Bruce, you said: "The timing of the rapture is revealed to us in Scripture by telling us exactly when the anti-Christ comes into power in "the middle of the week" ie. the middle of the '70th Week of Daniel'."I agree with you in the timing of the Rapture....it's what we have been trying to show all along. HOWEVER, I disagree with your assessment that: "He(a-c) is now being restrained like an 'attack dog' on a leash. The 'rapture of the Church' is the 'unleashing' of the anti-Christ in the middle of the '70th Week of Daniel'."
1) I don't believe the antichrist is "straining on a leash" to be let "loose;" and we really don't know if he even knows who he will be until he is empowered by Satan. Did Judas?Actually, as pertaining to Satan, he's been "loose" for a long time, even having access to the Heavens and the Throne Room of God. It's just the opposite for him - he's about to be cast out of the heavens permanently and only temporarily loosed on Earth (knowing his time is short.)But the antichrist is already now "in place" and when satan is cast down to earth, he will give his (God granted) seat-of-authority and power to the antichrist. It is then that the antichrist is revealed for who and what he is. (NOTE: The revelation of the antichrist comes at the opening of the First Seal, when he rides forth to conquer (Conquer who? Those who are given over to him to conquer - the saints, aka martyrs.) THAT is precisely WHY the Seals are not opened UNTIL the middle of the 70th Week (when satan has been cast down and empowers the antichrist). In other words, the Seals are NOT opened at the beginning of a so-called "7 year tribulation." The Seals are opened in the midst (middle of the 4th year) of the 70th Week.Let me say it this way >>> If you believe the Church is raptured before the Seals are opened YOU ARE CORRECT because the Church is here on Earth during the first part of the 70th Week, which I will show you later in this post. But if you believe the Church is raptured at the beginning of a so-called 7 year tribulation (which you also errantly equate with the 70th Week) then you are WRONG.....because the proof is in Scripture showing the Seals are opened after Satan is cast to the Earth (mid-point of the 70th Week), empowers the antichrist, who is revealed at that time when he rides forth to conquer. WHY and WHO is he going to ride forth to conquer? Well, he has just committed the Abomination and declared himself god and demands worship and some who finally "see the Light" are going to resist him and he will conquer them - because God has appointed them their portion for their former unbelief and now they will have to "overcome" and "love not their lives unto death" in order to obtain salvation. (Whew. Sorry for such a long run-on sentence but it all had to be said at once.)2) The church is NOT the "Restrainer." (Nor is it the Holy Spirit, nor the Holy Spirit's INFLUENCE through the Church.)Though there is no doubt that the presence of the Church (i.e., true believers) indeed has individual and personal influence over some issues and/or people within their own lives and environment, the Church as a corporate entity has been totally overwhelmed and ineffective in restraining even simple morals, much less pure evil; and if you don't believe it, then look around at society (both in politics and religion), which has been going downhill since the 60's when "God was declared dead." Look at the polls which reveal the majority of "churched people" do not believe in the basic tenants of the Faith, or that they believe in a "universal salvation" (salvation for everyone regardless of a personal relationship with Jesus Christ.) The church is NOT the key to the timing of the Rapture anymore than Ron Reese's "Joseph/Noah/Moses are the three keys." The one and only key to the timing of the Resurrection/Rapture is that of the Advocacy of Christ and what He is currently doing and when & why it will change.Currently Jesus is in the position of High Priest/Advocate. In Revelation 1-3 John sees His Appearance as that of High Priest: "...one like unto the Son of man, clothed with a garment down to the foot, and girt about the paps with a golden girdle..." That's because He has taken His position at the right hand of God the Father, as our High Priest and Advocate, and has been intercessing and defending for us against the ACCUSATIONS of Satan. It is also because we, (the church of true believers who are now the Temple of the Holy Spirit) are still here even though it is the Lord's Day! John states in Rev. 1:10,"I was in the Spirit on the Lord's day, and heard behind me a great voice, as of a trumpet." He wasn't referring to the day of the week>"Sunday"... he was referring to the Lord's Day - the Last Day - the 7th Day - the Sabbath Day- in which the 70th Week also occurs! Man's 6 "days" are over. The Lord of the Sabbath (the 7th Day) will now take over and bring about the Redemption of His people and all of His Creation.But why, you may ask, is the 70th Week included in the 7th Day? It's because the 7th Day is not the same as the other 6.....Scripture does not state "the evening and the morning were the 7th day." Therefore, there is no time constraints on it. It extends BEYOND what was given for man. The Sabbath is special - it belongs to the Lord (of the Sabbath). (For those who have somehow missed it, the ending of the 6,000 years/6th day for man and the start of the 7th Day, the Lord's Day, began at Rosh HaShanah 2000-2001. This is what time it is as seen in Revelation 1....which is in the 7th Day.) Note also that the church, to whom John was told to write and shew the things that would shortly come to pass, IS STILL ON EARTH IN THE 7th DAY!BUT, after the first three chapters of Revelation (letters to the churches), John is "taken up" (as we will be) IN THE 4TH CHAPTER!* Have you seen the reference to the "4th" anywhere lately? How about the warnings we've been stating that "we are in the 4th year of the 70th Week"??? How about John 7:10: "...then went he also up unto the feast, not openly, but as it were in secret." How about John 7:11 & 14: "Then the Jews sought him at the feast, and said, Where is he?" (not unlike those who are saying even now 'Well if we are in the 70th week already, then where is he? How come we are still here?) "Now about the midst of the feast (which is the 4th day of the seven day feast) Jesus went up into the temple and taught." The references to the 4th in all these things are equivalent to the Lord waving a big red flag and yet no one seems to see it!Now back to Revelation.... after chapter 1-3 WRITTEN TO THE CHURCH WHO IS STILL HERE IN THE LORD'S DAY, after chapter 4, John no longer sees Jesus in the role of High Priest and Advocate. In chapter 4, John describes the Throne Room of God and in chapter 5:6 John describes the appearance of Jesus (no longer dressed as High Priest/Advocate) but as "A LAMB AS IT HAD BEEN SLAIN."The 64 million dollar question is WHY? WHY had John seen Jesus dressed as a High Priest/Advocate in Rev. 1-3 when the church was still seen on earth in the Lord's Day.......and WHY, after "being taken up" in chapter FOUR, does John then see Jesus as a lamb as it had been slain? IT IS BECAUSE THE CHURCH IS NO LONGER ON EARTH - IT HAS BEEN RAPTURED - AND THERE IS NO LONGER A NEED FOR AN ADVOCATE BECAUSE THERE IS NO LONGER AN ACCUSER! Why? What happened to the Accuser? He has been cast out of the heavenly Throne Room/Bar of Justice/Legal Bench at the command of JESUS WHO WAS RESTRAINING THE ACCUSER UNTIL SUCH TIME AS HE IS TAKEN OUT OF THE WAY!!!! and cast down to earth. The Accuser has been pacing up and down in the Throne Room, stopping only long enough to receive intelligence from his own messenger angels of what's happening down here, who's lying, cheating, murdering, fornicating, today?...and then flinging those accusations (which are no doubt true) before our Advocate, demanding condemnation for our sins.Satan and his angels have been allowed access to God's Throne Room for a long time. He's been up there in their faces for a long long time. But shortly, JESUS, WHO HAS BEEN RESTRAINING THE ACCUSER (keeping in check, limiting, restricting, preventing our condemnation and the penalty for it) will order Michael the Archangel to slap Satan with an injunction (which legally is the main REMEDY to PERFORM a certain act that causes a certain action to be stopped - namely ACCUSING ....or in other words, that remedy is for Satan to be TAKEN OUT OF THE WAY!!!! (and cast down to earth.) When does this happen? IN THE MIDST OF THE WEEK - THE 4TH YEAR!It is not the "church" who "unleashes" the antichrist in the 4th year of the 70th Week! It is the thunderous voice of Jesus Christ who gives the command to Michael, the Archangel, Prince over ISRAEL, to stand up and with his holy angels cast Satan and his evil angels out of the heavens and down to Earth!!!!!!!!!!!!!Once this heavenly battle begins and satan is no longer able to ACCUSE and is removed from the heavenly court room/throne room of God, Jesus our High Priest/Advocate, our DEFENSE ATTORNEY, if you will, descends from Heaven with a SHOUT and with the voice of the ARCHANGEL, (I imagine the battle will be pretty LOUD up there at that time) and with the trump of God: and the dead in Christ shall rise first: then we which are alive and remain shall be caught up together WITH THEM in the clouds, to MEET THE LORD IN THE AIR (adherents to a post-tribulation rapture take note: coming in the AIR is different than when His feet touch down on Mt. of Olives, from whence He arose!) and so shall we ever be with the lord. Wherefore comfort one another with these words." (I Thess. 4:16-18)And now that we can see ourselves already up there in Thessalonians 4 and Revelation 4, read on through Rev. 5 and see for yourself that our High Priest/Advocate now appears to US (who have arrived) as our dearly beloved Saviour, Redeemer LAMB OF GOD...whom we've waited to see for so long.Don't give the church, or yourself, such credit as to what will shortly be accomplished. We are lowly sleeping slumbering mortals, not unlike the 10 virgins....or the apostles who slept through the hour of Jesus's greatest heartache as He prayed in the Garden of Gethsame. We are restraining NOTHING. We are not unleashing ANYTHING. THIS IS THE LORD'S DAY...the LAST DAY - THE 7TH DAY - THE SABBATH DAY, WHEN HE WILL ACCOMPLISH AND CONSUMMATE AND FULFILL EVERYTHING HE INTENDED TO DO FROM THE BEGINNING OF THE WORLD!We are in the 4th year, the midst of, the 70th Week. And yes, the church is still here; as it plainly shows in Rev. 1-3. And yet God's people are still asking "Where is he?"...even though we are plainly told (in John 7:11-14) that he came (& will come) secretly in the midst of those 7 days and you'd think God's people could take the hint. But, really, where is he RIGHT NOW? He's STILL dressed in His role (as John saw Him) as our High Priest/Advocate/Attorney, defending us against the Accuser (who is STILL up there as well) and He is upholding the LAW which says the penalty for breaking the Law (sin) is no longer relevant to our case for the penalty has already been paid. SHORTLY, the trial will end and the Accuser will be thrown out of the Court Room because the SET TIME is almost here. Jesus our Advocate is also the Restrainer who has been RESTRAINING Satan from doing more damage than what we ourselves already allow him; because in reality, the Church is so humanly pathetically weak that society (politically, morally, & religiously) have deteriorated and decayed past the point of indecency to downright evil. Truth is, we couldn't restrain a gnat. We can't even stay awake while we're being defended! In fact, have you ever seen an accused sitting at the defense table looking zoned out or half asleep? Well, that's us. We're all just slumbering and sleeping waiting for the Shout to wake us. (see Matthew 25.)Well, yesterday I wrote about the Law. Today in this post I hope you can see how the Law works. Again, the Advocacy of Jesus Christ is the KEY to the timing of the Resurrection/Rapture. And, it's going to happen in the 4th year of the 70th Week for all the reasons above.Shalom, Sherry Vance
I'm sorry, but in one paragraph of my post I misspoke. Please allow me to correct it immediately!I wrote: "because God has appointed them (the great tribulation martyrs) their portion for their former unbelief and now they will have to "overcome" and "love not their lives unto death" in order to obtain salvation."
WHAT I MEANT, AND SHOULD HAVE WRITTEN, WAS: They will have to overcome and love their lives not unto the death, BECAUSE THEY ARE SAVED! Not to "obtain salvation"! If that were the case, it becomes a "works based salvation" and that has NEVER HAPPENED!!!Sorry -Thanks & Shalom ~ Sherry Vance