As myself and many fellow watchlings have done with each of the feast days, I want to make a brief case for Pentecost as finding its final fulfillment in the rapture of the Church. A book could be written on the topic, but I’m going to keep it simple and briefly cut to the points that I find the most compelling.
First and foremost, we must acknowledge that Pentecost (Shavuot) was first established by the giving of the Law to Moses on Mount Sinai, chronicled in Exodus 19. The feast day came to commemorate this momentous event as a sort of passage from one age to the next, the age of Abraham’s faith to that of Moses’ Law, what many would call a change in dispensations. A dispensation is theologically defined as a divinely ordained order prevailing at a particular period of history. The dispensation would have changed again at the start of the Church Age, the conception of the Church, which was marked by the outpouring of the Holy Spirit in Acts 2… on Pentecost, the same feast day that marked the transition of the previous dispensations. It would seem, in my humble opinion, that Pentecost behaves as a gateway of sorts, a portal of passage from one age to the next. It is very reasonable, then, to suspect that the Church Age will end with a rapture on some future Pentecost and begin the next and final age. From conception to birth, the Body of Christ would then have gestated for a precise number of years—and we know that God likes to employ precision of time because he did the same thing with the Israelites by having them leave Egypt on the very same day of the year that they entered into it, marking that day with the sacred feast of Passover — “At the end of the 430 years, to the very day, all YHWH’s divisions left Egypt.” (Exodus 12:41) Will God do something similar by having the Church birthed out of this world on the very same day that it was conceived, and on a sacred feast day?
It is also most intriguing what similarities the Sinai event has with the description we’re given in 1 Thessalonians 4 of the rapture — “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.”
The first and only time in Scripture that a heavenly trumpet has sounded was at Mount Sinai, during the giving of the Law, the first Pentecost.
EXODUS 19:16-20 — “On the morning of the third day there was thunder and lightning, with a thick cloud over the mountain, and a very loud trumpet blast. Everyone in the camp trembled. Then Moses led the people out of the camp to meet with God, and they stood at the foot of the mountain. Mount Sinai was covered with smoke, because YHWH descended on it in fire. The smoke billowed up from it like smoke from a furnace, and the whole mountain trembled violently. As the sound of the trumpet grew louder and louder, Moses spoke and the voice of God answered him. YHWH descended to the top of Mount Sinai and called Moses to the top of the mountain.“
A heavenly trumpet (shofar) is blown, and the Lord descends, a perfect parallel to the future rapture of the Church. We are not given much clarity in Scripture as to what the rapture will be like, but the most lucid clues we do have all seem to reminisce on the first Pentecost at Mount Sinai.
So, let’s look at the other Pentecost event in Scripture, Acts 2. Like the first Pentecost event, when God wrote His Law on stone, the next Pentecost event is when God wrote His Law on the hearts of men, a fulfillment of Jeremiah 31:33 — “This is the covenant I will make with the people of Israel after that time,” declares YHWH. “I will put my law in their minds and write it on their hearts. I will be their God, and they will be my people.”
Acts 2:1-4 — “When the day of Pentecost came, they were all together in one place. Suddenly a sound like the blowing of a violent wind came from heaven and filled the whole house where they were sitting. They saw what seemed to be tongues of fire that separated and came to rest on each of them. All of them were filled with the Holy Spirit and began to speak in other tongues as the Spirit enabled them.“
It’s a trail of clues that continues to unravel before us. Peter stands up and gives us our next direction.
ACTS 2:14-21 — “Then Peter stood up with the Eleven, raised his voice and addressed the crowd: ‘Fellow Jews and all of you who live in Jerusalem, let me explain this to you; listen carefully to what I say. These people are not drunk, as you suppose. It’s only nine in the morning! No, this is what was spoken by the prophet Joel:’
‘In the last days, God says, I will pour out my Spirit on all people. Your sons and daughters will prophesy, your young men will see visions, your old men will dream dreams. Even on my servants, both men and women, I will pour out my Spirit in those days, and they will prophesy. I will show wonders in the heavens above and signs on the earth below, blood and fire and billows of smoke. The sun will be turned to darkness and the moon to blood before the coming of the great and glorious day of the Lord. And everyone who calls on the name of the Lord will be saved.’”
Clearly, God had fulfilled His Word that day on Pentecost when he began to pour out His Spirit. But, a peculiar thing, the rest of Joel’s prophecy goes on to describe blood, fire, smoke, a black sun and a blood-soaked moon, the famously prophesied “Day of YHWH”. Obviously, the rest of the passage that Peter quoted was not fulfilled, and won’t be until the end of the age, yet, oddly, he doesn’t hold back from reciting the rest of the passage describing the fearful apocalyptic imagery surrounding the start of God’s wrath at the end of the age… Now why would that be?
Could it be, perhaps, that all of the events mentioned in Joel’s prophecy are to be associated with Pentecost, not just the outpouring of the Holy Spirit, but also the rapture and the end of the age?
Let’s take Peter’s hint back to Joel to see what he was quoting.
JOEL 2:1-2 — “Blow the trumpet in Zion; sound the alarm on my holy hill. Let all who live in the land tremble, for the day of YHWH is coming. It is close at hand—a day of darkness and gloom, a day of clouds and blackness.”
A trumpet, a holy hill, trembling and clouds. Now, isn’t that just epic? Four of the same items noted in Exodus 19 when God descended on Mount Sinai, on Pentecost — “On the morning of the third day there was thunder and lightning, with a thick cloud over the mountain, and a very loud trumpet blast. Everyone in the camp trembled.” (Exodus 19:16)
Is God trying to tell us something by having Peter recite the extended version of Joel’s prophecy on Pentecost? A road sign, perhaps, pointing us in the proper direction. The hidden connection here seems to be between the feast of Pentecost and the Day of YHWH, which, if you know your pre-tribulation eschatology, is rapture time. When God’s wrath begins, the Church departs — “For God did not appoint us to suffer wrath but to receive salvation through our Lord Jesus Christ.” (1 Thessalonians 5:9) The moment that the Day of YHWH brings wrath upon this unrepentant world is the same moment that the Body of Christ will obtain its promised salvation.
Right now, we are investigating what may possibly be the events surrounding the rapture of the Church so as to illuminate our proximity to the end.
Let’s continue where we left off in Joel’s prophecy.
JOEL 2:2-11 — “Like dawn spreading across the mountains a large and mighty army comes, such as never was in ancient times nor ever will be in ages to come. Before them fire devours, behind them a flame blazes. Before them the land is like the garden of Eden, behind them, a desert waste—nothing escapes them. They have the appearance of horses; they gallop along like cavalry. With a noise like that of chariots they leap over the mountaintops, like a crackling fire consuming stubble, like a mighty army drawn up for battle. At the sight of them, nations are in anguish; every face turns pale. They charge like warriors; they scale walls like soldiers. They all march in line, not swerving from their course. They do not jostle each other; each marches straight ahead. They plunge through defenses without breaking ranks. They rush upon the city; they run along the wall. They climb into the houses; like thieves they enter through the windows. Before them the earth shakes, the heavens tremble, the sun and moon are darkened, and the stars no longer shine. YHWH thunders at the head of his army; his forces are beyond number, and mighty is the army that obeys his command. The day of YHWH is great; it is dreadful. Who can endure it?”
What we find here in Joel 2 is a description of the 6th seal of Revelation, with the sun, moon and stars being darkened — “I watched as he opened the sixth seal. There was a great earthquake. The sun turned black like sackcloth made of goat hair, the whole moon turned blood red, and the stars in the sky fell to earth, as figs drop from a fig tree when shaken by a strong wind.” (Revelation 6:12-13) In the timeline of Revelation, the Day of YHWH chronologically begins at the 6th seal.
That prophecy of Joel 2 also foresaw a great battle ravaging the land of Israel at this time, armies rushing upon the city, warriors scaling walls, a violent invasion, which is unmistakably the great Gog and Magog battle of Ezekiel 38, our next great road sign — “The word of the Lord came to me: ‘Son of man, set your face against Gog,of the land of Magog, the chief prince of Meshek and Tubal; prophesy against him and say: ‘This is what the Sovereign Lord says: I am against you, Gog, chief prince of Meshek and Tubal. I will turn you around, put hooks in your jaws and bring you out with your whole army—your horses, your horsemen fully armed, and a great horde with large and small shields, all of them brandishing their swords. Persia, Cush and Put will be with them, all with shields and helmets, also Gomer with all its troops, and Beth Togarmah from the far north with all its troops—the many nations with you.'”
“‘Get ready; be prepared, you and all the hordes gathered about you, and take command of them. After many days you will be called to arms. In future years you will invade a land that has recovered from war, whose people were gathered from many nations to the mountains of Israel, which had long been desolate. They had been brought out from the nations, and now all of them live in safety. You and all your troops and the many nations with you will go up, advancing like a storm; you will be like a cloud covering the land.'”
“This is what the Sovereign Lord says: ‘On that day thoughts will come into your mind and you will devise an evil scheme. You will say, ‘I will invade a land of unwalled villages; I will attack a peaceful and unsuspecting people—all of them living without walls and without gates and bars. I will plunder and loot and turn my hand against the resettled ruins and the people gathered from the nations, rich in livestock and goods, living at the center of the land.’ Sheba and Dedan and the merchants of Tarshish and all her villages will say to you, ‘Have you come to plunder? Have you gathered your hordes to loot, to carry off silver and gold, to take away livestock and goods and to seize much plunder?'”
“‘Therefore, son of man, prophesy and say to Gog: ‘This is what the Sovereign Lord says: In that day, when my people Israel are living in safety, will you not take notice of it? You will come from your place in the far north, you and many nations with you, all of them riding on horses, a great horde, a mighty army. You will advance against my people Israel like a cloud that covers the land. In days to come, Gog, I will bring you against my land, so that the nations may know me when I am proved holy through you before their eyes.'”
“This is what the Sovereign Lord says: ‘You are the one I spoke of in former days by my servants the prophets of Israel. At that time they prophesied for years that I would bring you against them. This is what will happen in that day: When Gog attacks the land of Israel, my hot anger will be aroused, declares the Sovereign Lord. In my zeal and fiery wrath I declare that at that time there shall be a great earthquake in the land of Israel. The fish in the sea, the birds in the sky, the beasts of the field, every creature that moves along the ground, and all the people on the face of the earth will tremble at my presence. The mountains will be overturned, the cliffs will crumble and every wall will fall to the ground. I will summon a sword against Gog on all my mountains, declares the Sovereign Lord. Every man’s sword will be against his brother. I will execute judgment on him with plague and bloodshed; I will pour down torrents of rain, hailstones and burning sulfur on him and on his troops and on the many nations with him. And so I will show my greatness and my holiness, and I will make myself known in the sight of many nations. Then they will know that I am the Lord.'”
Overturning mountains, crumbling cliffs, a great earthquake and everyone on earth trembling at God’s presence. We can clearly corroborate the connection between the Day of YHWH, the 6th seal of Revelation, and the events described here in Ezekiel 38. It is on the same day that these events all take place, the day that these armies make their bold advance on Israel. This is the beginning of wrath for mankind, the time of the rapture for the Church. The Gog and Magog war is the most clear marker of this great day, and it may be no coincidence that it was on Pentecost that Peter recited from Joel 2, the prophecy echoing Ezekiel 38’s prophecy of Gog and Magog, both of which describe the Day of YHWH.
Will it be on Pentecost that the armies of Gog and Magog make their advance on Israel, provoking God to discharge His long-promised wrath; and on the same day, the catastrophic earthquake and darkened luminaries of Revelation’s 6th seal, along with the rapture of the Church at the sound of the heavenly trumpet?
Another hint may be found in Hebrews 12:18-26 — “You have not come to a mountain that can be touched and that is burning with fire; to darkness, gloom and storm; to a trumpet blast or to such a voice speaking words that those who heard it begged that no further word be spoken to them, because they could not bear what was commanded: ‘If even an animal touches the mountain, it must be stoned to death.’ The sight was so terrifying that Moses said, ‘I am trembling with fear.’ But you have come to Mount Zion, to the city of the living God, the heavenly Jerusalem. You have come to thousands upon thousands of angels in joyful assembly, to the church of the firstborn, whose names are written in heaven. You have come to God, the Judge of all, to the spirits of the righteous made perfect, to Jesus the mediator of a new covenant, and to the sprinkled bloodthat speaks a better word than the blood of Abel. See to it that you do not refuse him who speaks. If they did not escape when they refused him who warned them on earth, how much less will we, if we turn away from him who warns us from heaven? At that time his voice shook the earth, but now he has promised, ‘Once more I will shake not only the earth but also the heavens.’“
In that passage, we have both a contrast and a comparison of two events: the Mount Sinai event on Pentecost and what seems to be, amazingly, the rapture of saints to the city of God. The author means to contrast the two, but inadvertently draws a mysterious link. “…a mountain that can be touched and that is burning with fire; to darkness, gloom and storm; to a trumpet blast…“—is this not the Sinai event on Pentecost? And entering into the “heavenly Jerusalem“, “thousands upon thousands of angels in joyful assembly“, coming to “God, the Judge of all, to the spirits of the righteous made perfect“—is this not an image of the day of the rapture? It then warns, “If they did not escape when they refused him who warned them on earth, how much less will we, if we turn away from him who warns us from heaven? At that time his voice shook the earth…” The failure to “escape” here spoken of is undoubtedly referring to the Flood in the days of Noah, foreshadowing the future time when believers will again escape the wrath of God in the rapture. So, the themes of the Sinai event on Pentecost is directly tied in with warnings about the day of the rapture and the wrath of God, clarifying again by the words, “Once more I will shake not only the earth but also the heavens,” that this day is the 6th seal of Revelation, which according to Ezekiel 38, and thusly Joel 2, is the day that the armies of Gog and Magog invade Israel.
All of this was foreshadowed during Pentecost on Mount Sinai, later uttered by the prophets, and then recited by Peter on, again, Pentecost.
I would say, based on its numerous connections with the events surrounding and foreshadowing the rapture, that Pentecost is a very, very auspicious time to watch for the rapture of the Church.
We don’t know for certain what day the rapture will take place, only clues; but what we have found is that the rapture occurs on the Day of YHWH, the 6th seal, when Gog and Magog invade Israel. That is a perfect prophetic marker that we can safely and surely use to measure our proximity to the rapture.
Right now, all of the events illustrated in Ezekiel 38’s Gog and Magog war are set to take place, and for the first time in world history. Just as the prophet foretold, the modern nation of Israel is a land that “has recovered from war, whose people were gathered from many nations to the mountains of Israel, which had long been desolate.” From 70 AD when the Jews were scattered across the world following Rome’s conquest of Jerusalem to 1948 when the Jews returned to claim the land of Israel as a national home once more, Ezekiel’s great prophecy of the Gog and Magog war was being set up for fulfillment.
Now, it’s 2018, the 70th anniversary of the reformed nation of Israel, and the exact landscape and cast of characters in Ezekiel 38 are in place. “Gog and Magog” is modernly associated with vast regions of northern Eurasia extending from the Baltic to the Pacific, namely Russia and China. Persia is modern-day Iran. Cush is modern-day Ethiopia. Put is modern-day Libya. Gomer is Eastern Europe. Beth Togarmah is modern-day Turkey. If you haven’t been watching the news as of late, all of these nations described in the great assault on Israel are allied with each other; and with the nuclear superpower of Russia at the helm, tensions against Israel over recent military actions in Syria and Iran have stirred this monstrous alliance into threatening Israel’s existence.
‘Iran Threatens Israel Over Airstrike in Syria’ — The New York Times, April 2018
‘Russia Blames Israel For Attack On Syrian Air Base As Pressure Mounts Over Gas Atrocity’ — The Telegraph, April 2018
‘US General Warns Of Hypersonic Weapons Threat From Russia And China’ — CNN, March 2018
The reason why Syria is such a notable player in this little drama that’s been unfolding is because Isaiah 17 describes the future destruction and desolation of its capital city, Damascus — “A prophecy against Damascus: ‘See, Damascus will no longer be a city but will become a heap of ruins. The cities of Aroer will be deserted and left to flocks, which will lie down, with no one to make them afraid. The fortified city will disappear from Ephraim, and royal power from Damascus.” (Isaiah 17:1-3) It is none other than Syria that has recently sparked this entire situation between Israel’s allies and Russia’s allies after an apparent chemical-weapon attack by the regime of Syrian president Bashar al-Assad.
‘Trump Orders Targeted Strikes In Syria To Retaliate For Suspected Chemical Weapons Attack’ — CNBC, April 2018
‘Vladimir Putin Calls US-Led Syria Strikes An ‘Act Of Aggression’ — The Guardian, April 2018
And it gets even better. Isaiah 17, describing the calamitous fate of Damascus, Syria, which looks to be near on the horizon, ends with a prophecy echoing Ezekiel 38’s Gog and Magog war — “Woe to the many nations that rage—they rage like the raging sea! Woe to the peoples who roar—they roar like the roaring of great waters! Although the peoples roar like the roar of surging waters, when he rebukes them they flee far away, driven before the wind like chaff on the hills, like tumbleweed before a gale. In the evening, sudden terror! Before the morning, they are gone! This is the portion of those who loot us, the lot of those who plunder us.” (Isaiah 17:12-14)
Ezekiel 38’s prophecy about Gog’s invasion of Israel — “You will say, ‘I will invade a land of unwalled villages; I will attack a peaceful and unsuspecting people—all of them living without walls and without gates and bars. I will plunder and loot and turn my hand against the resettled ruins and the people gathered from the nations, rich in livestock and goods, living at the center of the land.’ Sheba and Dedan and the merchants of Tarshish and all her villages will say to you, ‘Have you come to plunder? Have you gathered your hordes to loot, to carry off silver and gold, to take away livestock and goods and to seize much plunder?‘” (Ezekiel 38:11-13)
Isaiah 17 is clearly describing the same event as Ezekiel 38, which directly ties this timeframe, the Day of YHWH, the 6th seal, the probable time of the rapture, to the destruction of Damascus, Syria—likely a very soon destruction, by the looks of current events.
Also, it should be noted that some of the only nations described in Ezekiel 38 who seem to oppose Gog and Magog’s invasion of Israel and suspect ulterior motives (plundering and looting) are Sheba and Dedan, who are modern-day Saudi Arabia. This seems to allude to a good relationship between Israel and Saudi Arabia at this prophesied time in history, which would perhaps be Israel’s only real friend in the Middle East. And that’s exactly what we’ve just begun to see.
‘Saudi Crown Prince Says Israelis Have Right To Their Own Land’ — Reuters, April 2018
‘Israel And Saudi Arabia: The Relationship Emerging Into The Open’ — BBC, April 2018
Currently, however, most of the war tensions seem to be between Russia and the U.S., two massive nuclear superpowers supporting the conflicts of their Middle-Eastern allies. The U.S. is the great protector of Israel—so where is it when Gog and Magog, and the many nations with them, boldly invade Israel for a plunder? The U.S. is gone, absent from the many prophetic passages. I confidently believe that the U.S. is that great nation “Babylon” that is destroyed in the prophecy of Jeremiah 50 and 51, obviously identified as the “hammer of the whole earth“. The prophecy says, “let everyone return to their own people, let everyone flee to their own land“, revealing a nation of immigrants in which none of its citizens take their ethnic origin from this land, which can only be America. This prophecy parallels Revelation 17 and 18, the destruction of “Babylon the Great, the Mother of Prostitutes“, which is further identified as the U.S. by its multiculturalism in the passage, “The waters you saw, where the prostitute sits, are peoples, multitudes, nations and languages.” Currently, America is the last great nation to be formed as an independent country — “…she shall be the last of the nations…” (Jeremiah 50:12)
The destruction of Babylon/America, according to Jeremiah 50:9, is at the hand of “an alliance of great nations from the land of the north.” Is this not the very same alliance of northern nations described in Ezekiel 38? Russia and its allies against America and Israel—this is the picture that these prophecies paint, and that’s exactly what we’re seeing arise in the news this year. It is a sudden and fatal attack on the U.S. to isolate Israel for the Gog and Magog war.
‘Russia Has ‘Unstoppable’ Supersonic Nuclear Missile That Cannot Be Traced By Western Defence Systems, Says Putin’ — Independent, March 2018
‘Putin Warns Of ‘Chaos’ In International Order If Syria Gets Attacked Again’ — CNBC, April 2018
‘Will There Be A World War 3 And Who Would Win? Latest WW3 News As Russia And US Tensions Over Syria Continue‘ — The Sun, April 2018
May the Bride stay vigilant in this last hour!