Ezekiel, Joel, The Apostles And The End Times
As an Evangelist for Almighty Father God, sharing His Holy Word about Our Lord Jesus, I am often asked my thoughts, my beliefs through faith, concerning the “Raising of the faithful” sometimes referred to as the “Rapture” of the faithful, and the events of the “Great Tribulation” and the “Last Days”.
When asked, I usually give my beliefs according to the very limited knowledge I gleaned from the “New Testament” and the Book of Revelation by the Apostle John.
Today I got to thinking to myself, what might the “Old Testament” texts have to say about this subject? And, are there more texts in the New Testament that might throw some light on this subject.
Could the Old Testament, possibly provide more information regarding this topic that I might be able to share with others?
Could the Gospels of the new testament or the teachings of the Apostles in their letters maybe shed some light here.
In order to see what other information I could discover, I grabbed my handi-dandi “Strong’s Concordance” and began looking for keys to unlock the doors of knowledge that needed unlocking.
In EZEKIEL:37:11-14; We can read whereby The Lord Our God will empty the graves of the faithful in Christ the believer.
“Then he said unto me , Son of man, these bones are the whole of Israel: behold thet say, Our bones are deied, and our hope is lost: we are cut off for our parts. Therefore, prophesy and say unto them, Thus saith the Lord God; Behold, O my people, I will open the graves, and cause you to come up out of your graves, and bring you into the land of Israel. And ye shall know that, I AM the Lord, when I have opened your graves, O my people, and brought you up out of your graves. And shall put my spirit in you and ye shall live, and I shall place you in your own land?: then shall you know that I The Lord have spoken it, and performed it, saith the Lord.”
According to scripture this is the first step taken by God thru Jesus.
JOHN:5:21; “For as the Father raiseth up the dead, and quickeneth them; even so the Son quickeneth whom he will.”
l THESSALONIANS:4:16; For the Lord himself shall descend from the heaven with a shout, with the voice of the Arch-angel, and with the trump of God: and the dead shall rise first.?
l CORINTHIANS: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.
JOEL:2:28-32; “And it shall come to pass afterward, that I shall pour out of my spirit upon all flesh; and your sons and your daughters shall prophesy, your old shall dream dreams, your young men shall see visions: And also upon the servants and upon the handmaids in those days I will pour out my spirit. And I will show wonders in the heavens and the earth, blood and fire, and pillars of smoke. And the sun shall be turned into darkness, and the moon into blood, before the great and the terrible day of the Lord to come. And it shall come to pass that whosoever shall call on the name of the Lord, shall be delivered:”
So here we can see that before the great and the terrible day of the Lord, there will be signs for all to see and witness to. There will also be a deliverance of whosoever shall call on the name of the Lord, those being the believers the faithful in Christ Jesus.
As I investigate further into God’s Holy Word, we also discover that MATTHEW also reveals to us the following scripture: MATTHEW:24:29-31; “Immediately after the tribulation of those days shall the sun be darkened, and the moon shall not give her light, and the stars shall fall from the heaven and the powers of the heavens shall be shaken. And then shall appear the sign of the Son of Man in heaven: and then shall the tribes of the earth mourn, and they shall see the Son of man coming in the clouds of heaven with power and great glory. And He shall send his angels with a great sound of a trumpet, and they shall gather together his elect from the four winds, from one end of heaven to the other.”
This prophecy is in agreeance with what the Apostle John reports in REVELATION:6:12;
“And I beheld when he had opened the sixth seal, and lo, there was a great earthquake; and the sun became black as sackcloth of hair, and the moon became as blood;”
As we look further into the writings of JOEL, in JOEL:3:11-15; we can read that The Lord our God Jesus will at this point sit in judgement.
“Assemble yourselves, and come, all ye ‘ Heathens ‘ and gather yourselves together round about: thither cause thy might ones to come down, O Lord. Let the heathen be wakened and come up to the valley of Je hosh a phat: for there will I sit to judge all the heathens round about. Put ye in the sickle, for the harvest is ripe, come get ye down for the press is full the vats overflow for their wickedness is great. Multitudes, multitudes in the valley of decision for the day of the Lord is near in the valley of decision. The sun and the moon shall be darkened and the stars shall withdraw from their shining.”
In MATTHEW:25:31-34 we can find yet another accounting:
“When the Son of man shall come in glory, and all the holy angels with him, then shall he sit upon the throne of His glory: And before him shall be gathered all nations and he shall separate them one from another as a shepherd divideth his sheep. And he shall set the sheep on his right hand, but the goats on the left. Then shall the King say unto them on his right hand Come ye blessed of my Father, inherit the kingdom prepared for you from the foundation of the world.?”
My personal belief has always been that the “Rapture” should take place prior to the “Great Tribulation” as it makes sense to me that Jesus would gather to himself the faithful both dead and living prior to the unfolding events of the “Great Tribulation”. I mean why would a loving Jesus put his faithful throught the suffering ordeal of the tribulation.