes up about the beautiful stonework of the temple:

1And as he went out of the temple, one of his disciples said to him, Master, see what manner of stones and what buildings are here! 2And Jesus answering said to him, See you these great buildings? there shall not be left one stone on another, that shall not be thrown down. (Mk. 13:1–2, AKJV)

Jesus blows their hair back by foretelling the coming destruction of the temple, which will occur less than 40 years later at the hands of the Romans, to whom the Jewish leaders have fawningly sworn allegiance. And anyone at all familiar with the temple knew it would take decades to rebuild it to anything remotely resembling its current glory.

So, with the disciples still anticipating that Jesus is about to start setting up the kingdom in the near future (a kingdom they know will require an operative temple), they head back to camp on the Mount of Olives—speechless and with heads spinning:

"The temple...DESTROYED?! What is He talking about?!"

They need answers...and later that evening back at camp, they get them.

One group on the Mount of Olives...

Whenever I discuss the Olivet Discourse, I have a strong tendency to refer to Matthew's version—it's the longest and most in-depth of the three versions of it in the Gospels, and it's usually the first one I reach for. So, you might have noticed that I chose to quote from Mark's version this time.

And there is a good reason for that.

There are four places in Scripture where all the disciples are named, and in all four places Peter, James, John, and Andrew are the first four mentioned (Matt. 10:2–4; Mark 3:16–19; Luke 6:13–16; Acts 1:13). They were the first four disciples that Jesus chose, and they are always the first four mentioned (although as a group they are not always listed in the exact same order).

I chose to quote from Mark's version of the Olivet Discourse, however, because of the three versions of it that appear in the Gospels (Matthew 24–25, Mark 13, and Luke 21), only Mark's version mentions one seemingly trivial little fact:

Jesus is only addressing those four disciples, not all 12.

3And as he sat on the mount of Olives over against the temple, Peter and James and John and Andrew asked him privately, 4Tell us, when shall these things be? and what shall be the sign when all these things shall be fulfilled? (Mk. 13:3–4, AKJV)

So, when Jesus delivers this celebrated discourse that night on the Mount of Olives, He is speaking privately to only these four disciples: Peter and his brother Andrew, and James and his brother John. Only four out of 12.

So these four disciples—Peter, James, John, and Andrew—go to Jesus privately to find out what on earth is going on, and what Jesus' words mean not only for their future as His disciples, but for the future of Israel.

Jesus launches into His single longest teaching recorded in Scripture (Matt. 24–25), and it is focused on answering His disciples questions about when the destruction of the temple would occur (which is what Jesus had hit them with earlier that afternoon that had triggered this whole sequence of events), and what would be the sign of His return and the end of the current age (and the beginning of the kingdom age). They understood that the kingdom was going to be established, and they no doubt assumed it would happen relatively soon—certainly during their lifetimes.

But now...oh, baby. If the temple was going to be destroyed as Jesus had just revealed to them, then all bets were off—now they had no clue as to when Jesus would establish the kingdom they were anxiously looking forward to being an integral part of.

You might say Jesus gives these four Jewish men a bit more than they bargained for. He goes into the nature of the times that will lead up to the Tribulation, and describes key events that will occur during Daniel's 70th Week—particularly the abomination of desolation carried out in the temple by the Antichrist, the event that will launch the most severe period of judgment Israel will ever know. He gives them a graphic description of His physical return at its climax and the gathering of the Jewish remnant into the land of Israel to be ushered into the kingdom. He also gives them a series of parables concerning what those who survive the Tribulation can expect to occur after His return—who will be granted or denied admission to the kingdom, and so on.

The point is that these four disciples asked Jesus about the future of Israel in the context of His return to establish the earthly kingdom God had promised the Jews, and Jesus speaks to these four Jewish men about the judgment that falls on Israel during the Tribulation before the arrival of that kingdom.

Only f-o-u-r out of 12...

"Oh, for Pete's sake! Four, seven, nine...who cares?! What possible difference does it make?! Sheesh...c'mon Bible Dude, you look like you're about ready to blow a gasket. Out with it already!"

I was saving this, OK? The prophet Zechariah prophesied about the end-times, and most Bible commentators believe he is speaking of the believing Jewish remnant during the Tribulation in the following passage—and I fully agree:

8And it shall come to pass, that in all the land, said the LORD, two parts therein shall be cut off and die; but the third shall be left therein.

9And I will bring the third part through the fire, and will refine them as silver is refined, and will try them as gold is tried: they shall call on my name, and I will hear them: I will say, It is my people: and they shall say, The LORD is my God. (Zech. 13:8–9, AKJV)

It is quite clear that Zechariah is saying that during the Great Tribulation (the "fire" that "refines" God's people), two-thirds of the Jewish people "shall be cut off and die," and one-third of them will be "brought through the fire" and "refined as silver." And make no mistake:

That one-third of the Jewish people is the
believing Jewish remnant—those Jews who
come to faith in Christ during the Tribulation.

And that night on the Mount of Olives, Peter, James, John, and Andrew represent four out of 12, or one-third of Jesus' disciples.

Coincidence? You know better than that.

I am convinced beyond unconvincing that the Holy Spirit is giving us a subtle yet unmistakable clue that as Jesus delivers His discourse concerning the conditions that will characterize the run-up to the Tribulation, the judgments that will befall Israel during the worst of it, and His physical return at its climax to establish the kingdom God promised His people Israel, He is speaking to one-third of His disciples as being prophetically representative of the Jewish remnant, which according to the prophet Zechariah comprises one-third of the Jewish people during the Great Tribulation.

I might add that the fact that these four disciples were the first disciples Jesus chose also speaks to their role as representing the Jewish remnant on another level because God chose Israel first, before the Church.

But just a couple of days later, Jesus would deliver a very different discourse to His disciples.

...and another group in the Upper Room

Later during Passion Week, the night Jesus was arrested by the Romans and the night before He was crucified, Jesus and His disciples made it a point to have the traditional Passover meal together.

They arranged to hold their Passover meal in the "upper room" of a dwelling in Jerusalem, which in those days was a room on the second floor (or possibly just the rooftop covered with a canopy) that often served as a guestroom, and which could also be used for special gatherings and such. Typically such rooms could be accessed outside the home so as to not disturb those inside.

Although the Upper Room Discourse is often described as including John 13–17, note that it's clear that not all of this material occurs within the confines of the Upper Room. In fact, according to some commentators, only chapter 14 occurs in the Upper Room (personally, I am inclined to see much of chapter 13 also occurring at the meal). In spite of that, however, these five chapters are often all included as part of the same discourse since everything in them occurs within the flow of events on the same evening.

This is Jesus' farewell address to His beloved disciples, and He shares some powerful truths with them. One of the themes that Jesus touches on is the fact that He is leaving, and they won't be able to follow Him until later:

33"Little children, I will be with you a little while longer. You will seek me, and as I said to the Jews, 'Where I am going, you can't come,' so now I tell you. 34A new commandment I give to you, that you love one another. Just as I have loved you, you also love one another. 35By this everyone will know that you are my disciples, if you have love for one another." 36Simon Peter said to him, "Lord, where are you going?" Jesus answered, "Where I am going, you can't follow now, but you will follow afterwards." (Jn. 13:33–36)

Peter asks the Lord straight out where He is going, and note with care how Jesus answers his question in verse 36: "Where I am going, you can't follow now, but you will follow afterwards."

My, what an intriguing answer. OK, let's think this through:

Q. Where is Jesus going?

A. Back to heaven.

Q. How is going to get there?

A. He will ascend up into the clouds and keep on going (at the Ascension).

Q. How are the disciples going to follow Him?

A. Apparently they, too, will ascend up into the clouds and keep on going.

Then, just a couple of verses later, Jesus follows this up with an even more widely acknowledged (but equally veiled) reference to the Rapture, as if to hammer home the thought He had introduced:

1"Don't let your heart be troubled. Believe in God. Believe also in me. 2In my Father's house are many homes. If it weren't so, I would have told you. I am going to prepare a place for you. 3If I go and prepare a place for you, I will come again and will receive you to myself; that where I am, you may be there also." (Jn. 14:1–3)

Jesus makes another cryptic reference to this idea that they will see Him again in "a little while" in chapter 16, and it leaves the disciples just as perplexed:

16"A little while, and you will not see me. Again a little while, and you will see me." 17Some of his disciples therefore said to one another, "What is this that he says to us, 'A little while, and you won't see me, and again a little while, and you will see me;' and, 'Because I go to the Father'?" 18They said therefore, "What is this that he says, 'A little while'? We don't know what he is saying." (Jn. 16:16–18)

My friends, these can be absolutely nothing but veiled references to the Rapture, the event where not only the disciples (who will be among the dead in Christ who shall rise first), but also those of us who are alive and remain shall ascend up into the clouds to meet the Lord in the air, and then keep on going the rest of the way to heaven with the Lord leading the way (1 Thess. 4:16–17). I see no other reasonable way to interpret these passages.

This is when Jesus returns to receive us to Himself so that He can take us
to a place He has prepared for us: the New Jerusalem.

Up, up, and away: Notice that the Upper Room Discourse is delivered in the Upper Room (duh...), and while Jesus and His disciples are in that Upper Room they are elevated some distance up off the ground (in other words, it's called an "upper room" for a reason). But my oh my, what an appropriate place to hint at the event where Jesus will lift the body of Christ up off the ground and into the air to be with Him forever. (Pardon me while I do some watchman-style fist-pumping...)

Oh, it gets better. Note that those four disciples were sitting on good ol' terra firma at the Olivet Discourse where they represented the Jewish remnant, listening to the Lord teach about His return at the Second Coming to establish His kingdom on earth. Later, the disciples were elevated up above the ground at the Upper Room Discourse where they represented the Church, listening to the Lord hint at the Rapture where He will take them to heaven.

I have discussed this in a previous article, but this gives further subtle, elegant testimony to the fact that Israel is God's earthly people, while the Church is God's heavenly people.

I hesitated to throw this in because it's not something that can be backed up 100 percent by Scripture, but still. Many Bible scholars and historians hold to the traditional belief that the Last Supper was held in a structure located a short distance from the temple in the City of David, aka Mount Zion, known as the Cenacle (Latin for "dining room"). Of course, it's also possible that the actual site of Jesus' farewell dinner with His disciples has been lost to the sands of time, and I have no desire to try to convince anyone either way. With so many phony historical landmarks around the world, I tend to be a bit skeptical about such things. But I admit it's not outside the realm of possibility the Cenacle is the real deal.

In addition, however, many of these same Bible scholars and historians believe that when the Holy Spirit fell on the disciples and other believers on the day of Pentecost, they were all gathered together in the Cenacle: the same room where the Last Supper had been held two months earlier. Scripture isn't much help here, since it just says they were all together in the same house (Acts 2:1–2), but it doesn't say what house.

But here's the thing: If they really were in the same room on the day of Pentecost that the Last Supper was held in (whether it was the Cenacle or some other location), then the events during Passion Week that we have discussed and the conception of the Church that followed all fit together into a stunning prophetic mosaic. Consider...

• At the Olivet Discourse, Jesus speaks to the first four disciples He chose who represent the Jewish remnant, and tells them about His physical return to earth at the Second Coming to establish their promised earthly kingdom at the conclusion of the Tribulation. And where exactly does He return at His Second Coming to fulfill that promise? To the same place He is speaking to them: the Mount of Olives (Zech. 14:1–4).

• At the Last Supper, Jesus speaks to all of His true disciples who now represent the Church, and tells them He is leaving and that they will follow Him at some unspecified future time, hinting at the Rapture. He also tells them that He will send them the Holy Spirit, who conceives the Church about two months later. And where does the Holy Spirit come to fulfill that promise? To the same place He is speaking to them: the Upper Room.

Mind. Blown.

Now, speaking of potential references to the Rapture in Jesus' teaching, I feel compelled to administer a smackdown to a pervasive interpretive blunder that litters wide swaths of end-time teaching throughout the Church.

Take your pick: Many people try with all their might to read the Church and the Rapture into the Olivet Discourse, particularly in Matthew 24, where Jesus is describing the Second Coming and the Jewish remnant being gathered into the land of Israel to be ushered into their kingdom. This is in direct fulfillment of about a half dozen Old Testament prophecies that are fulfilled here (some almost verbatim) and are fulfilled nowhere else in Scripture:

29Immediately after the tribulation of those days shall the sun be darkened, and the moon shall not give her light, and the stars shall fall from heaven, and the powers of the heavens shall be shaken: 30And then shall appear the sign of the Son of man in heaven: and then shall all the tribes of the earth mourn, and they shall see the Son of man coming in the clouds of heaven with power and great glory. 31And he shall send his angels with a great sound of a trumpet, and they shall gather [see Q1 below] together his elect [see Q2 below] from the four winds, from one end of heaven to the other. (Mt. 24:29–31, AKJV)

Q1. Does it actually say they are being gathered to heaven, as in the Rapture?

A. No, because they aren't. They are the Jewish remnant being gathered into the land of Israel. I realize that it doesn't actually say that either; but if you don't believe me, read the Old Testament prophecies I linked to above.

Q2. Does the word "elect" always refer to the Church?

A. No, it simply means "chosen" and the referent depends on the context. And what is the context in the Olivet Discourse? One hundred percent Israel.

Oh, it gets worse for post-tribbers—they have an even bigger problem. About 20-odd years later, Paul introduces the Rapture as a "mystery" (1 Cor. 15:51–53). In Greek, he calls it a musterion, which refers to something previously hidden that is only now being revealed by God for the first time. That can mean only one thing: If Jesus is giving us a graphic description of the Rapture in the Olivet Discourse as post-tribbers want so badly to believe, then either Jesus or Paul is flat-out wrong. Take your pick.

As I mentioned, after Jesus tells His disciples He is going to prepare a place for them and will return to receive them to Himself to be with Him where He is (John 14:1–3), Jesus promises to send the Holy Spirit, who will conceive the Church in a little less than two months on the day of Pentecost:

16I will pray to the Father, and he will give you another Counselor, that he may be with you forever: 17the Spirit of truth, whom the world can't receive, for it doesn't see him and doesn't know him. You know him, for he lives with you [present tense—that was true at that moment] and will be in you [note the shift in tense—this was still future]. (Jn. 14:16–17)

Jesus is speaking to all of His true disciples, minus Judas Iscariot, who has already left the meal to secretly meet with the chief priests to arrange to betray the Lord later that night. (Why 30 pieces of silver?) What I want you to see, however, is that at this point during Passion Week, He is now speaking to these 11 believing disciples in the Upper Room Discourse as being representative of the Church, which is going to be conceived in a couple of months when the Holy Spirit is dispatched to earth to indwell believers.

So, first Jesus addresses His disciples (one-third of them, corresponding to one-third of the Jews who will constitute the believing Jewish remnant) and answers their questions about the future of Israel in the end times. Jesus proceeds to go into the lead-up to Daniel's 70th Week, the Antichrist's desecration of the temple at its midpoint, the judgments of the Great Tribulation that will befall the Jews, His return to earth to launch Israel's kingdom, how Tribulation survivors will be granted or denied entrance into the kingdom based on their actions during the Tribulation, etc.

He is addressing them as the Jewish remnant,
and speaks of His return at the Second Coming
to inaugurate their promised earthly kingdom.

Then a couple evenings later, Jesus addresses all of His true, believing disciples and tells them He is going to leave, but will send them the Holy Spirit—the event that conceives the Church on the day of Pentecost about two months after that. He responds to their questions as to why they can't follow Him where He is going, and simply reassures them they will follow Him a little later. He tells them He is going to prepare a place for them, and that He will return to take them to be with Him where He is.

He is addressing them as the Church,
and speaks of His return at the Rapture
to take them to a place He has prepared.

The point is that Jesus' description of these two returns couldn't possibly be any different. A few have made valiant efforts to massage these two returns to make it sound as if Jesus is referring to the same event, but such efforts fall flat as a latke.

• After the Jews finally and officially reject Jesus as their Messiah and spurn the offer of the kingdom, He proceeds to describe His return after the completion of the judgments of the Tribulation to establish Israel's promised kingdom to a group of His disciples who prophetically represent the Jewish remnant, who will be gathered into that kingdom when He returns.

• Then, with His dealings with Israel temporarily set aside, Jesus tells His believing disciples who now represent the Church that He is going to leave, but He will send them the Holy Spirit, which launches the Church Age. He tells them He is going to prepare a place for them, and that He will return at some unspecified time in the future to take them to be with Him where He is.

These two discourses Jesus delivered during the last week of His earthly life underscore with stunning clarity two fundamental truths that many in the Church today need to get their heads around—and the sooner the better:

1. Israel and the Church are two distinct groups.

2. He will return to these two distinct groups at two different times and in two different ways.

The title says it all:

Two groups—two returns.

Finally, notice that during Passion Week, Jesus describes His return at the Second Coming in the Olivet Discourse first, and then later hints at His return at the Rapture in the Upper Room Discourse. But note that in the end times, these two returns occur in the reverse order—a mirror image of this:

• The Rapture occurs first, before the Tribulation.

• The Second Coming occurs second, after the Tribulation.

This makes perfect sense, however, because although Jesus spoke in regard to the coming Church Age after He spoke about the Second Coming, the Church Age must be closed out before Israel is plunged into the Tribulation and receives her kingdom at the Second Coming because throughout Scripture God deals directly with the Church and Israel separately. (Not to mention the fact that the Church is promised point blank in Rev. 3:10 to be removed from the time and place of the Tribulation.)

Woe to you

My heart aches for the Jewish people, because they have been taught so much for so long that simply isn't so. For two thousand years, they have been taught a completely reinvented version of Judaism, and it is one based on deliberate misinterpretations and obfuscations of what Scripture actually teaches. Much of this was originally contrived in order to protect the reputations of Jewish religious leaders who had been responsible for the execution of the Messiah. And what has this accomplished? It has left the Jewish people estranged from a God who loves them and who will keep His promises to them—guaranteed.

Those promises include the fact that He has restored them as a nation in the land He gave them for a reason, and that is to bless them and fulfill His promises to them. He will soon turn their hearts back to Him once again and restore them to a relationship with Him. He will purge them, as the prophet Zechariah said, and bring a believing remnant through the fire of the Great Tribulation to ultimately be refined like silver and live in peace with Him and their true Messiah in the kingdom He promised them so long ago.

My heart also aches for many people in the Church today, who have also been taught so much for so long that simply isn't so.

• They have been taught that God has broken His Word and abandoned Israel, the apple of His eye.

• They have been taught by many popular preachers that everything centers on the glorious, victorious Church.

• They have been taught that we are living in the kingdom now, or will be as soon as we get out there and make the world a better place and clean up this mess we've made down here on earth.

• They have been taught that the Jewish people and the nation of Israel have been discarded like so much trash because God is so enamored with the Church in their place.

And on and on it goes.

There are times when it strikes me that a substantial portion of today's Church
deserves a few choice "Woe to yous" every bit as much as the
Jewish religious leaders did in Matthew 23. If not more so.

But the ultimate "Woe to you" should be addressed to those in the world—those who have rejected the grace and mercy that a holy, just, loving God has expressed to them through Christ, and as a result are on track to be plunged into the terrifying judgments of the Tribulation. In other words:

Woe to you who miss out on Christ's first return, which is His return to receive the Church to Himself prior to the judgments of the Tribulation.

Seek Him, know Him, trust Him. Today. Don't miss His first return.

Believe me, you don't want any part of what leads to the second.

From Greg Lauer @ A Little Strength—DEC '22
Post A Comment


  1. Thank you Gary and Greg! God bless you!

  2. A great addition Gary. Welcome Greg!


    Today I was prompted to look at the day count from Pentecost 2023 on the Essene calendar back to New Year's Day 2023 on the Gregorian calendar. The Essene calendar calculates Shavuot as being on the 15th day of the third month. (Sivan 15). This day has been a stand-out to me for the harpazo given the account of 153 fish of (John 20). So I did the calculation of days between New Year's Day and Shavuot per the Essene calendar as provided by Ken Johnson and Timeanddate.com and found that from sunset of June 3, 2023 at 7:40 PM in Jerusalem (which begins day 15 of Sivan) to the same hour on January 1, 2023 is exactly 153 days!


    1. MARANATHA!! Listening for the sound of the trumpet and the shout!! We fly soon!!


    For those who may have heard this or wanted a link to more information on dates of interest in Jewish history -- take note of the years 1948 AM and 2023 AM at the Chabad.org Timeline of Jewish History page.

    Using the Genesis account to independently reconstruct the lineage from Adam to Abraham we find that Abram was born in the year 1948 AM. (The modern nation of Israel was born in 1948 AD). When Abraham was 75 years old he departed Haran for the land of Canaan. (Genesis 12:4) That was in the year 2023 AM. It is now 2023 AD.


    1. This has my attention. I saw a recent video highlighting some of these amazing parallels. 1948 or 1949 AM have been regularly cited for decades in the life of Abraham. I definitely think that year was significant in his life. 2023 AM! Pretty cool.

    2. I had a question about this: I have seen people doing this technique of figuring out the year based on the ages when they had their child. This technique seems to neglect that there would be fractional years in there which would offset the date. For instance, if my grandfather was 26.7 years when he had my father, who was 23.5 years, there would be an extra year offset in there. How would this be accounted for? Or do we simply assume that God has rounded it to show us these numbers in his grand story and let us know the year?

    3. Great question, David!

      There is likely a better answer out there than what I can offer but as with anything in Scripture we have to take it on what Scripture says. My original purpose in exploring the lineage was to understand who had the opportunity to personally know and influence who? How the generations overlapped and compared. Much comes from Jewish tradition for which there is argument over the details. A fact of life.

      The fractional time that you speak of may help account for the difference in time between the 120 Jubilees given us by God (6000 years) and the AM years found on the Jewish calendar. There is about 210 missing. I have been exploring extra-Biblical records through Dead Sea Scroll studies to help account for this. As it is right now the account gets us in the ballpark.

      I also have to believe that God's Word will tell us what we need to know. We all know the Bible is wholly sufficient for the purpose of Salvation and it is true to that purpose. Pointing us in directions to ask questions of the Spirit that we may uncover in time. Perhaps the missing 210 years is part of that because either the time of the Patriarchs has been fugged (which has been claimed by some) or fractional differences account for the missing years.

      If to model the current Shmitah cycle backward the beginning of the cycle lands you on or about 3761 BC (AM 1). That doesn't line up with what God proclaimed in (Genesis 6) would be the years of man. (6,000 years). There is a gap of 210 years. The LXX gives a different account of the years of the Patriarchs while other extra-Biblical account support the modern texts.

      These are good questions but in the end I personally settle on the fact that God's Word is trustworthy and true. I also take it as a whole for what it is. As it is right now things line up pretty well around the time of the Messiah and into the Church age. (The Dead Sea Scrolls place Calvary as occurring in 32 AD). Most agree that the Day of the Cross was somewhere from 31 AD to 33 AD thus we know the season we're living in today two millennia later.

      One fun fact: If to extend the Shmitah cycle past 3761 BC (AM 1) through the missing 210 years you land on the first year of the 6,000 as a Shmitah in or about 3972 to 3971 BC.

      Perhaps a good personal study? Asking questions is usually how I get started on one.

      Happy hunting!

    4. I was watching Dr Barry Awe's latest video, and he was saying that the Abraham dates are off. Of course, I can't remember exactly what he said, but if you look him up on YouTube, it's his most recent one. It is a long one, though!

  5. My favorite verse to show that the Church and Israel are diffferent entities is Rev. 21:12-14 where the twelve gates into Jerusalem have the names of the twelve tribes of the Sons of Israel, and then the wall of the city has twelve foundation stones, "and on them are the twelve names of the twelve apostles of the Lamb..." You pick which structures are more important-the entry gates or the foundation stones! :) Glory!!!

    1. Bam! Still very much God's children, but not THE Church, which began on Pentecost and enters Heaven at the rapture.

  6. So happy to have you here, Greg! Thank you for sharing your mind-blowing revelations. Your articles always encourage and uplift my spirit.

    Longing for His appearing, Hillary

  7. Thanks to all of you for your kind comments! Just so you know, Gary graciously invited me to be an "official" member of the UNSEALED team--whatever "official" means in this context. Even though I was deeply and genuinely flattered, I confessed to him that my lone-wolf blood just ran a little too deep.

    He understood.

    In response, however, I did the next best thing: I simply gave him the green light to repost any old article he pleased from my website any old time he pleased.

    Now, some might say that sounds sorta like being an "official" member, but I look at it this way:

    This way if I post a real clunker of an article on my website, he's under no obligation to repost it here--he's completely free to ignore it. =:)

    It could happen.

    In Christ,

    1. You'll always be official in my book! We're glad to have you here.

      My friends and I are discussing the really cool nugget in this article that I think you might have been the first to unearth: 1/3rd of the disciples at the Olivet Discourse; Jesus returns at the end of the Trib to the Jewish remnant at the Mt. of Olives! ALL the apostles in the UPPER Room when Jesus promises to retrieve His Church OUT OF the world.


    2. I still can't believe no one seems to have noticed that before...it's so simple and so obvious, and it's just sitting there. And after it occurred to me, I spent the next two days picking up the pieces of my brain from around my room.

      I hope I got them all.

    3. That's about the way it goes. So many things just sitting right there in front of you but we miss them for glossing over it having read it so many times. When we slow down and really pay attention (as if reading for the first time with fresh eyes and heart) we find some of the most beautiful nuggets.

      As for marbles? I lost mine long ago. Lost them for Jesus!

  8. The 'new' Gregg ... You, Sir, are a spectacular addition to the team. I am reading thru' the articles you recently posted here, and I am amazed with the depth and research. Most is way above , but my heart and mind are saying: " Read piece by piece, ponder, study and prove - but this is for you too ! " I am thankful for your dedication and skills, and looking forward to what will come. Thank You !

    1. Thank you, Sally.

      If your heart and mind are saying "piece by piece, ponder, study and prove" when you read my articles, it could be because that's what my heart and mind are saying to me when I write them. =:)

      In Christ,

  9. When Greg L. said, "I gave him the green light.," It reminded me, God will show us a green light this month. We will see a comet exhibiting a green coma and a yellowish dust tail this month. Comet C/2022 E3(ZTF) will make its closest approach to the Sun or perihelion on Jan. 12, 2023. Comet will make its perigee closest pass of our planet Feb. 1, 2023. According to Steve Flectcher the comet went through Corona Borealls (the crown) on 12-18-22 which was Hanukkah. The green reminds me of jewels mentioned in Malachi.3. Perry Stone says Christians are jewels and are in the book of remembrance and God will spare them the
    tribulation. "I will spare them, as a man spares his own son that serves him." The unsealed.org website has some of the brightest jewels. Best regards.

    1. Hoping to get a glimpse of this one and that it is widely visible! This comet has had an interesting history and is going to interesting places in our sky.

    2. D.D.Nave--Blessings and thank you for sharing the Comet ZTF info!
      You might want to take another look at what the Old Testament Book of Malachi says about the Book of Remembrance. Perry Stone uses that teaching to tell born again believers in Christ that they have to earn the right to be Raptured. Go to the 8:50 minute mark in this Perry Stone video to hear him teach this:

      The Book of Remembrance Part 2 | Episode 938


      For the Lord himself shall descend from heaven with a shout, with the voice of the archangel, and with the trump of God: and the dead IN CHRIST shall rise first: Then we which are alive [and] remain shall be caught up together with them in the clouds, to meet the Lord in the air: and so shall we ever be with the Lord. - 1 Thessalonians 4:16-17 KJV

      Paul writes that those who are “in Christ” will be caught up or raptured. Is being “in Christ” something we earned or was it given to us by grace?

      The answer can be found in Romans Chapter 8:

      And if Christ [be] in you, the body [is] dead because of sin; but the Spirit [is] life because of righteousness. But if the Spirit of him that raised up Jesus from the dead dwell in you, he that raised up Christ from the dead shall also quicken your mortal bodies by his Spirit that dwelleth in you. - Romans 8:10-11 KJV

      It is the Spirit of God within that seals and quickens us the day Jesus comes for His Bride.

      Therefore, those who are born again of incorruptible seed are “in Christ”. It is by faith by an act of grace (Romans 10:9-10; Ephesians 2:8), not by works. The rapture is NOT an earned reward; it is given to us by grace. We are not worthy to escape by our works, but we are made worthy “in Christ”.

      PERRY TEACHES THAT ONLY OVERCOMERS ARE RAPTURED, yet the Bible tells us that all who are in Christ ARE overcomers:

      [1Jo 5:4-5 KJV] 4 For WHATSOEVER IS BORN OF GOD OVERCOMETH the world: and this is the victory that overcometh the world, [even] our faith. 5 Who is he that overcometh the world, but he that believeth that Jesus is the Son of God.

  10. Wow! Nice addition! Welcome Greg! :)

    🦊 Foxman on the Wall

    1. Thank you, Foxman.

      Stay on that wall! =:)

      In Christ,
      Greg on the Wall

  11. By the way, Gary, I appreciate the fact that you made a first-rate effort to mimic my screwball style of formatting my articles. No easy task, to be sure.

    It's been traced to a hard blow on the head I received as a child.

    In Christ,

    PS I mentioned the use of pics and graphics in a previous email, and just wanted to be clear about one detail: If there is a pic or graphic in any article of mine you wish to repost that's listed as "Own work" (in other words, I made it myself with no copyrighted elements), feel free to include it if you so choose with no need for attribution. Don't sweat it--you've got my permission.

  12. Thank you Gary and UNSEALED family. Your adding Greg is a wonderful addition! And Greg, your breakdown of the passion week of Christ and your highlighting of those wonderful nuggets....fantastic! Thank you brother. I will certainly share this article! Many Blessings!


    As many of you know I like to learn Strong's numbers and take opportunities to ask, "I wonder what Strong's Concordance says about this number?" I consider it part of study. Anyway, our family was on holiday for the New Year and was blessed to stay in a 19th floor suite overlooking the ocean. We were in room 1906. This is where the story got fun!

    Strong's Concordance (H1906)

    hed: a shout, shouting, cheer
    Original Word: הֵד
    Part of Speech: Noun Masculine
    Transliteration: hed
    Phonetic Spelling: (hade)
    Definition: a shout, shouting, cheer

    That's pretty kewl! Joyful shouting. Next I note that there is only ONE Bible verse that this word is used,

    (Ezekiel 7:7)
    HEB: מְהוּמָ֖ה וְלֹא־ הֵ֥ד הָרִֽים׃
    NAS: rather than joyful shouting on the mountains.
    KJV: [is] near, and not the sounding again of the mountains.
    INT: of trouble rather joyful the mountains
    1 Occurrence

    Strong's Hebrew 1906
    1 Occurrence

    Hmmm, again that's pretty kewl! So I open my ESV app and go looking for the verse in greater context. Reading (Ezekiel 7) you do not get a sense of joy but rather wrath of G-D against Israel!! But looking closely again at the verse,

    7 Your doom has come to you
    O inhabitant of the land. The
    time has come; the day is near,
    a day of tumult, and not of
    joyful shouting on the mountains.

    (Ezekiel 7:7 ESV)

    ***At some point in the past I had highlighted this verse which made this connection even more interesting to me!***

    Indeed! The Revelation tells us on that Day the inhabitants of the land will be hiding, "themselves in the caves and among the rocks of the mountains, calling to the mountains and the rocks, 'Fall on us and hide us from the face of him who is seated on the throne, and from the wrath of the Lamb, for the great day of their wrath has come, and who can stand?'" (Revelation 6:15-17 ESV)

    As brothers and sisters in Christ we stand upon the rock of Salvation (Yeshua) the meaning and person of Jesus. He is our cornerstone, strong foundation, fortress and protector not the rocks of the mountains that can do little more than crush and entomb. We should all see that part, but the word "הֵד" still stuck out. Then I realized that from the standpoint of the saved of Israel the day for them would be a Day of Shouting and great Joy! Keyword, "Day of Shouting"...as in Yom Teruah; the Feast of Trumpets, Day of Shouting!!

    After her 3-1/2 years in the wilderness the woman (the elect remnant of Israel) will have been proven and refined as silver. Coming out of the Great Tribulation will they not be standing on the very mountains that Jesus told them to flee to? (Matthew 24:15-16) Will they not be sounding the Shofar and shouting with great Joy?!! Indeed they will when they see the sign of the Son of Man and His coming. They will be shouting with One voice gathered before the Lord of heaven and earth and in their time remembering the days of Nehemiah when all Israel was gathered as One to see the opening of G-d's Torah and to hear the reading of His holy word.

    A shadow of the Second Coming of the Lord Jesus? I say, "Absolutely!" A Second Coming at the Feast of Trumpets (Yom Teruah) the Day of Shouting!!


    A fun little fact and story of what can happen when you ask questions and jump down rabbit holes. You never know what you'll learn. Or find!

    Grace and peace to you in the New Year 2023!


    1. PS, If to compare against my current model the Second Coming appears on or about Shabbat Shuba (Sabbath of Her Return) which is the Saturday before Yom Kippur. That would be Saturday, October 5, 2030 and per the civil calendar. A day also known as Erev Yom Kippur or Day of Atonement Eve.

      Shabbat Shuba is in what are called the Days of Awe which is a time of repentance. Yom Teruah (Feast of Trumpets) is just days before and begins the month in a 49-hour observance coinciding with the modern observation of Rosh Hashanah (Civil New Year).

      Again, this is the suggest date of the Second Coming of our Lord per (Psalm 90:10) dating and keying the end of the generation on the death of the two witnesses. (Model details shared earlier).

  14. Not to veer off into the abyss of negativity, but lately it's been weighing on my mind just how much the adverse "vaccine" effects have been killing otherwise healthy individuals . . . and just how many living and previously-healthy individuals have been suffering from fatigue and chronic illness.

    As we push further into this world of immuno-compromised brothers and sisters, I would say that it's important to remember that an overwhelming majority of our 1st and 2nd world nations have been fake-vaccinated with what can only be described as a technological chimera and duplicitous first attempt at genetic engineering.

    What's my point?

    Many of you already know how strongly I've argued against this since the beginning, but I still see new and disturbing aspects of this covid mania everywhere I look. Lately, it seems to me that the inevitable, and I do mean inevitable, decline of immunological protection will pair up quite nicely with the mounting deaths by "rare" or "adverse" reactions. And we will see a growing epidemic of death, dying, and disease. (Which will, of course, be blamed on those who didn't follow the plan.)

    And, of course, I don't mean to belittle such a thing. It's horrendous on every level. But if there's one thing that I do know, it's that the Enemy likes to use our fear and greed and pride against us. He's been planning these events, and he's been playing us like a fiddle. He hurts us, and then plays doctor to us. He gets us both coming and going, attacking the world order, and then setting up even worse leaders, etc. Just as the 9/11 lie led to a security state, then to outright murder in the Middle East, then to instability, then to a resurgent Iran . . . just like that, you can almost feel the pressure building. The restraints being tightened. It's palpable.

    And, so, I just can't shake the feeling that this certain wave of suffering on the horizon might be yet another picture of the dragon waiting to devour the child in Chapter 12 of The Revelation.

    It is heartbreaking to watch. And maybe I'll come back later to delete this post, after getting all of this off of my chest. (I may need therapy for all of this in Heaven.) But earlier this week, I was driving down the road, and almost on the verge of tears at the state of things . . . somewhere between silent prayer and seeking hope . . . when I saw a small sign along the road. Just a little white sign, no more than 2-3 feet wide, but it stood out like a 100' neon billboard. Seriously, it was the only thing that I really even remembered seeing on that entire stretch of the road. And it said, "Don't Give Up."

    So I won't. Because I know that we have never been closer to Him than we are now. And even though encouragement is not my specialty, I am passing that little sign on to you via computer. The race is almost over, and the pain, fatigue, and numbness will pass. Don't stop moving forward, and Don't Give Up.


    1. Jeremy, dear Brother, how good of rhe Lord to send you a SIGN as your heart is longing for Home, for rest from this perverse world. Thank you for sharing it!

      As this world transitions into the Tribulation, I believe God has revealed through His Spirit that things will become even worse before He sends Jesus to get us, so YES, LORD! Help us to keep moving forward--our faces set like flint focused on You no matter what happens!

    2. Jeremy, you might be interested in reading an article I wrote nearly two years (April 2021) entitled "A Horse of a Most Peculiar Color." In it, I engage in some speculation about the mounting adverse effects of the experimental mRNA "vaccines"--effects that were known years ago and swept under the carpet in order for these things to be pushed down the throats of the entire world.

      My suspicion is that the deaths from adverse reactions will increase to the point where they become part of the fourth seal judgment, one aspect of which is "death from death" (Rev. 6:8). Now, John could have said "death from pestilence (loimos)," but he didn't use that word. The Holy Spirit inspired him to write "death from death" (thanatos). That struck me as rather peculiar (hence the title).

      Since I wrote that, I have noticed several other writers voice similar opinions, so I'm not alone in my speculation. But if that is in fact the case, in a sense it's good news. Why? Because with all due respect to the Sixth Seal Rapture folks, we are going to be long gone before the very first seal is opened.

      PS Something tells me you're not going to need any therapy in heaven. Getting snatched up in the twinkling of an eye in a glorified body is all the therapy any of us are ever going to need.

    3. Oops...I forgot to link to the article I mentioned:


    4. Piling on to encourage you Jeremy. As painful as it is to witness and live in this place is fully in the capable hands of the One who created it. Beginning to end all is already known and outcomes assured. His Will will be done. All will be set straight in the end of these things which actually is the beginning of eternal perfection (if to frame it in temporal terms). In the meantime we have each other for prayer and encouragement as we see the Day coming.

      I am coming to wonder if newly surfaced serious health issues (for which we have no family history) of a fully boosted family member are related to mRNA vaccines. It is hard to say but cannot be discounted.

      Keep the Faith!

    5. Jeremy

      And He (Mark 4:40) said to them, "Why are you so timid? How is it that you have no faith?" And they became very much afraid and said to one another, "Who then is this, that even the wind and the sea obey Him?"

      Without Faith it's impossible to please Him!

      All the promises of God are yes in Christ Jesus!

      So, whatever our circumstance is at the time mental, physical or both at the same time, you grab and hang on to the promises that contradicts your circumstance and defy that circumstance.

      We all need to be reminded occasionally who we are in Christ Jesus.

    6. Dear Jeremy, Your lament brings many thoughts to mind. The ‘time for everything under the sun’ collection is relevant. Paul’s ‘time of heaviness’ surely applies. Those that ‘sigh and cry’ over the evil are spared. And Messiah’s profound grief over those who could have gathered under His Wing, but wouldn’t have any of it. Blindness of every kind is just so tragic.

      That sign along the road was sure welcome! Abba can lift us out of the pit just in time. That helped me remember a fun moment of encouragement. I was driving home from an eye appointment greatly handicapped by dilation. Making a wrong turn, then another and another, I found myself on an unfamiliar street. Not hopelessly lost, but disconcerted. Something caught my eye high up on a post. It was a small homemade cardboard sign that read: “I see you shining.” I chose to take it personally.

  15. I had a thought. So, you know how we look at the Church Age, see we're coming up on the 2000 year anniversary of the Crucifixion, subtract 7 years for the Trib, and speculate on the date of the Rapture? Well, if we're looking strictly at a 6000 year calander, does it make sense that the 7 year Trib is part of the Church Age? I mean, I don't think anyone will argue that the Trib should cut Jesus Millennium 1000 year reign short, but is the Trib actually in the Church Age, or is it cut out of the previous Age of Law? What I'm thinking here is, was the Crucifixion not exactly on the dividing line between Millennium 4 and 5, but rather 7 years short and that "missing" 7 years could be tacked on to the end of the Church Age, which is exactly 2000 years long? Does anyone have any thoughts on this idea?

    1. (1/2)

      Very good thought, I was actually thinking about these things as well. If we go by the "6+1 days = 6+1 millenia" theory, which does seem very valid and well established throughout history, I would say there's a very high chance the tribulation belongs in the first 6 millenia, because, exactly like you said, Jesus' kingdom is simply 1000 years long, I very much doubt He'd have it marred by the Antichrist, the battles and the tribulations. Also the connections with the number 6. It was the sixth day that man was created on and given dominion on the Earth, it is now the sixth millenium and man is being given dominion over the Earth, such as through knowledge, technology, population, etc. 6 is also the "number of man", from which 666, the "number of the Beast" comes from, who [the Beast] will be given dominion over the Earth during the Tribulation, as a sort of culmination of the age of man. So that all fits very well imo.

      Too bad we don't know exactly when the year 6000 is, right? So many people say it "has" to be on this date, but others say it "has" to be a 100 years sooner or later. And the date with less than 5 years' worth of "floating" time, Jesus' crucifixion, doesn't necessarily make things as "clear" as if we had a date of "since creation/fall".

      At first glance, from plain reading of the "day = millenium" theory and the Scriptures, I would generally lean towards thinking that by the time of the giving of the Holy Spirit, it would have been the 5th millenium already. Why? Well, because the 5th day of Creation does seem to be alluding to the outpouring. Let's take a look.

      Genesis 1:20-23
      And God said, “Let the water teem with living creatures, and let birds fly above the earth across the vault of the sky.” So God created the great creatures of the sea and every living thing with which the water teems and that moves about in it, according to their kinds, and every winged bird according to its kind. And God saw that it was good. God blessed them and said, “Be fruitful and increase in number and fill the water in the seas, and let the birds increase on the earth.” And there was evening, and there was morning—the fifth day.

    2. (2/2)

      Having the outpouring of the Holy Spirit in mind, you probably know where I'm going with this. What are the TWO biblical symbols for the Holy Spirit? The DOVE (a bird) and LIVING WATER. Isn't it interesting that God creates birds (dove included) AND "water teeming with living creatures" = LIVING WATER on the 5th day? Think of the imagery, beforehand, the water was barren, it was dead. After the fifth day, it was teeming with life, even more so than the beauty we can see in the oceans of today, as that's after thousands of years of decay.

      When you look at the fourth day, that was when the Sun = Son (funny how these words sound the same in English, the most used language in the world) was "created" (Jesus is not created of course, but "created" in the sense of His physical birth). There are a few theories on what the Moon symbolizes, I won't get into it for now, it's too long as it is. My point is, that it looks (again, only based on plain reading, of course there could be hidden complexity that I can't see, I'm not saying any of this 100%) that 4th millenium = "Jesus/Sun/Son" and 5th millenium = "Holy Spirit". Could there be a shift of some kind, a few years here or there? Of course. I don't know one way or the other with certainity. However, because in Genesis, the "living waters" and birds were CREATED on the 5th day, i still lean towards thinking that corresponds with the outpouring, doesn't quite fit in my mind why the outpouring would be in the 4th millenium along with Jesus' life and crucifixion.

      I will say this, though, I read on the Internet that Paul was converted roughly 4-7 years after Jesus' resurrection. Isn't that an interesting number? Perhaps the 5th millenium started with Paul and his ministry to the Gentiles, perhaps that's the beginning of the modern "church age" when God's blessing temporarily shifted from the Jews to Gentiles. If that was the line between the 4th and 5th Millenium, you could add +2000 years and arrive around 2032-2040, minus 7 years for the Tribulation. So that's just one possibility than came to my mind.

      Of course all these are our theories and interpretations, nothing is set in stone other than His word itself. But it does look like we are at the very tail end of the first 6 days of labor, Sabbath rest awaits :) Blessings

    3. Just a final PS after re-reading my comment:
      Doesn't the way the creation days in Genesis correspond with events in history just massivly boost the "day = millenium" theory?

      1st day = separation of light and darkness; 1st mill. = separation of good and evil (fruit of knowledge)
      2nd day = water everywhere (created); 2nd mill. = water everywhere (1656-1665 since creation - Flood of Noah)
      3rd day = stretching out of arms, separating waters, dry lands appear; 3rd mill. = Moses stretches out his arms, splits the Red sea, "dry land appears" (actually a phrase from Genesis!!!)
      4th day = creation of the Sun, Moon, stars... Sun is the ruler; 4th mill. = the Sun/Son of God is born ("created"), makes the ultimate sacrifice, sits at the right hand of the Father, ruler above all
      5th day = birds and living waters; 5th mill. = Holy Spirit (dove, living water). Think about it, why would God create birds and sea creatures together? They don't have much in common. Why not create the birds with the land animals? Quite a weird "coincidence", no?
      6th day = creation of man, dominion over the Earth; 6th mill. = 666, AC, dominion over the Earth
      7th day = rest; 7th mill. = rest :)

    4. MPalidin, thank you for your reply. I think I've seen something like this corresponding of events in each Millennium vs the Creation Day before. But never laid out so clearly. I'll add, I noticed that the creation of Land seems to also be the mill. where Israel becomes a nation, which the Hod separates from the Gentiles (whom the Bible sometimes refers to as the "sea" of nations). Good stuff!

      The idea of the Holy Spirit as being the gift of the 5th Mill. suddenly makes the idea that the division of the year of the Crucifixion was the dividing line between the 4th and 5th Mill even greater.

      It still does tell us for sure if that year was 30 or 32 or what, but we know the anniversary is coming up!

    5. Returning to my original idea, however, could God have sliced off 7 years from the 4th Mill (making it only 993 years long instead the full 1000) due to Jesus being "cut off". Daniel's missing 7 years should have happened right after the crucifixion if Israel had accepted her Messiah, but God hit a divine stopwatch and inserted the Church Age, right? So, the question remains to my mind, do we have 7-ish years left before the 2nd coming (and thus the Trib "must" end on the anniversary of the cross to usher in the 7th Mill, or do we have 7 years still of the Church Age and THEN 7 years of the Trib that might have been missing from the 4th Mill.

      Satan sure seems to have his big plans set for 2030, which strikes me as very much Tribulation looking stuff... but that's hard to say how it'll all play out. Anyway, I'm pretty convinced we're right at the cusp of the Rapture, it's just a matter of years now, or even months, but certainly not decades. And that's pretty exciting!

    6. Thank you for your kind words. There's so much more I even forgot to mention, like how the Sun is the "light of the world" literally (physically) and Jesus is the "Light of the world" (in His own words) - spiritually. I'm sure we could come up with many more examples. So yes, I also lean towards seeing Jesus as the line.

      As for the idea of slicing of 7 years - sure, with men these things are impossible, but all things are possible with God. If He can fit a camel through the eye of a needle, or even save sinners like ourselves, what is there that He can't do :) but I would also be remiss if I told you with certainity one way or the other.

      I suppose as long as we're in our sinful bodies and see through the glass dimly, there will always be some ambiguity. When exactly was He crucified, where are the 7 years (like you said), what does it mean "the days will be shortened", different calendars, etc. etc. But I do believe it will become clearer and clearer as we get closer. And I completely agree that both from the Biblical/Spiritual AND the "secular" research (plainly looking at the world), it appears we must be very close.


    7. I look to (Genesis 6:3) where God says,

      "My Spirit shall not abide
      in man forever, for he is
      flesh: his days shall be
      120 years."

      Yes, many tie that to the time from the commission of Noah to the flood to come but more than that I believe it to be the 6,000 years (6th day by Jewish reckoning) of what I term as the "reign" of man. If the clock began at the fall then 120 jubilees of years (50 years/Jubilee x 120 Jubilees = 6,000 years) then we are somewhere near the end of that timeline.

      Jesus, Emmanuel, is clearly the focal point of it all. Calvary is the hub upon which everything turns. The captives of sin are everywhere set free and the prince of the air is defeated. From that point forward we are awaiting the day when the gospel message has been preached to all the nations "...then the end will come." (Matthew 24:14)

      The simple math of 2,000 year ages and knowledge that Calvary was anywhere from 31 AD to 33 AD tells us the days we're living in.

      I believe we are on the cusp of a great revival. A revival that will be marked by the birth of a new church, the First Church of the Tribulation Saints if you will. We will not be here to see it but we will have been the ones that planted the seeds that become it. Yet another reason why what we do today matters.


    Quoting, "The Ancient Dead Sea Scroll Calendar" by Ken Johnson,

    "We have learned that several of the ancient church fathers believed in the original calendar, the Essene teachings, and taught that the Second Coming would be in the year 6000 AM. The school of the prophets divided time into three ages of two thousand years each; the Age of Chaos, Torah, and Grace. After which there wold be a one-thousand year reign of the Messiah starting at His Second Coming. Other Dead Sea Scrolls divide time into ten weeks, where each day is one century. These documents use a fifty-year jubilee cycle."

    Regarding the death of the Messiah,

    "The Essene calendar used the Ages as taught by Elijah. Each age was broken up into four onahs, or four parts of ten Jubilees each. If we use the biblical timeline we have shown in this book, Creation was 3925 BC. This would make the third age start in AD 75. Notice that the Dead Sea Scroll stated that the Messiah would die one Shemittah (seven-year period) after the end of the ninth Jubilee of their age. If we subtract a fifty-year Jubilee period, not a forty-nine-year period, from AD 75, we come to AD 25. If we then add that one Shemittah (seven-year-period) to AD 25 we arrive at AD 32. So, according to this Dead Sea Scroll the Messiah came and died for our sins in AD 32."

    I HIGHLY recommend study of Ken's work.

  17. FUN FACT

    We are now 277 weeks post Revelation 12 Sign. Can a birth be right around the corner? February 3, 2023 will mark 280 weeks exactly.

  18. Heres are some interesting little factoids.

    1. The number of times Jesus is referred to as the Son of God in the New Testament. - 52 times.

    2. The number of times Jesus is referred to as God the Son. - 0

    1. What? No one wants to challenge these facts? Its because you cant. How about you Gary. Any pithy comments about me being a cultist? Bring it on.

    2. Hay Van,
      I saw your comment earlier and I wasn't sure what you were getting at, but from your aggressive tone, I am assuming you may a JW or some other group that tries to deny the deity of Christ. I don't speak for Gary or even know Gary personally, but I think we can agree that this site is for those who take the Bible as the inspired word of God and are studying the Bible to look to his return. If you are challenging the Godhood of Jesus himself, then simply read John 1 or the words of Jesus himself ("Before Abraham Was, I Am").

    3. @Van, kind of goading my friend. This is the first time I'm even seeing your comment.

      "God the Son" isn't a construction in the Bible in the same way "Trinity" isn't either. These were terms developed later to more easily explain the truth of Scripture. But even though the terms are not in the Bible, the truth of each is emphatically (and repeatedly taught).

      1. Jesus is called God: Isa. 9:6; Jn. 1:1, 18; 20:28–29; Acts 20:28; Rm. 9:5; Tit. 2:13; 2 Pt. 1:1; Heb. 1:8.

      2. Jesus is compared to YHWH: Mt. 11:10 (cf. Mal. 3:1); Mk. 1:1–3 (cf. Isa. 40:3); Lk. 4:16–21 (cf. Isa. 61); Jn. 12:36–41 (cf. Isa. 6:1–10); Rm. 10:9–13 (cf. Jl. 2:32); 1 Cor. 10:9 (cf. Num. 21:5–6); Eph. 4:7–8 (cf. Ps. 68:18); 1 Pt. 2:4–8 (cf. Isa. 8:13–14); Rev. 1:7 (cf. Zech. 12:1, 10).

      3. Jesus calls Himself YHWH: Jn. 8:24, 28, 58–59; 13:19; 18:5–6; see also Mk. 14:62; Lk. 22:70; Jn. 6:20, 35; 8:12; 9:5; 10:7, 9, 11, 14; 11:25; 14:6; 15:1; 18:5–8. Compare these to Exodus 3:15–16.

      4. God alone is the First and the Last (Isa. 44:6; Rev. 1:8), yet Christ has the same title: Rev. 1:17–18; 2:8; 22:12–13.

      5. God alone is King of kings and Lord of lords (Deut. 10:17; Ps. 136:1–3; 1 Tim. 6:13–15), yet Christ has the same title: Rev. 17:14; 19:11–16.

      6. God is the only Savior (Isa. 43:11; 49:26; Hos. 13:4), yet Christ is also called Savior: Lk. 2:11; Jn. 4:42; Acts 5:31; Eph. 5:23; 2 Tim. 1:10; Tit. 1:4; 2:13; 3:5–6; 2 Pt. 1:1, 11; 2:20; 3:18; 1 Jn. 4:14.

      7. Only God is to be worshiped (Ex. 34:14; Mt. 4:10; Acts 10:25–26; Rev. 19:10; 22:8–9), yet Jesus is worshiped: Ps. 2:11–12; Dan. 7:13–14; Mt. 2:2, 11; 14:31–33; 28:9, 16–17; Jn. 9:35–38; Heb. 1:6; Rev. 5:11–14; 22:1–3.

      Jesus also has all the attributes and prerogatives of deity and is prayed to, served, and believed upon for salvation (source). Without hesitation, I will proudly worship at the feet of my Savior and God, the Lord Jesus Christ.

      Deity of Christ Verse List


  19. A big "Thank You!" to those of you offering encouragement above. I would have said so earlier, but I hadn't had time to work on my broken computer.

    Like many of you, I've been living and working these last few years with close friends, family, and coworkers who are suffering physically, and it is difficult to watch, even though we know that worse things are on the way for the world's majority.

    Pastor Rich, I wish your family member the very best. Praying for you, them, and all of the others. I have the same suspicions about some very close folks on my end.

    And MPaladin, thank you for the interesting read on the Creation Day connections. I had never heard of that before. Very interesting!


  20. https://www.westcloudsrising.com/?p=4131
    6000 years from which date? The above article suggests that 6000 years since creation would be 2075....inferring rapture in 2068 (45 years from now). If one uses 2000 years from AD 32 (assuming Jesus death/resurrection was 4000 years since creation), that infers a rapture around 2025. With the blood moons, "recent" Rev 12 sign and the downward trend of society, it seems rapture would be much sooner than 2068. Comments?

    1. There are so many points to take into account that make up the BIG picture. One that has been on my heart a lot lately,

      4 So Abram went , as the LORD
      had told him, and Lot went with him.
      Abram was seventy-five years old
      when he departed from Haran.

      (Genesis 12:4 ESV)

      Modern day Israel, as we know, was born in a day on May 14, 1948. The 75th Anniversary of that coming as a nation will fall on May 14, 2023. Might that be a hint at the seasonal timing of our departure from the spiritual Haran we live in today into that Promised Land set apart for us as an inheritance?

      The annunciation of the coming of Isaac also comes to mind. Especially considering the signs in the heavens this past year. Twenty-one days after the 75th Anniversary of the birth of modern day Israel is Shavuot on the calendar of the Essenes.

      Remember, Jesus is Priest forever of the Order of Melchizedek.

      If we consider (Psalm 90:10) as a framework to a generation then 2068 is way too late to be a consideration.

      80 prophetic years x 360 days/prophetic year = 28,000 days

      These are the total number of days of the generation. The last generation before the end. Adding 28,800 days to 5/14/1948 lands us on 3/21/2027. That's the first full day of Spring for 2027 and on the eve of Purim. Three and one-half days later is March 25, 2027 at the end of Purim. 1,260 days earlier comes in time for the next solar (annular) eclipse to cut across North and South America and the beginning of Torah reading for the New Year on Saturday, October 14, 2023.

      IMHO, no, I don't think 2026 is a prime target for the Rapture. Anytime from now to October 12, 2023 is if these calculations are correct with my eyes on June 4, 2023 (Shavuot on the Essene calendar).

      Time will tell. Share the Love you've been given in Christ Jesus with those who need Him most.

    2. Correction:

      80 prophetic years x 360 days/prophetic year = 28,800 days

      All apologies for the typo...

  21. No less than Isaac Newton, the famed polymath of gravity, optics, calculus, etc., once proposed 2060 as an end date. Some people focus on 100 years as being "a generation," and you could, therefore, count from the retaking of Jerusalem in 1967 to come to 2067. Quite seriously, you could posit any number of calculations. But like you, Jon, I do not think that any of those longer-term guesses could reconcile their dates with the birth pangs that we see now. Especially given the sheer weight of current signs.

    The quickening is here already. But, of course, I am no prophet. And the great challenge is to fit our models into His timeline. Not vice versa.


    P.S. The current geopolitical climate, alone, will never allow us to get to 2068. The world economy will have imploded long before. Israel and Iran will have rumbled already. The "Black Pope" will have crushed any last decency in the Catholic Church. The next pandemic will have taken hold. The food shortages have already begun to multiply. The worship of Mother Earth and her "climate" is already short-circuiting the common-sense solutions to energy and independence for billions of people. To say nothing of one-world governments and tyranny. On and on and on.

    2068? No way.

  22. Jeremy, like you and so many of us, we weep at the conditions of the world today--especially in regards to children: abortion, trafficking, abuse, satanic ritual abuse, starvation. I can hardly bear to read the headlines and for sure not the reports/stories themselves. How God must rage at the evil. I was just going to start a new novel and the epigraph is Deut. 32:35. When I read it I was bowled over at the application to today (not the book context, ofc, but the words could be speaking to NOW):

    To me belongeth vengeance, and recompence; their foot shall slide in due time: for the day of their calamity is at hand, and the things that shall come upon them make haste.

    Even so, Come, Lord Jesus. Amen.



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