Tribulation vs Wrath
In Revelation 3:10 John writes the words of Jesus to the Church of Philadelphia as follows: “Because you have kept the word of My perseverance, I also will keep you from the hour of testing, that hour which is about to come upon the whole world, to test those who dwell on the earth.”
Many people interpret this verse to mean the Church will be raptured prior to the Great Tribulation. In my study of what is written in the Word, comparing the seven seals, trumpets and bowls (vials) in Revelation with other New Testament passages such as 1 Cor 15:51-52 and 2 Thes 4:16-17 it is evident the rapture occurs at the “Last Trump” of Revelation, followed by the WRATH of God.
Many people think that the Great Tribulation is the time of God’s Wrath, and since 1 Thes 5:9 tells us that “God has not appointed us to wrath”, this must point to a pre-tribulation rapture of the Church.
I’d like to take a look at the Greek words for “Tribulation” and “Wrath” for comparison:
Tribulation: 2347 thlípsis – affliction, persecution, tribulation; From thlibo; pressure (literally or figuratively) -- afflicted(-tion), anguish, burdened, persecution, tribulation, trouble.
Wrath: 3709. orgé – anger, indignation, vengeance, wrath; From oregomai; properly, desire (as a reaching forth or excitement of the mind), i.e. (by analogy), violent passion (ire, or (justifiable) abhorrence); by implication punishment -- anger, indignation, vengeance, wrath.
Jesus said in John 16:33, “These things I have spoken to you, so that in Me you may have peace. In the world you have tribulation, but take courage; I have overcome the world."
The Woman of Revelation 12
The Great Tribulation is also known as “The Time of Jacob’s Trouble” (Jer 30:7). Therefore, wouldn’t the Church be gone so God can TEST the natural-born Jews that refused to accept Jesus as LORD and Savior, in order that they might be saved? Assuming this angle, the Woman clothed with the sun who has a crown of 12 stars on her head in Revelation 12 is speaking of the twelve tribes of Jacob (renamed Israel) from whom the Savior, Jesus Christ was born. Interestingly enough, we see this Woman is actually given two wings of a Great Eagle that She goes to a place prepared for Her in the wilderness where She is protected and nourished during the 3.5 years of the Great Tribulation. Also, cross-ref Mat 24:20. This doesn't sound like She's "troubled" during this "time, times and a half time".
Furthermore, since the Dragon (Satan) cannot harm Her, the Word says, “So the dragon was enraged with the Woman, and went off to make war with the rest of her offspring, who keep the commandments of God and hold to the testimony of Jesus.”
Who are “the rest of Her offspring, who keep the commandments of God”? Are we talking the about Jews who keep the commandments of Moses here? No, because these also “hold to the testimony of Jesus.” Are there two groups, perhaps? Jews and Christians? After all, we are told about the “TWO witnesses” (Rev 11:3) being the “two lampstands” (churches – Rev 1:20) and “two olive trees” (two anointed ones - Zech 4:14) in Rev 11:4. There are not FOUR witnesses --
So -- divine revelation comes from none other than searching the Scriptures for the phrase "two witnesses". Click here and see that this terminology means witnesses that are validating and testifying to the TRUTH.
Romans 11 speaks of ONE TREE, made up of all believers saved by FAITH. Jesus is the TREE and the branches consist of the natural (saved Jews) and the grafted-in (saved Gentiles) branches (John 15:5). There is but ONE BRIDE of God. THESE are Abraham’s offspring (Rom 9), those “who keep the commandments of God and hold to the testimony of Jesus.”
If we read the letters to the seven churches in Rev 2-3, the ONLY one spared the hour of testing is the Church of Philadelphia, while the others are told to repent and that they will suffer persecution (the TEST). Let’s compare them to the discipline shown to the man who was fornicating with his father’s wife in Corinth. Paul instructed the Church to “turn such a one over to Satan [the Dragon] for the destruction [consider the Antichrist is called the ‘son of perdition’, meaning ‘destruction’] of the flesh, that his spirit might be saved in the day of the LORD Jesus.” (1 Cor 5:5) Are these the ones fornicating with the Harlot Church(es)? Consider the tribe of Dan (Genesis 49:17; Judges 18:30) and Ephraim (Hosea 4:17) were idolatrous and left out of the list of the 12 tribes in Rev 7:4-8. However, Dan is the first tribe listed and Ephraim the fifth in the millennial role call of the tribes (Ezekiel 48).
Rev 14:3 confirms many will die for their faith: "And I heard a voice from heaven, saying, "Write, 'Blessed are the dead who die in the Lord from now on!'" "Yes," says the Spirit, "so that they may rest from their labors, for their deeds follow with them."
Some may insist that the Woman spared in Rev 12 is natural-born Israel, those who have rejected Christ (makes no sense) and that those “who keep the commandments of God and hold to the testimony of Jesus” are those who get saved after the rapture, who will have to die a martyr’s death, most likely of beheading. First of all, it is by grace we are saved through FAITH, not by SIGHT (Heb 11:1). There will be no salvation through ‘FAITH’ after “every eye has seen Him” (Rev 1:7). In Rev 16:17 the proclamation is made, "It is FINISHED"! Secondly, those who are beheaded for their “testimony of Jesus and because of the Word of God” are rewarded with being resurrected and reigning with Christ during the millennium (Rev 20:4), suggesting that those who were raptured do not? Believers even this DAY are being BEHEADED in the Middle East and other Countries.
The Seven Churches
Many teach that the seven churches of Revelation 2-3 represent church ages, rather than a complete (seven represents complete) Church. In my hub entitled "The Seven Spirits of God” the Scriptures revealed they ARE the “seven lampstands” (churches). We ARE the Divine Menorah, made up of seven “lamps” lit by the FIRE of the Holy Spirit. If the seven church ages theology were correct, the promise to the Church of Philadelphia would not apply to the Great Tribulation period. Rather, the last Church alive would be the Laodicean, lukewarm Church!
As mentioned earlier, Revelation also speaks of the TWO final witnesses that prophesy during the Great Tribulation, known as the “two lampstands” and the “two olive trees”. This is to be aligned with the ONE TREE in Rom 11 - Spiritual Israel aka The Church. Truly, the Scriptures show the rapture takes place at the very TIME these TWO witnesses are killed, left in the streets for 3.5 days and are miraculously raised from the dead and called to “COME UP HERE” (Rev 11:12).
Because the TWO witnesses are given divine power and protection during the Great Tribulation, we could assume they are the Woman spared in Revelation 12. The difference is, they are martyred at the appointed time. Rather, I see the Woman aligned with the Church of Philadelphia, which means “Brotherly LOVE”. We are told by the Apostle Paul in Gal 5:14 “For the whole Law is fulfilled in one word, in the statement, "YOU SHALL LOVE YOUR NEIGHBOR AS YOURSELF." The Greek word for “one word” is logos (or dabar in Hebrew). The 10 Commandments are the Ten Logos or Debarim, meaning The Ten Words.
Jesus gave us TWO Commandments, whereby we fulfill the Law and the Prophets (Old Testament) in Mat 22:40: “On these two commandments depend the whole Law and the Prophets," namely “You shall love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your mind” and “You shall love your neighbor as yourself.” (vs. 37-39)
For the whole letter to the Church of Philadelphia, click here.
The Hour of Testing
We're going to look at Rev 3:10 inductively, so we rightly interpret the promise: “Because you have kept the word [logos/dabar] of My perseverance, I also will KEEP you from the HOUR of TESTING, that HOUR which is about to come upon the whole world, to TEST those who dwell on the earth.”
It’s important to look up the Greek words and definitions for KEEP, HOUR and TESTING:
KEEP: 5083 tēréō (from tēros, "a guard") – properly, maintain (preserve); (figuratively) spiritually guard (watch), keep intact. The Hebrew word is 8104 shamar, used in Num 6:24.
HOUR: 5610 hṓra – properly, an hour; (figuratively) a finite "season"; limited time or opportunity to reach a goal (fulfill a purpose); a divinely pre-set time-period; a limited period to accomplish the Lord's specific purpose, i.e. "the hour" in which specific characteristics prevail exactly like that for a limited time
TESTING: 3986 peirasmós (from 3985/peirázō) – a putting to proof (by experiment (of good), experience (of evil), solicitation, discipline or provocation); by implication, adversity -- temptation, X try.
As I pondered the word HOUR, I wondered where else in Revelation this word is used? Rev 17:12 “The ten horns which you saw are ten kings who have not yet received a kingdom, but they receive authority as kings with the beast for ONE HOUR.”
For two witnesses to this divine protection, all we have to do is go back to Exodus 11:6 and John 17:15:
- “Moreover, there shall be a great cry in all the land of Egypt, such as there has not been before and such as shall never be again.” The very next verse (7) states, “But against any of the sons of Israel a dog will not even bark, whether against man or beast, that you may understand how the LORD makes a distinction between Egypt and Israel.”
- "I do not ask You to take them out of the world, but to keep [5083 tēréō] them from the evil one."
The Rapture - Our Deliverance
What about the rapture? Doesn't God promise to rescue His Bride? WHEN will we be rescued?
Dan 12:1: “And there will be a time of distress such as never occurred since there was a nation until that time; and at that time your people, everyone who is found written in the book, will be rescued.” (KJV uses ‘delivered’, rather than ‘rescued’).
Mat 24:21-22 “For then there will be a great tribulation, such as has not occurred since the beginning of the world until now, nor ever will. Unless those days had been cut short, no life would have been saved; but for the sake of the elect [the ONE TREE of Rom 11] those days will be cut short.”
The word for ‘RESCUED’ in Dan 12:1 and ‘KEEP’ in Rev 3:10 are not synonymous. The Woman is promised She would be KEPT from the HOUR of TESTING and the Bride, as a whole, will be RESCUED when those days of Great Tribulation are cut short for Her sake. Let's now look at the definition of RESCUED/DELIVERED.
The Hebrew word for RESCUED/Delivered is 4422. Malat – deliver self, escape, lay, leap out, let alone, let go, preserve, save,
A primitive root; properly, to be smooth, i.e. (by implication) to escape (as if by slipperiness); causatively, to release or rescue; specifically, to bring forth young, emit sparks -- deliver (self), escape, lay, leap out, let alone, let go, preserve, save, X speedily, X surely.
The Greek equivalent is found in the LORD’s prayer, used in Mat 6:13 “Deliver [rescue] us from evil…” 4506 rhýomai (from eryō, "draw to oneself") – properly, draw (pull) to oneself; to rescue ("snatch up"); to draw or rescue a person to and for the deliverer.
We see the word ‘escape’ in the definitions above, which takes me over to Luke 21:36 “Watch ye therefore, and pray always, that ye may be accounted worthy to escape all these things that shall come to pass, and to stand before the Son of man.”
This then brought me to Rev 7:9: "After these things I looked, and behold, a great multitude which no one could count, from every nation and all tribes and peoples and tongues, standing before the throne and before the Lamb, clothed in white robes, and palm branches were in their hands…”
When John asked the elders who this multitude was, the answer was (vs. 14), "These are the ones who come out of the Great Tribulation, and they have washed their robes and made them white in the blood of the Lamb." John’s vision of this was just before the seventh seal is broken.
Yes, God has not appointed us to WRATH. While we have looked at the “HOUR of TESTING”, we must also understand that the ‘HOUR of JUDGMENT” mentioned in Rev 14:7 and 18:10 is speaking of the WRATH of God.
The Greek word for Judgment is 929 basanismós torment (vexation) – tortuous; subjective agony that corresponds to anobjective basis – i.e. as the "torment-rack" proves (reveals) the real "state of affairs" (cf. TDNT1:561f). See 928 (basanizō).
Confirmation - This video posted Jan 3, 2015
Regarding the video above, I do not agree that the seventh Seal opens up the seven Trumpets. I rather see the "recapitulation" of the same events over and over. The Seals align with the Trumpets, which align again with the Bowls/Vials. See this clearly, including the timing of the Rapture in my hub "Seven Seals, Trumpets and Bowls".
MYSTERY of the 144,000
The 144,000 are SEALED in Rev 7:1-8. What they have in common with the Woman of Revelation 12 is they, too are of the twelve tribes of Israel (Spiritual Israel). I believe God is showing me that the 144,000 is not a literal number. In fact, it appears they are the ones standing before the throne and before the Lamb identified contextually in vs. 9-17 (also see Rev 14:1-5; 15:2-4). Because they represent the "two lampstands" and "two olive trees" (the Menorah, the Church as a whole), these are ALSO the TWO final witnesses that will preach the gospel, rebuke evil and warn people throughout this time of great distress. Unlike the Church of Brotherly Love, they will be martyred by the Antichrist during the Great Tribulation (Rev 11:7). If we interpret the last WEEK of Daniel's prophecy as seven YEARS, the 3.5 DAYS the TWO witnesses are left in the streets could very well represent the last 3.5 YEARS of the Great Tribulation.
Keep in mind that Paul tells us in 1 Thes 4:16-17 (speaking of the rapture) that "the dead in Christ [Witnesses] will rise first; Then we who are alive and remain* [the Woman spared] will be caught up together with them in the clouds to meet the Lord in the air, and so we shall always be with the Lord."
*For those who think the 'two witnesses' are Elijah and Enoch, because they never died and all men must die (Heb 9:27), how do you answer in light of 1 The 4:17?
The question is then posed, "Are the 144,000 virgin MALES or the VIRGIN BRIDE (The Church)?" Recall the parable of the wise VIRGINS whose LAMPS were filled with OIL! The Seal of God is the Holy Spirit as shown in Eph 4:30 “Do not grieve the Holy Spirit of God, by whom you were SEALED for the day of Redemption.”
Likewise, we can take a look at the New Jerusalem in Rev 21, which has 12 gates, each with 12,000 names of the 12 Tribes of Israel (the tribes to which the Gentile believers are grafted in – Rom 11) = 144,000. The wall of the City has twelve foundation stones bearing the names of the 12 Apostles. 12 tribes, 12 Apostles = One City, One Bride.
“Who have not DEFILED themselves with WOMEN” - Who is the WOMAN of which we are called to “Come out of Her, My People”? (Rev 18:4) The WOMAN that rides the BEAST! (Mystery Babylon) The plural of WOMAN is speaking of Her Harlot Daughters, for She is the "MOTHER of all HARLOTS”.
Finally, may we ponder the following promises to the SEALED as we face the turbulent times ahead:
- Rev 7:3 “Do not harm the earth or the sea or the trees until we have sealed the bond-servants of our God on their foreheads."
- Rev 9:4 “They were told not to hurt the grass of the earth, nor any green thing, nor any tree, but only the men who do not have the seal of God on their foreheads.”
May the Grace of Jesus Christ be with you.
Judah's Daughter (author) from Roseville, CA on January 04, 2016:
Hi Deana! I really hope you'll follow me here on Hubpages, as I so appreciate and am blessed by you being a "second Witness" to the Truth! I also am thankful for your references, as it's very encouraging to see what God has shown me confirmed by other Spirit-filled, anointed believers. I honestly don't know that these things can be revealed in the natural mind to anyone, thus the contention to the Truth by so many simply indoctrinated, as I (and perhaps you) were.
Regarding my hub "The Seven Spirits of God - the Flame of the Menorah", I was sooooo blessed to see a pastor later teaching the very same revelation (no connection to me, whatsoever, that I know of). God is so good! We must just have the courage (obedience) to share what is revealed and those who are Spirit-filled and anointed WILL indeed TEST these things and find the confirmation, as you have. Thank you again and God bless you!
firstname.lastname@example.org on January 03, 2016:
Judah's Daughter you are a blessing to me. Time & time again, the Lord has used your hubs to confirm truths that He has revealed to me as well. I was very excited to see the conclusion your study of the Seven Spirits of God brought you too. Also, the new insight into the identity of who the "two" witnesses of Revelation are...the "two" not representing 2 individuals, BUT instead, the TRUTH of their witness or testimony, i. e. the word they bring. I too searched out these truths, years ago & one of the best studies, I've ever read on the "Two Witnesses" was from a site called mountainretreat.org. The study was done by Tony Warren. You should check it out when you have the time. It will bless your soul. Although, I don't agree with EVERYHING, there is alot of good studies & insight to be found. Definitely read his Revelation 20 study on "the Binding of Satan". Wealth of information to be found.
Keep up the good work Judah's Daughter...
Michael Jon from St. Louis on October 01, 2013:
i have nothing more to add.
Judah's Daughter (author) from Roseville, CA on September 29, 2013:
Dividing the Church from Israel contradicts Romans 11, Michael Jon.
Israel is One Tree of those who are saved by faith in Jesus Christ alone. There is no other Way to salvation. The scripture you speak of about the man (representing God) marring a harlot (representing Israel) is Hosea, marring his harlot wife Gomer. What is important to note about this story is, Gomer in her adultery, was sold into slavery (representative of the Law of Moses) and Hosea (representative of God) PAID the PRICE to BUY her back from slavery! That Price has been PAID, yet those of natural Israel who reject their Savior, the PRICE He PAID, will NOT be His Bride. And, the Scriptures clearly state that Israel is BETROTHED, for the Wedding Feast has not yet taken place.
What I hear you saying is, there's a pre-Tribulation rapture of the Church ~ then, some of natural-born Israel will get saved and thus be spared in the wilderness during the Great Tribulation. So, there's another rapture between the sixth and seventh Trumpets for them? I don't see two raptures in Scriptures, Michael Jon.
I can say confidently, that the Holy Spirit will not contradict His own Word.
Michael Jon from St. Louis on September 29, 2013:
All I can tell you at this time is the book of revelation must be divided in order to interpenetrate correctly. When I say divided, I mean is the word talking about Israel or speaking of the Church. Is the scene in heaven or on earth.
There will be one wedding feast, the church is the bride of Christ. The woman (figuratively), is Israel, see Revelation 12. The twelve stars on her head represent the twelve tribes of Israel.
Those Jews who become believers during the tribulation, beside the 144,000 are taken to a safe place in the desert to a place prepared for her by God.
There is a story in the Old Testament which gives a picture of Israel,s relationship with God Almighty. Name and scripture verses I can't give you at this time but when I come across this story again I'll let you know. A man marries a harlot, he loves her very much but she is not loyal to him. However, this man continues to support and take care of her no matter how unrighteous she is toward him.
One fascinating thing about scripture is that it will confound the intellect, it's the Holy Spirit who leads us into all truth and understanding.
Judah's Daughter (author) from Roseville, CA on September 22, 2013:
Hi Michael Jon, what you have said is the 'mainstream' interpretation (understanding) of 1) He who now restrains and 2) two Husbands, two Brides.
Regarding the Restrainer - you have stated it is the Holy Spirit (I agree, for YHWH is the Spirit - 2 Cor 3:17 ). You have then stated that since the Holy Spirit is IN the Church, the Church will be removed. I'd like to reference the testing of Job, since it gives us a Scriptural example of the Restrainer. God protected Job by His own Spirit and removed that protection to allow Satan, who was restrained, to do what he wished to Job. The Great Tribulation is no different, in that God is Sovereign and his timing perfect. It is the HOUR of testing.
Regarding the Woman described in Revelation 12 being Israel (literal), She is Jacob correct? The Great Tribulation is known as "The Time of Jacob's Trouble" ~ thus, She is given two wings of a great eagle and is preserved during the 3.5 years of the Antichrist's tyranny. Does that make any sense to you? Does She suffer any trouble? Does literal Israel hold to the testimony of Jesus? If so, would She have not been raptured with the rest of the Church?
And lastly, would you provide Scripture that supports the "two Husband; two Bride" theology? I understand Trinitarian theology, in that it is believed that the Father is separate from the Son and thus the Father's Bride is Israel and the Son's Bride is the Church. So there will be two wedding feasts? (scripture, please) If Israel rejects the Son, She goes to the Father anyhow? (scripture, please) I guess I need you to explain Rom 11 to me, in that it contradicts the two Husband/two Bride theology.
Michael Jon from St. Louis on September 22, 2013:
I don't know exactly where this verse is in the Bible off the the top of my head but it goes something like this... The son of perdition will be revealed when the restrainer is taken out of the way... Who is the restrainer? I believe it is the Holy Spirit. So when the Holy Spirit is taken out of the way (taken out of the world), the antichrist will be revealed. Those who are indwelt with the Holy Spirit will also be taken out of this world at that time. I'm no biblical scholar but it seems to me that when scripture says the Holy Spirit (restrainer) is taken out of this world, it's describing a rapture.
Also, the woman described in Revelation is non other than Israel. Christ's church and Israel are two separate entities in scripture. They cannot be combined, or described in scripture as being the same. The Church is the bride of Christ, Israel is the bride of God the Father.
Judah's Daughter (author) from Roseville, CA on September 17, 2013:
Awe, Michele ~ I know you are going through some real trials, sister (have been for quite awhile). Your heart for God is evident and it's a beautiful thing to continually see the LORD Jesus with you through all these things and delivering you through every one of them. He loves you dearly. 2 Cor 12:9 comes to mind for you today, sister: "And He has said to me, "My grace is sufficient for you, for power is perfected in weakness." Most gladly, therefore, I will rather boast about my weaknesses, so that the power of Christ may dwell in me." God bless you!!!
Michele Travis from U.S.A. Ohio on September 17, 2013:
I have been away for hubpages for a while, glad to be back. I miss your hubs. Have been in the hospital for a while, because of the epilepsy. Doing better now. Being able to read your hubs, and learning more is a blessing. I love God so much, and learning more, I cannot even find words to tell you how much I appreciate it.
Judah's Daughter (author) from Roseville, CA on September 16, 2013:
Bless you, also Michele Travis ~ you are a blessing to me, sister. I'm thankful you found this hub helpful. Praise God and unto His Glory.
Michele Travis from U.S.A. Ohio on September 16, 2013:
Thank you for writing this hub. You always help me. Your teaching is wonderful! Thank you so much.
God bless you.
Judah's Daughter (author) from Roseville, CA on September 15, 2013:
And you should have peace, sister ExpectGreatThings. It is evident that the Woman of Rev 12 is completely spared during the Great Tribulation and even the Two Witnesses are sealed and protected until their appointed time; raised and raptured to the glory of God!
John 16:33, “These things I have spoken to you, so that in Me you may have peace. In the world you have tribulation, but take courage; I have overcome the world."
God bless you, sis!
ExpectGreatThings from Illinois on September 15, 2013:
You did a very nice job with a very controversial subject! I have been back and forth on what I believe about the timing of the rapture. At this point in my walk of following Jesus, God has given me peace about believing His timing is perfect even if I don't know what that timing will be :) - Ginger
Judah's Daughter (author) from Roseville, CA on September 15, 2013:
Hello sheilamyers! I appreciate the complement on the hub. As I shared, in my study of Revelation and cross-referencing other passages, the rapture appears to take place after the sixth seal/trumpet/vial or at the last seal/trumpet/vial. In other words, it appears that Revelation repeats the sequence of events three times.
The greatest observation is the Great Tribulation being called "The Time of Jacob's Trouble" (Jer 30:7). We could say the Woman in Revelation 12 is literal Jacob (Israel), for Jesus was born out of Her; however, there is a specific reference in vs. 14 that She is divinely protected during the "time, times and a half time" (3.5 years). If She is Jacob, this "Time of Jacob's Trouble" would be no trouble at all.
Therefore, if we can see Her as the BRIDE, namely the Church of Philadelphia who is KEPT from this HOUR of TESTING, it is evident She has not been raptured, for Satan attempts to destroy Her with a flood and the earth opens its mouth to swallow up the water. Likewise, Satan then goes out to make war with the "rest of Her offspring" (Abaraham's offspring) who keep the commandments of God and hold to the testimony of Jesus.
We could then reason that the Woman represents a remnant of the literal 12 Tribes of Israel, but if She kept the commandments of God and held to the testimony of Jesus, as do Her offspring, would She (even Her offspring) not have been raptured prior to this "time, times and a half time"?
I hope these observations are worthy of consideration by the saints. God bless you.
Judah's Daughter (author) from Roseville, CA on September 15, 2013:
Blessings to you, Faith Reaper! I appreciate you coming by to read and sharing this with your husband. It would be great to receive your thoughts. Thank you for the vote up and for sharing!
Judah's Daughter (author) from Roseville, CA on September 15, 2013:
Greetings, graceinus! Thank you for your question. I have researched more on the tribe of Dan and even Ephraim and included this information now in my hub. The tribe of Dan (Genesis 49:17; Judges 18:30) and Ephraim (Hosea 4:17) were idolatrous and left out of the list of the 12 tribes in Rev 7:4-8. However, Dan is the first tribe listed and Ephraim the fifth in the millennial role call of the tribes (Ezekiel 48).
Again, I do not believe the 12 Tribes listed in Revelation are literal, just as the 144,000 is not a literal number, but both are symbolic of the Bride of Christ, the One Tree of Romans 11. Paul is an excellent example of a literal Jew and Spiritual Jew. Had he remained a literal Jew and rejected Christ, his 'branch' would have been cut off from the Tree. Likewise, we can look at Gentiles who have accepted Jesus Christ being called "true Jews" with "circumcision of the heart" that are grafted into the Tree.
God bless you.
sheilamyers on September 15, 2013:
This is a very well-written hub. You've fully explained why you believe the rapture will occur when you believe it will. I don't agree with you, but I won't tell you you're wrong either. There are at least three various theories about when the rapture will occur (if it does) and all three have some merit. Although I stick to my believe on the matter, I also sit and think about how we'll know which is true if and when it happens.
Faith Reaper from southern USA on September 14, 2013:
Wow, this is a very insightful write here. My husband and I have been attempting to discern all of such, especially being all that is going on in the world at this very moment. With it being so late, I will return to further grasp all that you have written here. I want to share this with my husband as well.
Up and more and sharing
God bless you. In His Love, Faith Reaper
graceinus from those of the Ekklesia on September 14, 2013:
At the end of youur Hub I noticed that you mention the 144,000 and the 12 gates of the New Jerusalem. There will be 12,000 from each tribe of Israel which make up the 144,000. Now the tribe of Dan is not listed as one of the tribes within the 144,000. Does this also mean the name of the tribe Dan will not be listed on any of the 12 gates of the New Jerusalem?
Just a thought.