Bath Fans in the Sales Models

            Bath ceiling fans in the sales models should not be hooked-up to the bathroom light switches, while the units are sales models.

            The builder does not want the bathroom fan motors running all day and night simply because people turned the switch on while walking through the sales models.

            By having the switch to the bath fans dead, but the electrical wiring hot, the builder exclusively controls the interior lighting and fans, not prospective homebuyers.

            When the sales models are converted to livable units, the builder can plug the bathroom ceiling fans back in when the electrical wiring is changed over into normal wiring.

The Heart of the Debate 3

            For many people adversity is the only thing that brings focus to our shortcomings that leads to seeking heartfelt repentance toward God.  We therefore need God to set-up the precisely targeted conditions on earth whereby the task of salvation is completed and the church becomes the light of the world. 

            We need God’s divine help to finish the job at the end of the ages. 

            The end-times Great Tribulation is not about what we would like or prefer.  It is about God closing-out the human story of redemption in the highest and best way possible according to the extremely tight specifications of the final journey of faith patterned for us in the narrative stories of faith recorded in the Bible. 

            It is about Immanuel…God with us…in the penultimate resolution in the pursuit of truth designed to benefit the people of God for all eternity. 

            It is the closing chapter of the story beginning with Abraham so long ago, of trusting God and letting go in a set of circumstances that divide truth from error in a way that is incomprehensible to the horizontally conventional world of skeptical unbelief. 

            The example of Paul aptly exhibits this mindset. 

            In Acts 21, Paul is journeying toward Jerusalem for the last time.  Along the way, Holy Spirit inspired Christians forewarn Paul that he will face persecution, imprisonment, and possibly physical harm in Jerusalem (Acts 20:22-24, 21:10-14). 

            Paul is arrested in the temple, beaten by the populace, rescued by a Roman guard, almost interrogated by scourging, in danger of being “pulled to pieces” in the Sanhedrin, and threatened with death through an ambush of forty men lying in wait, having taken a vow not to eat until they have killed Paul. 

            Yet in Acts 23:11, just before Paul learns of the plot to kill him and he is moved to Caesarea for safety, Jesus appears to Paul in the night and says: “Be of good cheer, Paul; for as thou hast testified of me in Jerusalem, so must thou bear witness also at Rome.” 

            Jesus amazingly and counter to all worldly conventional thinking encourages Paul to “be of good cheer” in the midst of deadly opposition and the most unsettling of worldly events. 

            Paul goes on to witness before the Roman governor Felix, and King Agrippa and Bernice in Caesarea.  Paul then appeals to Caesar for a hearing in Rome, survives a shipwreck in route to Rome as a prisoner, writes his remaining four “pastoral” New Testament epistles, and is finally martyred by Nero the Roman emperor in the city of Rome. 

            Is this fearless example of the apostle Paul the true pre-glimpse of the selfless divine love that can go forward in the face of enormous opposition to accomplish the task of salvation for others through the enabling power of the “latter rain” of Holy Ghost evangelical fire?

            Is a fully engaged Christian church on earth during some portion of the Great Tribulation the difficult but privileged calling that will define for all time the true nature and person of Jesus Christ the King of glory? 

            Is our blessed hope of Titus 2:13 the unbreakable assurance of Jesus with us, come what may? 

            God supplies Holy Spirit faith, power, and boldness when we need it (Dan. 3:16-18; Acts 4:8). 

            The world wants to sweep the issues of sin, repentance, and our decision regarding Jesus Christ under the rug.  People want to be distracted from these issues by the everyday concerns of the world.  But the upheaval of the end-times brings these issues to the surface in the same lethally unwelcome way that forced the crucifixion of Jesus Christ in the first-century. 

            The cross element patterned for us in the journeys of faith recorded throughout the Bible, deserves our closest examination as we approach an understanding of upcoming end-times biblical prophecy. 

            A commendable approach of including the cross and the resurrection in our interpretation of scripture should become part of the knowledge, wisdom, and understanding we bring to our Christian worldview as end-times events begin to come into clear focus. 

            The cross in the end-times, of God brilliantly displacing our worldly conventional thinking with life-scripts beyond our imagination, is a galactically huge issue. 

            God validating and authenticating His character and faithfulness is best discovered and demonstrated through the creative details of a God-composed adventure of faith. 

            The cross factored into the end-times is as large as any other issue at the close of human redemptive history.  The cross fully applied to our lives creates the most space for God to effectively work out His highest ways.       

            “Therefore be ye also ready; for in such an hour as ye think not the Son of man cometh” (Mt. 24:44).

            To close out this essay, I quote from 2 Corinthians 4:7-18 (KJV):

7 But we have this treasure in earthen vessels, that the excellency of the power may be of God, and not of us.

8 We are troubled on every side, yet not distressed; we are perplexed, but not in despair.

9 Persecuted, but not forsaken; cast down, but not destroyed;

10 Always bearing about in the body the dying of the Lord Jesus, that the life also of Jesus might be made manifest in our body.

11 For we who live are always delivered unto death for Jesus’ sake, that the life also of Jesus might be made manifest in our mortal flesh.

12 So then death worketh in us, but life in you.

13 We, having the same spirit of faith, according as it is written, I believed, and therefore have I spoken; we also believe, and therefore speak,

14 Knowing that he who raised up the Lord Jesus shall raise up us also by Jesus, and shall present us with you.

15 For all things are for your sakes, that the abundant grace might through the thanksgiving of many redound to the glory of God.

16 For which cause we faint not; but though our outward man perish, yet the inward man is renewed day by day.

17 For our light affliction, which is but for a moment, worketh for us a far more exceeding and eternal weight of glory.

18 While we look not at the things which are seen, but at the things which are not seen; for the things which are seen are temporal, but the things which are not seen are eternal.

Electrical Wiring in the Sales Models

            In the sales models, light switches should be wired so that the lights are always on to prevent people from turning lights on and off as they walk through the models.

            This approach accomplishes two things. 

            First, it prevents people from inadvertently leaving dark pockets behind them as they tamper with light switches while walking through the sales models. 

            The builder wants the sales models bright, cheerful, safe, and inviting, by having all interior areas of the models well lighted. 

            Second, the sales people do not need to constantly walk through the models turning lights back on. 

            The best approach is to have a master switch located in the sales office, whereby sales staff can turn on all of the designated lights in the models at the beginning of the day, and turn off these lights from the sales office at the end of the day without having to physically walk through the models turning off lights.

The Heart of the Debate 2

            The end-of-time tribulation will set-up upon the earth an environment that will clarify, with powerful finality, the separation between the limits of our capacity as human beings, and the role that Almighty God must responsibly assume in the physical, ethical, and moral management of the universe. 

            Counterintuitively, the most loving and thoughtful thing that God can do for us is to allow this temporary and disposable world to fall apart at the end of redemptive history, to reveal to us for one last emphatic time the catastrophic result of our thinking that we are gods capable of living independently apart from Him in spiritually autonomous rebellion. 

            At first glance, what therefore may seem like only a surface difference in timing between a pretribulation rapture and the thesis of this book, that the rapture will more likely occur a few years part-way into the tribulation, now separates into two very distinct outcomes. 

            A pretribulation rapture removes the Christian church off the earth and out of any possible participation in the momentous events of the tribulation.  A pretribulation rapture erases any possibility of Immanuel…God with us…in the midst of issues that will define God’s claim to rightful leadership as King and Ruler for the remainder of eternity.  

            But an as-yet un-raptured Christian church on the earth during at least some of Daniel’s final seven-year tribulation, utilizes the unprecedented narrow gate environment imposed upon the entire planet, creating the biblically patterned context for “called, chosen, and faithful” commitment to service for each and every Christian alive on the earth. 

            The unprecedented combination of the total loss of any option for normalcy as a result of worldwide persecution and the start of the judgment plagues, with the selfless fervor of evangelism empowered by the pouring out of the Spirit upon all flesh according to Joel 2:28-29…enlists and transforms even initially reluctant Christians into life-and-death service to Jesus Christ that they will be grateful for, for all eternity. 

            The pattern of the cross of Christ contained integrally in the adventures of faith, recorded throughout the Bible, lies at the heart of this debate.

            What makes the end-times tribulation period unique is not the large volume of end-times prophetic information given to us in the Bible, or that our understanding of end-times prophesy becomes clearer by employing a literal interpretation of scripture as often as possible, or that a dispensational framework of interpretation allows for a confident placement of the rapture at the beginning of the tribulation. 

            What makes the end-times tribulation period unique in history is the drastic change in the context of the world environment, introducing judgment plagues, the worldly appealing initial introduction of the Antichrist, unprecedented worldwide persecution of Christians, and a monumental last-ditch outreach of the gospel message of salvation to the people who are still undecided. 

            What drastically changes during the tribulation is an extreme environment of narrowly focused, life-and-death issues and goals, in which every Christian alive on the earth will become instantly transported into the reality of an adventure of faith. 

            When Joel 2:28-29 commences, every Spirit-born, twenty-first century Christian on earth overnight becomes a “called-out” person, no matter who or what they previously were.  When the latter rain of Joel 2:28-29 and Acts 2:16-21 begins, every Christian on earth will become a called, chosen, and Spirit-anointed vessel for service, similar to what Jeremiah experienced and describes in Jeremiah 20:9.

            An argument can be made that Christianity itself is based upon a violent and irreconcilable difference of opinion in first-century Jerusalem regarding the nature of the messiah.  Christianity is born out of a lethally violent disagreement.  Our salvation is based upon God’s working within a massively destabilizing first-century social upheaval and religious crisis of identity, truth, and right-living. 

            This crisis produced redemption and salvation for countless millions of new-covenant believers down through the twenty centuries leading-up to our present time.  All of the first-century early church participated fully in these events, according to their individual callings, abilities, and Holy Spirit empowerment. 

God has shown us in the Bible that He is able to stand alongside us in the fiery furnace, in the lion’s den, and on the challenging road to evangelizing the Mediterranean world in the first-century.  As Spirit-led Christians, when faced with adversity, we do not fold up our tents and go home. 

Godly men and women in the Bible, and Spirit-led Christians today, do not back down in the face of a challenge. 

            In Mark 4:35-41, when the disciples finally wake-up the sleeping Jesus, and rather pointedly ask Him whether or not He cares if they perish in the storm at sea, Jesus counters by saying “Why are ye so fearful?  How is it that ye have no faith?” 

            Jesus is the Almighty Son of God and Creator of the universe.  Jesus cannot perish in a small boat in peril of a strong storm on a lake.  The Christian church can follow Jesus anywhere, even into the dreaded great tribulation for a few years, if need be. 

            Spirit-born Christians have the Holy Spirit residing inside them.  Nothing on earth can overturn the Christian who is rooted and grounded in faith in Jesus Christ (Rev. 21:7). 

            Luke 21:36 can be applied to any appropriate time during the seven-year tribulation.  The fulfillment of Luke 21:36 does not have to occur before or at the beginning of Daniel’s seven-year tribulation period, in order to be a blessing, a relief, and a hope-filled motivation for continued watchfulness.  

            The Holy Spirit, living within the Christian, is not afraid of the great tribulation.  Jesus Christ securely enthroned in our hearts is not intimidated by Satan or the Antichrist.  The Bible tells us from beginning to end that God has complete mastery over spiritual opposition.  This is an extremely important concept to grasp as we approach the upcoming end-times events.

            As Spirit-born Christians, if we find ourselves someday soon in the midst of Daniel’s end-times tribulation period, this means God pre-destined us for these times, and this also means we have the capacity through the power of the Holy Spirit and the mind of Christ to step-up to the challenge at hand. 

            If we find ourselves in the Great Tribulation, Jesus Christ will be there with us. 

            The tribulation can therefore be alternately viewed as the opportunity for the “ordinary” Christian to become a great hero of the faith.  Instead of something fearful to avoid, the Holy Spirit empowered participation for a period of time in the last great harvest of souls, amidst the tribulation, should be viewed as a privilege of inestimable value. 

            To be chosen and called, to “be purified, and made white, and tested” according to Daniel 12:10, is no small thing in the grand expanse of the history of the saints of God. 

            To experience the total abandonment of self-interest and self-preservation, lost through the loving outreach component of the power of the Holy Spirit like Stephen experienced before the Sanhedrin (Acts 6:15), is to become Christ-like in the penultimate demonstration of character, being the sacrifice of the cross. 

            To overcome the “accuser of our brethren” by the blood of the Lamb, and by the word of our testimony, and that we loved not our lives unto the death (Rev. 12:10-11), is something that will bring victorious closure to human redemptive history that would endure for an eternity. 

            For Holy Spirit filled and empowered Christians during the tribulation, “ye shall be as gods” (Gen 3:5) does actually come true for human beings, but in the narrowly right way in divine loving self-sacrifice as patterned for us by Jesus Christ on the cross of Calvary and on Resurrection morning. 

            This unexpected outcome is to the eternal chagrin, consternation, and judgment of Satan the archangel who wanted to become god for all of the wrong reasons (Isa. 14:12-17; Rev 12:12). 

            God is so imaginatively creative He can bring the destructive words of the temptation in the Garden of Eden back full-circle upon Lucifer’s own head.  God pouring-out His divine power and grace in demonstration of self-sacrificing Christ-like love through end-times Christians would place an emphatic period at the end of the final chapter in the long story of human redemptive history.

            Human efforts to create a better world are rife with failure and shortcomings.  The narrative stories of faith in the Bible are the only sure examples of success having eternal benefits.  When God joint-ventures with us in an adventure of faith we have the potential for large results on an unimaginable scale. 

            God has to initiate drastically enhanced worldwide circumstances one last time to attempt to break through the stubborn rejection of faith in Jesus Christ as Savior. 

Allow Enough Time for the Sales Models Grand Opening

            The grand opening of the sales models and the sales office, which can be very exciting for the people from the main office, can be a major setback for morale in the field if everything is handled in the last-minute, rushed atmosphere typical of most new project grand openings.

            The standard protocol is for the main office to set a date, order all of the brochures and promotional literature, start the advertising, but fail to anticipate all of the small details that must be taken care of at the last minute. 

            The construction people in the field are then locked into a date that might not be realistic in terms of pulling everything together in a smooth and orderly manner.

            In one particular case, the builder had trouble deciding whether the sales office should be in one of the condominium units…or in a separate structure. 

            The homebuilder procrastinated to the point of having two unfinished double-wide trailers delivered to the jobsite for a sales office, only 10 calendar days before the grand opening.

            The jobsite superintendents were forced to schedule most of the subcontractors on top of each other with landscaping, masonry block work, finish carpentry, and painting all occurring simultaneously, late into the previous night and early the next morning, down to the last minute before the opening on a Saturday morning.

            When people from the main office came out to the jobsite two days before the grand opening to view the progress and to help in the last-minute preparations, they thought as construction novices that all of the tradespeople running around bumping into one another was normal for building construction.  They saw all of this frenzied activity as exciting compared to the mundane routines of the office.

            What the people from the main office did not realize was the damage being done to the reputation of the jobsite superintendents among the various subcontractors and tradespeople involved. 

            Tradespeople commented that this company was just as disorganized as all the other homebuilders in their past experience, and that everything being done in preparation for the grand opening of the sales model complex was a last-minute panic, as usual.

            It took the jobsite superintendents months of orderly and organized construction, after the sales models grand opening, to regain the confidence of many of the tradespeople and subcontractors who participated in the sales models work.

            The point here is that the main office should plan and schedule the grand opening date with the assistance of the construction department, and then abide by their own activity milestone dates in finalizing decisions, selections, and the ordering of various materials and furniture for the sales models and sales office.

            If the grand opening date is unrealistic, or if the main office cannot themselves stay on schedule, then after the promotional literature has been printed and advertisements published in the newspaper and on the internet, the construction must hold to that date.

            This forces the field personnel into almost impossible situations and working conditions that are then adversely criticized by the tradespeople involved, potentially damaging the building construction morale for months after the sales models grand opening. 

The Heart of the Debate

“And every man that hath this hope in him purifieth himself even as he is pure.”                                                                                      (1 Jn. 3:3)

            As I venture out into my neighborhood and community, the prospects for massive Christian revival in the very near future have not improved much. 

            People are still going about their self-absorbed pursuits of obtaining material wealth and possessions, trying to display the prideful outward appearances of their merit and worthiness through the measuring scale of financial success, and showing little or no openness to their need for God in their lives. 

            People rebuff attempts by Christians to share the gospel message with them, as if this outreach of love was a direct personal insult to their ability to be self-sufficient and self-sustaining. 

            Accepting Jesus Christ into their lives means to many people a retreat into character weakness, having to lean upon God’s help “as a crutch.” 

            Without some cosmically drastic negative change in this outward worldly environment, the status quo of difficult evangelical outreach in developed countries would continue on its current slow pace right up to the very edge of the end of time.   

            I believe it will take major acts of God, as described in the biblical end-times prophecies, to create the quantum shift in the world environment that will be required to shake-up people’s current comfort zone to become receptive to God’s final outreach of redemptive love. 

            The current context of life issues must be turned upside-down for people to replace their self-centered pursuits with a serious consideration of the offer of a new eternal life through Jesus Christ. 

            To reach deep into the self-centered group of people currently going about their own way without any regard for God, it will take some drastic shake-up in the world’s social, political, economic, and/or natural environment to get their attention. 

            When this occurs, what are we actually describing?  Are we then talking about the beginning of the actual seven-year tribulation, or are we looking at a series of preliminary warm-up events on a gradual upward incline of chaos and upheaval leading up to the start of the Great Tribulation?      

            We cannot control the upcoming natural disasters and judgment plagues of “biblical proportion” that are described in the Bible to occur in the tribulation period. 

            These Great Tribulation events will topple proud and arrogant people off the pedestals of their false confidence of being gods on the thrones of their destinies. 

            Some people will fall to their knees and cry-out to God to save them amidst the unprecedented chaos.  Others will continue to shake their fists at God in stubborn defiance. 

            The great end-times message is that we are not gods.  We were never created to be our own gods.  We have no business being a part of Satan’s rebellion against God. 

            The basis of Satan’s recruitment of mankind into his rebellion was a lie. 

            This end-times message is not new. 

            What will be new in the end-times is that the world will be coming apart at the seams.  What will be so powerfully new in the last days is the close correlation of this message to repent and step down off our thrones, with the realization of our utter helplessness to affect or control the outward manifestation of catastrophic natural events of a magnitude entirely new to the planet (Mt. 24:21). 

            The end-times message will closely correspond to unfolding world events.  The upheaval of the tribulation period will complement and accentuate the end-times message, that we are not gods and we are not self-sufficient kings. 

Generator for the Sales Models Opening

            Electrical power is needed for the interior lighting, air-conditioning, audio-music, video presentations and vocal narrative, and office equipment and telephones in the sales models and the sales office.

            If there is a chance that final inspection and occupancy approval might not be given by the city building department in enough time for the electrical utility company to set the meters and turn on the electricity, the builder should plan to use a generator in the interim.

            The builder should plan ahead for this temporary generator as an option, so there is no last-minute rush trying to obtain electrical power.

            A location for the generator must be found that is out of sight behind a building, wind-screened fence, or trees to minimize noise and to not detract from the sales models and sales office campus.

            The builder must also arrange for periodic refueling of the generator.  The generator must also be large enough to handle the required electrical load. 

The Perilous Times of Timothy

            The perilous times of Timothy present another scriptural inconsistency with a pretribulation rapture scenario. 

            Paul says in 2 Timothy 3:1:

“This know also, that in the last days perilous times shall come.” 

            At the time of this epistle, Timothy is not a tribulation saint as understood in our modern times.  Timothy is not a member of a distinctive group of people who will be left behind after the rapture occurs.  Timothy is a member of the one and only main body of the Christian church in existence, when Paul wrote Timothy this letter. 

            In the first-century, there is no division between Christians in-good-standing and some future, soon-to-be converted group of post-rapture tribulation saints. 

            Within the contemplation of Paul and the early church, there is no conception of something called a post-rapture tribulation saint. 

            Timothy is half Gentile and half Hebrew.  Timothy’s father is a Greek, and his mother is a Jew (Acts 16:1). 

            Yet in this address to Timothy by Paul, who understood better than anyone the subtle nuances between New Testament Gentile and Jew (Gal. 2:11-19), we see not the slightest hint of any dispensational differentiation by Paul in the practical application of this 2 Timothy 3:1 end-times prophesy, regarding this dual nature of Timothy. 

            If the question of a divided application of end-times prophetic scriptures to church-age Gentiles and Messianic Christian Jews, before and after a rapture, was ever to be addressed the Bible, assuming such a question existed, we would think this was an excellent opportunity for Paul to clear up any confusion and establish sound doctrine in applying end-times prophecies to his close friend and protégé Timothy, having inherited the combined dual ancestry of Gentile and Jew.    

            If the rapture occurs in the first-century, then Timothy will be raptured.  If the rapture occurs in Timothy’s lifetime, he will be one of those taken as described in Matthew 24:40-41. 

            Yet Paul addresses this particular end-times prophecy to Timothy, as if Timothy is or is soon to become a tribulation saint. 

            Whatever Paul is referring to as “perilous times,” they directly apply to Timothy.  These perilous times do not leap-frog over Timothy one generation to a future group of first-century people unsaved at that time, who would become converted to Christianity as a result of discovering they were left behind after the rapture. 

            Paul’s prophecy is aimed directly and squarely at Timothy, a born-again, Spirit-filled, first-century Christian. 

            If Timothy is a scripturally viable rapture candidate, then according to Paul’s prophecy here, Timothy is apparently also a scripturally viable candidate to experience perilous end-times.  

            Because these uniquely perilous times did not actually occur during Timothy’s lifetime, this prophecy in its composite form has continued by extension to each and every succeeding generation of Christians down to our present time. 

            Nowhere in scripture that I can find, does it allow us to insert a discontinuous break in the application of this prophecy, merely because it was written so long ago. 

            This warning of Paul to Timothy still applies to us today as if Paul were here now speaking to us in person.      

            If this prophecy referred to a future period of time immediately after Timothy was raptured, yet with a post-rapture first-century world still in-place, then Paul’s sentence does not make much sense. 

            This prophecy is directed toward the one and only full-sized Christian church that was on the earth at the time of Paul, because Paul was writing this warning to Timothy, a younger contemporary of Paul as a future reference and guide toward an upcoming actual time in Timothy’s life. 

            By continuous extension, this as-yet-unfulfilled prophetic warning similarly applies with all of its force to the contemporary Christian church on the earth today.

            For the unbeliever, there is no such thing as a non-perilous time.  Living on the edge of dying in sin, and passing on into an eternity in hell, is always perilous. 

            How can the last days become any more perilous for the unbeliever than normal times? 

            Again, in this 2 Timothy 3:1 verse, Paul says that “perilous times shall come.” 

            If some people say that these perilous times for unbelievers refer to receiving the mark of the beast, then this situates these perilous times described by Paul for Timothy right in the middle of the period of the Antichrist. 

            We cannot have it both ways. 

            Timothy, the first-century church, and Paul’s perilous times all go together. 

            If Timothy is on the scene for the perilous times foretold by Paul, then the times must be perilous for somebody, otherwise they would not in fact be perilous. 

            If Timothy is to be raptured as one of the faithful in his lifetime as anticipated by the early church, yet also experience perilous times, then the rapture slices up these perilous times into two parts. 

            Some portion of Paul’s perilous times, unspecified in length, must occur before Timothy is raptured.  Otherwise, Timothy is not physically present for these perilous times, and Paul is directing his warning to the wrong person. 

            Conversely, if the times are unusually perilous for unbelievers because of the presence on earth of the Antichrist, then Timothy is alive on earth for some portion of this same period of time, because Paul addresses this prophecy to Timothy. 

            If the times are also unusually and noticeably perilous for Christians sharing the gospel message, then what possible change in the outward world environment would create this to the extreme point that Paul would address this issue in a letter to Timothy, other than some singularly calamitous cascade of events leading up to the tribulation, or the actual momentous Great Tribulation period itself?  

            Another reason why I do not believe that the rapture will occur at the beginning of the tribulation period, is that Daniel’s seven-year tribulation is the final period of time for everythingin terms of the old- world system. 

            When the time finally comes that there are only seven years of human earthly history remaining, it would certainly be imperative and incumbent upon God to shake-up the world as described in the book of Revelation.

            The reasons behind this shake-up are two-fold, and they are enormous. 

            The first reason is that God would not want the last generation of unbelievers, with only seven years remaining on the clock, to be mistakenly focused on the non-essentials like what color to paint the kitchen, or whether to buy or lease our next automobile, or which college law school our granddaughter should apply to. 

            These otherwise legitimate life-issues today would be rendered entirely superfluous by virtue of the short end-times period remaining on the earth. 

            The second reason for a major shake-up by God as described in end-times biblical prophecy, is to demonstrate that the Antichrist, posing as the Messiah and savior of the world using fair speech, lofty promises, and intimidating threats, is in fact a worthless counterfeit god-man, an imposter who cannot control the catastrophic natural events or the health-related judgment plagues that will be occurring in the world. 

            Only the real God can supernaturally intervene in our natural world.  The catastrophic magnitude of the events occurring on the planet during the Great Tribulation would be God’s unselfish and loving way of exposing the lie and the emptiness of the high-sounding speech of the Antichrist. 

            This would be God’s final, emphatic, and unambiguous attempt to capture the attention of the last inhabitants on this planet as to the truly fragile nature of our existence and the genuine reality of our dependence on our Creator God. 

            At issue is the fundamental difference between “self-made men and women” and “God-made men and women,” which has been at the center of the debate in God’s outreach throughout human redemptive history. 

            The tribulation period is an environment of imposed dependence upon God for temporary physical and eternal spiritual survival, and forces a decision for or against God upon every inhabitant on the earth. 

            When the time comes that there are only seven years of time remaining, there is no point to God holding back or moderating His final appeal to mankind.

Air-Conditioning for Sales Models Plants

            In scheduling for the sales models opening for production tract housing and condominiums, the builder should consider that electricity must be on for air-conditioning to be operating at the time that indoor plants are placed in the interior of the sales models.

            To turn the electricity on, the final electrical inspection must be passed by the city building department, the electrical utility released, and the electrical meters set. 

            The air-conditioning units can then be fired-up and tested.

            If the grand opening occurs in the summer, for example, the indoor plants must be protected from the heat.  Because installing indoor plants is not a normal construction activity, and therefore not thought of during construction scheduling, it can be easily overlooked when planning for the sales models grand opening.

            The mistake to avoid here is not allowing enough lead-time for the air-conditioning to be up and running for the installation of sales model furniture which includes indoor plants. 

            These indoor plants must be in place to complete the interior decorating, for the promotional photography shoot, which typically takes place several weeks before the actual sales model grand opening date.

Some Problems with a Pretribulation Timed Rapture

            In my view, one difficulty with the concept of the timing of the rapture occurring at the beginning of Daniel’s seven-year tribulation period is an extension of the Matthew 24:9-10 verses:

            “Then shall they deliver you up to be afflicted, and shall kill you; and ye shall be hated of all nations for my name’s sake.  And then shall many be offended, and shall betray one another, and shall hate one another.” 

            My conception of the tribulation saints (those Christians converted after the rapture), are as a tightly focused group of believers totally dedicated to their last chance at serving Jesus Christ unconditionally, having missed the rapture. 

            This would be the case whether they experience exclusive domain over the last remaining evangelical outreach on earth for all seven, six, five, four, three, or even the final two years during Daniel’s seven-year tribulation period. 

            This would be the case regardless of the makeup of the tribulation saints, as Gentiles and Messianic Jewish Christians

            This hard-core group of tribulation saints does not seem susceptible to large numbers of them being offended as a result of persecution (Mt. 13:21), or betraying other tribulation saints, or hating each other. 

            These prophetic words of Jesus Christ would only seem to apply instead to a large, widely mixed group of born-again Christians who had in their numbers a sizable percentage of nominal, unconverted adherents who could easily fall into becoming offended, betraying real Christians, and living in an attitude of hatred and disappointment as a result of the end-times evil (Mt. 24:7-13). 

            This would more accurately describe the required blend of the genuine Christian church, combined with the apostate church, which we see in the world today, and which would appear transparently inseparable and indistinguishable to the undiscerning secular world before the start of the last day’s persecution and tribulation. 

            This would be more consistent with Matthew 24:10 saying “then many shall be offended,” implying that there is a large enough beginning sample of people for many to be offended, and conversely for many genuine Christians not to be offended, to comprise the whole group. 

            This would also set-up the basis for a clearer understanding of the falling away (2 Thes. 2:3).  

            The tribulation saints by contrast, whether Jew or Gentile, would be almost exactly like the Christians of the first two and one-half centuries in terms of fidelity to Jesus Christ.  They would be entirely new converts to Christ, narrowly focused on their mission, uniformly dedicated, fearless, committed, fiercely loyal to one another, and living with the constant threat of discovery, exposure, and imminent martyrdom. 

            If this is the case, then these Matthew 24:9-10 verses would therefore appear to be inconsistent with the currently popular teaching of an early rapture of the church, prior to the full seven-year tribulation scenario. 

            If these Matthew 24:9-10 verses fall within the time-span of the seven-year tribulation period of great persecution of Christians, and the only new Christians constituted after a pretribulation rapture are this group of tribulation saints, who are not plausible candidates for betraying and hating one another, then something here is clearly amiss. 

            The dispensational approach has newly converted Jews as a main contingent of the post-rapture tribulation saints who evangelize the world. 

            But this formulation is inconsistent with Matthew 24:10, which expressly states that many will be offended and hate one another. 

            This cannot apply to newly converted Jewish-Christian believers, converted by as-yet unknown supernatural revelations of Jesus Christ to Jews worldwide, similar to Joseph in Egypt revealing himself to his brethren. 

            The revelation that Jesus Christ is not just a God of the Gentiles, but is in fact their long-promised Messiah, will engender the most fiercely dedicated fidelity to the gospel message of Christ soaring above any persecution that would cause others to become offended.  

            After a pretribulation rapture of genuine Christians, there would not be a blended mixture of hard-core tribulation saints in close association with nominal adherents in a worshipping fellowship. 

            There would be nothing in common between these two groups after the rapture to bring them together in fellowship. 

            After the rapture, whenever it occurs, the tribulation saints from then-on-after will be a distinct and isolated group notable for their purity, zeal, commitment, and dedication of purpose. 

            The required diverse combination of a large number of genuine Christians mixed with a large number of nominal churchgoers, forMatthew 24:9-10 to occur within the same space of time, will simply not exist after a world-emptying pretribulation rapture taking all Spirit-born Christians off the earth. 

            Therefore, either there is some extremely intense persecution occurring pretribulation for the main Christian church prior to the rapture, causing this dissension and culling-out within the “mixed multitude,” or conversely there is a continuous uninterrupted existence on earth of the combined main body of the Christian church plus the apostate church, extending and overlapping into the tribulation period itself for some period of time. 

            Some large group of people (“many”) identified in these biblical verses must betray and hate other people in the group, for this very specific and unambiguous prophecy to be fulfilled.  

            The persecution that causes this internal dissension, and the large group of people who break-away to become disloyally offended and hateful, must both be in-place at the same time-period.             

            If the hard-core, last-chance group of tribulation saints would probably not be the people to react this way to the life-and-death trials of the end-times, then it is logical to conclude that these verses apply to a time-period when a large mixed group of people in the Christian church and in the apostate church are still together. 

            This then pushes the rapture forward into and beyond the tribulation starting point for some unspecified period of time having this intense persecution and tribulation, which would trigger the events as described in Matthew 24:9-10. 

            If tribulation saints are not plausible candidates for consideration as the uncommitted people who will fall away to betray and hate one another during the end-times persecution, and since Matthew 24:10 specifically says that many shall be offended, then some of the pieces of the pretribulation rapture puzzle are not fitting together here. 

            Toss-in a large group of fiercely loyal, newly converted Jewish Christians into the mix, and the rapture cannot plausibly occur at the beginning of the great tribulation.   

            A mixed mass of people and a period of persecution must be a couplet linked together concurrently on one or the other side of both the rapture and the tribulation. 

            The rapture removes the Christian church, leaving only the future, newly converted, die-hard tribulation saints. 

            Persecution sifts-out and divides the offended from the un-offended. 

            The events of both the rapture and some form of persecution divide the same identical large body of people into two distinct halves…those raptured and those not raptured…and those offended and those not offended. 

            Intense, sifting-out persecution cannot overtake a main Christian church raptured away into heaven, isolated forever from nominal churchgoers on earth. 

            It would therefore appear that a large disparate body of people and an intense period of persecution must be together, either before or after the rapture. 

            This means that either persecution shifts backwards in time, before the church is raptured, affecting both the genuine church and the apostate church together in time as one large group. 

            Or this requires the presence on earth of the genuine church combined with the apostate church as one large group, shifting forward in time into persecution/tribulation. 

            The unique nature of the resiliency, steadfastness, and narrowly committed exclusivity of the group of people called tribulation saints, who are probably not susceptible to “many betraying and hating each other,” is an important key to our understanding of the timing of the rapture. 

            It appears then that the rapture cannot occur in isolation. 

            The rapture cannot occur outside of a close relationship to an intense level of end-times persecution and tribulation, that would be so great as to noticeably split the “church” in two as described in Matthew 24:9-10. 

            After the rapture, after the close of the church age, the only Christians remaining on earth to the end of time are newly converted post-tribulation saints, and they do not fit into the description of potentially offended people and the events of Matthew 24:9-10. 

            After the rapture, tribulation saints are not susceptible to becoming offended by persecution or adversity (Mt. 13:21). 

            To fulfill Matthew 24:9-10, an unprecedented level of intense persecution has to find and overtake the main Christian church for some period of time before the rapture occurs, and one solution to this riddle is for the rapture itself to shift forward in time into the Great Tribulation. 

            If a satisfactory alternate explanation is to move some intense period of persecution into the time-slot immediately preceding the start of the Great Tribulation, then why go to such dispensational premillennial efforts to sustain a pretribulation rapture interpretation? 

            The intensity of the sifting-out split of the genuine and the apostate “church” through some form of worldwide persecution (Mt. 24:9-10) pretribulation, is then made equivalent to the magnitude of the actual Great Tribulation itself. 

            Removing the Christian church from the Great Tribulation through a pretribulation rapture, then loses its meaning, purpose, and appeal because of the need for something equally ominous to split the church into the offended and non-offended according to Matthew 24:9-10 and 2 Thessalonians 3:1-3. 

%d bloggers like this: