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Before the Wrath: Why There Must Be a Rapture

Understanding The Times / Jan Markell
The Truth Network Radio
October 19, 2019 8:00 am

Before the Wrath: Why There Must Be a Rapture

Understanding The Times / Jan Markell

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October 19, 2019 8:00 am

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We talk about a wedding this hour, but it's not what you think. I don't think it's possible to overstate how important a wedding is in the Middle Eastern culture today as it was in that day, the first century.

A wedding was the most important event that would take place in any town for anyone. Welcome to Understanding the Times Radio with Jan Markell, Radio 4 The Remnant. Last month in Understanding the Times 2019, we had the privilege of introducing attendees and online streamers to the new film about the rapture titled Before the Wrath. Today, writer, producer and director Brent Miller Jr. discusses this forthcoming film with Jan Markell. Here's Jan and Brent to talk about it. Welcome to the program.

Always so glad you can join me. Let me just say by way of introduction here that a couple of years ago I got acquainted with filmmaker Brent Miller Jr. as we featured and we carried his film Convergence back then. And then I actually met Brent last October in Oklahoma City as he was doing some short interviews for his latest project, the soon to be released film Before the Wrath. This is a film with about 100 actors and pastors and ministry leaders who are speaking into it with commentary. And some of those include J.D.

Farag, Jack Hibbs, Amir Sarafati. I had a few thoughts myself into the film. Brent introduced this film Before the Wrath at my conference back on September the 21st, and people were very moved by it all.

Obviously, the film is not finished at this point. So we're going to talk about kind of the timetable for that to happen, how you can get a hold of it, how you can might even be at a theater near you. And we'll give you a contact as well. Brent Miller, welcome back to the program. Thank you so much, Jan. It's such a pleasure to be here. Well, it was a pleasure to have you at Understanding the Times 2019 just about three weeks ago now. The new film coming out is Before the Wrath. This apparently involved 10 years of research. Talk to me just a little bit about the research and then apparently some new discoveries from the Galilee about the rapture of the church.

Absolutely. After the coming convergence came out, it did reignite new discussions about biblical eschatology. What we've noticed is that in the non-believing world, there seems to be a huge division between Christians being able to properly relate to non-believers about why the rapture has to happen. And in fact, we've discovered that even most Christians in the United States don't really understand why it has to happen. If you would ask even a random pastor, they may say, well, because the church is not appointed to wrath. And of course, that's very true, but they can't tell you why.

Why aren't we? And there seems to be this kind of gap between Christians who are waiting for the blessed hope, who believe in the second coming of Christ, that he is coming back, and this disturbing trend even within the church itself. In fact, we've seen statistics working with LifeWay Research, which was a big part of this production. They said that around half of all Christians no longer believe that Jesus is going to be returning soon, or if at all. Now that's disturbing. And we wanted to get to the bottom of, I mean, this is the foundation of our hope, is the return of Christ.

We wanted to find out why is this happening? Yeah, there's a huge marginalization of the topic. I cover that all the time. As a matter of fact, that happened to be the theme of my message at my conference a few weeks ago, my own personal message that I gave is the marginalization. I titled it Satan Settles Scheme to Silence Eschatology.

So yeah, it's big time going on in our churches. The Bible is 25% of a prophetic theme. And then you say in some of the kind of the promotion that you are using that only 2% of church messages or sermons contain any mention of prophecy, which I'm surprised it's 2%. I think it might be 0.02%. Anyway, it's minuscule is our point.

Exactly. In fact, that was something else we came across, which is definitely, as you say, a major part of the problem. In fact, 25 to 30% of the Bible contains prophetic text. And so if a pastor just opened up the Bible to just a random book, a random chapter, there's a very high chance that he's going to come across something prophetic, either something that has already come to pass, or something that is going to come to pass in the future regarding the last days. And yet, when we find out, again, working through Life Way Research, that on any given Sunday, and this is any denomination, non-denominational, just randomly Christian churches across the United States, that only 2% of sermons contained anything prophetic, not even necessarily the return of Christ, just anything prophetic at all means that it's not our imagination that eschatology is being marginalized. That's overwhelming smoking gun proof that it absolutely is being removed from the churches. And then you also talk a little bit about the infighting and the contention about the timing of the rapture, and how this has created unprecedented division. Brent, I've done entire programs about exactly that.

It is so bad. And like you say, the world is watching as people are being so contentious. As a matter of fact, I brought Hal Lindsey to the Twin Cities in 2005. And from the platform, and I think it might have been a question from the audience, asked him about there are differing timings on, for instance, timing of the rapture. And I want to talk to you about that in just a minute. And Hal said right from the platform, he said yes, and that those who are going to differ on rapture timing, they're going to do so contentiously, they're going to do so very often in a mean-spirited way, which is such a bad witness to others to have this infighting going on.

Absolutely. In fact, that's within those who follow eschatology, which, again, is those that are watching and studying the end times is becoming a very small percentage of the church these days. But those that do, right, one of the greatest points of contention is when the rapture occurs. Preach it, mid-trid, post-trid, pre-wrath. I mean, we've gone around this over and over again. And this film, Before the Wrath, I believe a lot of people have this knee-jerk reaction that it's about when does the rapture happen. And that's kind of part of what we're seeing, part of the problem with some of the shocking and frightening statistics that we're seeing. First, I want to state, there's nothing wrong with debating when is the rapture going to occur.

I think there's a time and a place for it. But with myself, as a director in Ingenuity Films, what we wanted to do is tackle what we feel is a much larger problem, rather than when. Because there's brilliant theologians that have books and presentations about when, and that's fantastic.

There's more than enough information out there. But nobody is asking, why? Why does the rapture have to happen?

We simply, we take it for granted that it does. And yet, when we look at the non-believing world, which by the way, is over 70% of the entire population that rejects Christ, which is the majority of the whole world population, when they look at the end times, because it's the blessed hope, it's a big deal. And when they look at Christians, and they look at the return of our Messiah, they don't hear any concise agreement about when and how He's coming back. All they see is our contention and our fighting.

And in fact, J.D. Farrag said it perfectly. And this is in the film when he says, the Bible says, we'll know each other for our love for one another. And he goes, but when the world looks at the church today, they say, my, how they fight with one another.

So true. If folks could see the literal videos out there online that are beaten various numbers of us up, truly, they would be stunned and they would be shocked. Brent, and I want you to talk about this for a minute or two, because your film again, the film is Before the Wrath. Folks, we're carrying the DVD only. Keep in mind that when you order Before the Wrath DVD from Olive Tree Ministries, this is a pre-order. Before the Wrath products won't be shipping probably until late November at the soonest.

So this is a pre-order if you order now. But Brent, I want to play the trailer and we're a little disadvantaged in that most are listening on radio and online and we're going to show the trailer on our YouTube folks. So that's under Jan Markell and Olive Tree Ministries, but most are listening on radio and I'd like to play the trailer. And again, the thread that runs through this film is the importance of the Jewish wedding and how it ties to the rapture.

And then we're going to play some more clips a little bit later. Most people don't believe that Jesus is coming back. What if there was evidence that proves that this is all real? Because there were so many people bringing up little bits and pieces of this and thinking, there's got to be a pattern here. The Bible talks about it as being a mystery, but why does the rapture have to happen? What's the point to it all?

A Galilean would have understood that perfectly. They're the key to everything. I'm just so stunned.

I never thought I would see this in my lifetime. This is the most profound discovery in human history. From His promise made through wine at the Last Supper to why the world cannot know the day of His return, we were chosen to preserve the truth until the end of days.

So even if we are not spared from death, others can unveil what we knew and believe. This discovery proves that He is coming back. Okay, that was just a portion of the trailer to the forthcoming film, Before the Wrath. Again, we featured it at my conference back on September 21st. Brent was with us.

So the trailer showed 10 minutes, sort of little clips from the film itself, and we'll play some of those audio. Brent, talk to me just a little bit about why the Jewish wedding. Why have you based almost the whole production around the Jewish wedding?

That's what's absolutely shocking about this is because I have heard some of the correlations between the first century Jewish wedding and some of the prophetic events that Christ spoke of regarding His return. And I think some of us are familiar with some of those associations, but what we discovered is in order to find out why the rapture has to happen, not that it simply does, but why. Our God is a God of order, of reason. There's reason why everything is done according to His will and His infinite wisdom.

So we wanted to know why is this event, why does it have to take place? And that is what sparked a 10-year research project with Jay McCarl, who is an ancient anthropologist who always asks the question, instead of what we think in our modern day, what did they think in the first century? And some of those anthropological views have exposed incredible depths of new understanding in regards to the biblical scriptures, using hermeneutics, culture, and amazing examples of how we can understand the scriptures just in so much more depth looking through that lens. And they began to look at what Christ taught His disciples regarding His return, which, by the way, 11 of His disciples were Galileans. And most of Christ's ministry took place in Galilee, not Jerusalem, the epicenter of religious activity, but up in Galilee. As they were discovering, doing research in Galilee regarding what Christ taught, they actually came across some shocking new discoveries that Christ essentially left within the Galilean culture.

What's shocking is that over 10 years of research, these pieces of the puzzle came together. In fact, the film isn't specifically about a Jewish wedding, even though there's some correlation. It's actually specifically about a Galilean wedding.

And you might stop and say, well, what's the difference? Well, before this discovery, people didn't know there was one. And now we're finding that there's vast differences between the two. So it's specifically the Galilean wedding customs, which were actually unlike any other in the world, including the specific wedding customs that took place just south in Jerusalem. And it was specifically the Galilean culture that was the missing key, the missing piece of the puzzle that explains everything of why the rapture has to happen and how it happens.

And it's absolutely life changing. Your focus, even though, and you do state some of the statistics, for instance, 36% of Christians believe in a pre-tribulation rapture, 18% post-tribulation rapture, 4% mid-trib, 4% pre-wrath, 4% aren't sure, 9% are other theories. And the most frightening statistic is 25% don't believe in a literal rapture at all.

And the 25% includes pastors of even evangelical churches. The focus isn't so much that as the focus would be why it's going to happen. Absolutely. This entire film finally blows the lid off of exactly why the rapture has to happen. Because we have to remember with all this contention of debating when it's going to happen, which again, there's a time and a place for that.

I find it fascinating and it is a topic of importance. But the non-believing world is watching the infighting about that. You're right.

You're absolutely right. When Christians can't even answer the simple question, why is he coming back? Why does the rapture have to happen? And if we're honest about it, an event like the rapture to a non-believing person sounds so sensational, so unbelievable, how can we possibly expect them to believe this when we can't even explain why it happens or how it happens? It's a far more important question for Christians to be united on, not only for our own edification, but in order for us to properly communicate an event like the rapture to the non-believing world. And you and I both know, they're very familiar with the topic of the rapture.

There's been films that mock it, so they know of it, but Christians aren't standing up and explaining really what it is and why. Well, let me play some clips then from the film. Again, these are from my radio audience. Obviously, they're audio clips. This is part of what I'm going to air here. Brent showed to my conference in video form. However, it was kind of not quite finished product yet.

And this would include some four or five clips from the film. And we've got them kind of run together here. And then when I come back, Brent lets you and I talk about what we've just heard. Then it focuses down onto the moment where everyone holds their breath. What happens is the bridegroom is then handed a pitcher of wine. The groom then pours wine into a ceremonial cup that will be offered to his desired bride to be.

And it was called the cup of joy. With both hands, reverently and respectfully and fearfully, he would pass it to his bride. When the groom presents the cup, she now has the choice as to whether or not she will accept or reject this proposal for marriage. The moment the cup is handed to the bride, she's given all power to stop the wedding by pushing the cup back and rejecting the bridegroom. Contrary to all other wedding customs in the Middle East, the bride in the Galilean wedding possessed the final authority.

She alone had the power to accept or reject the offer from the groom. The betrothal could not be completed without her willing acceptance to drink from the cup of wine. But on this day, during this betrothal, the bride accepts. The groom will then also take and drink from the cup, solidifying the new covenant.

But then he says something truly profound. Then the bridegroom says publicly so everyone can hear, you are now consecrated to me by the laws of Moses and I will not drink of this cup again until I drink it anew with you in my Father's house. But to understand why this phrase is so profound, we must look at another act recorded later in the scriptures. During the Last Supper, Jesus offered a cup of wine to his disciples to signify a new covenant with them. And after his disciples drank from the cup, Jesus then said something similar to what a Galilean would have heard from their own weddings. He said, But I say to you, I will not drink of this fruit of the vine from now on until that day when I drink it new with you in my Father's kingdom. This is exactly why when he gave them the cup, he actually says this is the new covenant in my blood.

I'm about to pour my blood. It's a promise. We're going to be together again and we're going to mark it by drinking the wine.

It's something important. The breaking of bread and offering of wine, these acts were to form a new union, a new promise meant to deliberately set in motion events of unimaginable importance. In my Arab culture, you eat from the same bread and you drink from the same cup. The thought is that that which is in you is in me. It is a common union, communion, no longer two, but one. When Jesus says that at that last supper, this is my body given for you, broken for you.

He's talking as a bridegroom to his bride. When he says to them, this is the cup in my of my blood in the new covenant. That's how they would seal the betrothal in the ancient wedding. And when you think about the Galilean disciples, they understood exactly what it was saying regarding these things.

They were familiar things. The illustration was entirely clear to them when Jesus said that his Galilean disciples at the last supper heard only one thing, wedding. In fact, this might explain why later in the Gospel records, the disciples asked Jesus only when the events of the last days would take place and not why. Because as Galileans, they likely had already made the connection, especially given Jesus' first recorded miracle which took place in the town of Cana when he turned water into wine at a Galilean wedding. And I find this most fascinating that the first miracle Jesus ever performed was at a wedding.

And that wedding had the same cultural dynamic that Jesus was describing when he was explaining to his disciples about his soon return. If you just joined me, you're listening to Understanding the Times Radio. Jan Markell here I have on the line, writer-producer Brent Miller Jr. He is in the process of producing the new film, Before the Wrath. A few voices you just heard that might be familiar, narrator Kevin Sorbo of the new film, some others speaking into it. You heard Pastor Jack Hibbs, you heard Amir Sarfati, you heard Pastor JD Farag. There are others, Jay McCarl, ancient anthropologist and author.

Brent Miller, talk to me just a little bit about some of the clips we've just heard. Well, what we've discovered from 10 years of research working with some of these experts along with Hebrew University in Israel is specifically what Christ was telling his disciples about his return. In fact, almost everything that he told his disciples about his return had to do specifically with the chronological sequence of events that would take place specifically in a Galilean wedding, not a Jewish wedding per se, but specifically a Galilean wedding. And there were major differences that are eerily similar to events like the rapture and how and why Christ must return at the end of days that the Galileans would have understood more than anybody. And it was completely ingrained and recorded in their culture, in their wedding practice, and passed down all the way to us today. It's shocking because theologians in the past, scholars in the past, have made connections between some ancient wedding cultures in the Middle East, specifically Jewish wedding culture, and some of the things Christ foretold regarding his return. But there's always been large missing pieces to the puzzle, large gaps in the sequence.

And what we've discovered over the last 10 years of research actually fill in those blanks. And it's a picture that now perfectly explains from the first coming all the way to the second coming how and why everything must unfold exactly as Jesus prophesied it. In fact, in the clips that we just heard, one of the most shocking things just in the beginning of what you would almost call this lost prophetic timeline within the Galilean culture was when Christ was with his disciples at the Last Supper, and he made the new covenant with them through drinking wine, that that is how the Galileans would seal the betrothal. Essentially, we were becoming the bride of Christ, which the Bible says in so many places refers to us as the bride of Christ. Now understanding that goes so much deeper than we even previously knew. I see Farag emphasizing, he says, I can't stress how important a wedding is, particularly in this culture. Welcome to the town of Cana.

Israel's now under Roman control, ruled by Tiberius Caesar, and under his cruel authority, life is harsh for many of the Jews. But on this day, there's hope for the future, a promise for a new beginning. Because on this day, the betrothal between a young groom and his bride is taking place. I don't think it's possible to overstate how important a wedding is in the Middle Eastern culture today, as it was in that day, the first century. A wedding was the most important event that would take place in any town for anyone.

In fact, as word spread throughout the streets that a betrothal was taking place, everyone who was able would rush to the main gate to witness it. Wedding took place at the gate, and this was really, really important because this is where you found the elders. The elders ratified legal agreements, and if you held the ceremonies near the gate, you would have layers of people that would gather around who are maybe not family members, maybe not friends.

You see, having wedding guests the way we have them today wasn't important to them. They wanted witnesses because you can't make a covenant without having witnesses to ratify the covenant. There is a written proposal that is presented. It is a written covenant of marriage that the bride accepts. They would be asked, do you agree on these terms? They would say, we do, which means that they can't go back on it. They can't say, I didn't know that was in there, or those terms were disagreeable to me. After the agreement outlining the union between the two families was publicly read, gifts were then exchanged, with the most extravagant going to the bride.

In fact, contrary to popular belief, a dowry, or the price that was paid to the bride's father in Galilee, was not a purchase of the bride's property as it was with surrounding cultures in the Middle East, but rather an insurance policy that would help take care of her if anything were to happen to her beloved. But what comes next will set in motion a sequence of events that will shape the future for generations to come. We've been spending this first segment with writer, director, producer, Brent Miller Jr. of Ingenuity Films. We featured him back on September 21st as he kind of introduced the forthcoming film, which is titled Before the Wrath. You can find out a lot more at before the wrath.com. Before the wrath.com, the film will be out sometime later this fall.

It'll be in some 50 to 100 theaters across the country as well. And I'm going to wrap things up with Brent when I come back. We'll take a short time out here and I want to ask him a few more questions.

So don't go away. If this ministry has made a difference in your life, let us hear from you. You can call us central time at 763-559-4444. That's 763-559-4444. Drop a note to Jan Markell and Olive Tree Ministries, Box 1452, Maple Grove, Minnesota, 55311. That's Box 1452, Maple Grove, Minnesota, 55311. You can always order, donate, or contact us through our website at OliveTreeViews.org. That's OliveTreeViews.org.

All gifts are tax deductible. More in a minute with our guest, Brent Miller Jr. Why are you at a Prophecy Conference? I just think it's really important for us now to learn about prophecy, to see how God fulfills it throughout the Bible. You know, have courage, stand on the Gospel, and fight. Without Christ, you have no peace. And so it's always important for us to be sharing that Gospel message. He's a true, honest God. And it's important for us to see that what He says He will do, so we can follow Him with every step that we take. The Christian in Europe and in Switzerland, they are sleeping.

They are really in a very deep sleep. And they need good food, good food from, for example, here from that conference, from Chen, from all the speakers here. We will have CDs and DVDs available from our Fall Conference held September 21st near Minneapolis by late October. At Understanding the Times 2019, our speakers included Dr. Robert Jeffress, Amir Sarfati, Pastor J.D.

Virag, Pastor Jack Hibbs, Jan Markell, and Laurie Cardoza Moore. We are offering six messages on CD for $30 plus $6 shipping in the U.S. We also have six messages on DVD for $35 plus $6 shipping in the U.S. You can order safely online at OliveTreeViews.org. That's OliveTreeViews.org. Or call us central time at 763-559-4444.

That's 763-559-4444. The products are professionally packaged and suitable for gift giving. The DVDs are in high definition. They will help you understand the times and become watchmen on the wall. You cannot remove prophecy from the Bible without also removing the return of Christ, because He is part of the last days prophetic event. And that's exactly what churches are doing, which is why we see some of this terrifying data coming out of the Christian world today regarding them really living in unbelief now more than ever before. You can find the DVD, Before the Wrath, in our online web store at OliveTreeViews.org.

You'll find dozens of other cutting edge products there as well. Olive Tree Ministries is pleased to play a part in Brent Miller's forthcoming film. We pray it will help the church reengage in a discussion of last days issues. You can always call us central time at 763-559-4444.

That's 763-559-4444. Now here are Jan Markell and Brent Miller Jr. The blessed hope has become like the blasted hope, but we have to remember something. This is fulfilling Bible prophecy. Again, what these people are doing, unbelievers that are coming at you saying, oh, you know, every generation has been saying this, you're nuts.

Where's the promise of His coming? And then so-called professing Christians that are out there attacking people because they're watching for the Lord's return. Again, the pre-tribulation rapture is under fire like I've never seen it before. I mean, some of the nasty words that are coming out of people's mouths, attacking others for their beliefs and then making videos, mocking them and scoffing them for watching for the Lord's return. They're fulfilling Bible prophecy.

This is the amazing thing about it. So these people doing this, instead of bringing others down, like for me, what I see these people doing, it's encouraging me. It's motivating me because they're actually fulfilling Bible prophecy. Go again, right to the book of 2 Peter 3, verse 3 to 4, where it says, knowing this first that there shall come in the last days scoffers walking after their own lusts and saying, where is the promise of His coming?

For since the fathers fell asleep, all things continue as they were from the beginning of the creation. I mean, literally people's attitudes today, again, believers and unbelievers is literally quoting what's coming right out of 2 Peter chapter 3, verse 3 to 4. People are literally saying, where is the promise of His coming? They've been saying it, but now more than ever, we're seeing a significant rise, an increase in the mocking and scoffing that's occurring between believers and unbelievers.

Again, the blessed hope has become more like the blasted hope right now. And welcome back. That was my good friend, YouTuber, Chad Thomas. You want to check out his YouTube and sign up to get his several times a week updates because this is what he talks about. Just an announcement or two, and then going to head right back into my discussion with filmmaker Brent Miller Jr. in Genuity Films.

He produced Convergence. We carried that for a while. We don't at the present time, but we are carrying his new production Before the Wrath. He introduced it at my conference back on September 21st. We're carrying the single DVD.

There are other products involved. There's a book involved and you can get various packs of different items together. For that, you've got to go to BeforeTheWrath.com. BeforeTheWrath.com if you'd like the DVD only because we have sort of downsized our bookstore for some pretty obvious reasons today with the Amazon culture and all involved, but we are carrying the DVD, OliveTreeViews.org. Keep in mind that when you order Before the Wrath DVD from Olive Tree Ministries, this is a pre-order Before the Wrath products.

It won't be shipping probably until late November at the soonest, so this is a pre-order if you order now. And let me just say quickly that, again, so wonderful to meet literally thousands of you at Understanding the Times 2019. We had folks from 45 states, six foreign countries, and even our YouTube views of the event is, I think, well over 300,000 at this point. So a lot of people are getting the truth. Getting the truth as it comes from an eschatological in-time perspective, and one who's contributing to that is my guest for The Hour filmmaker, Brent Miller Jr. Brent, I just want to ask you here, how did you, number one, find the Lord, number two, get directed into making films about the topic that we're talking about, a little bit in the marginalization of eschatology, the importance of eschatology, the importance of the rapture? You're of a younger generation. Most of your generation is caught up in raising children and not thinking about what you and I are talking about.

Absolutely. The younger you go in the generation in the United States, just the less and less interest there is in the Bible as a whole and Bible prophecy, and it's a frightening trend. And most people are surprised about how dedicated Ingenuity Films and myself as a writer and a director is to biblical eschatology and the importance of it.

And it's because even most Christians do not understand the overwhelming importance of eschatology and why it's even in the Bible. The way that I personally got involved, I wasn't interested in the topic. Growing up, as you stated, I met my wife in my early 20s, and we had children at a young age, and I had a career. I actually left college early to move to Manhattan during the dot-com boom. I moved there in 1999, and I was in the right place at the right time and ended up becoming a senior technical project manager working in new media for large projects for Fortune 100 companies like MTV Networks right in Midtown. So I was there the morning of 9-11.

In fact, when the first plane struck, I was about two blocks away coming out of the battery tunnel. The follow-up discussion from that horrific event that day had a lot to do with religious conflict. You heard a lot about Bible prophecy. It kind of reignited discussions in that department, and being so close to that event that day, it affected people I knew. It affected me very deeply and very personally. I wanted to know, why is this happening in the world?

Why does it feel like things are beginning to fall apart more and more every year? And to this day, they still are. That's what led me to look at Bible prophecy, but coming from somebody who, you could almost say the prove-it generation, which is much worse even the younger that you go. It's show me the evidence, show me the proof. I'd want to know that I know that I believe in the truth. That's actually what led me to studying Bible prophecy, and it was specifically this biblical eschatology that led me to accept Jesus Christ as my Savior and absolutely know beyond any doubt that the Bible in its entirety is the divine word of God and absolutely true, and that the Lord Jesus is going to return in the last days. And unfortunately, the way that I actually came to these conclusions wasn't discovered from any pastor or any church. It was through years of direct research, working with some theologians, which most people have never heard of in the churches, independent research, that actually revealed the importance of prophecy and how it can actually be proven that the Bible is true and proven that events like the rapture are real. I find it to be such a tragedy that even most Christians, and I mean the overwhelming majority of Christians in the churches today in the United States, are not aware of any of this.

I agree. Don't you think that's part of the great falling away, the great apostasy that was predicted? We're kind of in the days of Laodicea in the church now, and the pulpit is focusing on your best life now and how we can enjoy life and improve our marriage and improve our finances, but let's not talk about the things to come, in other words.

Absolutely. In fact, this film, we've been talking about some of the shocking discoveries that were made from the first century Galileans and how almost everything Jesus told his disciples regarding his return was directly related to the specific Galilean culture, things that we have lost and forgotten for centuries, for millennia, that we're only now really beginning to connect the dots again. I mean, we're not presenting anything new. The Bible contains the complete truth. There are insights that we have lost that we're now rediscovering, which are just blowing the lid off of how and why the rapture absolutely must happen, to the point where we might even be able to claim we can prove the upcoming rapture is not only completely real, but actually shed light on why it must take place, and it's so powerful that even the non-believing world will take notice to this, which is why this is such a powerful ministry tool. But you mentioned falling away, and that's interesting because we know that there's a falling away between the return of Christ. We also hear that he returns as a thief in the night, and this is part of before the wrath because even this was part of what the Galileans understood based on their lost aspects of their culture that we're now rediscovering.

I don't want to give it away. This is such a major discovery, probably one of the greatest discoveries that's presented in the entire film towards the end of the film is why is it said that Christ returns as a thief in the night? The reason is absolutely terrifying, yet filled with so much hope and is life-changing. But before that, that kind of leads me to head into a topic of, if we back up a little bit, why does prophecy exist in the first place? This is part of the message that we're trying to get out in The Coming Convergence, and even more so in Before the Wrath, and why it completely is associated with how and why we can prove the rapture is going to happen. And remember, almost half of Christians today either don't believe Jesus is returning soon, that means any time in their lifetime, any time in the next 50 years, or maybe even ever at all, which is, again, prophesied that people will scold his return. But that includes Christians, which is terrifying because we're seeing that trend increasing, those percentages increasing. The reason why prophecy exists in the first place is for God to prove that he is God.

It's a way for him to prove that the Bible is absolutely trustworthy, which is unique to any other religion or any other writing in the history of the world. I think the most frequent email this ministry gets, and I know some of the other fellows that I've been working with, including those who are in your film, I'm going to run down that list again, would tell you the most frequent email is, I'm looking for a church that will talk about things to come, not every week necessarily, but a couple times a year for sure. And would also emphasize things that are happening in the world and how that might tie to the Bible, certainly indicate that the hour is very late and just what all that actually means. In some cases, they tell me they visited every potential church in their town, some of them big towns, impossible to find, impossible to find.

In fact, that kind of brings up, I think, a greater danger that many of us are glassing over. Many Christians in the church today of how devastating it is to remove prophecy from the Bible. And most Christians don't realize just how important it is. You see, as you know, over a quarter of the entire Bible is prophetic. So if you remove eschatology from the Bible, which virtually every church has now this day, what you're doing for a non-believer, you're removing the proof that the Bible is true, because there's nothing like biblical eschatology. Some of the prophetic sequences that have to unfold over time put the statistical probability of those events occurring in such astronomical numbers impossible to occur by chance. So this is God's proof. This is God's way of showing us this is real. And if all these events in the past have all come to pass, which two-thirds of prophecy have, then the remaining prophecies will also come to be in likewise manner. They must, statistically, they must come to pass. But if churches are removing prophecy from the Bible, then, of course, we're removing the proof that the Bible is true.

Now, what's the bigger danger to that? Well, if you remove prophecy from the Bible, then when you look at all the millennials, when you look at all the non-believers in the world, by the way, I think most of us have heard by now that millennials are now the largest generation in the United States, now surpassing baby boomers. They make up a very large percentage. So if you remove prophecy from the Bible, then you've actually just placed everything that's left in their minds to be on par with all religious teachings in the world, because now they have no reason why should I believe this religious, quote-unquote, religious teaching versus Buddhism or anything else. And churches, because they don't teach eschatology, because they don't teach apologetics, having statistics and reasons and history logically why the Bible is true, nobody can actually tell them why anymore. They're given answers they cannot embrace. And so there's this conflict between maybe some of them wanting to believe that Christ is going to return, but they have this rational mind that says, but I need evidence.

I need proof and nobody is providing it. Very, very true. Let me just give a rundown again of who's appearing in this film. I'm sure it was no easy task, Brent Miller, to get Kevin Sarbo to be your narrator. He's done the films, God's Not Dead. Oh, so many that we've all seen that you were able to secure him as narrator of the film.

Absolutely. In fact, he's been such a blessing to this project. It took a little bit of time to track him down. But the discoveries that were made in this film and the impact that it's going to have on both believers and non-believers alike is so apparent that once we shared some of the evidences with him, he was 100% on board early on and just really wanted to be a part of this. Additionally, there's Pastor Jack Hibbs from Calvary Chapel, Chino Hills, California, real life with Jack Hibbs.

Amir Sarfati is very prominent in the film, Behold Israel. J.D. Farag, Calvary Chapel, Kaneohe, Hawaii. We've got some folks from, let's see, Jay McCarl. He's an anthropologist. Yours truly, I weigh in a little bit anyway.

Some folks from Life Way Research, Scott McConnell, another Lizette Dillinger, not familiar with her anyway. And you've got 100 actors. I think we should clarify, Brent, that this is actually a drama. And what you've got here, I've just given some names that they step in and they add a little commentary now and then. But this is actually a drama with 100 actors.

Absolutely. In fact, the plans for this film didn't start out at this scale. Initially, we had a much smaller budget. But as we were working with Jay McCarl, who's one of the anthropologists involved in the research on this, who did teach at Hebrew University for a semester and who has been in the Middle East working with archaeologists and scholars and theologians for, I believe, almost the last 15 years.

He's there two, three times a year for weeks at a time at dig sites doing research, an incredible researcher. And the more that was being uncovered over the last several years regarding the missing pieces to the puzzle of how we can prove the rapture is real and that Christ is going to return very soon, the more we realized that this message has to get out in a way where people can genuinely relate to the importance of just how big this is. And so the budget was exploded in order to have 100 actors and extras on set.

And we did shoot down in Hollywood on a set on the back lot where they filmed parts of Iron Man, 12 Strong and many other Hollywood films to order to reenact what the Galileans knew in the first century to really bring this to life in a way that nobody ever has before. So the film, it is a drama, it's got about 100 actors. And then as I said, some folks are weighing in with some commentary, some pastors and some ministry leaders, Amir Sarfati and others are weighing in, making it a well-rounded, but how long will it be Brent?

It's going to be about an hour and 20 minutes. You can eventually find the DVD, DVD only at olivetreeviews.org. You can find some companion products such as book, Blu-ray, et cetera, beforethereath.com, beforethereath.com.

So those are two options for you to get ahold of this. My goodness, use it as a witnessing tool. I think that's one of the beauties of eschatology. It's the thing I bring out all the time is it fits hand in glove with witnessing. I just can't imagine a better tool to win others to faith to use eschatology as a tool. You're listening to Understanding the Times Radio.

I'm Jan Markell. I've spent the hour with Brent Miller Jr., as I said in my intro, got to know him through one of his previous and he's got lots of products, but we carried Convergence, which was a DVD that was exactly what it talks about, converging of the signs of the times. I think we carried that about two years ago now. We don't have it any longer, but Brent is a prolific filmmaker. Let me just read what's kind of on the beforethereath.com site, just sort of fill in the gaps here. And then Brent, I want to kind of wrap things up talking to you about the goals. And we've already talked about some of the goals, but let's kind of zero in on the goals you have in mind for certainly not to just produce a film that's going to tickle the ears.

I guarantee you that. Here's what you read in some of the promotion. Bible scholars continue to debate the timing of the rapture, but why is such a mysterious event prophesied to happen in the first place? Is there a deeper understanding surrounding this occurrence that we've lost over the millennia that those living in the first century clearly understood? Newly rediscovered ancient anthropological evidence from the time of Jesus Christ finally reveals unprecedented findings that could prove the forthcoming rapture is not only real to a skeptical world, but sheds new light on how and why this event must take place. Regardless of your tribulation, views before the wrath will captivate believers and non-believers alike, revealing new depths of theological understanding regarding what Jesus revealed to the ancient Galileans about the end of the age in ways you could never have imagined.

And then they conclude these findings resulted from a 10-year research in Israel by leading anthropological scholars and rediscovered lost Middle Eastern views regarding how and why the biblical catching away was prophesied to occur. Again, this is going to be finalized, hopefully, later this fall. Watch my website. We'll make some announcements here on air. We'll put info in our various newsletters.

You need to sign up at olivetreeviews.org for my newsletters. And you can always check out the film website beforetherath.com, beforetherath.com. Brent, let's talk about for a moment or two anyway, and we've touched on it a little bit, and that would be the specific goals of this film. You want to impact both believers and non-believers. Well, good luck with that, because you've certainly got two worldviews when it comes to believers and unbelievers.

How are you going to impact them both? Well, this is Ingenuity Film Specialty. We consider ourselves an apologetics-based film company. We work so much with the non-believing world is that as Christians, sometimes what we need to remember is that even though there's a lot of amazing faith-based films out there for us, and I've seen some phenomenal ones, many of them are really geared towards the Christian lifestyle, the Christian worldview.

Often when we're trying to witness to the non-believing world, we need to remember that what it is that we want to hear in a film sometimes isn't necessarily what the non-believing world needs to hear. And a quick example of this is when we look at the Apostle Paul. Many refer to him as the father of apologetics using history, even prophecy, and reason, or he quote-unquote reasoned in the synagogues to prove to others that Jesus was the Messiah. And many of us have heard how when he was in Athens, he spoke of the unknown God. But what you don't hear about is how Paul approached that using apologetics by actually understanding his pagan audience. If you read what he specifically said about the unknown God, you'll notice that he never mentioned Jerusalem or the temple, and he never mentioned Jesus by name, because he knew how to connect with them at their level, to plant the seed.

And that's what we try to do in so many of our productions. We want to lead the non-believing world all the way to the water, but it's far more impactful and powerful if they come to the conclusion themselves. And that's why so many are watching the coming convergence and being reintroduced to biblical eschatology in amazing ways. And Before the Wrath does the same thing when it comes to the rapture, because the rapture is a topic that Christians have a very difficult time communicating to their friends and their families who don't believe it. And if you can't believe in an event that sounds so sensationalized like the return of Christ and the rapture, then how are they supposed to believe the rest of the Bible when you tell them that's true? So it's a topic that really needs to be addressed in a way where non-believers can understand how it happens and why it happens, and it needs to make sense. And if we do that, that also edifies Christians, because now we're understanding why Jesus has to come back for us.

It reignites hope. And it's important to also mention that you cannot remove prophecy from the Bible without also removing the return of Christ, because he is part of the last day's prophetic events. And that's exactly what churches are doing, which is why we see some of this terrifying data coming out of the Christian world today regarding them really living in unbelief now more than ever before. That's true, and contributing to the Great Falling Away. And another goal you have, and you've touched on it, is to reignite the dialogue in the churches across the Western world that have marginalized this topic.

And I hope and pray, and listeners, you can pray, that that's exactly what this might do is reignite dialogue. In fact, regarding the Great Falling Away, I think the reason why a film like this is needed now more than any other time is because some of the trend data that we've been seeing is far worse than I think most believers understand. Just real quick, 70% of Americans call themselves Christian, self-identify as Christian. But then when asked, and this is a national poll again through our partners at LifeWay Research who are interviewed in the film, Scott McConnell, who is the executive director of the entire organization, it's an incredible blessing that he would take the time to work with us, and Lizette Dillinger, which is their qualitative director, who is incredible in calculating trend lines over years in the United States.

Brilliant woman. They have discovered that even though 70% of Americans self-identify as Christian, when asked basic biblical questions, foundational questions such as, is Jesus Christ the only way to heaven, and the gospel is something that should be shared with others, things that I think any genuine believer takes for granted and would say, yes, of course. We find that only 15% of Christians actually agree with those statements, which is terrifying and filling a trend in the US that I can't equate to anything other than apostasy.

The great falling away, the Church of Laodicea, as you say in some of the notes you sent me, it's no wonder around 50% of Christians, they just no longer believe that Jesus is going to return soon, if at all. And folks, we kind of introduced this back at Understanding the Times 2019 a few weeks ago, and we do have CDs and DVDs of that entire event, and they are shipping now any day, so you might want to order them through my store, OliveTreeViews.org. You can give my office a call, sign up for various newsletters, and we also have in our store, the product we've been talking about here for the hour, Before the Wrath by Ingenuity Films, writer, director, producer, Brent Miller Jr., on air with me for the entire hour, and I have seen portions of this film, he introduced, I think it was 10 minutes or so, maybe a little bit more at my conference, and the audience just loved it, because they caught the vision of the importance of what we're talking about, and they know, they all come from churches that have marginalized the topic, or they have had to leave just about every church for various reasons, that's another story, but one of the reasons is the terrible marginalization of the very things we've been talking about for this hour.

Brent, minute or two left, all yours, wrap it up. Yeah, it's been an absolute blessing to have the support of OliveTree Ministries for this film, and it's going to make such a huge impact on the entire world when it comes out, and what we're seeing with the trends going on in the United States regarding the state of Christianity is so terrifying, just the contention that we have in regarding debating the rapture, debating the second coming of Christ, that one of the goals of this film is genuinely to find the topic that all Christians can be united on, and that's exactly what this film does, which is why we're specifically stating in complete truth that it doesn't matter what your rapture timing views are, what your denomination is, the truths that have been discovered from Christ himself in the first century are so monumental, it really does supersede the continual debates that we're always hearing, and again, there is a time and a place for that, but this film goes beyond that in so many ways, where it's going to reignite incredible new hope for a believer, and is so powerful, and is presented in such a way that we genuinely believe that it's something that can be taken to pastors of a church in any denomination across the country, and actually reignite the discussions about the rapture, reignite discussion about the second coming of Christ, essentially to have a revival, to talk about the end times again, which is just being marginalized to frightening levels. That is really the goal of this film, and I think that the Lord plans on using this in a mighty way, and it's going to have a level of success. Well folks, I hope you'll check it out. You can check a lot more out at BeforeTheRath.com or find one of the products, a DVD at my bookstore OliveTreeViews.org, Brent Miller. Our thoughts and prayers go with you as you finalize this product.

It is so needed. Let me just go out of the program with a Bible verse, a very familiar verse out of John 14. Do not let your heart be troubled.

Believe in God. Believe also in me, in my Father's house are many dwelling places. If it were not so, I would have told you, for I go to prepare a place for you, and if I go and prepare a place for you, I will come again and receive you to myself, that where I am, there you may be also. That was a promise of our Lord Jesus Christ that He would return.

He would return in the clouds in what is known as the Rapture of the Church. I want to thank you for listening, folks, and we will talk to you again next week. Remember that if you miss a program, you can catch it electronically on our website at OnePlace.com, by using the OnePlace.com mobile app, or by watching it on our YouTube channel where we insert images and video of the on-air discussion. That channel is under Jan Markell and Olive Tree Ministries. Write us at Box 1452, Maple Grove, Minnesota, 55311. That's Box 1452, Maple Grove, Minnesota, 55311. Don't forget to look into DVDs and CDs of our annual conference. They will be shipped in a week. Find them in our store, in our newsletters, or by calling us. Until next time, know that things are all falling into place.
Whisper: medium.en / 2023-05-07 18:49:14 / 2023-05-07 19:10:53 / 22

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