Monday 22 September 2014

The movie “Left Behind” starring Nicolas Cage is a Hollywood deception.

No One Goes To Heaven 
Not Without A Resurrected Body

"Christ has been raised from the dead. He’s the first crop of the harvest of those who have died. Since death came through a human being, the resurrection of the dead came through one too.  In the same way that everyone dies in Adam, so also everyone will be given life in Christ. Each event will happen in the right order: Christ, the first crop of the harvest, then those who belong to Christ at his coming,1 Corinthians 15:20-23 CEB

The Rapture is not a secret event. It is a visible event.  The Resurrection of the dead preceding the Rapture is also a visible event.

"God did not choose us to suffer his anger. God chose us to have salvation through our Lord Jesus Christ.  Jesus died for us so that we can live together with him. It is not important wither  we are alive or dead when Jesus comes.  So encourage each other and help each other grow stronger in faith, just as you are already doing," 1 Thessalonians 5:9-11 (ERV)

A resurrected body consist of a soul and an incorruptible body.

In previous commentaries, I exposed Satan's motto which is "They must not believe". By drawing us away from the truth, Satan accomplishes two objectives: he pulls us away from our fellowship with Christ, and weakens your faith. That is exactly what happened in the Garden of Eden. Satan's lies were meant to deceive Eve for the purpose to break up our relationship with God.

This is Satan's tactic, he first question God's instructions, followed by an assertive lie then adds his superior point of view.

“Did God really say that you shouldn’t eat from any tree in the garden?”

“You won’t die!"

"God knows that on the day you eat from it, you will see clearly and you will be like God, knowing good and evil.”

Genesis 3:1-5 CEB

There is nothing new under the sun. From the very beginning of ages and early after the Church foundation, gentiles, and Christians alike had fell for the same lie, "You won't die". So many Christians believe that once a Christian dies, he/she goes directly to heaven. Is that true? Is it biblical? If it is true, our belief is no better than the New Age movement and agrees that there is more then one way to go to heaven. If it is true that once Christians die, they go to heaven, why then does the bible mention that our blessed hope is in the resurrection - a bodily resurrection?  

"At the same time we wait for the blessed hope and the glorious appearance of our great God and savior Jesus Christ," Titus 2:13 CEB.

"May the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ be blessed! On account of his vast mercy, he has given us new birth. You have been born anew into a living hope through the resurrection of Jesus Christ from the dead," 1 Peter 1:3 CEB.

If our blessed hope is in a resurrection then it is worthwhile that we give close attention to Paul who revealed a secret of a coming event, better know as the rapture.  

"Listen, I’m telling you a secret: All of us won’t die, but we will all be changed—in an instant, in the blink of an eye, at the final trumpet. The trumpet will blast, and the dead will be raised with bodies that won’t decay, and we will be changed," 1 Corinthians 15:51-52 CEB.

Once a secret is revealed, it is no longer a secret.  The rapture will not be a secret event. People will not secretly disappeared. The whole world will see the event taken place.  Until then, I couldn't find one iota of evidence in the bible that once we (Christians) die, we go to heaven. Scriptures are being read to appease the pain of those who lost someone we love.  Christians and non-Christians alike want to believe that their love one are in heaven. Many Christians read Philippians 1:21-24 and conclude that Paul was hoping for living with Christ in heaven immediately after his death without a resurrected body:

"Because for me, living serves Christ and dying is even better. If I continue to live in this world, I get results from my work.  But I don’t know what I prefer. I’m torn between the two because I want to leave this life and be with Christ, which is far better.  However, it’s more important for me to stay in this world for your sake."

It is a false assumption to believe that Paul was hoping to go to heaven immediately after death. It is contradicting with what he taught. He mentioned his hope in the resurrection. In the same letter to the Philippians, he mentions that he is looking forward to it:

"The righteousness that I have comes from knowing Christ, the power of his resurrection, and the participation in his sufferings. It includes being conformed to his death so that I may perhaps reach the goal of the resurrection of the dead," Philippians 3:10-11 CEB.

The same is with 2 Corinthians 5:1-10, so many Christians read this verse as if it was talking about going to heaven to wear our new body following the moment we die. It is not so! Paul described that there is a house, an eternal body already prepared for us to be worn for our resurrection. He described the yearning for Jesus return as promise. We received a down payment as a guarantee, which is the Holy Spirit, the same Spirit that resurrected Jesus.
“We are confident, yes, well pleased rather to be absent from the body and to be present with the Lord,” 2 Corinthians 5:8. 
Many interpret  "to be present with the Lord" as to be immediately in heaven after death. Does it?  It all depends: What kind of truth do you want God’s word to be?  
Paul's goal and hope is in the resurrection and not in going to heaven immediately at death.  Paul a scholar in the Old Testament scriptures was well aware that the hope in a resurrected body has not been for the church only but also to those who believed in the one to come, the redeemer. 

"I will save them from the grave.
I will rescue them from death.
Death, where are your diseases?
Grave, where is your power?
I am not looking for revenge,"
Hosea 13:14 ERV

Job declared plainly that he hoped for a resurrection just as Paul had, that both the soul and body would enjoy the presence of God through the resurrection.

"For I know that my Redeemer lives,
And He shall stand at last on the earth;
And after my skin is destroyed, this I know,
That in my flesh I shall see God,
Whom I shall see for myself,
And my eyes shall behold, and not another.
How my heart yearns within me!" Job 19:25-27 NKJ

Is it a coincidence that Job statement agreed with John's teaching?

”Dear friends, now we are God’s children, and it hasn’t yet appeared what we will be. We know that when he appears we will be like him because we’ll see him as he is," 1 John 3:2 CEB

"We will be like Him and we will see Him as He is". How did Jesus look like when He appeared to His disciples the night of His resurrection? Like a ghost?


"While they were saying these things, Jesus himself stood among them and said, “Peace be with you!” They were terrified and afraid. They thought they were seeing a ghost. He said to them, “Why are you startled? Why are doubts arising in your hearts?  Look at my hands and my feet. It’s really me! Touch me and see, for a ghost doesn’t have flesh and bones like you see I have.” As he said this, he showed them his hands and feet.  Because they were wondering and questioning in the midst of their happiness, he said to them, “Do you have anything to eat?” They gave him a piece of baked fish.  Taking it, he ate it in front of them." Luke 24:36-42 CEB

When Christ return we will be like Him.  How is this be possible to be in the present of God with our earthly body, that is of sin nature since nothing corruptible is allowed in heaven? Ephesians 1:19-23 explains it.

"For this corruptible must put on incorruption, and this mortal must put on immortality. So when this corruptible has put on incorruption, and this mortal has put on immortality, then shall be brought to pass the saying that is written: “Death is swallowed up in victory," 1 Corinthians 15:53-54 NKJ.

If this verse did not convince you, I hope that this one will:

"If Christ is in you, the Spirit is your life because of God’s righteousness, but the body is dead because of sin. If the Spirit of the one who raised Jesus from the dead lives in you, the one who raised Christ from the dead will give life to your human bodies also, through his Spirit that lives in you," Romans 8:10-11 NKJ.

Please note that Paul is speaking in the future tense not in the past or in the present tense. A resurrection of the dead body is required to be in heaven, not just the souls. A soul and a body are required to be in heaven, and it is made possible only through a future coming resurrection.

This is the gospel, the one and only: The Resurrection Gospel. It is not the gospel of Jesus is love and all you have to do is to accept Him in your heart. We are saved by believing that Jesus resurrected from the dead and that we will, as well, resurrect.

"I gave you the message that I received. I told you the most important truths: that Christ died for our sins, as the Scriptures say; that he was buried and was raised to life on the third day, as the Scriptures say; - But Christ really has been raised from death—the first one of all those who will be raised," 1 Corinthians 15:3-4, 20 ERV.

Here's the dilemma; The followers of Christ believe and confess that Jesus Son of God died and resurrected (Romans 10:9) yet their convictions are accompanied by a twofold beliefs; one is that once a Christian dies he/she goes to heaven in the present of Jesus and the second is that he/she waits in heaven for the future resurrection. Many are those who believe in the resurrection of the soul only and go to heaven without a body after death. Why should there be so such confusion, when the scriptures are so clear?

"But Christ really has been raised from death—the first one of all those who will be raised," 1 Corinthians 15:20 ERV

"Listen, I’m telling you a secret: All of us won’t die, but we will all be changed—in an instant, in the blink of an eye, at the final trumpet. The trumpet will blast, and the dead will be raised with bodies that won’t decay, and we will be changed," 1 Corinthians 15:51-52 CEB.

There can be only one resurrection of the dead, not two; there is not one for the soul at death then another followed by the body at Christ return. There is only one resurrection of body and soul happening simultaneously at Christ return. 

What causes the confusion? Tradition! 

”Beware lest anyone cheat you through philosophy and empty deceit, according to the tradition of men, according to the basic principles of the world, and not according to Christ," Colossians 2:8.

As Christians, we want to avoid offending others; after all, it is not popular to tell someone that their love one is not in heaven but is in the grave. The resurrection is not a popular subject to talk about even among Christians. There are too many differences of opinion and many sceptics.

Paul did face a similar dilemma. Paul faced many sceptics that did not believe that Christ had risen from the dead. In fact, many Christians doubted that the resurrection ever happen as it was with the Jews in the time of Jesus. Even Jesus confronted the Sadducees, who said that there was no resurrection, Matthew 22:23.

"So if the message that is preached says that Christ has been raised from the dead, then how can some of you say, There’s no resurrection of the dead"? 1 Corinthians 15:12 CEB

If Paul were speaking to the modern Church today, he would probably say. "How can some of you say that once you die, you go straight to heaven without a resurrected body?"

In 1 Corinthians 15:20 ERV he states: "But Christ really has been raised from death—the first one of all those who will be raised." There is no mention about believers going to heaven immediately after death. Paul is very specific. He declared that all the dead in Christ would resurrect at the same time at a designated time.

"in a moment, in the twinkling of an eye, at the last trumpet. For the trumpet will sound, and the dead will be raised incorruptible, and we shall be changed," 1 Corinthians 15:52 NKJV.

"For the Lord Himself will descend from heaven with a shout, with the voice of an archangel, and with the trumpet of God. And the dead in Christ will rise first," 1 Thessalonians 4:16 NKJ.

Paul mention also that there is an order of who raise in the future:

"But now Christ is risen from the dead, and has become the firstfruits of those who have fallen asleep. For since by man came death, by Man also came the resurrection of the dead. For as in Adam all die, even so in Christ all shall be made alive. But each one in his own order: Christ the firstfruits, afterward those who are Christ’s at His coming. Then comes the end, when He delivers the kingdom to God the Father, when He puts an end to all rule and all authority and power," 1 Corinthians 15:20-24 NKJV.

In that “order” there is no mention of individual going one by one to heaven. The resurrection occurs as a group event in each case. In this context, 'ALL' means the ones who died as believers. No one goes to heaven to meet Saint-Peter at the gate, none. This is a myth and a lie. The danger in believing that once dead you go to heaven, many fall into believing that they could be comforted by their dead love one, and that they could count on them to intervene on their behalf. That is a lie, none biblical.  Please read my commentary on that subject title, "Do you know where you stand on the subject of speaking to the dead?" [1] No one intervene on your behalf except Jesus our advocate, 1 John 2:1 and we can approach the thrown of God in Jesus name, John 15:16.

This is also the order of the resurrection event that will take place for the Church era:

"For the Lord Himself will descend from heaven with a shout, with the voice of an archangel, and with the trumpet of God. And the dead in Christ will rise first," 1 Thessalonians 4:16 NKJV.

The dead in Christ, which are part of this resurrection, are those who are part of the Church age. They are the Apostles, Mary Jesus' mother, all those who took part of the baptism of the Holy Spirit at Pentecost, and all those who believed in their testimonies of Christ resurrected until Christ return, which is also known as the 'rapture'.

Now let us go through the sequence of the so-called "Rapture" in 1 Corinthians 15:50-52:

I will be using the Easy-to-Read Version (ERV) to get a better and understandable meaning.

50 I tell you this, brothers and sisters: Our bodies of flesh and blood cannot have a part in God’s kingdom. Something that will ruin cannot have a part in something that never ruins.

It is obvious that a body that rots in the ground or is burn to ashes when cremated, or eaten by the fish in the ocean, do not enter heaven. Not even the living can go to heaven since it has a sinful nature. It is required to be transformed.

51 But listen, I tell you this secret: We will not all die, but we will all be changed.

As mentioned before, once a secret is revealed it is no longer a secret. Paul declares that many will be alive when Jesus returns. There are many who are not watchful, and his return will be like a theft in the night, 1 Thess 5:2. Unfortunately, many Christians doubt that it will ever happen in their lifetime:

"Most important, know this: in the last days scoffers will come, jeering, living by their own cravings, and saying, “Where is the promise of his coming? After all, nothing has changed—not since the beginning of creation, nor even since the ancestors died," 2 Peter 3:3-12 CEB

Paul teaches that we will all be changed, transformed, transfigured, or miraculously be converted from a degenerating physical body to an eternal physical body.

52 It will only take the time of a second. We will be changed as quickly as an eye blinks. This will happen when the last trumpet blows. The trumpet will blow and those who have died will be raised to live forever. And we will all be changed.

This transformation will be worldwide. Christians all around the world will be change simultaneously, instantly. Notice, there is a time gap between the resurrections of those who died in Christ and of those who will be still alive at the time when this event take place.

"For the Lord Himself will descend from heaven with a shout, with the voice of an archangel, and with the trumpet of God. And the dead in Christ will rise first," 1 Thessalonians 4:16 NKJ.

I speculate that it will be similar to the time of Christ's resurrection. This will not be a secret event. The whole world will hear the sound of a trumpet. There will be a worldwide darkness, global earthquakes, and the graves will open. The dead in Christ will come out and walk among us as it happened at Christ resurrection:

"and the graves were opened; and many bodies of the saints who had fallen asleep were raised; and coming out of the graves after His resurrection, they went into the holy city and appeared to many," Matthew 27:52-53 NKJ.

It will be a frightening occurrence for many, even for those Christians who were not watchful. They will be taken by surprise. Just as Paul who warns us, that for many, Jesus’ return will be as a thief in the night, 1Thessalonians 5:2. Why are so many Christians taken by surprise? Because they did not take Jesus' teaching by His word, He will raise the dead.  

United States and Canada health agencies are preparing for such occurrence, which they call, "the invasion of the zombies”, the “Walking Dead". Satan is preparing the world to accept his explanation for this bizarre phenomenon of the resurrection of the dead. The scenario already had been prepared to explain the disappearance of Christians and the so-called zombies. This is no joke.

Please watch this video title "Canadian Parliament Canada will remain zombie free" [2](February 14, 2013).

Immediately following the resurrection of the dead, those who are alive, believers of Christ will be transformed and will be caught up in heaven with the resurrected dead in Christ. How will the world react? International News Media will broadcast prepared explanations that UFO’s, inter-planetary living beings intervened to save the world. They will view the resurrected dead as zombies caused by a mysterious disease, a contagious disease that infected the living people also. This will explain the disappearance of thousands of infected Christians. Following this incredible event, the anti-christ will be revealled and receive all the credit for saving the world. Many will accept the lies, nevertheless many will not.

"3 Let no one deceive you by any means; for that Day will not come unless the falling away comes first, and the man of sin is revealed, the son of perdition,
7 For the mystery of lawlessness is already at work; only He who now restrains will do so until He is taken out of the way," 2 Thessalonians 2:3,7 NKJ.

Paul also gives details that this event will happen at the sound of the last trumpet blow, which could refer to Matthew 24:31. This trumpet is the cause of division among Christians who study eschatology and conclude that the resurrection occurs either during or at the end of the great tribulation. Here is a brief summary of the differing opinions[3]:

·        Mid-Tribulation Rapture - That Christ will rapture the church at the Mid-point of The Tribulation

·        Post Tribulation Rapture - That Christ will rapture the church at the end of the Tribulation

·        Pre-Wrath Rapture - That Christ will rapture the church just before the Battle of Armageddon

·        Partial Rapture - That Christ will rapture those who are ready and leave the rest to go through the Tribulation

·        Multiple Rapture - That there are more than one raptures, during which Christ receives those who are ready

·        "Pan-Trib" Position - No clue about future events, but think it will "all pan out in the end"

First and foremost, none of these view points are a subject of losing salvation. It is not by knowing when Christ returns that one is saved but by believing in the "Gospel of Christ Resurrection". Personally, there are many scriptures in support of a Pre-Tribulation Rapture event and this is one that I favour most:

"For God did not appoint us to wrath, but to obtain salvation through our Lord Jesus Christ," 1 Thessalonians 5:9 NKJ.

Not to be appointed to wrath means not to be part of the period called Jacob’s Trouble. This is the period where God will be judging the whole world.

The Last Trumpet Blow

Therefore, what is this last trumpet blow? This is my opinion. The trumpet sound of verse 52 indicates the last action of many of God's activities that were part of His plan for the Church. The Church era started at Pentecost with a sound from heaven, as of a rushing and mighty wind, Acts 2:2. It resembled a wind but did not feel as a wind. A strong and mighty wind usually creates havoc, not in this case, it only sounded similar to a wind. What if it was a type of trumpet sound in heaven? The Easy-to-Read Version read as such, "Suddenly a noise came from heaven. It sounded like a strong wind blowing..." Could this been the first sound of trumpet announcing the Church inauguration?

Do you get my point? Blowing a trumpet has one purpose, which is to draw attention. The trumpet sound comes in many form of melody for many different reasons. In Matthew 6:2, it is to draw the attention to a wealthy donor. In the Book of Moses, blowing the trumpets is to announce a special gathering for God's people. In the book of Joshua, the trumpet was sound for different ceremony. In the Books of the Major and Minor Prophets, the sound of the trumpet is the alarm of war. In the book of Psalm, it is to praise God. In the book of Revelation, John heard a voice like a trumpet, Rev 1:10, 4:1, and angels sound the trumpet at different interval of God judgement on the people of the earth. Inasmuch as Jesus uttered His last word “It is finished” in John 19:30, the last trumpet sound of 1 Corinthians 15:52 indicate that God's special work to the Church is finished and this sound of the trumpet could be considered as a victory sound as described in verse 54  "Death is swallowed in victory".

This event will happen only when the following conditions are met:

1.      until we all reach the unity of faith and knowledge of God’s Son, Ephesians 4:13 CEB
2.     until the full number of the Gentiles comes in, Romans 11:25 CEB

Let's continue explaining 1 Corinthians 15:53-55 in all it context:

"It’s necessary for this rotting body to be clothed with what can’t decay, and for the body that is dying to be clothed in what can’t die. 54 And when the rotting body has been clothed in what can’t decay, and the dying body has been clothed in what can’t die, then this statement in scripture will happen: CEB

The emphasis again is about entering eternity with a body that will not be growing old, degenerate and die.

“Death is swallowed in victory.”
55 “O death, where is your victory?
    Where is your power to hurt?”

Paul quotes Isaiah 25:8, the fulfillment of a prophecy. All prophecy that pointed to Jesus as the coming redeemer came to past 2009 years ago. Christ died and resurrected. Many witness Christ alive before and after His crucifixion. 

"He appeared to Cephas, then to the Twelve, and then he appeared to more than five hundred brothers and sisters at once—most of them are still alive to this day, though some have died. Then he appeared to James, then to all the apostles, and last of all he appeared to me, as if I were born at the wrong time. I’m the least important of the apostles. I don’t deserve to be called an apostle, because I harassed God’s church," 1 Corinthians 15:5-9 CEB.

Not only did Jesus appeared to a multitude of witnesses for 40 days after His resurrection, on the day of His resurrection all saints who died believing on the promise of a redeemer resurrected at the same time.

"And behold, the veil of the Temple was rent in twain, from the top to the bottom, and the earth did quake, and the stones were cloven.  And the graves did open themselves, and many bodies of the Saints, which slept, arose, and came out of the graves after his resurrection, and went into the holy city, and appeared unto many," Matthew 27:51-53, 1599 GNV.

Who are these saints? These saints resurrected came from a special place reserved for them. That place is mentioned in Jesus' story of "The Rich Man and Lazarus" in Luke 16:19-31. This special place is named Sheol, Abraham bosom, Hades also knows as Paradise.

It was a waiting place for every one who died from Adam to Christ's resurrection. They believed in the promise for the redeemer to come. They resurrected fallowing Christ resurrection, including the criminal who was hanged with Jesus and died on the same day. Jesus instructed him that He would see meet him in Paradise;

"And Jesus said to him, “Assuredly, I say to you, today you will be with Me in Paradise,”" Luke 23:43 NKJ 

Can you imagine the commotion created by these resurrected saints walking in Jerusalem not counting the surrounding area? This also included Jews and gentiles. Whoever believed in the one to come. Do you remember the Samaritan woman that Jesus meets at the well in John 4:25? She believed in the coming Messiah. Many gentiles died believing in the redeemer, the Jewish Messiah - the Anointed One. Jesus at His resurrection brought them all out of Sheol with Him. They are now in heaven with a new immortal body. The graves were open and an incorruptible body was given to them. They are not part of the Church.

The Church is made out of those who believed in the one that came  - The Son of God. Their bodies are in their graves waiting for His return. The believers of the Church era do not go the Sheol in a waiting area for Christ return, nor do they go to heaven.  Their bodies are still in the grave waiting for the final sound of the trumpet. Visit a cemetery and you will find the proof that they did not receive incorruptible bodies. The graves are still full.

However, that does contradict verses that state that God is the God of the living and not of the dead, Mark 12:27, and that whoever lives and believes in Jesus will never die:

Jesus said to her, “I am the resurrection and the life. Whoever believes in me will live, even though they die.  Everyone who lives and believes in me will never die. Do you believe this?” John 11:25-26 CEB

Jesus is affirmative, "Everyone who lives and believes in me will never die." If Christians do not go to heaven immediately after death and never die, then where do they go? As discussed previously believers of the Old Testament era raised from the graves simultaneously after Jesus resurrected first, Matthew 27:53. Since the Old Testament believers are already in heaven with Jesus, there are many Christians that assume that it is the case also with the New Testament believers - Christians. That is exactly what it is, an assumption, an error. I myself was misled.  My parent indoctrinated me in the Catholic faith. Mindless to say that it is part of the Catholic doctrine to believe that Christians go to heaven and that they (as saints) may even intervene in your behalf.  Praying to the dead is a grave sin called 'idolatry'. Please read my commentary title "Praying to Dead Saints or love one"[4]

The believers of the New Testament entered a new era, a new covenant. It is a covenant that surpasses all previous covenants and the following one. It is a covenant founded on grace only and one promise: they will never die. Following their last breath, all believers immediately enter eternal life. How could this possible? Their rotten bodies are still in the grave and none have received their incorruptible body. The proof, all you need to do is to go to a cemetery and you will see for yourself that the graves are still un-open. As it was with the saints resurrected on the same day Jesus resurrection, their body were in the grave.

"and the graves were opened; and many bodies of the saints who had fallen asleep were raised," Matthew 27:52 NKJ

Lambert Dolphin in a commentary title "Thy Kingdom Come" explained in this fashion:

"When an individual dies he or she leaves time and enters eternity. Some scholars think that all believers travel through eternity immediately, "in a moment, in the twinkling of an eye," to arrive at the Rapture the next instant in his or her personal experience. If that is the case, all believers arrive in heaven at the same "time." Thus, "to be absent from the body is to be at home with the Lord." (2 Corinthians 5:8) We may have difficulty picturing this if we do not realize that eternity runs according to an entirely different time than the one-dimensional time frame in which we are constrained to live while in our mortal bodies. For more on the issue of Time, see Appendix F: The Complexities Of Time, toward the end of the book."[5] 

I am inclined to accept Lambert Dolphins explanation that 'eternity runs according to an entirely different time'. There is evidence in God's creation that time is infinite. The scientific community pride themselves with the accuracy of the atomic clock precision. They conclude that the earth rotation is exactly 23 hours, 56 minutes and 4 seconds. What wrong with this result? This factor:  What came first, the rotation of earth or manmade clock? The rotation of the earth came first. God perfect creation came first. By stating that the earth is not exactly 24 hours, they belittle God. Most scientists refute God as the creator; therefore will not admit that their clock is not accurate. In fact, they omit an important factor: Pi, The number π is a mathematical constant that is the ratio of a circle's circumference to its diameter, its decimal representation never ends and never settles into a permanent repeating pattern. To me, it represent God infinite wisdom, no manmade clock can ever match exactly the rotation time of the earth.

Another important factor that the scientific community refute is that God created time. On the fourth day, the universe was created. The galaxies, the solar system, the sun and planets including earth travels around the sun at different orbit, and the moon circulating the earth, all came about in one day, the fourth day, amazing. Some argue that it is impossible since the universe is expending and that the speed of light proves that by the time the light from a distance galaxy reaches earth millions of years have pass. They concluded that the universe is billions of years old. The error in that theory is that God created the universe and the law of physic all in one day, therefore setting in motion from that advent the expansion of the universe. What a contrast compared with the theory of the big bang where many argue that the big bang first came about. Please watch this video title "Signs in the Heavens"[6].

God creates time. Therefore, He controls time. There is three occasions in the Old Testament where God did just that:

"So Isaiah the prophet cried out to the LORD, and He brought the shadow ten degrees backward, by which it had gone down on the sundial of Ahaz," 2 Kings 20:11.

“Behold, I will bring the shadow on the sundial, which has gone down with the sun on the sundial of Ahaz, ten degrees backward.” So the sun returned ten degrees on the dial by which it had gone down," Isaiah 38:8.

"So, the sun stood still, and the moon stopped, till the people had revenge, upon their enemies," Joshua 10:13.

So, what does all this has to do with the resurrection of Christians? I want to prove to you that since God control time, He can made time stop for the dead in Christ. The explanation is found in Daniel 70th week prophecy. Time stopped for the fulfilment of God prophecy for Israel, consequently time stop for the Church era, therefore time stop for those who died in Christ.

"Seventy weeks are appointed for your people and for your holy city to complete the rebellion, to end sins, to cover over wrongdoing, to bring eternal righteousness, to seal up prophetic vision, and to anoint the most holy place.

“So you must know and gain wisdom about this: There will be seven weeks from the moment the word went out to restore and rebuild Jerusalem until a leader is anointed. And for sixty-two weeks the city will be rebuilt with a courtyard and a moat. But in difficult times, after the sixty-two weeks, an anointed one will be eliminated. No one will support him. The army of a future leader will destroy the city and the sanctuary. His end will come in a flood, but devastations will be decreed until the end of the war. For one week, he will make a strong covenant with many people. For a half-week, he will stop both sacrifices and offerings. In their place will be the desolating monstrosities until the decreed destruction sweeps over the devastator.”," Daniel 9:24-27 CEB.

For those who are not familiar with this prophecy it will not be easy to understand.  It wasn't easy for me. First and foremost, to understand Bible prophecy it is crucial to recognize that Israel is still part of God plan for humanity. Basically, this prophecy foretell the return of the Jews to their land after its captivity in Babylon. God has given them time to rebuild the Temple and it nation before the promise Messiah shows up. When the Messiah did show up the Jewish authorities didn't recognized Him and rejected Him. The consequence was the destruction of the Temple and of the nation of Israel. Its people were dispersed all over the world and will be so until the Church era is accomplished.  Ezekiel 37 prophecy also foretells that Israel will return to their land and once the Church is taken away, Israel will continue it relationship with God according to the Leviticus worship system. There are 7 years left out of the 490 years prophecy better known as the 70th Weeks of Daniel.

The Church era is now at the 483 weeks, and has been so for over 2000 years since Jesus entered Jerusalem on a donkey to claim His Kingdom and was rejected causing the clock to stop. The fulfillment of 70th weeks of Daniel prophecy was interrupted. The clock has been stopped ever since because of the church. The clock will only start again when the Church era is over and that will happen only when Church membership is completed and when this happens Israel eyes will open and realize who is Jesus, Romans 11:25.  Please see footnote to understand Daniel 70 week's prophecy[7]

The Church era is in a time zone of it own. The dead in Christ had gone nowhere. God prophetic time for Israel stopped over 2000 years ago and could continue for another 100 years, until the fullness of the Gentiles has come in. When the fullness of the Gentiles has come in that is when the event called the rapture will take place: The dead in Christ will resurrect all at the same time since they all died in this stop time zone. Then we who are alive will be changed in a blink of an eye and we will all go up to meet our Saviour in the sky.

Please do not underestimate to power of God. He created heaven and earth and sustain all His creation. God is beyond heaven and earth since He created them. Time is God creation and He sustains it as He will for His purpose. He kept His promise that those who died in Christ will never die, and this is how He kept His promise by stopping time. How is it that time is still going in our eye?  Our eyes cannot see beyond the physical world - we cannot see eternity.
Exception to the rule

There was exception in the Old Testament. Moses was one of them; he did not rise from the dead with the believers of the Old Testament era. God resurrected Moses sometime after he was buried.

"Then Moses, the Lord’s servant, died—right there in the land of Moab, according to the Lord’s command.  The Lord buried him in a valley in Moabite country across from Beth-peor. Even now, no one knows where Moses’ grave is," Deuteronomy 34:5-6 CEB.

The Lord buried Moses out of the sight of the Israelites so that it would not cause the Israelites to return and to commit idolatry, worshipping the deceased Moses. An undetermined period of time passed before Moses was taken to heaven. No one knows when. Even Satan tried to interrupt God's plan by trying to steel Moses' body.

"Michael argued with the devil about who would have the body of Moses," Jude 1:9b ERV.

You may argue that this doesn't prove that Moses resurrected and now in heaven. You will find the evidence when Moses appeared to a few chosen disciples. This event is better known as Jesus Transfigured on the Mount.

"Now after six days Jesus took Peter, James, and John his brother, led them up on a high mountain by themselves; and He was transfigured before them. His face shone like the sun, and His clothes became as white as the light. And behold, Moses and Elijah appeared to them, talking with Him," Matthew 17:1-3 NKJ.

"And Elijah appeared to them with Moses, and they were talking with Jesus," Mark 9:4 NKJ.

"And behold, two men talked with Him, who were Moses and Elijah, who appeared in glory and spoke of His decease which He was about to accomplish at Jerusalem," Luke 9:30-31 NKJ.

Moses and Elijah showed up to discuss with Jesus what death He should die in Jerusalem. Peter, James, and John were chosen to witness the Kingdom of God with power just as Jesus predicted six days earlier:

"And He said to them, "Assuredly, I say to you that there are some standing here who will not taste death till they see the kingdom of God present with power,"" Mark 9:1 NKJV.  Ref. 2 Peter 1:16-18

There are theologians who quote John 3:13 to prove there view that no one ever went to heaven other than Jesus

"For no man ascendeth up to heaven, but he that had descended from heaven, that Son of man which is in heaven," John 3:13 GNV.

They omit the context of the verse they quoted.  They are taking this verse literally without considering the circumstance of Jesus comment. Jesus was teaching Nicodemus. Nicodemus had great difficulty to understand.

 “Jesus answered, “You are a teacher of Israel and you don’t know these things? I assure you that we speak about what we know and testify about what we have seen, but you don’t receive our testimony.  If I have told you about earthly things and you don’t believe, how will you believe if I tell you about heavenly things?  No one has gone up to heaven except the one who came down from heaven, the Son of Man," John 3:9-12 CEB.

With this context, Jesus explained that no human being ever went to heaven to gain knowledge and return to teach. The 1599 Geneva Bible footnote states: No man mean only Christ can teach us heavenly things, and had any spiritual light and understanding, or ever had, but only that Son of God, which came down to us. Moses and Elijah responsibility at the time they appear to Jesus was to plan Jesus death in Jerusalem and not to teach.

Now, you notice that Elijah also appeared with Moses. Unlike Moses, Elijah never knew death. He was never buried, therefore was not resurrected. Yet, he is in heaven. How and when did he turn up in heaven?

"And it came to pass, when the Lord was about to take up Elijah into heaven by a whirlwind, that Elijah went with Elisha from Gilgal".

"Then it happened, as they continued on and talked, that suddenly a chariot of fire appeared with horses of fire, and separated the two of them; and Elijah went up by a whirlwind into heaven," 2 Kings 2:2, 11 NKJ.
This is what I call a "Rapture" occurrence. Elijah did not know death and was transform as described in 1 Corinthians 15:51-52:  "We shall not all sleep, but we shall all be changed—in a moment, in the twinkling of an eye". One more individual was also taking away without knowing death, and it served as a testimony of the immortality of souls and bodies. Enoch was the first one mention to be taking away into heaven.

"And Enoch walked with God, and he was no more seen: for God took him away," Genesis 5:24 GNV.

"Enoch was carried away from this earth, so he never died. The Scriptures tell us that before he was carried off, he was a man who pleased God. Later, no one knew where he was, because God had taken Enoch to be with him. This all happened because he had faith," Hebrews 11:5 ERV

Some went to heaven while others went to "Sheol also called Paradise - Abraham bosom". In both cases, faith is required. To decide who end up in heaven or Sheol that is God's business. Eli was fully aware of this -

 So Samuel told him everything and hid nothing from him. “He is the Lord, ” Eli said. “He will do as he pleases.” 1 Samuel 3:18 CEB

"Yes, God’s riches are very great! His wisdom and knowledge have no end! No one can explain what God decides. No one can understand his ways.

In the same token, no one goes to hell (lake of fire) without first being judge by Jesus at the end of time.

“I saw the dead, the great and the small, standing before the throne, and scrolls were opened. Another scroll was opened too; this is the scroll of life. And the dead were judged on the basis of what was written in the scrolls about what they had done. The sea gave up the dead that were in it, and Death and the Grave (Sh’ol)  gave up the dead that were in them, and people were judged by what they had done,” Revelation 20:12-13(CEB).
[7] Jack Kelly from explains it in this fashion: Daniel’s 70 weeks prophecy (Daniel 9:24-27) makes the timeline clear. In verse 24 the angel Gabriel decreed 70 sevens for Israel to complete what we now call the dispensation of Law. A seven is a period of 7 years, so 70 sevens equal 490 years. In verse 25 he said there would be 7 sevens and then 62 sevens for a total of 69 sevens or 483 years. In verse 26 he said after the 483 years had passed, the Messiah would be cut off (executed) and Jerusalem and the Temple would be destroyed by the people of a coming ruler. Then in verse 27 he said this ruler would confirm a covenant with many for one final seven year period.  In the middle of that final period, he will put an end to sacrifice and offering and set up an abomination that causes desolation.

Wednesday 10 September 2014

Then You Will Know That I Am The Lord

A Bible Study by by Jack Kelley

Some form of the phrase “then you will know that I am the Lord” appears in the Book of Ezekiel 50 times. Prior to the Babylonian captivity (605-535 BC) the Lord used it most often in the context of judgment, whether against Israel’s leaders (Ezekiel 11:10), the nation as a whole (Ezekiel 12:20) or its enemies (Ezek 25-35).
The Lord had given the Babylonian King Nebuchadnezzar authority over the whole world (Daniel 2:36-38) to be His agency for judgment (Jeremiah 25:8-9). This action began the period of time known as Gentile Dominion that continues to this day and will not be fully concluded until the 2nd Coming. He ordered Israel and all its neighbors to either surrender to Nebuchadnezzar or be destroyed (Jeremiah 27:1-8).

The Lord had determined to punish Israel and all the surrounding nations and make His existence known to all people, even if it took destroying them to do so. In some cases that’s exactly what happened. By the time Nebuchadnezzar was finished, Israel had gone into captivity, Tyre and Sidon (Lebanon) had been laid waste, Egypt had been scattered, and Ammon, Moab, Edom, and Philistia no longer existed.

Israel was punished for practicing idolatry. The surrounding nations were punished for celebrating Israel’s punishment. The Lord felt the need to remind all of them who was God and who was not.

That Was Then, This Is Now

But beginning in Ezekiel 36, after Nebuchadnezzar had taken the Jews to Babylon and burned Jerusalem to the ground, the Lord began using the phrase in a different way. He said the restoration of Israel in the latter days would be the way He would show both Israel and the nations of our day that He is the Lord.

Although the Lord’s promise of restoration was partially fulfilled during the time between Israel’s return from Babylon and the Lord’s first coming, the language in chapters 36 and following make it clear Ezekiel was speaking of the time preceding the Second Coming. Here are some examples.

Speaking to the mountains of Israel, the Lord said. “No longer will I make you hear the taunts of the nations, and no longer will you suffer the scorn of the peoples or cause your nation to fall, declares the Sovereign LORD” (Ezek. 36:15).

Obviously Israel fell to the Romans after their return from Babylon.

‘This is what the Sovereign LORD says: I will take the Israelites out of the nations where they have gone. I will gather them from all around and bring them back into their own land. I will make them one nation in the land, on the mountains of Israel. There will be one king over all of them and they will never again be two nations or be divided into two kingdoms” (Ezekiel 37: 21-22).

During the time of their captivity the Jews were held in Babylon, and they were the ones who resettled the land afterward. There was no official regathering from all the nations such as Ezekiel prophesied will take place after the Gog Magog battle (Ezekiel 39:28).

Also, prior to the first coming the promised land had been divided among various members of the Herod family and Rome. It was not a single entity with a single king.

Here’s How You Will Know

Each step along the way to Israel’s complete restoration is meant to be a sign to show both Israel and the nations that God is the Lord. Each of these signs is identified by some form of the phrase “You will know that I am the Lord” and there are ten of them.

In effect He was saying, “You will know that I am the Lord,

When I settle people in the land and they become fruitful and prosperous (Ezekiel 36:11).

When I show Myself holy through Israel before the eyes of the nations (Ezekiel 36:23).

When I have rebuilt what was destroyed and replanted what was desolate (Ezekiel 36:36).

When I fill the rebuilt cities with people (Ezekiel 36:38).

When I bring back to life a people long dead (Ezekiel 37:6).

When I open their graves and bring My people up from them (Ezekiel 37:13).

When I put My spirit in them and settle them in their own land (Ezekiel 37:14).

When My sanctuary stands among them forever (Ezekiel 37:28).

When I defeat the Gog Magog coalition (Ezekiel 38:23).

When I have finished calling My people back to Israel, not leaving any behind” (Ezekiel 39:28).

Here’s How It All Began

The desire for a Jewish homeland was awakened in the hearts of Jewish people toward the end of the 19th Century with the First Zionist Congress organized by Theodor Herzl in 1897. The 1917 Balfour declaration made Great Britain’s support for the creation of a Jewish homeland official. Then in 1948 the United Nations declared Israel to be a sovereign nation.

During this 50 year interim Jewish people from all over the world had been coming to Israel to help reclaim the promised land. Barren land was made fertile and malaria infested swamps were drained and cultivated. Since then cities have been rebuilt, more desolate land reclaimed, millions of trees planted, and what had been largely wasteland has been made into some of the most productive farmland on the planet. People have come to fill the cities and a nation long considered to be dead has been brought back to life and resettled in its historic lands after an absence of nearly 2,000 years.

This was the beginning of God’s plan to reveal Himself to Israel and the nations in the end times. It had first been foretold in a prophecy that was ancient even in Ezekiel’s time. Centuries earlier, Moses told the Israelites,

Even if you have been banished to the most distant land under the heavens, from there the LORD your God will gather you and bring you back. He will bring you to the land that belonged to your fathers, and you will take possession of it. He will make you more prosperous and numerous than your fathers (Deut. 30:4-5).

And then the Lord had Ezekiel tell the people,

It is not for your sake, O house of Israel, that I am going to do these things, but for the sake of my holy name, which you have profaned among the nations where you have gone (Ezekiel 36:22).

Though scoffers continue to deny it, the rebirth of Israel is a conspicuous fulfillment of prophecy. It’s a sure sign that the end of the age is upon us because to one extent or another these ten signs, intended by God to show Israel and the nations that He is the Lord, are all evident today. Obviously they are not in chronological order, but are listed as they appear in the Book of Ezekiel. Some are already fulfilled and others won’t be completely fulfilled until the Second Coming, but all are somewhere in the process of fulfillment as you read this.

Ten is one of the perfect numbers and signifies the perfection of divine order. These ten signs are the Lord’s way of saying, “Here is everything that’s necessary for Israel and the nations to know that I am the Lord.” Are you getting the message? You can almost hear the footsteps of the Messiah. 04-30-11