Birth Pangs And The Rapture

Birth Pangs And The Rapture

Sunday, May 11th, 2014 ChurchGreat

TribulationIsraelSecond Coming
Q. You have said that Matthew 24 is a Tribulation chapter, I agree that some of it will take place during that period. As a Pre Tribulation believer, how can we not see it as a two fold chapter of Rapture and Tribulation? The birth pangs then are only for the Tribulation period … signs of His Second Coming. Where do these birth pangs then fit in a Pre Tribulation Rapture? Many people are taking the “signs” (birth pangs) now as a preview of the Rapture of the Church. How can this be if they are signs of just His Second Coming?

A. Keep in mind that the context of Matt. 24-25 shows Jesus, a Jewish prophet, standing in Israel, answering questions from Jewish men about the end of the Jewish age. In Matt. 24:3 “When will these things happen?” is a question about the Temple’s destruction. “What will be the sign of your coming?” refers the the 2nd Coming, “and of the End of the Age” is about the final seven years remaining from the 490 year age the Angel Gabriel spoke of with Daniel, now known as Daniels 70th week. (Daniel 9:24-27)

In Matt. 24:4-8 Jesus describes events that would be common to the period between his resurrection and the beginning of the 70th week, what we call the Church Age, and in that sense are applicable to the Church. Wars, rumors of war, famines and earthquakes are given as examples. Luke added pestilence in his account. These things have been happening periodically through out the Church Age.

Christian commentators have taken the phrase birth pangs to mean that like a woman’s labor they would begin as mild and infrequent indicators of the impending event, but as the time draws close they will become progressively more frequent and more intense. So as wars, famines and earthquakes have become more frequent and more intense they say this means that the end is drawing nearer. And since the Rapture precedes the end that means it’s getting closer too.

But from Matt. 24:9 onward the focus is on Israel and the 70th week, with Matt. 24:15 giving the first clear sign, the arrival of the anti-Christ in the Temple marking the beginning of the Great Tribulation. From Matt. 24:15 to Matt. 24:29 the Great Tribulation is in view.  Then beginning in Matt. 24:30 and continuing through Matt. 25:46 the focus is on the Second Coming and the judgments that will take place just afterward.

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Rabbi Jonathan Cahn issued a dire warning to America

mobile.wnd.com/2014/05/harbinger-rabbi-warns-americaof-impending-judgment/

WASHINGTON – At the National Day of Prayer event held on Capitol Hill Thursday, Rabbi Jonathan Cahn issued a dire warning to America: The nation “stands in danger of impending judgment, and we all know it.”

“Too much of the church has lost its saltiness to do anything about it,” he declared. “And now the same biblical signs of national judgment that appeared in the last days of ancient Israel are reappearing on American soil.”

At the beginning of his commanding speech, Cahn, author of runaway bestseller, “The Harbinger,”and its movie companion “The Isaiah 9:10 Judgment” from WND films, warned that his address would not be politically correct. He urged the nation to “come before the Lord and seek His face, and His purposes, and His will for this land and to pray for America.”

Get “The Harbinger” and movie companion, “The Isaiah 9:10 Judgment.”

While Cahn said America has been blessed as no other nation has been blessed, he added, “To whom much is given, much is required.”

“America, as did Israel in its blessing, has been turning away from God, driving Him out of its public squares, bringing in idols in His place and calling what is evil good and what is good evil,” he declared. “And as Israel sacrificed thousands of its children on the altars of Moloch and Baal, so America has also lifted up millions of its children on the altar of pleasure and self-indulgence, and their blood is on our hands.”

Watch Rabbi Cahn’s address:

Warning of impending judgment, the rabbi told the story of how, 3,000 years ago, King Solomon stood in another sacred assembly in his nation’s capital.

“There he dedicated a temple and the nation’s future to God,” Cahn said. “There he interceded and prayed that if his nation would ever turn away from God and calamity came upon it, if the people turned back to God in repentance that God would have mercy on them.”

God told Solomon, “If my people, which are called by my name, shall humble themselves, and pray, and seek my face, and turn from their wicked ways; then will I hear from heaven, and will forgive their sin, and will heal their land.”

Sept. 11, 2001, terrorist attacks in New York City
As Cahn explained, 400 years later, the calamity of judgment fell upon the land – and the Temple Mount, where Solomon prayed, was destroyed.

“God was saying, ‘Return, Israel,’” he explained, adding that America came into existence 225 years ago this week.

On that day in America’s capital, George Washington placed his hand on the Bible and gave the new nation a prophetic warning: “[T]he propitious smiles of Heaven can never be expected on a nation that disregards the eternal rules of order and right which Heaven itself has ordained.”

Cahn said, “The warning was this: America was blessed because of God alone. If America ever turned away from God, then the blessings of heaven would be removed from the land.”

Today, that warning is coming true, he said.

“After giving that word, Washington and the entire first government of this nation proceeded on foot to the place specially appointed to dedicate America’s future to God,” Cahn explained. “It was America’s consecration ground. Where was it? It was in the nation’s capital.”

However, he added, the nation’s capital was not in Washington, D.C.

Washington bowed his head to pray that day in New York City.

“Where exactly was it?” he asked. “The place at which they dedicated America to God on its first day as a nation – America’s consecration ground – is Ground Zero.”

A cross formed from the Sept. 11 wreckage at Ground Zero in New York City
Cahn revealed the message of that sacred ground.

“God is crying out to this nation, ‘Return! Return! Return!’” he implored. “The forefathers gathered in the capital city that day to consecrate America to God, so we have gathered this day in the capital city to do likewise, to rededicate this nation into the hands of God and to re-consecrate our hearts and lives to the will of God.”

The hope of America does not lie in the White House, he said. You won’t find it under the Capitol dome, on Wall Street or any place else.

“America’s hope lies in the name of Yeshua Hamashia, Jesus the Messiah, the Light of the World,” he said. “It was for Him this nation came into existence. It is in Him alone that hope lies. And we come together this day in this city named after the one who gave that warning and who bowed his head and prayed that this nation be dedicated to God with a holy and crucial purpose. It is time to humble ourselves. It is time to pray. It’s time to seek the face of God. It’s time to turn from our evil ways that He might hear our prayers, forgive our sins and heal our land.”

Cahn prayed that – whatever it takes – there will be a widespread repentance, awakening and revival in America.

“Let the will of God be done,” he prayed. “Let the name of God be lifted up. Let the City on a Hill, America, shine again. Let God’s grace shine upon here, and let the glory of the Lord be revealed in the name of Yeshua Hamashia, Jesus the Messiah, the Light of the World and the Lion of the tribe of Judah. Amen and amen.”

Cahn brought the National Day of Prayer gathering to its feet, clapping and cheering.

The rabbi further detailed his belief that America is at a critical crossroads in an interview with WND immediately after the event concluded:

As WND reported, Dr. James Dobson, founder of Focus on the Family, made big news when he blasted Barack Obama as “the abortion president,” and there were plenty of other broadsides launched against modern-American society.

Anne Graham Lotz
Other speakers were also sharply critical of the state of the nation, and almost all stuck to one theme: America is on the wrong track wrong and heading for disaster if it does not change course, repent and return to the ways of God.

Anne Graham Lotz, daughter of Rev. Billy Graham, was the keynote speaker for what turned out to be the largest National Day of Prayer in history, broadcast and live-streamed around the world. She, too, warned that America has strayed so far from the ways of God that time is running out and judgment is coming soon.

Lotz said God is urgently warning America to repent right now through a series of calamities, including:

Natural disasters, including a series of record-breaking storms
Social disasters, such as rampant abortions and pornography
Mass shootings
Financial disasters and nearly $18 trillion in national debt
Unchecked growth of government
Pervasive secularism
Spiritual malaise
Lotz said, while God is sending severe and scary warnings, the solution is still within our reach. If America would turn back to prayer, then, she said, God will forgive the nation’s wicked ways and heal our land.

“It is time to wake up and cry out to God,” she declared.

However, Lotz also called this a time of great hope, “unparalleled in human history,” primarily for two reasons. One, the rebirth of Israel after 2,000 years seemed nothing short of a miracle. And, two, for the first time in history, the gospel is being preached to the entire world, thanks to modern mass communications, including the Internet.

Although the official theme of the 63rd annual National Day of Prayer was the optimistic “One Voice, United in Prayer,” most speakers echoed the warning that America is heading for disaster.

Pastor Jeff Noel
“We recognize the only thing that can turn the tide of this nation” is God, said Jeff Noel, national coordinator at the National Prayer Committee and pastor at Grace Heartland Church in Louisville, Kentucky.

He asked the gathering and people around the world to pray for the soul of America. Noel said our message for God should be a simple one: “We repent.”

He implored America to repent for “putting our faith in our economy, our government, our own ideas,” which “always come up short.”

Noel also urged America to repent for:

“Sacrificing our children on the altar of convenience, selfishness and pleasure”
“Allowing marriage to be redefined on our watch”
And “allowing our culture to advance the agenda of the enemy”
Also speaking at the bipartisan event was U.S. Tax Court Judge Maurice Foley, appointed by President Bill Clinton.

Foley emphasized that, while he has great respect for the legal system, his sense of justice comes from God.

“If I trust in the Lord, He will direct my thoughts, and He does.”

Foley insisted it is the “awe of His majesty and powers that enables a judge to be fair, just and patient” and quoted King Solomon in saying “Fear of God is the beginning of wisdom.”

The judge’s advice? “Be humble, or God will humble you.”

Democratic lawmaker Mike McIntyre, D-N.C., said the good news is the House of Representatives and the Senate both have prayer breakfasts every week and hold Bible study.

He also noted that, every week, lawmakers in the National Prayer Caucus ask God for guidance in their making their votes.

And, when people complain to him about the state of affairs in Washington, D.C., he asks them to pray for lawmakers, their staff and families.

U.S. Air Force Maj. Gen Joseph S. Ward
Former Rep. Bob McEwen, R-Ohio, related how, when delegates to the Second Continental Congress got hopelessly bogged-down while trying to formulate the Constitution, they followed the advice of Benjamin Franklin and fasted and prayed upon it for three days.

When they returned, they began with a prayer and finished their work. Ever since, McEwen noted, every session of Congress has begun with a prayer.

U.S. Air Force Maj. Gen Joseph S. Ward shocked the crowd by informing them that 22 services members a day now commit suicide, and stressed one thing that could help – allowing men and women in uniform the ability to express their faith freely.

The 63rd annual National Day of Prayer was hosted by Rep. Robert Aderholt, R-Ala.

Get “The Harbinger” and movie companion “The Isaiah 9:10 Judgment,” or one or more of Cahn’s biblical teaching series productions: “The Masada Mystery,” “The Sanhedrin Secret,” “Hanukkah Endtime Mystery” and “The Secret of the Eighth Day.”

Find out how YOU could tour Israel with Rabbi Cahn and WND CEO Joseph Farah!

Follow Garth Kant on Twitter @DCgarth