The Pre-Millennial Predictions Part 6

Posted in: 2009
By Tom L. Ballinger
May 12, 2009 - 11:29:52 AM

April 30, 2009
Portions of the “Olivet Discourse” in Matthew 24
Part VI
The casual students of the Tribulation period believe that the Satanic persecution of believers will be world-wide. If this is true, the Bible doesn’t inform us of it being so. If the “Golden Rule for Bible Study” is followed, the conclusion will be quite different.
The “Golden Rule,” when reading the Bible, is to ask the following questions:
1. WHO is speaking?
2. TO WHOM is the speaker speaking?
3. ABOUT WHAT is he speaking?
4. WHEN was it spoken?
Remember that “While ALL of the Bible was written FOR YOU, it was not ALL TO YOU, nor was it ALL written ABOUT YOU.”
Following this principle, we have learned that the epicenter, that is to say; the focal point of Tribulation activity is in, and around the vicinity of The City of God—Jerusalem. What the Lord Jesus Christ told the Disciples on the Mount of Olives, before His crucifixion , cannot  be applied to Fairbanks, Honolulu, Sydney, Berlin, London, Edinburgh, New York City, Washington D.C., The Hague, Austin, Atlanta, Mexico City, Madrid, Paris, or Santiago; just to name a few. The epicenter of the Tribulation will be in, and around the degenerate city of Jerusalem which the Holy Spirit has re-named—“that great city Babylon, that mighty city” (Rev.18:10).
(Rev. 17:5), the Lord will have provided hiding places for His Elect during this time. He not only will provide safe-havens for His saints, but He will become present with them, as His Presence flashes like lightning. His Presence will be seen from afar by the forces of antichrist. Where the light will flash as lightning, there is where the Son of Man will be. His presence will be to comfort and reinforce the faith of His Own. He will, very likely, remind them of His promises:
“For where two or three are gathered together in my name, there am I in the midst of them” (Matt.18:20).
 “I am with you alway, even unto the end of the world [age]. Amen.” (Matt. 28:20).
The author of Hebrews (probably, Paul) reminds the Hebrew believers what the LORD said in Deuteronomy 31:6 when he penned:
“ … I will never leave thee, nor forsake thee.” (Heb. 13:5).
This is a positive statement from the Lord Jesus Christ that He WILL NEVER LEAVE, OR FORSAKE the Hebrew.
In the discussion of the Extended Simile in Part V of this study, we failed to fully grasp the profound Truth of the Presence of Christ. Additional “light” on this subject was bestowed by the SPIRIT OF TRUTH. Therefore, when I wrote that Christ will, miraculously, become Present with His Elect, I didn’t perceive the whole Truth. I, gladly, admit it. What I wrote, at the time, was based on the “light” I had. What follows, here in Part VI, amends the idea that Christ’s Presence comes with the flashes of light, like lightning. The amendment is that His Presence is UNINTERRUPTED, as you shall see. Bolts of light flash as lightning when His Presence becomes Visible!
The OMNIPRESENCE of God is not unheard of. It is a Biblical fact. It should not bewilder us as we consider the hidden Presence of our Lord Jesus Christ. “Nelson’s Illustrated Bible Dictionary” says, “God sees in secret and rewards in secret, as Jesus taught His disciples; He looks not only on outward actions, but especially on the inner attitudes of a person's heart (Matt 6:1-18). Because God is the Creator and Sustainer of time and space, He is everywhere. Being everywhere, He is our great Comforter, Friend, and Redeemer.”
Furthermore, “The International Standard Bible Encyclopaedia” points out the following.
“Neither the noun ‘omnipresence’ nor adjective ‘omnipresent’ occurs in Scripture, but the idea that God is everywhere present is throughout presupposed and sometimes explicitly formulated. God's omnipresence is closely related to His omnipotence and omniscience: that He is everywhere enables Him to act everywhere and to know all things, and, conversely, through omnipotent action and omniscient knowledge He has access to all places and all secrets (compare Ps 139). Thus conceived, the attribute is but the correlate of the monotheistic conception of God as the Infinite Creator, Preserver and Governor of the universe, immanent in His works as well as transcendent above them.”
The magnificent Truth, presented, informs us of Christ’s abiding Presence with His Disciples and His Tribulation saints. He will be in the midst of them, He is to be with them always, even to the end of the age, and He will never leave them, nor forsake them.
The subject before us is the Presence of the Lord Jesus Christ with His Elect during the Great Tribulation. Now, the question before us is, “How can He be Present with all of them while He is in Heaven, and if the groups of them are scattered in different places?”
“For as the lightning doth come forth from the east, and doth appear unto the west, so shall be also the Presence [Parousia] of the Son of Man;” (Young’s Literal Translation).
“For, just as the lightning goeth forth from the east, and shineth unto the west, so, shall be the Presence [Parousia] of the Son of Man” (Rotherham’s Emphasized Bible).
What has been shown in the foregoing is that Jesus Christ will be PRESENT with His Elect, but hidden from the sight of the natural-eye because “the Lord is that Spirit”         (1 Cor. 3:17). In plainer words, the Lord will be PRESENT, BUT HIDDEN, or UNSEEN in Spirit form. He will be PRESENT with the Elect, but Invisible.
When His PRESENCE is manifested in the flesh, flashes of light, like lightning, will be discharged. Wherever His Elect are hidden, His veiled or concealed Presence is there with them. Christ will be Present, but Invisible, as the Comforter.
“And I will pray the Father, and he shall give you another Comforter, that he may abide with you for ever; Even the Spirit of truth; whom the world cannot receive, because it seeth him not, neither knoweth him: but ye know him; for he dwelleth with you, and shall be in you. I will not leave you comfortless: I will come to you [as the Comforter]”. (John 14:16-18).
When the Comforter materializes, and Christ is unveiled, His visible Presence is heralded by a bright blaze of white light. His Invisible Presence gives way to His Unveiling. The eyes of His Own behold Him in His power and glory.
In places all around Palestine, there will be clusters of saints. Some of the Apostles, who will be Judges over the Tribes of Israel, will be together with many of Israel’s princes and their followers. These companies of saints, throughout the area, will be hiding in diverse places—waiting for the “storm to pass.” For where the light flashes, like lightning, is where the Visible Presence of Christ will be manifested. He may, very well, direct them to other places. Thereby, the company of saints will not be discovered, as the forces-of-darkness will go searching for Christ and His saints. When the blaze of His glory goes out, His Visible Presence [Parousia] becomes hidden to the naked-eye.
Will the armies of the antichrist give-up pursuing the Lord Jesus Christ? Truly, His Presences to His Elect will be AS lightning-flashes from the east and flashes shine even unto the west, SO shall the Visible Presence of the Son of Man be. Christ will be omnipresent with each of His cluster of saints. He will “drive the antichrist crazy” with the blazing forth of the brilliance of His Visible appearances. (We dare not carry the idea of Christ’s lightning-flashes to the extreme. But, we couldn’t help but think of His Presences being likened to bolts of lightning, on April 27, 2009, between 6:00 to 7:00 A.M., when 2,200 lightning-strikes were recorded in Dallas County).
The flashes of Christ’s Visible Presences [Parousias] during the Tribulation, I would liken to the duck’s quack in the children’s song, “Old MacDonald Had A Farm”─with “a quack-quack here, and a quack-quack there, and here a quack, there a quack, everywhere a quack-quack.” The illustration would be; there will be a “flash-flash of His Presence here, and a flash-flash there, and here a flash, there a flash, everywhere a flash-flash”—SO shall also be the PRESENCE [Parousia] of the Son of Man be.”
The Holy Spirit’s use of the word, “Parousia,” when describing Christ becoming Visible to His Own, is separate from its use in 1 & 2 Thessalonians. It is, also, used separately from 1 Corinthians 15:23. If this “Parousia” is separate, then, it shouldn’t be considered part of His “Parousia” in which the dead and living saints will be “caught-up to meet the Lord in the air.” Things which God has separated must not be joined together.
(Part VI to be continued)

(Part VI continued)
May 11, 2009
As it was pointed out, there will be a “Parousia” of the Lord Jesus Christ during the Tribulation. He will be Invisibly Present with His Elect throughout the Seven-Year Tribulation Period. But, at times, His Presence [Parousia] will be manifested to His Elect. When He reveals Himself [apokalupsis] to them, an electrical discharge will be released, and a flash of brilliance is out-rayed from Himself. When He becomes Visible, His Person flashes the brilliance of lightning. It will be like lightning. He will become EFFULGENT—radiating a BRIGHT LIGHT, as, “to flash-out like lightning.”
They will see Him and communicate with Him.
This will not be the “Parousia” when He returns to rule and reign for one-thousand years. This will be prior to the “rapture.” And, this will be prior to Him sending forth strong delusion to those who will be damned (2 Thess. 4:11).
Descriptions of Christ’s Appearances, after His resurrection, are recalled, below, and can give a quality of His flashing brilliance of white light which is to be displayed when He becomes Visible to His Own. (The following few paragraphs are from the Plainer Words Study, “He Appeared in Another Form.” See our web site for this study).
[BEGIN QUOTES] “His face did SHINE” (Matt. 17:2). “Shine” is the word, “lampo,” which means, “to beam; or make manifest by rays, or radiate brilliancy.” The metamorphic face of our Lord Jesus Christ was likened to the sun. It radiated brilliance. It shone. It gave-off rays like rays of the sunshine. AMAZING! It is important to note that His Face did not reflect light, or rays of light—It radiated rays of light like those of the sun. And, that’s not all. Matthew 17:2 even states that, “His raiment was white as the light.” “Light” is the Greek word, “PHOS,” which means, “to shine or make manifest, especially by rays; luminousness (i.e., a shining by its own light).”
The Amplified New Testament” does say that, “…And He was transfigured before them and became resplendent with divine brightness” (Mark 9:2).
“And his raiment became shining , exceeding white as snow; so as no fuller on earth can white them” (Mark 9:3).
In Mark 9:3, we note that the word, “shining,” is “stilbo” which is, by definition, “to flash intensely.” (See Strong’s definition, Number 4744).
In Luke’s account, we read, “And it came to pass about an eight days after these sayings, He took Peter and John and James, and went up into a mountain to pray. And as He prayed, the fashion of His countenance was altered, and His raiment was white and GLISTERING” (Luke 9:28-29).
Luke’s account seems to focus, more, on His clothing instead of His Face; other than saying, “His countenance was altered [different].” Luke says that the “raiment was white and GLISTERING.” The word, “glistering,” is the Greek word, “exastrapto,” which means, “to lighten forth, i.e., (figuratively) to be radiant (of very white garments), radiant splendor”. The note in the “Companion Bible” is most instructive. It says, about “glistering;” “EXASTRAPTO = EFFULGENT, or to lightening forth (AS THOUGH FROM INTERNAL LIGHT).” There was a quality that His raiment radiated dazzling light from within. This would indicate that the body of our Lord was emanating light and was, therefore, shining through His clothing.  Thayer agrees and, additionally, adds to the definition as, “to flash-out like lightning.”
The “Amplified New Testament” translates Luke 9:29 as follows: “And as He was praying, the appearance of His countenance became altered (different), and His raiment became dazzling white [ R13 flashing with the brilliance of lightning].”  R13 refers to Marvin Vincent’s “Word Studies.” [END OF QUOTES]
When Jesus Christ steps through the veil of the invisible into the realm of the visible, His Person flashes brilliant light (PHOS), like lightning.
29. Immediately after the tribulation of those days shall the sun be darkened, and the moon shall not give her light, and the stars shall fall from heaven, and the powers of the heavens shall be shaken:
All of this takes place AFTER THE TRIBULATION of those days. The Day of Christ gives way to the Day of the LORD when the Tribulation begins.
“For the stars of heaven and the constellations thereof shall not give their light: the sun shall be darkened in his going forth, and the moon shall not cause her light to shine” (Isa. 13:10).
“And all the host of heaven shall be dissolved, and the heavens shall be rolled together as a scroll: and all their host shall fall down, as the leaf falleth off from the vine, and as a falling fig from the fig tree” (Isa. 34:4).
“The earth shall quake before them; the heavens shall tremble: the sun and the moon shall be dark, and the stars shall withdraw their shining: And the LORD shall utter his voice before his army: for his camp is very great: for he is strong that executeth his word: for the Day of the LORD is great and very terrible; and who can abide it?” (Joel 2:10-11).
“That day [the Day of the LORD] is a day of wrath, a day of trouble and distress, a day of wasteness and desolation, a day of darkness and gloominess, a day of clouds and thick darkness” (Zeph. 1:15).
Then, immediately following on the heels of these catastrophic events, shall the SIGN OF THE SON OF MAN BE SEEN.
30. And then shall appear the sign of the Son of man in heaven: and then shall all the tribes of the earth mourn, and they shall see the Son of man coming in the clouds of heaven with power and great glory.
Several of Christ’s Disciples asked the question, “What shall be the sign of thy coming?” (Matt. 24:3). It is answered by the Lord Jesus in Matthew 24:30—in plainer words, the tribes of the earth will see, that is, will perceive the power in the clouds of heaven and see the great glory of the Son of Man. The mourning inhabitants of the earth will not see the Person of the Son of Man, but they will see the representation of Him in the power and glory exhibited in the heavens. The “clouds” will be symbolic of the Presence of Jesus Christ. Clouds, in Scripture, are very symbolic of Divine Presence; not necessarily, meaning the Personal Presence of Christ.
“Nelson’s Illustrated Bible Dictionary” says, “The cloud was symbolic of God's presence. The pillar of cloud leading the Israelites in the wilderness (Ex. 13:21-22) was the same as God's presence leading the people. When God wanted to reveal Himself to the Israelites, He used a pillar of cloud to do so (Num. 12:5; Deut. 31:15). Clouds also revealed God's power and wisdom (Ps. 147:8; Prov. 8:28).”
What a startling sight the world will see:
31. And he shall send his angels with a great sound of a trumpet, and they shall gather together his elect from the four winds, from one end of heaven to the other.
The unsaved eyes of the world will see His angels gather, together, His Elect─His Chosen Ones. We must answer and, then, apply the Third Golden Rule for Bible Study—ABOUT WHAT IS THE SPEAKER SPEAKING? The Speaker is the Lord Jesus Christ, and He is speaking to His Four Disciples (Peter, James, John, and Andrew). He is speaking about the Elect Jews who will be scattered when the outbreak of the Tribulation begins during the Seventieth Week of Daniel.  Some will seek asylum in friendly foreign countries. This is indicated by a prophecy of Moses, as found in Deuteronomy 30:4.
“If any of thine be driven out unto the outmost parts of heaven, from thence will the LORD thy God gather thee, and from thence will he fetch thee:”
The “great sound of a trumpet,” here in Matthew 24:31, is not the “last trump” of 1 Corinthians 15:52, or the “trump of God” of 1 Thessalonians 4:16, but rather, a sound of the pre-rapture-trumpet-gathering of His Elect by the angels who will be sent forth.
The student should consider the phrase, “gather together.” This, according to Strong’s Number 1996, “is ‘episunago’ (ep-ee-soon-ag'-o); to collect upon the same place.” Thayer’s Lexicon states that “episunago” is to “gather together in one place.”  Where will this “one place” be? Where will His Tribulation- Elect be gathered? In the “Parable of the Tares” we read: “Let both [tares and wheat] grow together until the harvest [end of the age]: and in the time of harvest I will say to the reapers [the angels], ‘Gather ye together first the tares, and bind them in bundles to burn them: but gather the wheat [the Elect] into My Barn’” (Matt. 13:30).
The “one place” in Matthew 24, and the “My Barn” in Matthew 13 may well be the “staging area” from which they, the Elect, will be “caught-up to meet the Lord in the air,” according to 1 Thessalonians 4:17.