In this blog, I want to share with you what our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ has blessed my family and I with and it is my sincere prayer for each of you that you will be able to enjoy our Abba Daddy's blessings over your own life. Shalom!

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Sunday, 7 September 2014

Taken Up To Heaven

By the time you read this post and if the Christians are no longer around physically on planet Earth, please know for a certainty that we have not been beamed up by aliens in spaceships; rather we have been taken up to heaven to be with Jesus Christ, our Lord and Savior. I know the devil had been prepping everyone to believe in aliens from outer space through movies from Hollywood but they are not true.  There are aliens (of the spiritual kind) but not the type we see in movies.  These aliens have inter-dimension powers and they can travel in and out of our physical realm.

The bible teaches that the Church, being the collective body of Christians all over the world, is the Bride bought by the precious blood of God’s Son, Jesus Christ, and she will be caught up into the heavens to meet her Bridegroom at the appointed time.
So, a number of questions arose that need to be answered.
A.  When will this “catching up” take place? (the Christians call this the Rapture, a specific event)
The apostle Paul, in 1Thessalonians 4:16-17, wrote
v16  For the Lord Himself will descend from heaven with a shout, with the voice of the archangel and with the trumpet of God, and the dead in Christ will rise first.
v17 Then we who are alive and remain 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.”
So three things will be happening: -
1.    One needs to be a believer in Jesus Christ as his/her Lord and Savior;
2.    There will be the sound of a trumpet in the air;
3.    The catching away will happen to those of us who are still alive when the Lord comes back for us;
Now it is to be noted that all events for the church in the New Testament take place on Hebrew holidays. And there are seven important Hebrew Feasts that God told Moses to write down and command the Israelites to observe as part of their worship of God.
a.    Feast of Passover (Pesach)
b.    Feast of First Fruits
c.     Feast of Unleavened Bread
d.    Feast of Pentecost (Shavout)
e.    Feast of Trumpets (Rosh Hashana)
f.      Day of Atonement (Yom Kippur)
g.    Feast of Tabernacles (Sukkot)
Now it should be noted that when Jesus came onto this Earth to die for our sins, He did fulfill the first three feasts.  He died on the exact day that the Jews were to celebrate the Passover, and that has now been called Good Friday by the Church, rose from the dead on the third day when the Jews celebrated the Feast of First Fruits as His resurrection was the first fruit of all future resurrections. The Feast of Unleavened Bread was the period from the day the Jews ate the roasted passover lamb and journeyed out of Egypt and was celebrated for seven days. For the church that corresponds to the day Christ Jesus died on the cross until His first meeting with His disciples in the Upper Room in Jerusalem.
Shavout symbolized the day when God gave Moses the Ten Commandments and 1,500 years later, on the exact same day (50 days after the Feast of First Fruits), the Lord poured His Holy Spirit on the Church at the Feast of Pentecost thus giving birth to the Church.
So, four feasts had found their fulfillment and three more are yet to be fulfilled but the time is drawing near for their fulfillment. It is generally believed that the Rapture of the Church will happen on the day that the Jews celebrate their Rosh Hashana while the Day of Atonement will be the Day that Jesus Christ returns as the King to judge the entire universe and subsequent to that He will begin His millennial reign on a new Earth in the new Jerusalem.
Now, back to our original question above – when will the Rapture take place?  My short answer to you is SOON (in fact, VERY SOON). All the signs pointing to Jesus Christ’s Return at His Second Coming are falling in place and before His actual Return, the Church will have to be taken out of the way so that the final stage can happen.
B.    What will happen to the Church after the Rapture?
The scriptures call the Church the Bride of Christ and to get a good idea of the type of relationship of the Bride and her Bridegroom, it is important we look at the Hebrew wedding arrangements and ceremony.
The bridegroom would visit the potential bride’s home and ask for her hand in marriage from her father and would present a price for her. When she accepts what had been offered, there is a betrothal and the bride is now considered as married to her groom even though she will continue to live in her father’s home under the groom is ready to fetch her home.
After the betrothal ceremony, the groom will return home to his father’s house and start to build a new house for his bride and himself to live in and start their family. Usually the building period is between 18 months to two years and the culture dictates that the new home cannot be worse off than what the bride is accustomed to in her own father’s house.
When the new house is ready, the groom will make his journey with the groomsmen to the house of the father of the bride and fetch the bride. When the bride reaches the new home the wedding ceremony will begin and Hebrew wedding celebrations usually last for one week or slightly longer. Now, while the guests are celebrating with food and wine, the wedded couple will enter the bridal chamber and for one week, they will consummate their marriage. At the end of the week, the couple will then appear to the ceremony officially as husband and wife.
The Church, being the Bride, had been purchased with the blood price of Jesus Christ when He died for her on the cross and therefore, even though she is physically remaining on this earth, she belongs to her Groom, her Lord and Savior Jesus Christ. Now, Jesus having returned to the Father’s house had been building His mansion for His Bride for the last two thousand years (in the bible a year represents one thousand years – 2Peter 3:8). Soon it will be the time allocated for His Return to fetch His Bride; hence the excitement and anticipation of the Church towards this great event which is being labeled as “The Rapture” or the snatching away of the Church.
No bride does not look forward to her wedding day for it is one of the most important day in her life. She will start afresh with a new union of bodies, souls, minds and spirits. It will be the same for the Bride of Christ for the Rapture is liken to the Wedding Day for her as she finally gets to see her heavenly Bridegroom, the Resurrected Lamb of God, She had been hearing His words in the scriptures, feeling His warmth through the Servant, His Holy Spirit and now finally meeting Him and being with Him for eternity.
Like the Hebrew custom, the Bridegroom and His Bride (the Church) will be locked in each other’s arms and spending quality time together for seven days (in earthly time frame, that will be seven years), there will  be tribulation on planet Earth but she (the Church) will not be physically here to suffer through this trying seven years.
C.  What will happen to the inhabitants left behind during the seven years after the Church had been taken away?
The scriptures tell us that, after the Church had been raptured, the earth will go through trying times of tribulation. If one were to compare the incidents and disasters that had already befallen the planet as difficult times, one should expect the seven years of tribulation to produce even worse events. The scriptures (Mathew 24:1-31 as well as Luke 21:10-38) describe the trying times ahead – wars between ethnic groups (ethnos in Greek), famines, pestilences, natural disasters – earthquakes, cyclones /typhoons, floods, etc – economic calamities and meltdowns, nuclear disasters and the ensuing fallouts and many other sufferings which have yet to exist. Compared to these, what we had experienced so far are pale by comparison.
The seven years of tribulation is often terms The Tribulation Period and can be separated into two halves. The first half (3-1/2 years in length) will not be as severe as the second half when the anti-Christ (yes, he is a human being and not an alien) will reveal himself as the world leader and he will impose sanctions and control the people’s inherent ability to buy and sell goods and services. He will demand worship from everyone who has his mark on their bodies and whoever does not have this mark will be severely punished through starvation and thirst.
But not all will be lost as Revelations 7:9-17 tells us that there will be a great multitude who will make it to heaven even during the Tribulation as they will put their trust in Jesus Christ as their Lord and Savior.  Yes, unfortunately for those who receive Christ into their hearts during the Tribulation, they will have to endure the hardship and sufferings but their eternal destiny will still be with their Lord and Savior when Jesus returns to judge and rule the new Earth for a thousand years.
D.    How does one qualify to be with Jesus for eternity?
The bible is very clear – all those who believe in Jesus and receive Him into their hearts as their Lord and Savior (John 1:12) will be made children of the Father in Heaven. And as children, they will receive their inheritance, even eternal life (defined as life spent in the presence of God the Father forever -which is a very long time).
You might ask, “how do I become a child of Christ?” By confessing that Jesus Christ, Who died for us on the cross as the price payment for our sins, is your Lord and Savior and invite Him into your heart.  The bible tells us that there is no other way to the Father except through the Son Whom He had sent to save us from eternal condemnation because of the sin of Adam, the first man to be created.
And to help you receive Christ into your heart, here is a sample prayer that you might want to pray.
“Thank you Jesus for coming to die for my sins. I receive you into my heart as my Lord and Savior. Thank you that Your Blood had made me righteous in the sight of God the Father and I am now Your child. Thank you Jesus. AMEN”
And the moment you confess Jesus Christ as your Lord and Savior, He will come into your life and live on the inside of you.  The devil will throw doubts across your path but the surety is there; that you are a child of God and if you receive Him now before the Rapture takes place, then you too will be caught up together with all the believers.  However, should you decide only to confess Christ as your Lord and Savior after the Rapture, then pray and ask Him for strength and protection to overcome whatever is coming on this earth and look for your redemption at the end of the Tribulation.
E.    How urgent is the timing for the Rapture?
Although the Bible does not give us specifics on the exact timing (date and time for the Rapture), we do believe that whatever that needs to take place before the Rapture had already happened and therefore the Rapture IS very imminent and can happen any time now.
I want to share with you a verse from Psalm 114:7 - Tremble, O earth, before the Lord, before the God of Jacob.
The words used here are very strong words of caution and one should not take them lightly. It is my belief that the psalmist is alerting his readers that something calamitous is going to happen and this event is so immense that everyone who witnesses it will begin to tremble.  One may ask whether this event will be a nuclear holocaust or a global epidemic or a major drought or an economic slump but I came to the conclusion that this event is the Rapture of the Church. Imagine you may be chatting or conversing either over email or internet chat-room or mobile application or be in a telephone conversation or even having a face-to-face discussion or meeting and the other party (who is a believer) is being raptured right before your eyes. How terrifying will that be for the one who will be left behind?
It is also my personal belief that the Rapture will also include the catching away of young children below the age of knowledge (I do not know what is this age) regardless of the religious setting of their families.  How would the parents of these young children feel to suddenly not be able to find their loved ones, their own flesh and blood?  They will be awed and shocked and feel lost.  The feeling will not be the same as if the loved one is killed; there one can still find the corpse but not for the Rapture where the person who is raptured will ‘disappear’ bodily and there will be not trace left behind.
So my readers, I urge you to consider your eternal fate and if you have yet to receive Jesus as your personal Lord and Savior, please take a moment and pray the prayer to receive Christ into your heart and you will immediately start to enjoy eternal life.
“Thank you Jesus for coming to die for my sins. I receive you into my heart as my Lord and Savior. Thank you that Your Blood had made me righteous in the sight of God the Father and I am now Your child. Thank you Jesus. AMEN”

Maranatha, Lord!    Come, Lord, Come!