The Blessed Hope of the Rapture

Today I am writing about something close to my heart. Perhaps it’s close to yours as well. Each day when I wake up, it’s the first thing that pops into my mind. I often wonder, could this be the day Lord?

Could this be the day for what you ask? Great question!

Is this the day Jesus will fetch his bride from the earth? Is this the day he will sweep us off our feet as we meet him in the clouds?

Every single day this thought crosses my mind. Truly, shouldn’t this be the thought that crosses the mind of a Bride in Waiting?

The Bride has been waiting for a long time. Since Jesus died and rose again we continue to wait. Generations have passed and we still keep our eyes on the blessed return that will come at the Rapture.

The Blessed Hope of the Rapture

Not everyone believes in the Rapture, but I’ve been researching it for many years and I’m thoroughly convinced it will happen. There is so much evidence it’s astounding. Soon I will be blogging in detail about all the evidence, which comes from the Bible and a wide array of biblical scholars. I will also share amazing stories about what the Lord has shown me.

What is the Rapture?

Just so we are clear, let’s define what the Rapture is. Firstly, the Bible doesn’t use the word Rapture, but rather “the catching away” of the Bride of Christ. The word used for “the catching away” is the Greek word harpazo. This word is seen in 1 Thessalonians 4:13-18.

“Brothers and sisters, we do not want you to be uninformed about those who sleep in death, so that you do not grieve like the rest of mankind, who have no hope.  For we believe that Jesus died and rose again, and so we believe that God will bring with Jesus those who have fallen asleep in him.  According to the Lord’s word, we tell you that we who are still alive, who are left until the coming of the Lord, will certainly not precede those who have fallen asleep. 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. After that, we who are still alive and are left will be caught up together with them in the clouds to meet the Lord in the air. And so we will be with the Lord forever.  Therefore encourage one another with these words.”

These verses describe the Rapture. The Bride of Christ is caught up with Jesus and drawn into the clouds. The word harpazo (caught up) means to snatch, seize, pluck, take by force, or carry away. The bride will be snatched and carried away by Jesus.

The English word rapture comes from the Latin word rapio, which means to take quickly or snatch. It’s related to “the ecstasy of spirit, or an actual removal from one place to another” according to Bible.org. Putting this all together, the Rapture means the snatching away of the Bride of Christ from earth to heaven.

In other blogs I have stated that this reminds me of the Birds of Prey such as owls, eagles, falcons, kites and kestrels (to name a few). These birds are also called RAPTORS because they seize, snatch, and carry away their prey by force. Now don’t get me wrong, I’m not saying Jesus treats his bride like prey! I’m just telling you how the words and actions are related. In this case, the raptors take their prey very quickly– so quickly the prey never knows what happened. Picture this: one minute a little mouse is munching on a seed and the next it’s in the talons of the owl! Speaking of quick, did you know the peregrine falcon is THE FASTEST ANIMAL ON EARTH. It’s so fast it can snatch prey right out of the air at speeds of over 200 miles per hour! Sorry Mr. Cheetah, you are actually quite slow in comparison.

The point I’m trying to make is that when Jesus comes at the Rapture it will be in a swift manner. Look at the verses below from Revelation 22:12– there are three different translations:

“Look, I am coming soon! My reward is with me, and I will give to each person according to what they have done.” NIV

“And, behold, I come quickly; and my reward is with me, to give every man according as his work shall be.” KJV

“Behold, I am coming soon, bringing my recompense with me, to repay each one for what he has done.” ESV

Most people look at the word SOON and QUICKLY and think it means Jesus is coming in a short time, or his return is just around the corner. While this may be true, especially in this day and age, this is not what this word means if you look at the original translation.

The word being used for soon or quickly is the Greek word TACHY. This word means by surprise or suddenly. This is where we get the word tachycardia. This is a word used to describe a heartbeat of over 100 beats per minute. This means the heartbeat is much faster than normal.

If we read the verse in this context we now see it is saying, “Behold, I am coming by surprise, or in a sudden manner.” This is reminiscent of the Rapture because we know Jesus comes in the twinkling of an eye!

“In a flash, in the twinkling of an eye, at the last trumpet. For the trumpet will sound, the dead will be raised imperishable, and we will be changed,” 1 Corinthians 15:52.

The Rapture of the Church is being described in this verse. The trumpet will sound and the dead will be raised in a quick and sudden manner. In this verse the word twinkling is the Greek word rhipe which means: in a beat, in the jerk of an eye. Go ahead and blink your eyes so you can see how quick this really is!

Going back to Revelation 22:12, it’s interesting to note that tachycardia is defined as a heartbeat that’s over 100 beats per minute. Why? Well, if you study the Feasts of the Lord, you will find out that on the Feast of Trumpets the shofar or trumpet is blasted 100 times. The 100th trump is called THE LAST TRUMP.

If we go back to 1 Corinthians 15:52 it says, AT THE LAST TRUMP the dead will be raised.

Jesus and the Feast of Trumpets

Will Jesus return one day on the Feast of Trumpets? I don’t know because we do not know the day or the hour. Also, the Feast of Trumpets comes every single year just like Christmas or Easter. So even if he were to return on the Feast of Trumpets we wouldn’t know what year. But my point is not to pinpoint the day or the hour. My point is to show you that the manner of his return will be swift and quick. The catching away will be so fast that it will be like a blink in time.

When I think of the Birds of PREY, I am reminded that we PRAY for our groom Jesus to snatch us out of this earth as soon as possible!

The Ancient Jewish Wedding

The Rapture is a thief in the night event that is reminiscent of the ancient Jewish wedding.

When a bride was betrothed to her groom, this meant they were legally married. But unlike today’s marriage customs, they would not have the ceremony or consummate the marriage until later. After the betrothal, the groom would leave and go to his father’s property. The bride could not see her groom and she did not know when he would come back. The groom would go to his father’s house to prepare a place for them to live. A room would be built onto the father’s home. The father was an integral part of this process and only he could say when the room was ready.

When the special place had been prepared, the father would let his son know. He would say, “Son, it’s time to go fetch your bride!”

“Do not let your hearts be troubled. You believe in God; believe also in me. My Father’s house has many rooms; if that were not so, would I have told you that 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.”

These verses from John 14:1-4 are describing the ancient Jewish wedding.

The verses are describing Jesus, who is our groom. His Father, God, is preparing the place (room) for Jesus’ bride. When John 14 says, “I will come back and take you to be with me” it means Jesus will come back to get his bride.

The King James version says this:

“And if I go and prepare a place for you, I will come again, and receive you unto myself; that where I am, there ye may be also.”

The word being used for received is: PARALAMBANO

This is a very important word to understand! This word means: to take to, to take with one’s self, to join to one’s self.

Paralambano means to receive near, or to associate with oneself by either a familiar or intimate act. It also means to seize and put away with affection.

Interestingly enough this same word is used in these verses that describe the Rapture:

“That is how it will be at the coming of the Son of Man. Two men will be in the field; one will be taken and the other left.  Two women will be grinding with a hand mill; one will be taken and the other left,” Matthew 24:39-41.

The word being used for taken is PARALAMBANO. Applying this definition to the verse, it means one person will be received or joined to Jesus. This is describing the Bride of Christ, who is taken and joined with her Groom.

The other word used in the verse is LEFT. It says, “one will be taken and the other left.” This is the Greek word aphiemi which means: to leave, disregard, to leave behind. It can also refer to the act of a husband divorcing his wife. Applying this meaning to the verse we can see that the bride is taken to be with Jesus while the other person is left behind. This other person represents those who have not received Christ.

If we look at these verses as a metaphor for the world, we can see those who belong to Christ will be received unto him at the Rapture, while those who are not the bride are left behind. Even the use of the word field in the verse is quite revealing because fields are symbolic of the world in scripture.

Right after this verse Jesus says:

Therefore keep watch, because you do not know on what day your Lord will come. But understand this: If the owner of the house had known at what time of night the thief was coming, he would have kept watch and would not have let his house be broken into.  So you also must be ready, because the Son of Man will come at an hour when you do not expect him, ” Matthew 24:42-44.

This idea of a THIEF IN THE NIGHT is directly tied to the groom of Jesus’ day. The groom was called a THIEF IN THE NIGHT because his bride did not know the exact hour her groom would come. Only the groom’s father knew when the property would be ready. The bride had to be ready at any time because the groom would come at an hour she did not know.

Getting back to the Jewish wedding, when the father gave the signal to his son it was time to get his bride, the son would head out with the wedding party and go to the home of the bride. Before he reached her house a shout would be given and the trumpet (shofar) would blast. The bride would hear this and get ready to meet her groom. When he arrived they would leave her home and go to the Father’s property. There they would enter the secret place together.

The Secret Place

What is the secret place? It’s the marriage chamber (room) that was prepared for the bride and groom on the Father’s property. In this room they would stay for SEVEN DAYS and the marriage would be consummated. After the seven days they would come out and join their wedding guests.

I have heard pastors argue about the details of the Rapture. Some say the Rapture will happen before the Tribulation, while others say it’s Mid-Tribulation. Well, the ancient Jewish wedding does not follow the pattern of a mid-Tribulation Rapture.

The seven days in the secret place (room) translate to the bride being hidden for seven years while the Tribulation ravages the earth. Saying the bride is hidden for 3 1/2 years breaks the typology of the Jewish wedding. We must remember Jesus is a Jewish groom so it makes sense that he would follow the traditions of a Jewish wedding.

If you have not seen it, I recommend watching the movie, Before the Wrath, on Amazon. I’ve included a link that goes to the official website if you want more info. This specifically addresses the traditions of a Galilean wedding. Galilee is where Jesus did his ministry and teaching.

I’ve heard some pastors say the verses listed in Matthew 24:39-44 are about the Second Coming and not the Rapture. The problem with this is that the Second Coming is not a thief in the night event. If you read Revelation you see there are lots of plagues, bowls and judgements that must happen before the Second Coming described in Revelation 19. Therefore, the return of Jesus at the Second Coming is preceded by specific observable events and cannot be described as a thief in the night event.

A thief in the night event is imminent. This means there are no specific events that have to precede its arrival.

The Rapture and the Days of Noah

Jesus says his return will be like the Days of Noah. People were eating and drinking and being given in marriage up until the day the flood came.

“But about that day or hour no one knows, not even the angels in heaven, nor the Son, but only the Father.  As it was in the days of Noah, so it will be at the coming of the Son of Man.  For in the days before the flood, people were eating and drinking, marrying and giving in marriage, up to the day Noah entered the ark…”

Notice it says in these verses, “but about that day or hour no one knows, not even the angels in heaven, nor the Son, but only the Father.”

This is referring back to the ancient Jewish wedding and the thief in the night concept. The father told the Son when the property was ready and when it was the right time to go fetch his bride. The time was unknown to the bride because the groom came like a thief in the night.

It will be the same way at the Rapture. The Father will tell Jesus its time to get his bride!

But not everyone will be ready when Jesus comes to get his bride. In Noah’s day everyone was caught unaware, except Noah and his family. The rest of the world had no idea the Flood was coming. The same thing will happen at the Rapture. People will be caught off guard. But the Bride of Christ will be ready.

The Rapture or the Titanic?

This whole event being described in John 14:1-4 reminds me of the Titanic. The verses are numbered 14:1-4. Titanic hit the iceberg on 4:14 (April 14). You can see these numbers forward and backward in John 14:1-4. Many perished in the frozen cold water, while others were rescued on lifeboats. Before the Tribulation comes, we must secure our lifeboat. Jesus is the lifeboat. When the ship (world) goes down, only Jesus can save us!

The iceberg the Titanic hit

Something else to consider is that in the Tribulation people will be subjected to the Wrath of the Lamb.

 “I watched as the Lamb opened the first of the seven seals. Then I heard one of the four living creatures say in a voice like thunder,’Come!‘ I looked, and there before me was a white horse! Its rider held a bow, and he was given a crown, and he rode out as a conqueror bent on conquest.

When the Lamb opened the second seal, I heard the second living creature say, ‘Come!’ Then another horse came out, a fiery red one. Its rider was given power to take peace from the earth and to make people kill each other. To him was given a large sword….” Revelation 6:1-4.

Then when we get to verse 16 it says:

“Fall on us and hide us from the face of him who sits on the throne and from the wrath of the Lamb For the great day of their wrath has come, and who can withstand it?”

What is Wrath?

This word wrath is the Greek word orge and this means: anger, wrath and indignation. It also means anger exhibited in punishment and used for punishment. It is related to punishments inflicted by judges.

To say the Bride of Christ is under His Wrath makes no sense. This means the bride will incur the wrath of her groom. When we look at these verses below we see the opposite is true. In fact, the same word (orge) is used in theses verses:

“And to wait for his Son from heaven, whom he raised from the dead, even Jesus, which delivered us from the wrath to come”.

“For God hath not appointed us to wrath, but to obtain salvation by our Lord Jesus Christ,” 1 Thessalonians 5:9.

Wrath and Persecution are Different

Some people will say the Bride has always been persecuted throughout history and that means she will go through the Tribulation. The Bride has always endured trials. The problem with this thinking is that persecution and trials are different than WRATH! Wrath is tied to punishment.

Also, this is not man’s wrath we are talking about- this is the wrath of God and the Lamb. There’s a huge difference.

“Therefore, there is now no condemnation for those who are in Christ Jesus,” Romans 8:1.

“Much more then, being now justified by his blood, we shall be saved from wrath through him,” Romans 5:9.

Also, consider what it says in Colossians 2:14-15

“He forgave us all our sins,  having canceled the charge of our legal indebtedness, which stood against us and condemned us; he has taken it away, nailing it to the cross. And having disarmed the powers and authorities, he made a public spectacle of them, triumphing over them by the cross.”

The numbers 2:14 remind me of Valentine’s Day which is on 2:14 (Feb 14). Jesus is our lawyer and advocate. Our debt is canceled. We are not under the indignation of a Judge!

The Tribulation is judgment! Why would the Bride be under the Judgment when her debt has been paid? Why would she be judged by her groom? The Tribulation is both WRATH and JUDGMENT.

Another great piece of evidence that shows the Bride of Christ is not destined for the Tribulation is found in Revelation 3:10.

“Since you have kept my command to endure patiently, I will also keep you from the hour of trial that is going to come on the whole world to test the inhabitants of the earth.

These verses are referencing the Church of Philadelphia, which is made up of all believers who truly love Jesus Christ and have received him as their Lord and Savior. The verses are very clear- I will keep you from THE HOUR OF TRIAL. The fact that a definite article is used in this verse reminds us that this is a specific event. THE HOUR OF TRIAL is an event. What event you ask? The Tribulation! This is the event that will test the entire earth.

Philadelphia comes from the root word phileo, which means love. This is the Church Jesus loves, and this is the Church who truly loves Jesus- she is the Bride of Christ! The bride is made up of all believers in the world who have received him as their groom! Like the Ten Virgins at Midnight, the bride kept her oil lamp burning (the Holy Spirit). Unlike the foolish virgins who had no oil, the Bride of Christ had her oil in the lamp and was ready to go. When the groom came, she was alert and prepared. Off she went to the Wedding Ceremony in heaven.

This brings me to several questions……….

Do you really believe Jesus is coming soon? Do you believe he will rapture the Church? If you knew he could come at any time, would it change the way you behave? Would it change how you live your life? Would you be telling others about Jesus now or later?

I want you to realize the URGENCY of this message. I know many believe there’s plenty of time, but what if there isn’t?

THE WEDDING SUPPER

In 2017, something interesting and eye-opening happened that I cannot forget. After the event, the Holy Spirit left a strong impression on me.

Back in 2001 I was a fourth grade teacher. This was the year 9-11 happened so this class of students has always stood out in my memories. I had lots of students that year, but there was one particular student who held a special place in my heart. Over the years I never forgot her, but cherished our time as student and teacher.

In 2017, this special student told me she was getting married. She invited me to the wedding reception. At this point, it had been over 15 years since I’d seen her so I was excited to go. I couldn’t believe that much time had passed! I had every intention of going to this amazing event.

The evening of the wedding reception came and I was not feeling very good. My sinuses were bothering me and I was feeling overly tired. This particular evening I knew I’d be leaving in 5:00 traffic to drive across town to the reception. In addition, my son would have to stay home by himself because my husband ended up having to work. He was 12 years old at the time and capable of staying alone, but it wasn’t my preference being that it was evening.

I contemplated staying home. After all, there would probably be plenty of people there. Would I really be missed? I went back and forth about what I should do and then I heard that still small voice say, “Angela, you must go to this wedding reception. Do not delay. Leave now.”

At that moment I knew I had to go. So, I got dressed, got in the car and went. Boy was I glad I did!

When I got to the reception, I was surprised by what I saw. I looked around to find many empty tables. These tables were decorated as if people were supposed to sit there- but they were empty. I glanced around to figure out where I would sit and that’s when I saw my beloved student. She was sitting at a table with her family and friends. This was the only table where people were seated.

When she spotted me, her eyes filled with tears. “Mrs. Rodriguez, I can’t believe you came!” We hugged and she invited me to sit at the table. “I don’t want to take a seat away from a family member,” I argued. “Maybe I should go to one of the other tables,” I reasoned.

She looked at me sadly and said, “No, it’s ok. I don’t think anyone else is coming.”

In that moment I felt so sad. Where was everyone else? All those empty tables hit me like a punch to the gut.

Then she said, “It’s ok. The people who truly love me are here.”

When she said that the Holy Spirit practically shouted these words to me………

“When the Wedding Supper of the Lamb comes, many will not show up. Some will be too busy. Others will not make it a priority. Many will make excuses for why they couldn’t come and will have no idea the event is taking place.”

Immediately I thought of the Parable of the Wedding Banquet.

Jesus tells this parable to describe what it will be like when he comes to fetch his Bride to take her to the Wedding Supper.

The King prepared a Wedding Banquet for his son. He invited many people. When the time came for the banquet (supper) he sent his servants out to remind everyone to come. Unfortunately, they refused or paid no attention. Many were too busy. Some even mistreated his servants.

When the King found this out, he was furious. He decided those who made excuses and refused to come did not deserve to attend the Wedding Banquet. So he sent his servants out to invite other guests who would be glad to come.

I felt like the Holy Spirit was reminding me that many people have no idea Jesus is coming back soon. They go about their business…..watching Netflix, surfing the Internet or being caught up with the world. They’ve forgotten Jesus and they are not watching or waiting. Many do not long for his return.

As I was contemplating all this, a name popped into my mind out of nowhere. The name was BILLY GRAHAM. I knew who Billy Graham was, but I didn’t know why he came to mind at that moment.

His name stuck with me throughout the evening. When I went home, I looked up Billy Graham on my computer. I realized his birthday is NOVEMBER 7. I was astounded because the date of the wedding reception was NOVEMBER 7. What were the chances of that?

Billy Graham

Immediately I prayed, “Lord, what does this mean?”

After praying, the Holy Spirit impressed this upon me:

Billy Graham is a worldwide evangelist who has faithfully preached the gospel of Jesus Christ. He led hundreds of thousands to Christ through a simple message: Repent and receive the Lord Jesus as your Savior. Give your life to him.

But many refuse this message. Many are too busy to receive him. Many are even hostile to this message. Even within the Church there are those who may have received him, but they are too busy to follow him, or to hear the call to the bride. They have forgotten their first love.

Billy Graham turned 99 years old on the date of my student’s wedding. He would pass away the following year on February 21, 2018- just shy of his 100th birthday. At that moment I thought about the trumpet, also called the shofar.

The 100 blasts of the Trumpet

On the Feast of Trumpets the trumpet (shofar) is played a total of 100 times. First there are 99 blasts that are played in a specific pattern of three’s and nines. But, when they get to the 100th trumpet blast, this one is SET APART. This last blast is called the Tekiah Gedolah, or THE LAST TRUMP.

So, the 99 blasts remind us we are close to the 100th blast! We are close to the LAST TRUMP.

“In a flash, in the twinkling of an eye, at the last trumpet. For the trumpet will sound, the dead will be raised imperishable, and we will be changed,” 1 Corinthians 15:52.

I realized we are closer to that LAST TRUMP than we realize. In fact, here we are with a President whose name is TRUMP. Not only that, we have a Vice President whose name is PENCE– this word means ONE HUNDREDTH!

Coincidence? I don’t think so. The trumpet is a reminder to repent and its sound is meant to wake up the spirit. In biblical times the trumpet was blown to announce important news and to warn the people. It was also used to gather people together.

One day Jesus will gather his people at the sound of the trumpet. We have been given many warnings (trumpet blasts) already. Our nation even experienced a total solar eclipse on just our land on August 21, 2017! This happened a few months before my student’s wedding.

This solar eclipse hit only our nation on the first day of Elul on the biblical calendar. Elul is the month of repentance and each day the shofar/trumpet is blown in the synagogue. The blast of the shofar is likened to a wake-up call to all believers.

For Messianic Jews –Jews who have received Jesus as their Savior– these blasts are tied to the Holy Spirit. In the month of Elul, Messianic Jews spend extra time searching their hearts and letting the Holy Spirit do a “fall cleaning” in their lives. The shofar itself is a reminder of the Holy Spirit. In order for a blast or sound to be made, the shofar must be filled with air. This air reminds believers of the wind of the Holy Spirit that points out sin, changes hearts and gives constant guidance.

The solar eclipse that hit our nation on the first day of Elul- the month of repentance– is a trumpet (shofar) blasting in our ears! Even our President’s name bears this reminder- TRUMP. Our Vice -President’s name is PENCE, which sounds a lot like the word RECOMPENSE. One of the definitions for recompense is: restitution made or punishment inflicted for a wrong or injury.

Our nation has certainly inflicted great injury through our national sins. Throughout Trump’s presidency there has a been a call to repent for these national sins. This year there was even an event called The Return, where believers gathered in Washington D.C. to pray for our nation.

The trumpet has been sounded. Its sound tells us to repent, but it also tells us to be ready for the return of Jesus at the Rapture.

The USS Indianapolis Connection

Remember earlier in this blog when I told you I went to the wedding reception on Novemeber 7? I also told you Billy Graham’s birthday was November 7 as well. Recently I was watching a movie called USS Indianapolis: Men of Courage, which describes what happened to the men who were aboard the ship in 1945. The movie left a profound impression on me. At the time I sensed there was something prophetic about it.

As I began to type this blog about the Rapture, the movie came to mind several times so I decided to write about it. Interestingly enough, as I started compiling research about the event, I noticed the USS Indianapolis was launched on November 7, 1931. This date reminded me of the the wedding reception and Billy Graham. Perhaps this seems strange, but this is how the Lord speaks to me- through dates and historical events. They are pieces of a puzzle that show a larger picture.

The USS Indianapolis: A Foreshadowing

I will tell you the story of what happened to the USS Indianapolis and how I believe it ties into the events going on in our world right now, as well as a foreshadowing of the Rapture.

This USS Indianapolis was a battleship that was given an important, but secret task near the end of World War 2. It transported enriched uranium and other parts needed for the assembly of the atomic bomb to the Tinian Islands in the South Pacific. Once the parts were delivered, the bomb could be assembled.

The USS Indianapolis

As planned, the ship traveled from San Francisco to the Tinian Islands, delivering the uranium and parts on July 26, 1945. From there it sailed to Guam briefly, and then headed to one of the Philippine Islands.  

In most cases, battleships are given escorts to protect them from torpedo attacks. But being that it was a secret mission, the USS Indianapolis was not given an escort to accompany it on the mission. This would prove to be catastrophic.

On July 30, 1945, shortly after midnight, the USS Indianapolis was struck by two torpedoes. Within 12 minutes, the ship rolled over and the stern rose into the air. The ship sank, taking 1,195 men down with it. Of those 1,195 men, 300 men were trapped inside and subsequently died inside the ship. The rest (at least 900) ended up in the shark-infested waters. Because the sinking was so quick, there was not much time for a distress signal to be sent. To make matters worse, since this was a secret mission, there was no one monitoring for distress calls. Also, there was no time to deploy life-saving supplies such as extra lifeboats, life-jackets, or food and water.

Over the next several days, many of the men in the water succumbed to drowning, exposure, dehydration, shark attacks or injuries they’d received in the explosion. These men floated in a watery Hell with little refuge. Lifeboats were limited and even their life vests (if they had them) provided little protection. 

Help did not arrive until four days later, on August 2. An anti-submarine plane was patrolling the area when he spotted the men in the water. Lieutenant Adrian Marks was flying the plane when he noticed men flailing in the water amongst sharks. His plane was designed to land in calm water, not the choppy high seas that loomed below.

Marks was given orders not to land the plane in such dangerous conditions. Initially, three life rafts were dropped into the ocean, but one broke up when it hit the water. Supplies were dropped as well, but they drifted away from the stranded sailors.

At that point, Marks could not ignore the dire situation. He realized he would have to defy previous orders which stated he could not land the plane in the water. Defying orders could get him court marshaled, but it was a risk he was willing to take. He asked his crew to vote about whether or not they should land. They all agreed saving the sailors was more important than orders.

By this point, only 316 men were still alive from the original 900 who had survived the sinking.

Below is a quote from an article describing what happened:

“Hundreds of feet up, from the safety of his plane, Marks could easily see the sharks’ shadows beneath the water. Too many to count. The sharks swam in lazy circles around the clumped men. It wasn’t a frenzy, but more like their third plate at an All-You-Can-Eat buffet.”

Marks carefully landed the plane in 12 foot waves. Miraculously, the plane did not capsize and suffered minimal damage.

Upon. landing, however, Marks and his crew realized not everyone in the water could be saved. The men who were alone (“stragglers”) were being picked off by sharks in the water so it was imperative to rescue them first. Life rings attached to ropes were thrown to the desperate but weak men.

The rescued men were given shelter inside the plane, with two to three men in various compartments. Soon, the internal space of the plane was full. The only other available space for survivors was outside the plane on the wings. Marks and his crew began tying the remaining men to the wings of the plane with parachute cord. In total, there were 56 men inside, or on the wings of the plane.

With the men strapped to the wings, there was no way the plane could fly. Now, they had to wait for ships to come to the rescue. Keep in mind, there were still men in the water because not every man could fit on the plane. The rest of the men stayed in the water, huddled in groups so they could fight off sharks.

Finally, after many hours of waiting, the USS Cecil Doyle, a Navy Destroyer, arrived. Six more ships would arrive as well.

The men were taken aboard the ships, but their nightmare was far from over. Many suffered severe damage to their skin from prolonged exposure to the salt water and sun. Some had been burned by hot oil and fuel when the ship went down. Many were so dehydrated they were hallucinating. Others were traumatized by the memory of the explosion, the drownings, the sharks and the overwhelming suffering.

Marks had seen suffering before. He was stationed at Pearl Harbor when it was attacked on December 7, 1941. Seeing the suffering of the men on the USS Indianapolis added a new layer to these memories. Marks said he would never forget the sun-scorched desperate faces of the men he rescued.

Just days after this rescue, the atomic bomb would be dropped. This would end the war. But for the men who survived the sinking of the USS Indianapolis, the memories of that fateful day would haunt them forever.

How does the story of the USS Indianapolis relate to the Rapture? What does a torpedoed ship have to do with the catching away of the Bride of Christ?

The sinking of the USS Indianapolis is an allegory of our world at this very moment. We are currently steeped in a battle against the forces of darkness who want to re-invent the world. The Covid-19 virus is the weapon they’re using to launch this war. Their goal is to remove capitalism, individuality and Christianity. They want to merge the nations of the world into their mold. This is one of the reasons we are seeing a corrupt election which threatens our nation’s existence. The Left and the One World Government will stop at nothing in order to push their agenda forward.

The war is happening. We are in the middle of it.

It’s possible the election could be overturned and the dark evil will be exposed fully to the light and judged. It’s possible the agenda behind the Covid-19 virus will be stopped in its tracks. Keep in mind I’m not saying there isn’t a dangerous virus- I’m saying it’s being used as a weapon to destroy our economy and way of life.

But, truth be told, an event that is much bigger is on the horizon. And this is where I see a parallel with the USS Indianapolis.

The USS Indianapolis sank in 12 minutes. It was so fast there was barely any time for a distress signal. The ship took at least 300 men down with it, while leaving 900 men to fend for themselves in the open ocean. Once in the water, the men were surrounded by vicious sharks, without any protection. They would endure four torturous days in the ocean, fighting for their lives.

The Rapture Will Be Sudden

When the Rapture happens, it will certainly be quick and many will not be prepared. Those who are not ready for the return of Jesus will be caught off guard. Once the Bride is removed and taken to heaven, the One World Government will gain full control and pave the way for the Tribulation to begin.

The Tribulation will be the worst time of suffering on earth. Jesus describes it this way in Matthew 24:21:

“For then there will be great distress, unequaled from the beginning of the world until now–and never to be equaled again.”

The sharks of the Tribulation will be plagues, famine, war, natural disasters, fires and widespread calamity. Like the sharks circling the men in the water, these things will be relentless and ongoing during this seven-year period.

The sea will turn to blood, the waters will become bitter, the stars will fall from the sky and there will be widespread droughts. Evil will engulf the world as the Antichrist One World Government takes the stage in full force. Rampant lawlessness will be the new normal.

Below is a quote describing the tragic scene after the Indianapolis sank:

“It was Hell- men weeping, begging , screams, curses, rage and madness, men’s tongues swollen like fleshy sponges from dehydration. Water coated with blood and fuel and sharks. And overhead, the knife rays of the sun bore into them with no shadow or shelter for escape and at night, the chilled water leached out any remaining strength.”

For seven years the earth will be under the judgment of Almighty God. It will also endure the treacherous rule of a Satanic dictator known as the Antichrist. Life will be a treacherous struggle which can only be described as Hell on earth.

Just as the men of the USS Indianapolis suffered, so will those left behind in the Tribulation. It will be the worst time of suffering in human history.

But, there is a way to avoid this catastrophe. This way is THE WAY himself- Jesus Christ.

Even for the USS Indianapolis, there was hope. A plane spotted the men in the water and came in for the rescue. When I watched the movie Men of Courage, there is one scene that stood out and stayed with me for days. It was the scene where Adrian Marks and his crew began tying the men on the wings of the plane. Parachute cord was used to lash the men securely to the wings.

JESUS IS OUR PSALM 91

When I watched this scene I immediately thought about Jesus, who covers us under his wings. The words of Psalm 91:4 came to mind:

“He will cover you with his feathers, and under his wings you will find refuge.”

The men of the USS Indianapolis found refuge on the wings, just as the Bride of Christ will find refuge in Jesus when he returns at the sound of the trumpet!

As Psalm 91: 5-7 says:

“…his faithfulness will be your shield and rampart.
You will not fear the terror of night,
    nor the arrow that flies by day,
nor the pestilence that stalks in the darkness,
    nor the plague that destroys at midday.
A thousand may fall at your side,
    ten thousand at your right hand,
    but it will not come near you.”

Jesus is our shield and rampart on earth right now. But, he will take us under his wings at the Rapture and protect us from the Tribulation.

The Parachute Cord: The Scarlet Cord

The parachute cord that tied the men to the wings of the plane reminded me of the scarlet cord that binds us to our groom Jesus. In the story of Jericho, Rahab was spared because she tied the scarlet cord to her window. This cord protected her from the tribulation that would overtake Jericho. Complete destruction would come, but Rahab’s home and family was spared. The Bride of Christ has this same scarlet cord! The blood of Jesus is the scarlet cord that saves us, and ensures we have a safe place under the wings of our groom.

During the Tribulation, there will be opportunities to receive Jesus and find refuge under his wings, but the persecution will be unimaginable. In most instances, it will end in death.

This may sound all “gloom and doom” but there is a message of hope. Even though our world is in great turmoil and the ship is sinking, there is a rescue on the way. This rescue comes in the form of a great wedding banquet prepared by a King. He has sent the invitations. The question is, who will attend? Who will be ready when the time comes? How many will be too busy? How many will have fallen asleep?

The Midnight Hour

The attack on the USS Indianapolis came just after midnight. This makes me think of the Parable of the Ten Virgins. It was midnight when the Groom came, but not all of the virgins were ready. Five had their oil lamps, while the other five were unprepared. These unprepared virgins thought they had plenty of time to get their oil. But they were wrong. The Groom came at an hour they didn’t know. The door was shut on them. The five virgins who were ready and had their oil went on to the Marriage Supper with the Groom.

This parable reminds us that the Rapture will happen at an hour when many are unaware and unprepared. Only those who have the oil (the Holy Spirit), will be taken to the Marriage Supper. The door will be opened for them.

The time is getting shorter and the days are getting darker. It’s a matter of time. Like they say in Back to the Future, we are almost OUTTA TIME!

We Have a Choice

There’s another connection I want you to see and it relates to what we are dealing with right now. The pilot of the rescue plane had a choice. He could follow the government’s orders, or he could do what was right. He couldn’t let those men suffer one more minute in the shark-infested waters. He defied the government’s orders and instead followed the King’s orders! He put the sailors first and himself last as he risked his life to save them.

I’m not saying to defy the law. What I’m saying is that there’s coming a time when you must decide who you truly follow. There are a lot of lies being told right now by the media and crooked government officials. They are trying to steal our election and the ideals that make our nation free. It is possible we may have to defy some orders and land our plane in 12 foot waves! But, if it comes to that, we must remember we fly on the wings of a Savior who makes miracles happen in the blink of an eye.

The July 30 Connection

Another connection caught my attention as I studied the USS Indianapolis tragedy. The ship was torpedoed and sank on July 30, 1945, but do you know what else happened on July 30? The United States made IN GOD WE TRUST our national motto.

On July 30, 1956, two years after “Under God” was added into the Pledge of Allegiance, President Dwight Eisenhower signed a law officially declaring “In God We Trust” to be the nation’s official motto. The law (P.L. 84-140), also mandated that “In God We Trust” be printed on all American paper currency.

In 1863 during the Civil War, Congress passed a law that stated a motto that denoted “In God We Trust” should be placed on coins. The design for the coins was approved by Congress on April 22, 1864.

Here is the point America! We were founded and created as ONE NATION UNDER GOD, not a nation under man- not a nation under the One World Government. Our money is tied to God! All those people out there who want to take God out of America are sealing their own doom. We will fall from our superpower status as the world’s economic leader if we take God out of our foundation, laws and ideals. Just like the USS Indianapolis that sank in 12 minutes, we will also sink. During the Civil War “In God We Trust” was placed on coins. During the current 2020 Civil War, we need “In God We Trust” to be placed back on the hearts of all Americans!

What’s also interesting to think about is that the movie, Men of Courage: The Story of the USS Indianapolis was released in the United States on October 14, 2016. Dwight Eisenhower, was born on October 14, 1890. This man reminded the nation we must respect, serve and love God in order to be blessed. Below are Eisenhower’s words regarding the phrase “Under God” being added to the Pledge of Allegiance. Keep in mind Eisenhower first signed a bill to have “Under God” placed in our Pledge on June 14, 1954. By the way, President Donald Trump’s birthday is June 14. He turned eight years old on this date that “Under God” was added to the Pledge. Two years later, Eisenhower would make sure “In God We Trust” became our national motto and that it was placed on our paper currency.

As the Bride of Christ, we should always stand for this principle in our nation- In God We Trust! We also trust that Jesus will take us home at the Rapture! As times become more turbulent, we know it is soon.

The Discovery of the Wreck of the USS Indianapolis

The wreck of the USS Indianapolis was recently discovered 72 years after its sinking on August 19, 2017 by a search team of naval historians, as well as Microsoft Founder and billionaire Paul Allen. This occurred just two days before the Great American Solar Eclipse that only touched United States soil on August 21, 2017. I also want to mention that Paul Allen is the co-founder of Microsoft and was partners with none other than Bill Gates! Oh my goodness…..just too many connections to go into on this regarding COVID-19 vaccines and the nefarious torpedoes being launched by Bill Gates and his billionaire friends! This is the agenda that’s trying to take down the USS United States of America and to bring in a One World Government, One World Religion and a One World Economy!!!!!!Stay tuned for another blog on this soon! But all these things point in the direction of prophecy, especially Revelation 13. It also points to the return of our Savior.

I don’t know how much longer the Bride of Christ will be here. How many years do we have? Of course, no human can answer that. We do know, however, that the Father is getting the property ready in heaven. It’s only a matter of time when he says to Jesus…………“Son, it’s time to fetch your bride.”

When that happens the Bride must be ready with her oil lamp. She shouldn’t have a list of excuses or places to be. The only place to be is with Him.

November 7 was the date of my former student’s wedding, Billy Graham’s birthday and the date the USS Indianapolis was launched, but it’s also a reminder of an important verse in Hebrews. The verse is Hebrews 11:7, which is the numeric form of November 7 or 11-7.

“By faith Noah, when warned about things not yet seen, in holy fear built an ark to save his family. By his faith he condemned the world and became heir of the righteousness that is in keeping with faith.”

This verse reminds us that Noah was saved by faith. He knew what was coming and he acted. He obeyed God and built the Ark. Because he listened to God, he and his family were spared. He did not believe as the world believed, or live as the world lived.

This is what the Bride of Christ must do RIGHT NOW. Get on the Ark with Jesus! Do it in faith. Be sure to tell others about this amazing hope and faith we have. Also, let the world know he is coming very soon!

Friends, the flood is already here. I wrote in an earlier post that the November 3, 2020 election just happened to fall on Cheshvan 17 on the Biblical calendar. This is the date the Flood began in the story of Noah’s Ark!

Even Trump’s birthday reminds us of the Flood. His birthday is 6-14 (June 14) and the first time the word Ark is used in the Bible is in Genesis 6:14. It is also the verse where God tells Noah to go and build an Ark!

“So make yourself an ark of cypress wood; make rooms in it and coat it with pitch inside and out,” Genesis 6:14.

Noah was told to coat (cover) the ark with pitch. The word being used for “coat” is the Hebrew word KAPHAR. Some translations use the word cover instead of coat.

The word KAPHAR means to pardon, to atone for, to cover, to forgive, cleanse, and make reconciliation. The meaning behind covering/coating the Ark with pitch was not just to protect it from water. The deeper meaning is that it was pointing to the covering and atonement given to Noah and his family. Noah was declared righteous in God’s eyes.

This foreshadows the covering or atonement the Bride receives from Jesus, who saves us from the coming Flood. When I say “flood” I am not referring to water ravaging the earth. I’m referring to the idea that Jesus covers us under his wings while we are facing perilous times on earth. But, he will also cover us with his wings when he takes us to heaven at the Rapture. The Tribulation will be like a massive flood- devastating the people who are left behind.

Yes, times are turbulent right now. Yes, the One World Government is on the rise. But Jesus is also on the rise, and HIS WAYS are much higher.

“But for you who fear my name, the sun of Righteousness will rise with healing in his wings. And you will go free, leaping with joy like calves let out to pasture,” Malachi 4:2.

For those of us who know Jesus, the SON of Righteousness has already risen. And one day he will come back to get us with healing in his wings. And we will go free…Hallelujah we will go free!

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