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Nisan 10 Prophetic Implications March 17, 2014

Posted by stevekerp in Uncategorized.
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Here’s a brief explanation of the significance of Nisan 10.  If you find this of interest, you may want to share this with your friends (or even paste it in Facebook).

Background:  The foundation of end-times prophecy is usually considered to be the “70 Weeks Prophecy” given by Daniel in the Old Testament and recorded in Daniel chapter 9.  The prophecy was given while Daniel and the Jews were exiles in Babylon, and Jerusalem was literally a heap of ruins following the city’s destruction by King Nebuchadnezzar in 586 BC (or so; experts differ on the date).

God revealed to Daniel that seventy weeks (literally ‘sevens’) were determined for Israel and Jerusalem to accomplish six objectives.  Each week is actually a period of seven years; 70 seven-year blocks or 490 years total.  The period would begin when a command went forth to restore and build Jerusalem.  The years would not be contiguous, but would be broken into three periods:  the first would be seven ‘weeks’ or 49 years, then a second period of 62 ‘weeks’ or 434 years, and then a final period of seven years.  Daniel also included a significant time-marker after the first two periods (483 years) had transpired:  he wrote that “after the sixty-two weeks Messiah shall be cut off, but not for Himself.”  While there may be some doubt as to exactly when this time period began, there is no doubt about when it ended.  It ended just before Jesus Christ was crucified.  It is significant to note that Daniel said Messiah would be cut off “after” the sixty nine weeks, rather than “at the beginning of the 70th week” or something similar.

Where we are now:  We know that 69 of the 70 weeks have already passed.  How can we tell that one week remains; that is, what makes us confident that the final week wasn’t already completed at some time in the past?  We can safely assume that if the final seven years have also passed, then the six objectives would have been met.  Here they are:

  • finish the transgression
  • make an end of sins
  • make reconciliation for iniquity
  • bring in everlasting righteousness
  • seal up vision and prophecy
  • anoint the Most Holy

It seems obvious, just by looking at the world today, at the nation of Israel, or even our own lives that these agenda items have not yet been accomplished.  One week – a final period of seven years – must remain.

When did the clock stop?  Passover always occurs on the 14th day of the first month of the Jewish calendar.  That month is known by two names: ‘Abib’ and ‘Nisan.’  Each month begins on a new moon.  Four days before Passover – that is, on Nisan 10 – Jesus entered Jerusalem to begin his ‘passion week.’  That was the day that the 69th week ended, and it was also when the Jews began their official rejection of their Messiah.  The first 69 weeks were concluded before Jesus was crucified, but the 70th week had not yet begun.

If the 69th week ended on Nisan 10, it would be reasonable to assume that the 70th week would begin on some future Nisan 11.  There are several reasons for believing the final week will begin on this upcoming Nisan 11.  Following is one of those reasons.

Sign in the heavens:  There is a prophecy in Revelation 12 that speaks of a sign in the heavens involving stars, planets, the sun and the moon.  That sign is Virgo simultaneously in near-conjunction with the sun, with the moon under her feet, and with a garland of 12 stars above her head.  This highly unusual configuration will be observable above the city of Jerusalem during the Jewish Feast of Rosh Hashannah in 2017.   According to Revelation, this sign appears in the middle of this final seven-year period (technically, after 1,260 days).  If you back up 1,260 days, you land on Nisan 11 of this year.  Illustration and more information here:  http://tinyurl.com/nisan11

What’s next?  Daniel also stated that the Messiah would confirm a covenant at the beginning of this final week.  Theories abound concerning what “covenant” may be in view or how this confirmation may take place, but one thing seems certain:  this will be an event that will signal the resumption of God’s covenantal activities between Himself and the people of Israel.  This means it must be a post-rapture event. 

Paul wrote in Romans 11:25-26 that “hardening in part has happened to Israel until the fullness of the Gentiles has come in.  And so all Israel will be saved, as it is written:

The Deliverer will come out of Zion,
And He will turn away ungodliness from Jacob;
For this is My covenant with them,
When I take away their sins.”

Notice that national salvation for Israel occurs subsequent to the fullness of the Gentiles having come in.  Compare these prophesied activities with the six objectives stated by Daniel listed above.  Notice also that this scripture explicitly mentions God’s covenant with Jacob and the taking away of Israel’s sins.

You may be wondering when Nisan 11 will fall this year on our calendar.  That date is April 11, 2014 – about 24 days from now. 

An Appeal for Clarity and Decisive Action June 3, 2013

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Every year in early or mid October, the fundamental Christian community makes the obligatory hue and cry about Halloween – you know, that it’s really Samhein with a happy face, that it’s occult, it’s witchcraft, it’s a de-sensitizing gateway to the occult. And those who are resistant (including many in the “Christian” community) tell us to quit being grumpy, let the kids have some fun and a little candy, and lighten up.

Halloween is still a major event for many, and is a major money-maker for those who market Halloween-oriented products. Costumes, parties … it’s an industry. And despite our earnest bleating, it is still generally observed even within the “Christian” subculture, at least here in America.

<sigh!>

About the time Halloween blows over, we notice that Christmas decorations are going up and, once again, the hue and cry: it’s Saturnalia in drag, it’s idolatry, it dishonors both God and Jesus Christ, etc. etc. And usually the folks we are preaching to and pleading with are already caught up in the “spirit” of Christmas and we are told to put our tails between our legs and back off. Quit being a Scrooge, give it a rest, everybody’s doing it, it’s Jesus’ birthday, etc. etc.

Now it’s the end of spring, and “spring cleaning” is about wrapped up for another year. I would submit that now is the time, before the emotional hooks are set, to make the case against Christmas, throw all the decorations in the trash, and start making non-Christmas plans for December. And unless your family members really don’t care that Christmas dishonors God, or they really don’t care that many of our Christian traditions come from idolatrous religious practices that God hates, and really don’t care what the Bible says about it, you may be able to put the Christmas blasphemy away for good.

For information regarding the history of this abominable event (note: it’s not properly a “holiday” and there’s nothing worthy of “celebration”), check out: http://www.bethelministries.com/CHRISTMAS.htm or http://www.rapidnet.com/~jbeard/bdm/Psychology/xmas/celeb.htm … or just search “why Christians should not celebrate Christmas” in your favorite search engine and proceed accordingly.

I realize there are lots of folks out there who consider themselves Christians and think they are “good people” and would rather follow the traditions of their denomination than the uncomfortable teachings of the Bible. Jesus Christ has a word for you: “But why do you call Me ‘Lord, Lord,’ and not do the things which I say?” (Luke 6:46).

He will also have a word for you if you refuse to repent: “And then I will declare to them, ‘I never knew you; depart from Me, you who practice lawlessness!’” (Matthew 7:23) Tell me: is Christmas really worth that ??

Same deal for “Easter” but that’s a separate discussion.

Cute Children and Adorable Pets May 5, 2013

Posted by stevekerp in Current Events, Marriage and Family.
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OK – the subject line is a bit deceptive, since what follows says nothing about pets, (though it has plenty to do with cute children). But “America’s Soon and Certain Destruction” would, for many who need to read this, simply motivate them instead to hit the ‘delete’ key. If you are interested in the future … YOUR future …. please read on:

Just in case you are wondering why some are insisting that America is heading for fierce national judgment and why that judgment is now unavoidable, here is the answer:

Inhuman: Undercover in America’s Late-Term Abortion Industry – Arizona

It’s an 8-minute youtube video. Got 8 minutes?? Or are you “too busy”?

Jesus Himself told us to remember the days of Lot, and especially Lot’s wife. Lot was just one man — the only righteous man in Sodom. He was held in contempt by his family and his fellow citizens. His sons-in-law laughed at him when he insisted that judgment was imminent. He could not do anything about the wickedness of his culture, but he at least had the decency to grieve about what he saw. It was his grieving — not futile attempts at political action or cultural correction (and there is no evidence of either) — that caused God to see Lot as righteous (2 Peter 2:7-8 if you want to look it up).

Lot’s wife could have been saved, had she just obeyed her husband. How many “Christian” wives out there think Ephesians 5:22-24 doesn’t apply to them?

Here in America, we are MURDERING CHILDREN and most folks, even those who call themselves Christians, are apparently unconcerned. “It’s the law. I can’t do anything about it.” That’s true; so what? You can SAY something about it. You can certainly pray about it, pray that God might send revival to your city and perhaps spare at least some in your community. Or you can shrug it off, go back to your favorite TV program … and ignore the silent screams of 50 million innocent children who have been slaughtered mercilessly in this country while we looked the other way, went to our Sunday morning church services, and trudged off to our jobs.

God is just, and HIS … JUSTICE … WILL … NOT … SLEEP … FOREVER! And I daresay the screams of those children will be matched by the screams of the callous and indifferent when God judges this land. On that day, there will be no more “business as usual” – no more careers and dinners out and “Dancing With The Stars” while God is placated for an hour on Sundays and most family altars lie in ruins.

Do you care enough to grieve? Do you care enough to cry out? Do you care enough to repent?

The ‘War on the Middle Class’ January 3, 2013

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By now, you may have already seen the following, or something similar. This came from Jack Kinsella’s Omega Letter and was forwarded to me by Pastor Riley:

… this is what the federal budget will look like:

U.S. Tax revenue: $2,170,000,000,000
Fed budget: $3,820,000,000,000
New debt: $ 1,650,000,000,000
National debt: $14,271,000,000,000
Recent budget cuts: $ 38,500,000,000

Let’s now remove 8 zeros and pretend it’s a household budget:

Annual family income: $21,700
Money the family spent: $38,200
New debt on the credit card: $16,500
Outstanding balance on the credit card: $142,710
Total budget cuts: $385

And so, that’s the plan. If this were your household budget, do you think you could get a new Capital One credit card with no credit limit at 3.04% interest annually? No?

And even assuming that you could, would you go home and announce to your family that all is well because you had avoided the looming fiscal cliff?

It has become (finally!) apparent to some Americans that the current policy is designed to destroy the middle class. Those who work for a living creating real wealth; those who create small businesses; those who try to “build a better mousetrap” – will not be collateral damage. They are in the cross-hairs.

It seems clear that Obama et al have declared war on the middle class. Might it be possible that God has also declared war on the middle class? Looking at us through the lens of the letter to the Laodiceans, what else could a loving God do? We’re concerned about our comfort, our safety, our 401(k)’s, our lavish (compared to the rest of the world and the rest of the cultures in history) homes, our cushy jobs …. and we’re poised for major protest when these things are taken away. What about our major lack of compassion for the hurting people in this world? What about the hungry and homeless people who are on our streets, literally right under our noses?

I’ve led the charge: give a little to assuage my conscience, give what I will never miss, give — not when there is a crucial need, but — when it’s convenient. I don’t recall ever giving anything sacrificially.

We’ve been heaping up wrath for ourselves. We look down our noses at everybody else, but the indictment of Ezekiel 16:49 just might be for US:

Look, this was the iniquity of your sister Sodom: She and her daughter had pride, fullness of food, and abundance of idleness; neither did she strengthen the hand of the poor and needy. And they were haughty and committed abomination before Me …

Perhaps God wants to strip away our lifestyles because it’s so hard for the rich to enter the Kingdom, and He is not willing that we perish.

I’m hoping the rapture is NOT soon, because we’ve gotta get this thing right. We have brothers and sisters in Christ about whom we presumably have great concern. We may be looking at our final opportunity to do unto Christ by doing unto “the least of these.”

Let’s re-visit Luke 16 and realize that we will soon be required to give an account. Let’s also re-read Matthew 25 very literally and understand, if we miss everything else, that what we do to and for the poor will have eternal consequences for us.

Jezebel Spirit December 15, 2012

Posted by stevekerp in End Times, Marriage and Family, Uncategorized.
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This is an ugly message but it needs to be said. My hope and intent is that it’s Biblical and timely. If it’s inapplicable, praise God! If it’s unpleasant, that is unavoidable. It is certainly not my intention to be harsh, or (God forbid!) to justify the behavior or attitude of any husband who is unwilling to love, lead or provide for his wife and family. I’m not fixing blame, just identifying sin.

Jezebel was an evil, manipulative woman.  She appears in the books of Kings in the Old Testament, and in the church in Thyatira in the new.  She’s known primarily for sexual immorality but I believe she manifests herself in other ways, primarily rebelliousness (which is as the sin of witchcraft) and an arrogant, independent, or unsubmissive spirit.  She may show many of the virtues of the Proverbs 31 woman in that she rises up early and works diligently.  But she has a real problem with Ephesians chapter 5.

I mention this because it appears to me that the eschatological community is the “happy hunting ground” for this spirit.  Many of us are in what would be called “unequal yokes.”  We long for the return of the Lord and watch for the signs, as He commanded.  But one may have a spouse who is completely unconcerned:  indifferent at best and hostile at worst.  We’ve all seen it.  What I have also seen is highly-motivated women who think that because their husbands are not as “spiritual” as they are, that they need no longer submit to him.

Wives, submit to your own husbands, as to the Lord. For the husband is head of the wife, as also Christ is head of the church; and He is the Savior of the body. Therefore, just as the church is subject to Christ, so let the wives be to their own husbands in everything. —  Ephesians 5:22-24

This command does not have exceptions or an escape clause.  If a woman will not submit to her husband who she can see, how can she submit to the Lord, Who she cannot see?  And especially when He has given her a direct command to submit?  “If you love Me, keep My commandments.”

“Everything” means all the venues of married life. To refuse to submit is to adulterate the relationship. The obvious example is sexual infidelity. Here are a couple more:

  1. The couple could live on the husband’s provision, but the wife wants a bigger house, newer car, vacations, etc. Her dissatisfaction adulterates her marriage in the arena of provision.
  2. The wife has spiritual questions or concerns. Instead of following her husband’s spiritual leadership (and encouraging him to grow as a spiritual leader), she goes to a church pastor or minister or a friend. If the children have spiritual questions, she refers them to “the minister.” This adulterates her spiritual relationship with her husband and is also an assault on the family altar.

“Submit” has become an ugly word, and now has Islamic overtones.  So let’s just say “respect” and you’ll get the basic idea.  I’ve seen women, and maybe you have also, who are working outside the home.  As “career women,” many have substantial incomes and get tremendous respect from their co-workers.  And this can turn into contempt for their husbands.  Some make more money than their husbands, and in this Babylonian world, this turns to arrogance.  Some are more religious than their husbands, so they replace their husband’s spiritual headship by making their pastor or minister into their spiritual head.  This is immorality!

In an extreme case, there was a woman who felt she was getting direct communications from God.  She may have been getting indirect communications from Him through her husband (God respects the chain of command), but she didn’t think he was “spiritual” enough so she would not listen.  I believe a seducing spirit may have gained entry at that point, and her dreams, visions and communications that she thought were from God were actually from the dark side.  God did have a message for her:  Ephesians 5:22.  But she was too “spiritual” to listen.  Now, as a result, her marriage is in shambles, her testimony is about destroyed, and her legal problems are just beginning.

THIS IS THE JEZEBEL SPIRIT!  (Pardon my all-caps – I’m not yelling, just emphasizing).  Bad stuff happens to Jezebel and to all who follow her example (Rev. 2:22).  Wives:  respect your husbands, even if they are unsaved or spiritually indifferent.  Love is patient and kind; it is never arrogant or rude.  You “spiritual” women:  how spiritual are you when the going gets tough?  Do you tally your husband’s shortcomings to “justify” your rebelliousness?  Are you helping your husband to become the man he needs to be?  Or have you abandoned him because it’s easier and more satisfying to invest your life in your career instead of your marriage?  Remember Lot’s wife? Whose “suitable help” (Genesis 2:18) are you, anyway?

Self-test for working women: If you treated the people you work with like you treat your husband, would you get promoted? or fired?

Consider Esther – Ahasuerus was a tyrant.  Need I say more??

One additional thought:  If Ahab would have loved his wife Jezebel even as Christ loves the church, it would not have made any difference.  There is no cause/effect relationship between these two mandates in Eph 5. No Jezebel-spirited woman will ever be able to say, “I was unsubmissive because my husband didn’t love me” (or “didn’t love me enough”).

NOTE:  The nucleus of this item was originally posted on the Five Doves web site on December 14, 2012.  Following is a confirmation from one reader:

WOW…..

Steve…thank you so much for this article.  The Lord Jesus Christ used you to speak to ME directly.  I am a Christian, saved by the Grace of God.  I have accepted Jesus Christ as my Lord and Savior, but your words really cut directly to my heart, soul and spirit.

I believe my husband is saved, and we use to worship together when we first got married.  We both have drifted away from attending church, but I do still study the Word and worship via Christian programs on radio, television, internet, etc.   My husband is retired and I still work full-time outside the home.  I am what is call a “Career” woman and make more money than my husband (although everything is OUR money).  I have been feeling resentful of him because we are struggling financially and I tend to blame him for not “providing” for our family.  I find myself saying hurtful things to him and have felt spiritually “superior” to him.  I know I am not as God is not a respecter of persons, but I am guilty of this nonetheless.  I have been very rebellious and they way I speak to him is not how I should as a wife.

I have used the excuse that he is not acting like the Christian “Leader” of our home, as a license for me to not give him the respect he is due as the “Head of the Household”.   When the Holy Spirit has convicted me (on several occasions), I did apologize and ask his forgiveness and told him I would try to treat him as I should.  I really mean it and believe I have been better, but there are so many issues we both are dealing with.  I found out he watches pornography, and I have been tempted to flirt with someone at work.  We are not connecting sexually.  I feel cheated on, but also feel guilty for being tempted to stray (I have not physically, but in my heart, I guess I have).

There is just so much more, I can’t put it all into words, but when I saw your letter on Five Doves, I KNEW it was speaking to me.  I do believe time is running out and the Lord will soon return.  I am going to pray again to the Lord to forgive me and help cleanse and give me a renewed spirit.  I do not want to be ashamed when He comes for His Bride.

Please pray for me too.  I just HAD to write and thank the Lord for using you to speak this WORD to me.

God gave men helpers because men need help. Some of us need a LOT of help. I am truly frightened for some Christian women who are going to get some terrifying surprises when Jesus returns and holds them accountable for the shabby way they treat their husbands.

NOTE: Three more comments from Five Doves:
Deborah W – Steve C. Re: Jezebel
Heather B – To Steve’s Post Re: Jezebel Spirit
Abigail – To Steve Coerper re “Jezebel Spirit” and my response

Additional Insights from Haggai December 7, 2012

Posted by stevekerp in End Times, Uncategorized.
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During today’s program, we didn’t get quite as far as I’d hoped regarding the prophecy of Haggai, and I would be remiss if I failed to point out what, to me anyway, is a fairly obvious bridge between Haggai and Revelation. We read the verse but didn’t connect the dots:

“Speak to Zerubbabel, governor of Judah, saying:

I will shake heaven and earth.
I will overthrow the throne of kingdoms;
I will destroy the strength of the Gentile kingdoms.
I will overthrow the chariots
And those who ride in them;
The horses and their riders shall come down,
Every one by the sword of his brother.

‘In that day,’ says the LORD of hosts, ‘I will take you, Zerubbabel My servant, the son of Shealtiel,’ says the LORD, ‘and will make you as a signet ring; for I have chosen you,’ says the LORD of hosts.”  (Haggai 2:21-23)

“I will” is stated or implied six times, and I believe that the six things the LORD says He will do point directly to the events we are anticipating.

  1. I will shake heaven and earth.” Compare Isaiah 2:19-21, 13:13, and Revelation 6:12.
  2. I will overthrow the throne of kingdoms.” Compare Daniel 2:35, Isaiah 2:11-12 and Revelation 11:15
  3. I will destroy the strength of the Gentile kingdoms.” Compare Zechariah 12:9, 14:2-3 and Revelation 18:23
  4. I will overthrow the chariots and those who ride in them.” Compare Revelation 19:17-18
  5. I will take you, Zerubbabel …” Consider Revelation 11:3 and the possibility that Peter Goodgame is correct in believing that Zerubbabel will be one of the “two witnesses.”  (see The Two Witnesses of Revelation)
  6. [I] will make you as a signet ring …” Consider the use of signet rings in passages such as Esther 8:2,8 and Daniel 6:17. Again, this maps well to the activities of the “two witnesses.”

I do not find it difficult to believe that the “two witnesses” are already here, but still unrevealed.  It could be that the foundation of the Lord’s temple will be laid in the very near future, and that the events we anticipate will begin playing out in history in the VERY near future.

Are you excited?  Are you ready??

Think Biblically: The President is not Elected October 18, 2012

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Daniel chapter 5 is still in the Bible, and we should take the message to heart.  God Himself appoints — appoints — those in positions of political leadership (see also Romans 13).   Your “vote” should best be viewed as an appeal to God for the leadership we need and that you think a candidate will provide.   But there will be no “vote” that will override God’s sovereign will in the matter.   Nebuchadnezzar was reduced to the level of a bovine dolt and it took him seven years to finally get it right.   We’re already four years into this.  Do we really want another three?

God appointed Obama as President as a judgment against American arrogance, and his inauguration should have also inaugurated four years of passionate repentance.   Has it?   We still have lots of Christians who seem to think the proper response is a “get out the vote” campaign.   (We have many Christian “leaders” and “ministries” doing the same.)   Truly, we have become as stupid as cows, and if we think we can avoid God’s judgment by “voting against it” we are truly over-ripe for judgment.   Obama may be better than we deserve, since many of the consequences we anticipate from his policies have not yet been implemented.   But there is nothing in God’s “job description” that requires Him to give us any mercy at all, and if we get justice next time (He is only precluded from injustice), we have no standing to complain.   And, I daresay, we will have lots of “Christian” leaders blaming non-voters and 3rd party voters.   Go to the head of the herd.

Let’s have no more squabbling about it.   Asserting that 3rd party votes are or are not “wasted” misses the point completely.   We have a blessed hope of deliverance but in the meantime, we have a critical mission to accomplish.   Let’s, for starters, quit grazing in the grass and acknowledge what Nebuchadnezzar finally did, that:

“…the Most High God rules in the kingdom of men, and appoints over it whomever He chooses.”

Belshazzar never figured this out, and it cost him his life!

I repent for my previous participation in this distraction and hope you will forgive me.   Now: let’s BE the Bride of Christ.

God is a Mathematician September 30, 2012

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Many of us have been at this for a long time. We look at all the evidence we can gather from every possible angle, and see the designs and patterns that are built into prophetic scripture.

Based on that, and on a belief that God designed all this with precision and purpose, we “crunch the numbers” and make reasonable projections on when certain prophesied events could take place.

Thus far, we don’t seem to be doing so hot.

But before we surrender or lose hope, I’d like to suggest that many, perhaps even MOST of our projections and calculations may have been correct. We have found a solution, but it may be a correct answer among several.

If God is a mathematician, which I believe He is, then He is certainly not limited to the level of mathematics that we can understand. Here’s an example that came to mind:

Suppose I tell you that X2 – X = 6. If you tell me that 3 is a correct answer, you are right. If you tell me that 3 is the ONLY correct answer, you would be wrong.

I might be able to give this problem to a second grader, and he could start plugging in numbers and he might come to 3 and realize that it works. However, quadratic equations and their solution are far beyond the comprehension of most second graders, as is the concept of negative numbers (Note: -2 is the other correct answer).

God is way, way beyond us, and He could be using prophetic “equations” that are magnitudes beyond what we could solve or even grasp. So while our solutions may be “correct” in that they fit the pattern and explain all the data, they are not THE correct answer among the many correct solutions. So we press on.

I’m writing this to encourage those who have seen dates come and go and may be losing hope. Remember PLEASE – none of this stuff comes up at the Bema seat. Our passion for the return of the King is proper and good if it motivates us toward personal holiness.

We always have a window or two in the future. Next is a week out, and following that will probably be December. He is coming at a time when most of the people on this planet will not be expecting Him.

Press on to perfection. Your life matters to Him, and your reward will be great.

Is ‘Bride’ Synonymous With ‘Overcomers’? June 23, 2012

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I have discussed on several occasions the concept that the ‘bride of Christ’ is taken from the Church, just as the bride of Adam was taken from Adam’s body. I have then suggested that those comprising the Bride of Christ will enjoy a closeness to Christ, and other benefits that the remainder of the Church will not enjoy.

The idea that the Bride of Christ is not the same as the Church – that is “all saved people from Pentecost to the Rapture” – appears offensive to some, as well as scripturally unsupported. Is the Bride a subset of the Body of Christ? Or is this just another last-days divisive false doctrine?

The phrase “Bride of Christ” does not occur in the New Testament. Paul said in 2 Cor. 11:2 that “…I have espoused you to one husband, that I may present [you as] a chaste virgin to Christ.” In Ephesians 5 Paul goes into detail regarding the proper relationship between a husband and wife (submission, love, sanctification) mentioning several times in his admonition that he is speaking concerning Christ and the church. One might conclude, then, that every member of the true Church is necessarily part of this “Bride of Christ.”

Then again … maybe not. Being “espoused” is not the same as being married. As volitional creatures, we are free to say ‘no.’ Indeed, Jewish wedding custom provides for it. Ephesians 5 also has volitional elements. The wife is enjoined to submit to her husband in everything. What of those Christians who are not submissive? Christ “might” sanctify and cleanse His people. He fully intends to and is certainly able … but we all know Christians who aren’t particularly interested in sanctification. Some Christians have a zeal to be holy, blameless, without spot or wrinkle. Others really couldn’t be bothered, thinking that all God expects is for Christians to avoid gross sins and go to church on Sundays.

Jesus speaks to this with clarity in His letters to the seven churches. Each letter has a promise to those who “overcome.” Does this not presume that being an “overcomer” (whatever that may mean) is not automatic with salvation? Overcomers, like brides, get a ‘new name’ (Rev. 3:12). Like brides, overcomers will be clothed in white garments (Rev. 3:5). They will sit with Jesus on His throne. In Rev. 3:12 we also see that “He who overcomes …I will write on him the name of My God and the name of the city of My God, the New Jerusalem…” Move ahead to chapter 21 and one of the seven angels says, “Come, I will show you the bride, the Lamb’s wife” and John is shown the New Jerusalem.

When God took a rib from Adam, He made a companion for Adam who was “meet,” that is, suitable. Eve was designed specifically for Adam. If this is a type or foreshadowing – if Christ who is the ‘last Adam’ will also get a suitable companion … what sort of companion will He get? What sort of bride does He deserve? One who pursues all that the term “disciple” entails? One who is passionate about the things of God? One who treasures holiness and hates sin with a holy hatred? One who is conformed to the image of Christ? And of these attributes, which are gifts of the Holy Spirit; things that happen “automatically” in the life of every believer? Can we complain to God because He did not give us the “gift of obedience” or the “gift of abiding in Christ”?

Of course not! Obedience is something we render (or not) to God. It’s OUR CHOICE. In short and to summarize, we – as volitional beings created in God’s image – decide for ourselves whether or not to be obedient; to be overcomers. Discipleship – observing whatsoever our Lord has commanded (Matthew 28:20) is entirely up to each of us.

In the article “Jewish Marriage” the author writes:

Prior to the wedding day, the bride is required to visit the mikveh, the ritual bath, and immerse herself, to ensure a purified spiritual state as she prepares herself for married life. The bride must show proof of having visited the mikveh before she is eligible to sign the marriage contract.

This, to me, strongly suggests water baptism, which is the first step of discipleship (Matthew 28:19). I can’t be dogmatic in insisting that one cannot qualify as a “disciple” in the Biblical sense without first submitting to water baptism, though a fairly compelling case can be made. On the other hand is practical history: in Stalin’s USSR baptism may have been a capital offense. Study the scriptures and reach conclusions of your own, but don’t use the policies of atheistic regimes as an excuse for disobedience.

I believe that the bride of Christ consists of the “overcomers” and that this group is a sub-set of the church. And in a few days we may find out if I’m correct.

The Fullness of the Gentiles and the 5th Seal May 4, 2012

Posted by stevekerp in End Times.
2 comments

As we know, Paul wrote in Romans 11 that   

hardening in part has happened to Israel until the fullness of the Gentiles has come in

after which the period of Israel’s spiritual blindness will end. Jack Kelley wrote in ” The Fullness Of The Gentiles” that

…the Greek word translated full number (fullness) was a nautical term referring to the number of sailors necessary for a commercial ship to set sail.

This links the idea of the completion of the church to a departure. It is more than simply a change in the state of affairs, wherein Gentiles no longer respond to the gospel and Jews are no longer resistant to it. Instead, there is a completion.

Perhaps this brings to mind a certain ship in history that reached its full complement and departed. F.M. Riley recently pointed out (as have many others) that the upcoming Iyyar 17 (Wed. May 9th) is the anniversary of the day Noah entered the ark (see Genesis 7:7-11). If this is a type of the rapture, it merits further study.

I believe this may connect with the 5th seal in Revelation.  I am strongly persuaded that the first four seals have already opened and that they are the spiritual forces behind the escalating unpleasantness we are seeing worldwide; a period referred to by Jesus as “the beginning of sorrows” in Matthew 24.  If the Four Horsemen are already riding, what might we expect to see as the physical manifestation of the opening of the 5th seal?

When He opened the fifth seal, I saw under the altar the souls of those who had been slain for the word of God and for the testimony which they held. And they cried with a loud voice, saying, “How long, O Lord, holy and true, until You judge and avenge our blood on those who dwell on the earth?” Then a white robe was given to each of them; and it was said to them that they should rest a little while longer, until both the number of their fellow servants and their brethren, who would be killed as they were, was completed.

I’m not certain we would see any physical manifestation.  Clearly, the time of vengeance from their perspective is yet future.  However, the final thought is provoking: they are waiting for a number to be completed.  “Until the full number of the martyrs has come in.”

I would suggest, for your prayerful study, that you consider that the fullness in view is the Gentile believers. In this present age, the enemies of Christ will continue to kill Christians as long as the church is on the earth. Christian martyrdom will end with the rapture. To summarize thus far: 1) Paul tells us in Romans that a time will come when the last Gentile will be saved, at which time Israel’s spiritual blindness will end. 2) Noah illustrates in history a “nautical departure” followed by judgment. 3) The martyrs under the altar are also waiting for the completion of their number.

We’re looking at the same spiritual reality from three perspectives.  Noah’s experience is a historical perspective (“as it was in the days of Noah”), the constraint in Romans 11 is parabolic and covenantal, and the 5th seal is an event in heaven.  All three are prophetic.

Martyrdom will be completed at or possibly just before the rapture. Consider the possibility that the 5th seal will be opened on 17 Iyyar. The 8th day following is Ascension Day (May 17th), which will be the anniversary of the ascension of Christ into heaven.

If this is correct, May 17th will be the day when the 6th seal is opened. It will be a day of “sudden destruction” at which time everyone remaining on the planet will realize that the “great day of His wrath” has finally begun (Rev. 6:17). Ten days later, on Pentecost, 144,000 Jews – 12,000 from each of the twelve tribes – will be sealed.

Speculative, to be sure, but I believe consistent with current events and biblical prophecy.  We won’t have long to wait to find out how close this may be.

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