Before I begin, I must stress that this post, while representing a Pre-Tribulation Rapture viewpoint, does NOT subscribe to a Pre-“SEVEN Year” Tribulation Rapture viewpoint. In other words, please do not write off this post as being either a “Mid-Trib” or “Pre-Wrath” point of view! Why? Both “Mid-Trib” & “Pre-Wrath” believe that the Church will require some sort of cleansing by being persecuted by the Anti-Christ and his followers. I do not believe that the Bride of Christ will EVER have to go through any such persecution by the Anti-Christ. Such persecution would just not make any sense. After all, what Good Husband would want His wife to be persecuted, tortured and murdered prior to getting married? Certainly not the Ultimate Husband, our wonderful Jesus! In other words, this post simply believes that the Post-Rapture Tribulation Period will be less than seven years. Now, with this prelude behind us, on to the post…
The purpose of this post is to attempt to answer the following two important questions using the 7th Chapter of John:
Question 1: Do the verses in John 7 hint at the Rapture taking place on Hanukkah 2011 (around December 20th)?
Question 2: Do the verses in John 7 confirm, in type, that we should expect a Post-Rapture Tribulation Period of less than 4 years (and not the commonly believed 7 years)?
Prior to commencing this study, here is the King James Version of John 7 in its full (emphasis mine). Please read every word of this chapter carefully for all of God’s Word is priceless:
7:1After these things Jesus walked in Galilee: for he would not walk in Jewry, because the Jews sought to kill him. 7:2Now the Jews' feast of tabernacles was at hand. 7:3His brethren therefore said unto him, Depart hence, and go into Judaea, that thy disciples also may see the works that thou doest. 7:4For there is no man that doeth any thing in secret, and he himself seeketh to be known openly. If thou do these things, shew thyself to the world. 7:5For neither did his brethren believe in him. 7:6Then Jesus said unto them, My time is not yet come: but your time is alway ready. 7:7The world cannot hate you; but me it hateth, because I testify of it, that the works thereof are evil. 7:8Go ye up unto this feast: I go not up yet unto this feast; for my time is not yet full come. 7:9When he had said these words unto them, he abode still in Galilee.7:10But when his brethren were gone up, then went he also up unto the feast, not openly, but as it were in secret. 7:11Then the Jews sought him at the feast, and said, Where is he? 7:12And there was much murmuring among the people concerning him: for some said, He is a good man: others said, Nay; but he deceiveth the people. 7:13Howbeit no man spake openly of him for fear of the Jews.7:14Now about the midst of the feast Jesus went up into the temple, and taught. 7:15And the Jews marvelled, saying, How knoweth this man letters, having never learned? 7:16Jesus answered them, and said, My doctrine is not mine, but his that sent me. 7:17If any man will do his will, he shall know of the doctrine, whether it be of God, or whether I speak of myself. 7:18He that speaketh of himself seeketh his own glory: but he that seeketh his glory that sent him, the same is true, and no unrighteousness is in him. 7:19Did not Moses give you the law, and yet none of you keepeth the law? Why go ye about to kill me? 7:20The people answered and said, Thou hast a devil: who goeth about to kill thee? 7:21Jesus answered and said unto them, I have done one work, and ye all marvel. 7:22Moses therefore gave unto you circumcision; (not because it is of Moses, but of the fathers;) and ye on the sabbath day circumcise a man. 7:23If a man on the sabbath day receive circumcision, that the law of Moses should not be broken; are ye angry at me, because I have made a man every whit whole on the sabbath day? 7:24Judge not according to the appearance, but judge righteous judgment. 7:25Then said some of them of Jerusalem, Is not this he, whom they seek to kill? 7:26But, lo, he speaketh boldly, and they say nothing unto him. Do the rulers know indeed that this is the very Christ? 7:27Howbeit we know this man whence he is: but when Christ cometh, no man knoweth whence he is. 7:28Then cried Jesus in the temple as he taught, saying, Ye both know me, and ye know whence I am: and I am not come of myself, but he that sent me is true, whom ye know not. 7:29But I know him: for I am from him, and he hath sent me. 7:30Then they sought to take him: but no man laid hands on him, because his hour was not yet come. 7:31And many of the people believed on him, and said, When Christ cometh, will he do more miracles than these which this man hath done?7:32The Pharisees heard that the people murmured such things concerning him; and the Pharisees and the chief priests sent officers to take him. 7:33Then said Jesus unto them, Yet a little while am I with you, and then I go unto him that sent me. 7:34Ye shall seek me, and shall not find me: and where I am, thither ye cannot come. 7:35Then said the Jews among themselves, Whither will he go, that we shall not find him? will he go unto the dispersed among the Gentiles, and teach the Gentiles? 7:36What manner of saying is this that he said, Ye shall seek me, and shall not find me: and where I am, thither ye cannot come? 7:37In the last day, that great day of the feast, Jesus stood and cried, saying, If any man thirst, let him come unto me, and drink. 7:38He that believeth on me, as the scripture hath said, out of his belly shall flow rivers of living water. 7:39(But this spake he of the Spirit, which they that believe on him should receive: for the Holy Ghost was not yet given; because that Jesus was not yet glorified.) :7:40Many of the people therefore, when they heard this saying, said, Of a truth this is the Prophet. 7:41Others said, This is the Christ. But some said, Shall Christ come out of Galilee? 7:42Hath not the scripture said, That Christ cometh of the seed of David, and out of the town of Bethlehem, where David was? 7:43So there was a division among the people because of him. 7:44And some of them would have taken him; but no man laid hands on him.7:45Then came the officers to the chief priests and Pharisees; and they said unto them, Why have ye not brought him? 7:46The officers answered, Never man spake like this man. 7:47Then answered them the Pharisees, Are ye also deceived? 7:48Have any of the rulers or of the Pharisees believed on him? 7:49But this people who knoweth not the law are cursed. 7:50Nicodemus saith unto them, (he that came to Jesus by night, being one of them,) 7:51Doth our law judge any man, before it hear him, and know what he doeth? 7:52They answered and said unto him, Art thou also of Galilee? Search, and look: for out of Galilee ariseth no prophet. 7:53And every man went unto his own house.
I will now make some observations on the passages that were underlined and bolded above as they pertained to the two questions asked at the beginning of this post. However, before I do so, here are some of my thoughts on the Feast of Tabernacles:
- The Feast of Tabernacles has been supplemented by a very similar feast in Hanukkah
- Since Tabernacles was, in essence, mirrored by Hanukkah, I have ASSUMED that the above verses could also now apply to its “twin”, Hanukkah
- Hanukkah, as with Tabernacles, lasts a total of 8 days, with these 8 days equal to the first 7 days PLUS the last GREAT day
- I believe that the first 7 days are analogous to the final seven years prior to the millennium and that the last GREAT day explicitly represents the millennium
- On that premise, I applied the above verses to what we are seeing in today’s final seven years (of which, less than four years now remain)
- Eight is the number for completion and Hanukkah is the eighth feast. It was unexpected added, very similar to the Church being unexpectedly added once Jesus came
- In addition, Hanukkah has many other prophetic references to the relationship between Jesus and His Bride, the Church (others have written more eloquently on this subject so will not be repeated here)
John 7:2-12a: “Now the Jews' feast of tabernacles was at hand. His brethren therefore said unto him, Depart hence, and go into Judaea, that thy disciples also may see the works that thou doest. For there is no man that doeth any thing in secret, and he himself seeketh to be known openly. If thou do these things, shew thyself to the world. For neither did his brethren believe in him. Then Jesus said unto them, My time is not yet come: but your time is alway ready. The world cannot hate you; but me it hateth, because I testify of it, that the works thereof are evil. Go ye up unto this feast: I go not up yet unto this feast; for my time is not yet full come. When he had said these words unto them, he abode still in Galilee. But when his brethren were gone up, then went he also up unto the feast, not openly, but as it were in secret. Then the Jews sought him at the feast, and said, Where is he? And there was much murmuring among the people concerning him”
- As these verses show, throughout history, people have tried to tell Jesus what to do and when He should do it. Prophecy experts do this today, outlining their interpretation of doctrine as fact when the bottom line is that, no one, including me or anyone else, knows everything there is to know about Bible prophecy. I believe that God left some things intentionally vague for our later discovery through progressive revelation. However, it is simply our human nature to get stuck in our beliefs and interpretations
- For example, most prophecy experts hold to a seven year Post-Rapture Tribulation Period as if it were an indisputable fact. However, Biblical evidence WEAVED with historical evidence points DIRECTLY towards Jesus returning to end the Tribulation Period on the Day of Atonement 2015 or September 23, 2015. Since the derivation of this date is not the subject of this post, this post will not elaborate on how this is the date. However, it would be well worth your time to discover that there is plenty of proof on Ron Reese’s fabulous website located as follows:
- It’s okay to get your back up about this (I did too), I just ask that you pray on this. Indeed, even Ron Reese, the author of this site, needed MULTIPLE supernatural confirmations from the Lord Himself before he could separate himself from this 7 Year Post Rapture Tribulation Period “requirement”. This applied to me as well as it took MULTIPLE calculations landing DIRECTLY on Jewish Feast Days in the year 2015, based directly on the Bible, for me to abandon the whole Rapture followed by 7 year peace treaty / tribulation requirement so often taught
- Using September 23, 2015 as the end of the Great Tribulation, this means 1260 days prior to this date lands directly on April 11, 2012 as the beginning of the Great Tribulation. In addition, 2520 days prior to this date lands directly on October 29, 2008. However, October 29, 2008 has come and gone and we are still here – NO RAPTURE. While many had hoped / calculated that September 23, 2015 was the “right date” for Jesus to destroy the Anti-Christ, October 29, 2008 coming and going caused MANY to abandon September 23, 2015 as even a remote possibility for the end of the Great Tribulation
- Similarly, in the above verses, the brothers of Jesus demanded that Jesus come with them to the Feast of Tabernacles immediately AND at the very beginning of the seven days because that is what THEY EXPECTED Jesus to do. In other words, His brothers wanted Jesus to perform on their terms instead of God’s terms. In an analogous fashion today, watchers looking forward to September 23, 2015 had EXPECTED Jesus to Rapture them on October 29, 2008. When this came and went, rather than investigating and revising their perception, most simply MOVED ON!! So then, why did Jesus not Rapture us on this day? I believe that there is quite a simple explanation given in the above Scripture for why Jesus did not make Himself KNOWN at the beginning of the seven day (seven year) time frame – ”for my time is not yet full come”
- As pretty well EVERYONE has noticed by now, ever since October 29, 2008 we have seen an exponential increase in “stage setting” as it pertains to the upcoming “Great Tribulation”, which will begin on April 11, 2012. This is the date the Global Financial Crisis essentially began (30 day warning = 777.7 point fall on Feast of Trumpets, September 29, 2008 – indeed, the math “behind” this drop is so interesting, it will actually be the subject of a future post). Since that date, it is AS IF Jesus Himself is secretly on earth, personally guiding the Holy Spirit in setting the stage for His returns (in the air and then on earth). Again, it is obvious that actual circumstances certainly seem to indicate that this is the case, including the continued and increasingly rapid downfall of the USA as a superpower. Is there again an analogous explanation from the above Scriptures pointing towards His possible involvement as to why we are seeing such rapid movement all of a sudden? How about this – “But when his brethren were gone up, then went he also up unto the feast, not openly, but as it were in secret.”
- I am positive that if the above interpretation was given to a Bible expert stuck on a seven year Post-Rapture Tribulation Period, they would probably tell you with disgust, “September 23, 2015 can’t apply since we are still here! If it did apply, where is He? Why were we not Raptured yet?” Indeed, I am also positive that if we had a room full of these experts, there would be plenty of murmuring and grumbling. So then, is there ANOTHER analogous explanation from the above Scriptures as to why we are seeing such protests from the experts? How about this – ”Then the Jews sought him at the feast, and said, Where is he? And there was much murmuring among the people concerning him”
- NOTE: In no way am I comparing Bible experts to non-believing Jews. Indeed, it certainly appears that they are ALL saved and great men of God. Make no mistake about this - I have GREAT admiration and respect for Bible experts such as Jack Kelley and Joseph Chambers. To be even more specific, the only analogy that applies in this particular case is that these experts appear to be completely stuck on a Post-Rapture seven year period and murmur loudly against anyone who feels differently from them on this. Indeed, I personally have witnessed what I would classify as a belligerent attitude on this doctrine on more than one occasion. Indeed, I have seen many kicked off of various rapture forum websites for even DARING to question the need for SEVEN YEARS after the Rapture occurs!!
John 7:14, 27-29: “Now about the midst of the feast Jesus went up into the temple, and taught. Howbeit we know this man whence he is: but when Christ cometh, no man knoweth whence he is. Then cried Jesus in the temple as he taught, saying, Ye both know me, and ye know whence I am: and I am not come of myself, but he that sent me is true, whom ye know not. But I know him: for I am from him, and he hath sent me.”
- The Scriptures certainly appear to indicate that Jesus was at the Feast of Tabernacles from the very beginning, but at first in complete secret, leaving for the Feast just after His brothers had left. Is this analogous to Jesus personally working with the Holy Spirit in secret by setting up the Great Tribulation during the first 37 or 38 months of the seven year (84 month) period we are currently in? This is where we now sit today. However, afterwards, it was time for Jesus to make Himself KNOWN. John 7:14 states, “Now about the midst of the feast Jesus went up into the temple, and taught.” In other words, Jesus did not actually make Himself KNOWN until around the middle of the seven days. Using this as an analogy to the current seven year period that we are now almost 38 months into, we are now rapidly approaching the Great Tribulation start date of April 11, 2012, the very middle, around or close to “the midst of the feast”
- It is clear from Scripture that, prior to the Tribulation / Wrath commencing, the very FIRST time Jesus will make Himself KNOWN to the unwatching world would be in the form of the Rapture. In the above passages, Jesus first made Himself known in the midst of the feast. In other words, Jesus made Himself KNOWN somewhere near the middle of the feast. In this analogy, this is equivalent to somewhere near the middle of the final seven years!!
- Do you see how exciting this is? We are nearing the mid-point – April 11, 2012!! December 20, 2011 is in the right vicinity of this timeline as is the entire Hanukkah period. Does John 7 point towards these dates as being High Watch dates? I believe so. Does John 7 point towards the Rapture being quite close to the Great Tribulation beginning? Again, I believe so. However, as with everything, you will have to discern this for yourselves, searching the Scripture continuously for truth (in other words, don’t take my word for it, or anyone else’s other than God’s Word!!)
- So exactly why does Jesus make Himself known? From the above Scripture, it appears God told Jesus it was time. Or, as Jesus put it, “he hath sent me.” So then, who sent Jesus? The Father. And who sends Jesus to get His Bride at the Rapture? The Father. Another perfect analogy to the Jewish marriage process!
John 7:33-35,37,38,43,50-52: “Then said Jesus unto them, Yet a little while am I with you, and then I go unto him that sent me. Ye shall seek me, and shall not find me: and where I am, thither ye cannot come. Then said the Jews among themselves, Whither will he go, that we shall not find him? will he go unto the dispersed among the Gentiles, and teach the Gentiles? In the last day, that great day of the feast, Jesus stood and cried, saying, If any man thirst, let him come unto me, and drink. He that believeth on me, as the scripture hath said, out of his belly shall flow rivers of living water. So there was a division among the people because of him. Nicodemus saith unto them, (he that came to Jesus by night, being one of them,) Doth our law judge any man, before it hear him, and know what he doeth? They answered and said unto him, Art thou also of Galilee? Search, and look: for out of Galilee ariseth no prophet.”
- In analogous terms, the above verses appear to represent the state of utter shock and confusion that will prevail in the world right after the Rapture occurs
- Again, simply look at all the wonderful analogies in these verses!! Where I have gone you will not be able to follow. In other words, where I have taken my Bride, you will not be able to go (company is NEVER welcome on a honeymoon)
- However, it also outlines that, for those people left behind and in distress, they will be given one last chance prior to the Great Day, the millennium. Indeed, if a man thirsts for Jesus and drinks and believes in Him, this man CAN STILL be saved “Post-Rapture”
- Then, as now, Jesus has created a division among the people that were left behind because of Him. Not taking the mark of the Beast will mean persecution, torture and death (most likely by beheading) followed by eternal life with Him (as long as they believed in Jesus before being murdered). Taking the mark of the Beast will mean a temporary ability to stay alive on earth, but eternal torture in hell
- However, there is another deep analogy to today in these verses! Then, as now, Bible experts accidentally misinterpreted Scripture. The above shows a perfect example of this. The Book of Isaiah SPECIFICALLY indicates that the Messiah would come out of Galilee. But yet, as per the above verses, the Bible experts accidentally overlooked these verses and stated AS IF FACT that no prophet would arise out of Galilee. Is it possible that people are so incredibly stuck with certain interpretations of doctrine (the Seven Year Post Rapture period being one of them) as to be blind to the progressive revelation of prophecy that is occurring as we speak? After all, did not Daniel confirm from God that much would be revealed on prophecy RIGHT AT THE END (in other words, where we are today)?
- If so, and you are one of those that hold on to your prior beliefs at all costs without double checking them against the Bible, what an absolute shame. As with the secret entry of Jesus into the Feast of Tabernacles at the very beginning of the seven days, which is analogous to the rarely “officially” recognized beginning of the seven year final period which began on October 29, 2008, it is a shame that such wondrous occurrences as are happening now aren’t recognized by more watchers IN THE PROPER CONTEXT
First conclusion: I strongly believe that the verses in John 7 strongly hint at the Rapture taking place around or in Hanukkah 2011 (best GUESS - around December 20th). Hanukkah is a special date to God and represents several wonderful Jewish historical events. Examples include the last temple being dedicated on Hanukkah, one day’s supply of oil being supernaturally (and famously) stretched to last eight days, the British capturing Jerusalem on Hanukkah 1917, as did other great events. However, and most importantly, Jesus will be “anointed the Most Holy” on a Hanukkah in the future, most likely Hanukkah 2015!! John 7 focuses on a Hanukkah-like event (Tabernacles), which certainly strongly appears to allude to the current seven year period that includes the soon coming Rapture.
Second conclusion: I believe that the verses in John 7 also confirm, in type, that we should expect a Post-Rapture Tribulation Period of less than 4 years (but no less than 42 months). That is, we can expect Jesus to make Himself KNOWN in the form of the Rapture as we approach the mid-point of the seven year final period, equivalent to April 11, 2012.
CAVAET: That being said, PERHAPS God will still delay the Rapture further, even though I cannot envision still being on this decrepit planet past April 11, 2012. The one caveat is that the Jubilee has a one year turnover, in which case there may be a delay of approximately one year, but I view this as less than a 15% chance. There is just too much proof that October 29, 2008 was too significant a day to simply be just another ordinary day (see Ron Reese’s website referenced above for details). In other words, pack your bags, He’s coming to take us home… and VERY soon.
Brothers and sisters, I wrote the above post not to create division, but rather to point towards an alternative theory on how the end-times are actually progressing as we speak. This alternative theory is not “mainstream” and indeed contradicts what many Bible experts put out there as SUPPOSED fact. Indeed, I fully acknowledge that this alternative theory is not at all easy to accept, especially given all of the information on the so-called REQUIREMENT for a SEVEN YEAR Post-Rapture Tribulation Period. However, I ask that you please pray on it and discern what seems right to you based on the Scriptures. The AWESOME NEWS REMAINS - Our time on earth is RAPIDLY coming to a close – on that I am sure we will agree. Our blessed hope SURELY draws near.
Oops, I almost forgot to include the last verse in the seventh chapter of the Gospel of John. John 7:53 states, “And every man went unto his own house”. But then again, I believe this verse represents the PERFECT “Exclamation Mark” to end this post – no elaboration needed!!
MARANATHA, ybic, MathMan