For this is the will of my Father, that everyone who beholds the Son and believes in Him may have eternal life; and I myself will raise him up on the last day. (John 6:40)
The last day is an actual day in the future. It is the day that Yahshua the Messiah will come back to this earth in the same way He left.1 He will claim His bride and will establish His kingdom, His rulership over the earth. He told His disciples He would do this when He was with them on the Mount of Olives, just before He went up into the heavens and disappeared in the clouds. On the day He returns, He will come down to earth through the clouds in flaming fire, accompanied by His mighty angels.
On that day He is going to give relief to His people on the earth who are all being persecuted and afflicted — to His strained and stressed ones who have endured to the end.2 He will give His faithful ones rest — those who have proved their love for Him by their patient endurance and their obedience to Him.
At the same time, He is going to deal out tribulation and vengeance to those who have suppressed the truth in their consciences (what they know about God), and also to those who have heard and have not obeyed the gospel of our Sovereign, Yahshua the Messiah. That is the day when He brings an end to this wicked and perverse generation.3
He is not going to give relief to His people by taking them up in the sky sometime before the last day. Relief to His disciples will come on the same day He deals out retribution to His enemies.4 When is this last day? It is on the last day of the seven years of the Great Tribulation5 when the last trumpet sounds.6 At this moment the Sovereign Yahshua will descend with a shout, and the dead in Messiah will rise out of their graves. Those who are alive and have remained faithful to Him will be caught up together with those disciples who come out of their graves to meet their Master Yahshua in the clouds. From that time on they will always be with Him.7
Our Master Yahshua made it clear in John 6:39,40,44,54 that the resurrection of His people would come on the last day of this age. This is the true “rapture.” This is the second coming of Messiah for His elect, His bride who is crying out for Him in the wilderness day and night.8 The bride who will be raptured is depicted in Revelation as a woman clothed with the sun, with a crown of twelve stars on her head, and with the moon under her feet.9
Midway through the tribulation period, she will flee to the wilderness to a place prepared for her.10 There she will be cared for during a period of 1,260 days.11 She will have been persecuted and forced out of society, because her way of life was a testimony against the world that its deeds were evil.12 She will be hated by all men, just as her Bridegroom promised.13 She will be hated by all nations and persecuted — not because she has committed mass murder (like the Crusades) or molested children (as some “priests” have done) or isolated herself in some far-away compound or armed herself (as doomsday cults) to fight against the evil empire of the Beast — but because she had the love of her Bridegroom, her Sovereign Yahshua, filling her, producing the unity and peace that qualified her as the true witness of God’s salvation.14
As a restored twelve-tribed nation she fulfills the prophecy of Isaiah 49:6. She becomes the witness of the kingdom15 that He is waiting for as the sign heralding His second coming.16 This woman in the wilderness is the Stone kingdom cut out of the mountain of the world in Daniel 2:34,45. There will be no more room for this Stone in this evil age. She will be in her final moments of crying out to Him, longing for His appearing,17 just before her Bridegroom calls for her and takes her with Him to destroy all the kingdoms of the world.
From the beginning, when she first fell in love with Him, she knew that she would have to go outside the camp of the established religion to be with Him.18 She could no longer be comfortably conformed to the way of the world. She lives only to please her Bridegroom. Soon He will come for her, and He will not delay long. She can even count the days: 1,260 of them.19 At that time, she knows when to expect Him. He will come on the last of the 1,260 days.20
So, who is the bride? The bride is the “we” that will be “changed in a moment … at the last trumpet,” and the “we” who will be “alive and remain [when we are] caught up in the air to meet Him in the clouds.” So, who are the “we”? Are you the “we” or are we the “we” … or are we both the “we”? Our eternal destiny depends on how we answer these questions.
Just before the woman flees to the wilderness, she gives birth to a generation of pure young virgin men.21 This means they are sent out from her, 12,000 from each of her twelve tribes. After she flees, the Man of Lawlessness, who is Satan incarnate, goes after these 144,000 pure ones who will be warning all the inhabitants of the earth of the coming judgments of God. As the plagues of the Great Tribulation come upon the earth in the midst of their preaching, they let the people know that the strange occurrences of Isaiah 24:6 and Revelation 16:9 are a result of men breaking the age-lasting covenant with God.22
They will preach their message for 1260 days and will be killed one by one.23 When the last one is slain, the spiritual mask of the Beast’s magnificent civilization will be ripped away, the dark covering of the earth will be peeled back, exposing the leader as the embodiment of Satan himself. He will be responsible for the death of those 144,000 innocent men, along with the two witnesses whose bodies will lie in the streets of Jerusalem as the whole world rejoices. After 3½ days these two witnesses will come back to life and, in so doing, give witness to the salvation of our God just as the LAST TRUMPET sounds! The dead in Messiah will rise from their graves, and those who are alive and remain in the wilderness will be caught up in the air to meet Him as He comes in the clouds on the LAST DAY.24
When His people are caught up in the air to meet Him, He will go with them to the Valley of Meggido in Israel to fight the Battle of Armageddon. All the armies of the earth will be gathered there to wage war against Him.25 They know He is coming because the 144,000 will have sacrificed their lives to proclaim it for 1260 days.26 Satan, through the Man of Lawlessness, will actually think his armies can destroy the Sovereign Yahshua. He will convince all the kings of the earth27 to join him because, at this point, the only ones still remaining are the unjust and filthy — liars who pay attention to the father of liars.28 Instead of being destroyed, our Master Yahshua will wage war and defeat the armies of the earth. This battle will last 30 days and will be like no battle ever before or since. The blood of those slain will be up to the bridles of the horses.29 Our Master Yahshua’s cloak will be stained red from the blood of His enemies. Then He will place His feet down on the Mount of Olives to begin His reign of peace with His bride for 1000 years.
Our Master Yahshua cannot come back now because many of the prophecies of the Bible are not yet fulfilled. One example is the rise and seven-year reign of a world leader variously known as the Antichrist, the Beast,30 or the Man of Lawlessness.31 He will come to power through an alliance of church and state that will bond the whole world together. This alliance is symbolized in Daniel 2 as the ten toes of the statue, made of iron mixed with clay.32 The iron is the beast of Revelation 17 and the clay is the other woman,33 the unfaithful bride who has become a harlot.
This harlot is also depicted in Revelation 17 as a woman drunk with the wine of her immorality, riding on the back of the Beast. She used to be the betrothed Bride of Messiah but has become a harlot by not being faithful to follow the Bridegroom. The description in Revelation 18:2,4 says she has become (i.e., her nature gradually changed into) the dwelling place of every unclean spirit. After the Man of Lawlessness (the Beast) comes into power, he turns on his former ally, the harlot, and destroys her with fire in one hour.34 After that he will establish his absolute authority over the earth, since the restraint of the harlot’s religious principles will be lifted.35
Messiah can’t just return “any day now.” Many things must happen before that last day. His bride is only now being formed, as a baby still in the womb. She is not yet fully formed into the spiritual nation of twelve tribes that the prophets have foretold.36 The tribes of Jacob must be raised up, and everything must be restored that the first-century disciples lost when they left their first love, staining the white garment they had received at their baptism.37 The pure message that Messiah brought in the beginning has to be proclaimed once again. The witness of the coming kingdom has to spread to the ends of the earth.38
You may have heard some say that the Bible indicates a day when Messiah will rapture His people like a thief in the night, at some arbitrary time that is not based on a bride being prepared for Him. But actually, the last day is still a long ways off, and this fact is part of the good news. Our Master told the story in Luke 14 about two kings who would one day have to face one another in battle.39 The lesser king with the smaller army considered whether he could stand against the one who was coming. Realizing that he had no hope of victory, he sent a delegation to ask for terms of peace while the greater king was still far away. He knew that if he waited until the last day to submit, then the conquering king would have no mercy on him.40
So this is our message of hope for you — that you would realize that our Master, the Messiah, is the greater king, and that He is coming for His bride, and when He comes for her, He will bring this fallen world and everything that it stands for to its deserved end. There is no hope of resisting Him who conquered death itself. But now, while He is still a long ways off, you have the opportunity to meet His terms of peace. If you do, then you will become a part of the we who eagerly await His return.41
You can be as the king in Luke 14:31-32 who became (as we all did ourselves) His disciples by doing what all who are His disciples must do in order to belong to Him — give up your life, including all your possessions.42 Only in this way can you become one of the “we” in 1 Thessalonians 4:17. Then we (that could include you also), together with all the faithful ones who have gone before us, will be taken up to meet Him in the air, and so shall we ever be with our Master.43
The last day is at the very end of this age, the day when the Messiah will return to earth.44 This present evil age comes to an end only when He returns.45 When His holy nation of twelve tribes produces the fruit of the kingdom He will return and establish His kingdom on the earth.46 This fruit can only be produced when brothers and sisters are allied together in the same cause, working and living together in communion (not in division), standing as one man, one body, serving one Master.47
Messiah will rule here on earth for a thousand years with His people who have become a kingdom and priests.48 They are His holy nation, the same nation Isaiah prophesied would be restored,49 the same commonwealth of Israel that Paul reminded the Ephesians they had been grafted into.50 This nation is also the wife of the Lamb51 and the twelve tribes that James wrote to in his epistle.52 It is the same twelve tribes that Paul spoke of in Acts 26:6-7, who earnestly serve God day and night.
It is during Messiah’s thousand-year rule on earth that the promise to Abraham is going to be fulfilled. Israel will be resurrected. The dry bones of the natural seed will come up from their graves and return to the land of Israel53 at the same time that the kingdoms of this world become the kingdom of our Sovereign Yahshua.54 At this time the twelve apostles of the Lamb will sit on twelve thrones, judging the twelve tribes of Israel.55 Thus the promise to Abraham will be fulfilled — to give him the land from the river of Egypt to the great river Euphrates. Israel will become a majestic nation and bring about all that God promised to Abraham. This will be fulfilled during our Master Yahshua’s millennial reign.56
In that day Israel will be an enemy-free land, and all of its inhabitants will dwell together in peace. But before that physical restoration can come in the next age, a spiritual restoration has to come first to His spiritual nation in this age57 — not a reformation, but a restoration of the very way of life that was in the beginning in Jerusalem after Peter preached on the day of Pentecost.58 The restoration of His people can be no other way. That means the church can be no other way. The world needs to see the hearts of fathers restored to their children and the hearts of children restored to their fathers.59 The world must see husbands and wives living together as one, thus restoring families, clans, and tribes to become that holy nation.60
The prophet Jeremiah spoke of this restoration of spiritual Israel in this age when God would “restore the fortunes of Jacob’s tents, have mercy on his dwelling places — rebuilding the city on her ruins.” It is a time when “their community will be restored.”61 God promised that “at that time” He will be the God of all the families of Israel.62 The Hebrew word translated community or congregation in Jeremiah 30:20 is actually edah, which means witness. This witness spoken of by the prophet Jeremiah is the same witness spoken of by our Master Yahshua as the sign of the end of the age. This witness must be restored as a demonstration to all nations before the end of this present evil age can come.63 Jeremiah also prophesied that these restored families who make up this witness, the true church, will be the ones who “survive the sword” (i.e., government onslaught),“find favor in the wilderness,” and will be “given rest [or relief].” This prophecy is talking about the true church, the woman who flees to the wilderness,64 who survives the sword of the Man of Lawlessness and finds relief or rest on the day our Master Yahshua returns.65
God’s holy nation are the merrymakers and circle dancers,66 the forerunners of that coming age of peace. We are the harbingers in this age who overcome all the spiritual enemies that keep this life from being demonstrated to the world. We put our spiritual enemies under the feet of our Master Yahshua. Once these spiritual enemies have been defeated by the royal priesthood and holy nation in this age,67 our Master Yahshua will return to establish His kingdom,68 and then the land can be restored to the physical descendants of Abraham in the next age. When He comes back, He will punish those who oppressed His bride,69 the restored twelve tribes of Israel, and will contend with those who contended with them.70
This full restoration is what we are living for, which will be carried out by the spiritual nation71 that is now being raised up in these last days to bring about the LAST DAY./