Q. I have been reading the articles about the moon and eclipse and frankly, it makes the hair on the back of my neck stand up. Date setting tends to give me the creeps. One web site did say that it was not an attempt to set a date, but rather to give info that might lead to further study on the subject, which I intend to do.
We all know that the “birth pangs” have gotten stronger-that is apparent. What we don’t know is how far the Earth has to be “dilated” in order for the Rapture to take place. Can you give some insight as to this dilemma? Have I overlooked something?
A. From my studies I have concluded that the Rapture is not connected to any other end tines event, nor is it “scheduled” to take place on a given day, and certainly not on a Jewish Feast Day, which are fulfilled in a manner significant to Israel.
The key to its occurrence is in Romans 11:25 where Paul used what I think were two carefully selected phrases in writing, “Israel has experienced a hardening in part until the full number of Gentiles has come in.”
The first phrase to which I refer is “full number”. It was a nautical term that described the number of soldiers and sailors that had to be contracted and on board before a ship could set sail. As soon as the full number was accounted for the ship left the harbor but not before. Often some of the crew were obtained in suspicious ways, so the ship left the harbor the minute all were on board. In effect, no one knew the exact day or hour of departure, and the ship often stole away in the middle of the night, before some of the most recently contracted crew members woke up from their drunken stupor to discover what had been done to them.
The other phrase is “has come in.” It was another nautical term that meant “to arrive at its destination”. You’ve probably heard someone say, “I’m waiting for my ship to come in” meaning he’s waiting for his fortune to arrive at its destination, in this case his bank account. It’s a play on words that came from this term.
When I put it all together, I think that Paul was telling us that the Rapture is a number specific event not a date specific one, and that’s why no one will know the day or hour. There is apparently a “full number” of members in the Church and when the full number has arrived at its destination, heaven, then the Lord will turn again to Israel and fulfill the last seven years of Jewish history, Daniel’s 70th Week.
That being said, since no one knows the full number, no one can guess the day and hour of the Church’s departure. But as soon as the full number is reached the Church will set sail for it’s destination no matter what day or hour it happens to be. Then the scheduled End Times events can begin to happen, because they’re all geared toward accomplishing 2 things for God. One is disciplining Israel and the other is completely destroying the unbelieving world (Jer. 30:11) and the Church has no part in either.