Questions on End-Times Prophecy - 02/23/2004

Hey, your website has been extremely helpful!! Iím really interested in the end times, and I believe whole heartily that they will come in my lifetime. I also have started reading the left behind series and have now just finished reading Revelations in The Bible. I see the similarities with your predictions of the end times and the Left Behind series, and it left me feeling a little bit confused. First, I know the rapture will come, but when? Some passages, I interpret is as coming before the tribulation, and they all point to that except this one.

Corinthians 15:51-53 says, "Behold, I tell you a mystery; we shall not sleep, but we shall all be changed, in a moment, in the twinkling of an eye, at the last trumpet; for the trumpet will sound, and the dead will be raised imperishable, and we shall all be changed. For this perishable must put on the imperishable, and this mortal must put on immortality."

The thing that tripped me up here was, the last trumpet, because I know that in Revelations several trumpet soundings are mentioned. So, is that somehow signaling when the rapture will come? Will there be 2 raptures? Or am I just making a mountain out of a mole hill?!?!?!

Also, in both your website and the books, youíve mentioned one global currency, everyone uniting, and one world religion , etc etc (this is mainly in the books, but also there are some references in your sight, but not nearly as extreme.)

So, Iím just wondering where all this is in The Bible?

Another thing, Iím really confused about the book of Daniel, the prophesy part, it all just seems to go in one ear and out the other, can you help explain it to me?

Thank you very much, please keep me posted if there is anything that I can do to help,

Your sister in Christ,

Courtney





CONTENDER MINISTRIES RESPONSE:


Hi Courtney. Thanks for writing to Contender Ministries and bless you for your eagerness to learn more about the Word of God. First I'll address your confusion about the mention of trumpets in Corinthians 15:51-53. I think your confusion is coming from mistaking the trumpets in this verse for the trumpet judgments of the tribulation. I Thessalonians 4:16 should clear things up for you. It reads:

"For the Lord himself will come down from heaven, with a loud command, with the voice of the archangel and with the trumpet call of God, and the dead in Christ will rise first."

In this verse we are being told of the events of the coming of the Lord. When the Lord returns for his church we will hear the last trumpet call for the Church. This is the trumpet call referred to in Corinthians 15.

Regarding the timing of the rapture, I try not to get too hung up on this debate with other Christians. While we can read the Bible and make ourselves educated about the signs of His coming and form educated opinions about the timing of this event, none of us truly know the exact timing of the rapture. The rapture's chief characteristics are that it will be sudden, unexpected, and will catch people by surprise. While we may know the "season" of our Lord's coming, we will not know the exact time. For this reason, we should always be ready. Matthew 24:44 - "be ready, for the Son of Man is coming at an hour when you do not expect Him". I do however believe that only the pre-tribulation rapture preserves that "at-any-moment" expectation of His Coming. If the Lord returns at the end of the rapture, Christians would no doubt know the exact time of His return. We would know because we know the Glorious Appearing will come at the end of the 7 year peace agreement between Israel and the anti-Christ.

Regarding your questions on the prophecies in the book of Daniel, you might read the following article:
http://www.contenderministries.org/prophecy/romanempire.php

This article goes through the interpretation of King Nebuchadnezzar's dreams and Daniel's vision of the 4 beasts.

You might also read this article on the rapture of the Church:
http://contenderministries.org/prophecy/rapturetrib.php

The prophecies on the global religion that will be present during the tribulation can be found in Revelation 17, where "Mystery Babylon, the mother of harlots" unifies all the religions of the world during the first half of the tribulation. It's interesting that the only religious group not tolerated today is Bible-believing Christians. If the church were to be raptured, nothing would stand in the way of the worshipers of the world uniting and becoming the Babylonian harlot that has for centuries been "drunk with the blood of the saints and with the blood of the martyrs of Jesus" (Revelation 17:6). Mystery Babylon rides the beast (anti-christ) in these verses until he exalts himself "over everything that is called God or is worshiped, so that he sets himself up in God's temple, proclaiming himself to be God" (2 Thessalonians 2:4) (See also Daniel 11:36-39 and 2 Thessalonians 2:1-12)

The one-world government you mentioned is predicted in the image of Nebuchadnezzar (Daniel 2). The ten toes of the image represent an amalgamation of the ten kings under the dominance of the Antichrist. Revelation 17:12-15 reveals that the kings of the earth will finally come to the conclusion that they are not capable of governing themselves in peace with other nations of the world and they "will give their power and authority to the beast". Verse 13 suggests that for the sake of world peace they will establish a world government that they will consider the solution to the worlds problems. We see this trend toward globalization in our world today.

Revelation 13, 17, and 18 also show us that Antichrist will have total control of the world's economy during the last three years of the Tribulation. This control will be accomplished through "the Mark of the Beast". According to Revelation 13:17, during the second half of the Tribulation, Antichrist will have such total control "that no one may buy or sell except one who has the mark ...or the number of his name." This control will give the Antichrist the power to decide who can work, buy, or sell.

I think your confusion about "2 raptures" may come from confusing the rapture of the Church when Christ takes His church to be with Him, and the Glorious Appearing when Christ returns after the tribulation to defeat the Antichrist and his Armies at which time Christ will establish the Millennial Kingdom where he will reign for 1,000 years. The Millennial Kingdom is best explained in Revelation 20:1-6. You can read an article on the Millennial Kingdom here:
http://www.contenderministries.org/prophecy/millenial.php

This is just a brief overview of some of the prophecies you mentioned in your e-mail. I would encourage you to keep reading and studying, and rejoice in the blessed hope that Christ will indeed return for His church.

John 14:1-4 "Do not let your hearts be troubled. Trust in God; trust also in me. In my Father's house are many rooms; if it were not so, I would have told you. I am going there to prepare a place for you. And if I go and prepare a place for you, I will come back and take you to be with me that you also may be where I am. You know the way to the place where I am going."

In Christ,

Ben and Jennifer Rast
Contender Ministries