You know the military loves their acronyms. You would think after 20-years, I would have heard them all. But just this past week, I heard a new one called POAM. It stands for Plan Of Action and Milestones (POAM). When I heard POAM used the other day in a brief, it immediately got me thinking about God’s POAM, and time. Time is after all, just a matter of perspective.
When you were young, a year seemed like a long-time. Your next birthday or Christmas, seemed forever away. In truth, time was longer because you had not lived that long upon the earth. For instance, if you were six-years old, then one-year equaled 1/6th of your life. However, when you were thirty or forty, one year becomes 1/30th or 1/40th of your life, which becomes a substantially less relevant the older we get. Some of us these days wish that the birthdays wouldn’t come as fast as they seemingly do…yet, the speed of time hasn’t changed at all.
One of the Pre-Tribulation Rapture’s main pillars (if I can call it that) is the doctrine of imminence. This is the teaching that God the Son could come back at any moment. Certainly, the Apostle Paul thought so, as did others (see here). Although I am Pre-Trib, and I believe imminence plays a role here, I have always believed that God’s timing was not going to be based on some random event. In other words, imminence to us is a well-defined event or criteria for God. The Father knows exactly when He will send the Son, although that remains a mystery to us (Matt. 24:36).
Some have linked the Feasts of God to the timing of Son’s return for His bride the Church. Seems logical, I mean, in Christ’s life, death, and resurrection, He fulfilled the first three Feasts very literally. The next Feast was fulfilled when God the Holy Spirit came down at Pentecost (Weeks) like cloven tongues of fire (Acts 2:1-4).
The first four of the seven feasts occur during the springtime (Passover, Unleavened Bread, First Fruits, and Weeks), and they all have already been fulfilled by Christ in the New Testament. The final three holidays (Trumpets, the Day of Atonement, and Tabernacles) occur during the fall, all within a short fifteen-day period. (Link)
The first four were fulfilled over a fifty-day period. The fall feasts and their fulfillment (still unknown as to when) will be fulfilled rather quickly over a fifteen-day period. What I mean by that is if the first four feast were fulfilled in succession over a fifty-period, shouldn’t the last three also see their literal fulfillment over 15-day period, not spread out over years? Personally, I do not know. We will have to wait and see how this all shakes out. Yet, even the timing of this speaks to a quickening of events once they began. This all begs the question then, when will this begin?
Although the Rapture does not start the 70th Week of Daniel (aka…the Tribulation), it does set things in motion for the fulfillment of this to occur. I have spoken to this in numerous letters, so I will not rehash that at present. However, what I do want to speak to is the conditions for the Rapture to occur. So although we cannot know specifically when, we can know generally due to another biblical principle juxtaposed from imminence called fullness. The world of today has arrived at a series of converging culmination points that herald prophetic fullness.
- The days of Noah– the world has become full of violence, crime, corruption, and wickedness. (Gen. 6:1-5, Luke 17:25-27)
- A world given-over to a debased mind– an irrational and supernatural hatred toward God, Israel, and even common decency (Romans 1:18-32)
- The days of Lot– Evil, wickedness, and depravity have achieved normalcy and are celebrated (Gen. 19, Luke 17:28-30)
- The Mark of the Beast– We have created the technology capable of implementing total economic control (Rev. 13:15-18)
- The confederation of beast– power has circled the earth and arrived back to the boundaries of the old Roman Empire (Dan. 2:42-44, Rev. 13:1-4, 17:11-14)
- Geopolitical alignment of nations– the bible states that various nations who have never aligned politically, militarily, or economically, would in the last days to come against Israel (Ezekiel 38)
- The rise of the Laodicean church– we are in the final epoch/era by which the overwhelming nature of Christendom continues to turn lukewarm so not to offend an increasingly darkening world (Rev. 3:14-22)
Fullness is God’s way of telling us when something will occur. When we see these things coming to a head, then we should know we are in the season of the Lord’s return (1st Thess. 5). Listed below are five passages that deal with fullness and the potential implications they will lead too. I will put them in the order of their fulfillment in relation to the Rapture and the final week of years.
- The rebirth of Israel
And they will fall by the edge of the sword, and be led away captive into all nations. And Jerusalem will be trampled by Gentiles until the times of the Gentiles are fulfilled. Luke 21:24
In 70AD, the Roman legions under General Titus, lay siege to the city of Jerusalem. In its wake, Jerusalem was destroyed, her temple leveled (not one stone left atop the other), and according to the Jewish historian Josephus, one-million Jews lay dead. From then until May 14, 1948, Israel (as a nation) was nothing more than a historical footnote. National Israel had laid dormant in diaspora for approximately 1,878 years, until God began stirring the nations. Due to the divine ordering of World Wars I and II, the rebirth of Israel became a reality.
- World War I prepared the land for the people (the disassembling of the Ottoman Empire).
- World War II prepared the people for the land (the Holocaust caused their creed to be, never again)
While Gentiles will continue to trample Jerusalem up to and thru the 70th Week, Jerusalem has firmly been in the hands of the Israelis since 1967. Here is a quick reference to the counting down of the timeline:
- 1897-2017=120 years, First Zionist Congress convenes
- 1917-2017=100 years, Balfour Declaration
- 1947-2017=70 years, UN Partition Plan approved on 29 November 1947.
- 1948-2018=70 years, Jewish people declare statehood on May 14th
- 1967-2017=50 years, Israel regains all of Jerusalem back in Six Day War
- 1977-2017=40 years, start of “Land for Peace” w/ the Camp David Accords
- 1987-2017=30 years, Temple Mount Institute founded
- Dec 6, 2017=1 year, Pres. Trump declares Jerusalem the capital of Israel
- May 14, 2018= 5 mos, Pres. Trump moves US Embassy to Jerusalem
- Aug 28, 2018=2 mos, flawless red heifer born in Israel
- ??? = ??? Jewish temple begins to be rebuilt
- The full number of Gentiles brought into the Church
For I do not desire, brethren, that you should be ignorant of this mystery, lest you should be wise in your own opinion, that blindness in part has happened to Israel until the fullness of the Gentiles has come in. Romans 11:25
There has been some contention within the Pre-Trib community that the Rapture is not determined by some indeterminate number of Gentiles, but rather will happen on one of the appointed Feast dates. My opinion is that why couldn’t it be both? The full number of Gentiles could come in to the Church (i.e., the universal, multi-membered, singular body of Christ) on the Feast Date, because God already knows. With that said, let us look at Matthew 28:18-20 and 24:14.
And Jesus came and spoke to them, saying, “All authority has been given to Me in heaven and on earth. 19 Go therefore and make disciples of all the nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit, 20 teaching them to observe all things that I have commanded you; and lo, I am with you always, even to the end of the age.” Amen.
And this gospel of the kingdom will be preached in all the world as a witness to all the nations, and then the end will come.
Christianity started in Jerusalem, and began to spread throughout the Roman Empire in that first century. We can see that progression take place in the book of Acts as the Gospel spreads and begins to circulate to wider and wider circuits. Even the apostles not recorded in the Epistles, were recorded by the early church fathers who noted their deaths as martyrs in places as far away as Egypt and India.
From Israel, Christianity began to spread throughout Europe to the rest of the world, most notably, the New World (i.e., the Americas). Christianity’s “golden age” began in the 1700s thru the mid-1900s. Numerous evangelical campaigns sent missionaries all around the world. However, as time waxed on, Christianity began to die out in its traditional strongholds of Europe and the United States, while it is exploding in places like Africa, China, and the Middle East. Christianity is even making a strong comeback in the place it first began, Israel. Keep in mind what Christ told His disciples.
When they persecute you in this city, flee to another. For assuredly, I say to you, you will not have gone through the cities of Israel before the Son of Man comes. Matthew 10:23
- The conclusion of the Church Age
…that in the dispensation of the fullness of the times He might gather together in one all things in Christ, both which are in heaven and which are on earth—in Him. Ephesians 1:10
Just as the Church Age had a beginning (Pentecost-conception), the Church Age will also have an ending (Rapture-birth). Here, the final tense of salvation is literally and physically carried out. For the curious, the three tenses of salvation are- justification, sanctification, and glorification. (Romans 8:28-30, 1 John 3:1-3). We cannot work for our justification to be saved (we are justified by our faith in the finished work of Christ on the cross), but we can work towards our sanctification once we are already saved. We can either gain or lose rewards (1 Cor. 3, 2 Cor. 5) and will be tested by fire at the Bema Judgment. This is where many people mistakenly believe in works-based salvation from passages in James or Hebrews.
When Christ gathers all things together in Him, He will do so by resurrecting the dead and catching up those who are still alive in the Rapture (Greek-harpazo for caught up). For clarification, those who have already died in Christ are currently in heaven, but without their glorified bodies (2nd Cor. 5:2-4, 6, and 8). They will come back with Christ and receive their glorified bodies from wherever the remains of their physical bodies lay. God will supernaturally reconstruct their old bodies into their heavenly bodies that will endure forever in perfection. Therefore, you will still be you, but the you God always intended you to be.
However, it is also true that our spiritual glorification (foreknown by God) was set up long before our physical glorification takes place (at the Rapture and Bema Judgment). Think of it as a reservation made in advance. God foreknew you would make the decision to become born-again so reserves you a spot ahead of time.
But God, who is rich in mercy, because of His great love with which He loved us, even when we were dead in trespasses, made us alive together with Christ (by grace you have been saved), and raised us up together, and made us sit together in the heavenly places in Christ Jesus, that in the ages to come He might show the exceeding riches of His grace in His kindness toward us in Christ Jesus. Ephesians 2:4-7
- The arrival of the Antichrist
“And in the latter time of their kingdom, when the transgressors have reached their fullness, a king shall arise, having fierce features, who understands sinister schemes. Daniel 8:23
In context with the rest of Daniel 8, the angel Gabriel is explaining the geopolitical prophetic scenario at the time of the end. While some of the prophetic interpretation could deal with the events still future to Daniel, but in the past for us (as type and shadow), I believe (as does my friend Steve Schmutzer) that this passage is speaking to even our future and to the coming of The Antichrist. Although Antiochus Epiphanes makes for a good comparison, given the connection to his desolation of the Jewish temple, the Maccabees, and Hanukkah, he cannot be whom this passage is talking about-
The problem is Antiochus Epiphanes did not come to power during the latter period of anything. He was the eighth ruler of about 30 that led the Seleucid Kingdom, so he didn’t even reach the midpoint. If Daniel had envisioned Antiochus Epiphanes as the subject of this text and vision, Gabriel would have placed him instead “before the middle part of their rule.” (Steve Schmutzer)
Step back and think about the big picture for a moment then. Think about how global power has continued to move around the world, which was westward. I realize there are exceptions here (i.e., the Incans, Byzantines, the Mongols, Chinese dynasties, etc.), but I am speaking here in broad terms to the pivotal points in human history were mankind was given its overarching marching directions.
- From the Fertile Crescent, power moved southwest to Egypt
- From the Egyptians, power moved northeast to the Assyrians
- After the Assyrians, power shifted to the Babylonians and Persians before moving west to the Greeks
- After the Greeks, power continued to move west to the Romans
- From the Romans, that power shifted north and west throughout Europe
- From Europe, power eventually moved west across the Atlantic to the United States
- From the United States, power has begun to move west toward China
- From China, power is moving westward back toward Europe
Consider the geopolitical results of the first two global wars (WWI and WWII). Because of those wars, mankind created the world’s first global government (the United Nations). The first reunification of Europe (the EU) since the Holy Roman Empire. The creation of numerous supranational organizations (World Bank, World Health Organization, International Monetary Fund, NATO, etc.). Numerous international globalist organizations like the Club of Rome, Bilderbergers, Council on Foreign Relations and pretty much anything the Rockefellers, Rothschild’s, and George Soros funds.
In fact, the 20th-century was nothing less than the continual consolidation of political, military, and economic power into fewer and fewer hands since 1900. So not only has true, global power moved westward, but it has made its way full-circle back to the Mediterranean from whence it began.
I could be wrong, but to me, this is what it means when the transgressors have reached their fullness. It will come back full-circle to this final, earthly kingdom (the ten toes) headed by the Lawless one that comes to existence due to some type of global calamity (like the Rapture?). The major difference between this final kingdom, and every other that preceded it, is the technology that allows it to implement almost complete control over the entire earth.
- The Grapes of Wrath
And another angel came out from the altar, who had power over fire, and he cried with a loud cry to him who had the sharp sickle, saying, “Thrust in your sharp sickle and gather the clusters of the vine of the earth, for her grapes are fully ripe.”So the angel thrust his sickle into the earth and gathered the vine of the earth, and threw it into the great winepress of the wrath of God. Revelation 14:18-19
As for the 21 divine judgments found in Revelation 6-18, they appear to be an escalating mixture of horror and misery, which God pours out on a wicked and unrepentant world. His wrath is proportional to their blasphemous and depraved nature. So the more judgment that is poured out, the more hardened they become, much in the same manner as with Pharaoh during the Ten Plagues of Exodus.
However, we can see a foreshadowing of this even in the world today. There is an irrational, blind, zealous hatred for God on exhibit by many on the political left. Many of them cannot even explain why they love abortion, hate Israel, or loathe Christianity, but they do. While they cannot explain it, we know the Bible can and does.
- Jesus likened this increasing wickedness to birth pangs, in that they would build up in both frequency and intensity the closer we draw to the end.
And because lawlessness will abound, the love of many will grow cold. But he who endures to the end shall be saved. Matt. 24:12-13
- The Apostle Paul said…
But know this, that in the last days perilous times will come…2nd Timothy 3:1-5
- The Apostle Peter said…
…knowing this first: that scoffers will come in the last days, walking according to their own lusts, and saying, “Where is the promise of His coming? 2nd Peter 3:2-3
- The Apostle James said….
Come now, you rich, weep and howl for your miseries that are coming upon you! Your riches are corrupted, and your garments are moth-eaten…You have lived on the earth in pleasure and luxury; you have fattened your hearts as in a day of slaughter. You have condemned, you have murdered the just; he does not resist you. James 5:1-6
- Jesus half-brother Jude says…
…how they told you that there would be mockers in the last time who would walk according to their own ungodly lusts. These are sensual persons, who cause divisions, not having the Spirit. Jude 1:17-19
- The Apostle John said…
Little children, it is the last hour; and as you have heard that the Antichrist is coming, even now many antichrists have come, by which we know that it is the last hour…1st John 2:18-19
As I said earlier, time is all about perspective. From God’s perspective, a day is as a thousand years, and vice-versa to God. If it was the last hour in John’s day, then we must be in the last seconds of that last hour.
Even so, Maranatha!