Notes on the subject of biblical prophecy
By John Chopores
When the rapture of the church will occur:
I believe that the rapture of the church will occur sometime after the middle but before the end of the great tribulation. By "great tribulation" I mean the last seven years of the battle between the church and the forces of this world. Someone referred to this is the "end times". Maybe a better term would be, "the last tribulation"!
Anyway to my point, which is that the rapture of the church will happen during the last trumpet; not before the last trumpet (which is also the seventh trumpet) nor after the last trumpet. cf. 1Co 15:52 in a moment, in the twinkling of an eye, at the last trump: for the trumpet shall sound, and the dead shall be raised incorruptible, and we shall be changed. (ASV)
One of my primary texts is first Corinthians chapter 15 verse 52. Another key verse is Revelation chapter 11 verse 15. Which makes it clear that after the seventh Angel sounds'; there is a change in the government of this world, and Jesus Christ comes back. Cf. Re 11:15 And the seventh angel sounded; and there followed great voices in heaven, and they said, The kingdom of the world is become the kingdom of our Lord, and of his Christ: and he shall reign for ever and ever.
Part of my argument is based on the point that it says "at the last trumpet", and not "before the last trumpet" or "after the last trumpet" nor "during the last trumpet"! Though, Revelation chapter 11 verse 15 might allow for the possibility of "during the last trumpet".
Is the false prophet mentioned in Rev.13:8 a Jew or a Gentile?
I contend that the false prophet mentioned in Revelation chapter 13 is a Jew. My reasons for believing so are as follows:
· whereas it says in Revelation chapter 13 verse one that the antichrist comes up out of many waters (which Revelation chapter 17 makes clear is a multitude of nations and peoples) the false prophet himself comes up out of " the earth" or as someone translated it," the land": now the term "the land" as used in the Old Testament, generally seems to have the meaning of the nation of Israel. So it is my belief that while the antichrist arises from the Gentiles, the false prophet will arise from the nation of Israel and will probably be a Jew according to the flesh.
· Jesus told the Jews, that while they rejected him who came in his Father's name (that is God the Father) that they would accept one who would come in his own name. So it seems as though the Jews according to the flesh, will be willing to accept the antichrist; and it seems to me that they would be more likely to accept the antichrist if a Jewish prophet was to the declare him the Messiah.
· By the way, he could be from the tribe of Dan. However I'm not sure on this point.
When will the first part of great tribulation start?
I believe that the great tribulation (or as I like to refer to it the last tribulation) may start on the day that the Jews sacrifice their first animal sacrifice in the rebuilt Temple on the Temple Mount. It will start for sure, when the Antichrist and the Jews sign a 7 year covenant. Then I believe, that after 1260 days, the antichrist will stop all of the animal sacrifices in the temple, and enter the holy of holies of that Temple and then sat himself down on a copy of the Ark of the covenant, upon what would be called the mercy seat and at that time declare himself to be a god (maybe even declared himself to be the God of gods himself). All of this will probably be after he surrounds Jerusalem with his armies. Cf.Dan.8:11;11:31;Luke.21:20.
My theory is based on second Thessalonians chapter 2 versus two through four, as well as Revelation chapter 11 and many other passages. cf. 2Th 2:2 to the end that ye be not quickly shaken from your mind, nor yet be troubled, either by spirit, or by word, or by epistle as from us, as that the day of the Lord is just at hand;
3 let no man beguile you in any wise: for it will not be, except the falling away come first, and the man of sin be revealed, the son of perdition,
4 he that opposeth and exalteth himself against all that is called God or that is worshipped; so that he sitteth in the temple of God, setting himself forth as God.
Re 11:7 And when they shall have finished their testimony, the beast that cometh up out of the abyss shall make war with them, and overcome them, and kill them.
8 And their dead bodies lie in the street of the great city, which spiritually is called Sodom and Egypt, where also their Lord was crucified. [See Isa.1:9-10;Mat.27:33-35 please note that "Golgotha" is now inside of Jerusalem]
9 And from among the peoples and tribes and tongues and nations do men look upon their dead bodies three days and a half, and suffer not their dead bodies to be laid in a tomb.
10 And they that dwell on the earth rejoice over them, and make merry; and they shall send gifts one to another; because these two prophets tormented them that dwell on the earth.
11 And after the three days and a half the breath of life from God entered into them, and they stood upon their feet; and great fear fell upon them that beheld them.
12 And they heard a great voice from heaven saying unto them, Come up hither. And they went up into heaven in the cloud; and their enemies beheld them. [Now, thanks to the internet, it is possible to view someone/thing 24 hours a day].
The seven churches mentioned in Revelation chapter 2 to 3.
Some people have maintained that the seven churches mentioned in Revelation chapters two and three; could be symbolic of the history of the Christian church throughout all its ages. I don't personally hold to that theory; however, I could see a modified form of it as being true. That being that the seven churches mentioned in revelation chapters 2 through three, could in fact be the history of the Christian church through the last seven years of the end of days. What I mean is that it could be a history of the church in those years only. After all, the term "open door" only occurs in two places in the book of revelation. Those two places are Revelation chapter 3 verse eight and Revelation chapter 4 verse one. And it does say the church of Philadelphia has been given an open door before it. So there is a slight possibility, that that open door could be the rapture of the church (which I believe will take place at the sound of the seventh trumpet) and the church of Philadelphia is saved from the seven bowls of wrath that come after the seventh trumpet. This would also mean that the church of Laodicea is not a true church but in fact an apostate version of the church that will not be rapture, and will therefore have to suffer through the seven bowls of wrath.
Maybe, Revelation chapters 2-4 should be read as a group. Yes, I mean 2-4, not 2-3!
I'm not saying this is a very strong theory, for I don't know if it is or not; but I present it as another possibility.
He who restrains
2 thess.2:7 "He who now restrains will do so until He is taken out of the way" [NKJV]. This one, who restrains, could be Michael the Archangel. We do see, Michael opposing Satan on more than one occasion in the New Testament, for instance: when Michael disputed with Satan over the body of Moses which is mentioned in the epistle of Jude [Jude 1:9], in revelation chapter 12 [Rev.12:12:7] where Michael the Archangel and the loyal Angels of God cast Satan is evil Angels out of heaven; and in Daniel chapter 12 it says that Michael will arise at that and time to help Israel [Dan.12:1]. Let us also consider that, the one who hinders will be taken out of the way, and in Daniel chapter 12 Michael arises; there seems to be a lifting of Michael either way.
Problem with this view :In second Thessalonians chapter 2, the one who restrains is in the neuter gender in the Greek text ; whenever the Holy Spirit is mentioned in the New Testament it's in the neuter gender . The name Michael is in the masculine gender .The problem is, N.T. Greek has three genders-masculine, feminine and neuter , while Hebrew has only two genders- masculine and feminine ; the one who restrains is in the neuter.
So it is possible, that the one who restrains is the Holy Spirit Himself; and that He does so until the proper time for the antichrist to arise.
Also, the Hebrew Word (in Dan.12:1) for "arise" can mean: "take a stand" from DBD.
At this time, I think that it is the Holy Spirit Who restrains.
Why is only a third destroyed with the early trumpet blasts?
It seems that in the book of Revelation, that during the first 6 trump blasts only 1/3 is destroyed while during the last seven bowls of wrath all is destroyed. Also, at the time of the seventh trump [in Rev.15:1-2] we see a great number of saints who have come "out of" the world; the rapture of the [true] Church may have just happen. The question may be asked, why this would be so? The answer could well be, that because there are still born again Christians on the planet when the first six trumpet blasts are blown, that each blast only affects a third of the earth because it's not harming the area where the Christians are located. Second question could be asked, which is that how will the Christians know where to be to avoid the plagues of the trumpets? The answer may very well be that God will speak to them through Christian prophets and/or individual visions and tell them where to go to avoid the trumpet plagues.
As far as I can tell, nowhere in the book of Revelation are the trumpet blasts ever called trumpet blasts of wrath; likewise nowhere in the book of Revelation is the breaking of the seals ever called seals of wrath: but, in Revelation chapter 15 the bowls are called bowls of wrath. I believe these bowls of wrath is what St. Paul is referring to in Thessalonians when he says we are saved from the wrath to come.
In Revelation chapter 10 we see a messenger (who I believe is probably Christ himself) proclaiming that there shall be delay no longer; then in chapter 11 we have the temple being measured, the two prophets prophesy and then the antichrist killing the two prophets; and of course later the two prophets are resurrected and go into heaven in the sight of the world. Do we see the sequence here "there shall be delay no longer' because this with the temple and everything is the second half of the seven years, and in this last 3 1/2 years, all of the tribulation is wrapped up. There is a strong connection between second Thessalonians chapter 2 and Revelation chapter 11; they both talk about the temple, antichrist, and 2 thess.2 about the antichrist going into the temple.
In Revelation chapter 11 verse five, it says that if anyone wants to hurt the two prophets, that fire comes out of their mouths and kills the person who tries to do so. Later in Revelation chapter 13 verse 13, it says that the false prophet is allowed to make it look like fire is coming down from heaven to the earth; so I am wondering if that is a Satanic counterfeit of what the true prophets of God do in Revelation chapter 11 and verse five?
Babylon the great mother of harlots
Re 17:5 and on her forehead was written a name of mystery: "Babylon the great, mother of harlots and of earth's abominations." (Could she be all the false religion systems though the ages?)
If Babylon the great is the mother of harlots and abominations, then who is the father? Probably Satan himself, and their firstborn child (if there be one) is most likely the antichrist followed by his brother the false prophet. The unholy family!
What country will the antichrist come from?
While I do not know exactly what contrary the antichrist comes from, I do have a pretty good idea of what countries he will not come out of. He will not come out of United States of America, Russia, China, North America, South America or any of the African nations (except possibly Egypt). What you see it talks about in the book of Daniel, that the antichrist will come from one of the four nations that made up Alexander's kingdom. Cf. Dan. 8:3-11.
Will all of the Saints rule during the millennium?
It seems to me, that not all of the formerly dead Saints will reign with Christ during the millennium; but only those who have successfully gone through the persecution of the antichrist.
Cf. Re 20:4 And I saw thrones, and they sat upon them, and judgment was given unto them: and I saw the souls of them that had been beheaded for the testimony of Jesus, and for the word of God, and such as worshipped not the beast, neither his image, and received not the mark upon their forehead and upon their hand; and they lived, and reigned with Christ a thousand years. (ASV).
It kind of seems, that the rest of the Saints are resurrected after the millennium! Cf. Re 20:12 And I saw the dead, the great and the small, standing before the throne; and books were opened: and another book was opened, which is the book of life: and the dead were judged out of the things which were written in the books, according to their works.
After the millennium there is a judgment. Cf. Rev.20: 13 And the sea gave up the dead that were in it; and death and Hades gave up the dead that were in them: and they were judged every man according to their works.
14 And death and Hades were cast into the lake of fire. This is the second death, even the lake of fire.
15 And if any was not found written in the book of life, he was cast into the lake of fire.
Why even have the "Book of Life" here? Unless, some (or all) of the people judged are born-again?
It seems, all of the saints will judge something. Cf. 1Co 6:3 Know ye not that we shall judge angels? how much more, things that pertain to this life? (ASV) However, why would the angels be judged at the beginning of the millennium?
That is not necessary the same as ruling during the millennium.
How will the antichrist be able to control all buying and selling?
One possible answer is, In the future, all buying and selling takes place over the Internet. It's cheaper for the stores because they don't have to build any brick-and-mortar buildings (except for warehouses),and it's more convenient. When the antichrist comes to power, all he has to do is deny you Internet access and you won't be able to buy or sell.
Why measure the temple?
The question arises : "why measure the altar?". Maybe the reason for measuring the altar is that, that might be the area in which the image of the antichrist is set up. It would be a location where it could be seen by a great many people, as well as having a great deal of symbolism; for the altar was involved with sacrifices made to God.
There have been many commentators who have believed that the measuring of the Temple was for the protection of the Saints. That view may not be right, in fact, the measuring of the Temple may have the do with the wrath of God upon the antichrist and his false religious system. Because, the word used in revelations chapter 11 for Temple, is the same word that is used in second Thessalonians chapter 24 for Temple. That is, the same Temple that the antichrist enters and declares himself to be a god!
It says in Revelation chapter 13, the false prophet will make it look as though fire comes down from heaven: could that fire be falling upon a false altar? Cf. 1 Kings 18:24,38-39.
Maybe, with an image of the Antichrist nearby? Cf.Ex.20:4;Is.48:5;1 Cor.8:10.
By the way, the temple is measured in justice! Cf. Isa 28:17 And I will make justice the line, and righteousness the plummet; and the hail shall sweep away the refuge of lies, and the waters shall overflow the hiding-place.
This will take place, around the time that the Antichrist brakes the convent with Israel. Cf. 18 And your covenant with death shall be annulled, and your agreement with Sheol shall not stand; when the overflowing scourge shall pass through, then ye shall be trodden down by it. [Could it be during the time of the treading under foot of Jerusalem?]
When will be the second 1/2 of the tribulation?
Answer: after the first 1260 days have passed and the antichrist has taken his seat in the holy of holies located in the rebuilt Jewish temple in Jerusalem. Let me add that, the antichrist will probably take his seat on the mercy seat which is on the top of the Ark of the covenant; which probably implies that the Ark of the covenant will be found, or a copy of it will be made by the Jews. Cf.Dan.8:11;11:31;Mark.13:14; 2 Thess. 2:3-4;Rev.13:5-6.
How many Jews will get born again near the end of the tribulation?
The answer: one third of them. Cf.Zec.13:8-9.
The first part of Daniel chapter 11 is history; the second part of the chapter is future. In the original manuscripts, that part of Daniel was not broken up into chapters. The chapter divisions were given later. A person can read Dan.11:21-12:4 as one unit.
Will Israel be victorious over the religion of Islam?
I believe the answer is yes, because of the following.
Re 12:1 And a great sign was seen in heaven: a woman arrayed with the sun, and the moon under her feet, and upon her head a crown of twelve stars;
You will notice that the woman (who is the nation of Israel) has her feet upon the moon; in the Old Testament, the victor would normally put the head of the vanquished underneath his feet, as a way to show his victory over the other.
The only major religion in the world that has the moon as part of its symbol, is the religion of Islam.
Please note: the first of the four horsemen in Revelation chapter six, and the woman in Revelation chapter 12 have the same type of crown the "stephanos". "a wreath made of foliage or designed to resemble foliage and worn by one of high status or held in high regard, wreath, crown" from BDAG.
The first of the four horsemen, mentioned in Revelation chapter 6, could very well be the Israeli army going forth and conquering its Arab neighbors. In ancient Roman culture (which was represented in Israel at this time) a general who came back victorious from a war, rode through the capital (Rome) on a white horse. So the white horse as used in the book of Revelation is probably a symbol for victory. I am aware that some believe that this rider on the white horse is Jesus Christ, however, since this rider does not carry a sword but a bow, and since there is a verse in the Old Testament where Judah is called the bow of the Lord, I have come to the view that this rider is not Jesus Christ. Remember, in Revelation chapter 19 Christ is c