In the mid 1980’s, I read a book “88 Reasons Why We Will Be Raptured In 1988’. I was confused by reason 7. Obviously, the author was also confused. When you have correct teaching the entire Word of God comes together smoothly. Every verse fits easily with other verses that instruct us on similar doctrines. There is no ‘forcing’ the Word to fit an incorrect theology.
The Rapture of the church is no different. In the next few minutes we will see how His Word directs us (the church) to our role in the end times. The Lord has not made this complicated; all we need is a humble heart and eyes that are focused on Him. (See Why We Disagree, Listening With Our Heart). Before we start reviewing scripture however, I wanted to mention why I believe an incorrect teaching of the Rapture will jeopardize millions of lives. My friends, it is that important!
Recently I visited a teacher who spoke on the end times. In my opinion, he is a Biblical genius. Like so many with great minds however, we can lean on our intellect and not our spiritual man (Romans 8:9-14). In Galatians 1:13-14, Paul was advancing in Judaism ‘first in his class’ while he persecuted the church. Many of us are guilty of thinking we are wiser than what the Spirit has taught us, myself included. Over the years you will notice brethren who are open to the Spirit by their humility in their heart. Proverbs 1:7 states that the fear of the Lord is the beginning of knowledge. Those who clothed themselves with humility, as mentioned in 1 Peter 5:5 will be led by the Holy Spirit. Those who rely on our intellect cannot be led by the Spirit (Jn. 5:19-20, Romans 8:10-16).
The teacher who I went to see teaches that the Rapture (the taking up of saints to heaven in an instant (I Cor. 15:51-53) will happen before the 7 year tribulation period* We will see below that the rapture of the church happens after the persecution from Satan and men (the seven seals on the earth) and before His wrath from heaven, the Trumpet and Bowl judgments. God’s wrath from heaven is called the ‘Day of the Lord’.
*For the sake of clarity, I am using the popular term for this time. This period is actually the 70th week of Daniel. The tribulation time is generally considered as part of the seals (persecution from Satan and men), and the Day of the Lord is the Time of Gods Wrath after the seals.
If our differences simply meant we both were earnestly seeking His prophetic truth as in 1 Peter 1:10-12, I believe our Father in heaven would rejoice. If however we refuse to hear from the Spirit and we demise God’s direction for the safety of the Church, we are in serious error.
From the simple scriptural explanation given below, I believe the Word teaches the church will encounter satans testing during the seals. This will help purify the sleeping church and make her ready for the Lords return Ep. 5:27. The Word also reveals the judgment of Mystery Babylon-which could be the USA. (See The End of America, John Price). The Bible teaches several cities in this nation will be destroyed in one hour, most likely by nuclear attack. The Lord tells the church to come out of this nation in order that their lives will be spared
Jeremiah 51:45 “Come out of her, my people! Run for your lives! Run from the fierce anger of the LORD see chapter
The minimum death toll will be in the millions! These scriptures must pierce our hearts so we can understant the importance of His prophetic truths. If the church teaches Christians will be raptured before these events, and the Bible teaches differently, they will responsible for giving false instruction that could jeopardize the lives of millions of the Lords saints. There is no earthly or heavenly way to deny the seriousness of this teaching. When the Babylonians invaded Israel, the Lord gave His prophet’s instructions to safe guard His people. False teachers and prophets worked against this divine protection and provoked the Lords anger-thus the Lord said in Jeremiah
Jeremiah 14:14 Then the LORD said to me, “The prophets are prophesying lies in my name…Jeremiah 14:15 Therefore, this is what the LORD says about the prophets who are prophesying in my name: I did not send them, yet they are saying, `No sword or famine will touch this land.’ Those same prophets will perish by sword and famine.
The magnitude of this error needs to be repeated. If we are sincerely seeking His prophetic truth as the prophets did in 1 Peter 1:10-12, we are serving a noble task, even if we do not have all the answers. If however, we are unwilling to be humbled because of our status in the church, or if ‘rewriting our publications’ would prove to be a public embarrassment, than I believe you are treading into dangerous ground. You will be fighting against Gods plan to protect His bride. While the church will be tested, God does provide His bride some protection (see prophecy-Rev. 3:10).
It is impossible to over emphasize the importance of this truth when the consequences are unimaginable. This is why I am not ashamed to challenge friends, family or Christian brethren on the importance of ‘watching’ for His signs and warnings, as stated in the Word. Your lives are too valuable to casually sit back and be quiet or ‘nice’. We must ‘cut through’ false teachings as if our very lives depended on it, and they do.
I simply think of the millions of children who lives are at stake. I will not be quiet about this truth, we have to warn America.
The Simple Truth
First, My Error. For years I thought the ‘pre-tribulation rapture’ was correct, and I attempted to apply this viewpoint to His Word. It did not fit, no matter how hard I tried. There never was a distinction between the pre-tribulation raptured church and the church ‘left behind’ or after the rapture church. Yes, it is confusing. One day the Lord guided me to start reading Revelation.
After reading the seals in Revelation 6 He abruptly said stop! Now read Matthew 24. After I read the first part of Matt. 24…He again said stop! He then asked some simple questions. What was Jesus teaching in the first part Matt. 24. After receiving His instruction, it was obvious Jesus was describing the seals in Rev. 6. He then asked, where in my Word does it teach the church will be excluded from the persecution from man on earth. (After showing to me the seals were from the earth). I responded no where Lord. He was quietly teaching that the earthly persecution from the seals the church will endure. The heavenly ‘wrath’ from the trumpet and bowl judgments, the church will be ‘taken’ or raptured. Later I learned from ‘The Pre-Wrath Rapture’ (See Resource List), the wrath of God and the Day of the Lord are one in the same. Throughout the Word, there are verses that mention we are protected from evil, which can include physical protection. We are never guaranteed a life however that will be free from persecution. Jesus says if we follow Him, we will be persecuted. (Matt 10:21-22, Mark 13:13, Phil. 3:10)
Richard Perry received a similar instruction. (see Christian Resource List). The Lord asked Him if there was any verse in His Word that said He is coming back (indicating in any way, via rapture of the church in the clouds or literally in Jerusalem) before the tribulation period. From my understanding, he is willing to give a two thousand dollars to any one who can identify one verse. He still has his money because there is no verse.
Thank you for reading to this point-now it’s time to prove
It Ain’t Complicated
First basic truth. There is one church, it is that simple! The rapture of the church is indeed Biblical, but there is not a raptured church and a left behind church. There are not 2 ‘brides’ , but one Rev. 21:2-11. Throughout the entire New Testament the Word speaks of only one church until it’s rapture. Why make finding truth complicated when the Lord makes it soo understandable 1 Cor. 14:33 KJV, See The Simplicity of Divine Wisdom.
John 10:16 I have other sheep, which are not of this fold, I must bring them also, and they will hear My voice and become one flock with one Shepherd.
Romans 11:25 Israel has experienced a hardening in part until the full number of the Gentiles has come in Eph. 4:13, Rev. 6:11, Gal. 3:28, Eph. 2:14-15.
Second basic truth. The church is here until the end of the age.
Matt 28:20 and teaching them to obey everything I have commanded you. And surely I am with you always, to the very end of the age.”
The church is here until the end of the age and we do not have to ‘analyze’ when the end of the age is-The Lord Tells Us!
Matt. 13:39-49 This is how it will be at the end of the age. The angels will come and separate the wicked from the righteous  and throw them into the fiery furnace, where there will be weeping and gnashing of teeth. Mat. 24: 29-31 see details in fn1
The church is here until the end of the age when Jesus comes back to judge the wicked-those without Christ.
Note: When the Lord says, I am with you until the end of the age Mat. 28, this is taken from the same sermon in Mk. 16. This is when the disciples are given their ‘Great Commission’, receive a farewell blessing and then witness the Lord ascending to heaven. From these scriptures, the disciples are to witness to all nations the gospel of Christ, heal the sick, make disciples-and are protected from persecution. Thus the Lord is obviously teaching , I am departing from you now, but I am with you IN SPIRIT until I return at the end of the age. Fulfill the great commission until I return, at such time it will be completed Rev. 19:7-9, Rev. 22:2, Heb. 10:15-18, Ezek. 47:12, Rev. 6:11.
Third basic truth. There is a simple adjustment to the end of the age, it is moved up by days because His wrath is so severe the Lord does not want the church to suffer from ‘His’ 2 sets of judgments from heaven. The 7 trumpet and bowl judgments as described in Revelation.
Matt 24:22 If those days had not been cut short, no one would survive, but for the sake of the elect those days will be shortened.
The church (elect) will not go through the wrath of God, the Lords direct judgments from heaven. Thus the end of the age for the elect is moved up by days (possibly months Rev. 9:1-5) I Thess. 5:9, Rom 1:18, Rom 2:5-8, Rom 5:9, Ephesians 5:6.
The method to move the age up for the elect is a literal rapture I Cor. 15: 51-53. The church will receive immortality (our eternal abode) in a (atomos Greek) an atom of a second.
This is too simple. The church will be there till the end of the age, except for the final act of His wrath for sinners. We are taken up (raptured) in an atom of a second at the time of His wrath. The time of His wrath and the Day of the Lord are one in the same. (Joel 2:1-2, Zep 1:14-15, 1:18, Zep. 2:2)
So, the church will be here till the end of the age. The end of the age for believers will be at the Day of the Lord when the Lord judges the sinners.
This whole theological confusion can be eliminated by realizing the Church will be here until ‘The Day of The Lord’. Satan uses confusion to keep us from the simple obvious truth-yes, at times we are like sheep-following what we hear and not watching for His coming as the Lord directs (Matt. 10:16 Mark. 13:35-37). As we review the scriptures for when the Day of The Lord occurs, not the day or hour, but season (Matt. 24:32&36), we will have the general time frame for the rapture.
Since the placement of the church is correct, this next step will be just as easy.
Matthew 24:27-31, with Revelation 6: 12-17 teach that His wrath ‘Day of the Lord’ comes after the seals (the seals are tribulations from Satan and evil men coming from the earth).
Daniel and Paul however helps us out even more. It is almost universally accepted (it is clear in scripture) the Anti Christ will enter the Jewish temple and commit abominations of the temple sacrifice and makes himself out to be God. Daniel 9:27 states this will happen in the middle of the 7, or 3:5 years into the tribulation. In 2 Thessalonians 2:1-4 Paul clearly teaches the Day of the Lord and our gathering to Him-rapture is after this abomination, thus after the middle of the tribulation.
Daniel 9:27 He will confirm a covenant with many for one `seven.’
(what many call the 7 year tribulation-or the 70th week of Daniel).
In the middle of the seven’ (3.5 years) he will put an end to sacrifice and offering. And on a wing of the temple he will set up an abomination that causes desolation’
(Matt. 24: 15 “So when you see standing in the holy place ‘the abomination that causes desolation, spoken of through the prophet Daniel” Jesus confirming this truth).
2 Thess 2:1 Concerning the coming of our Lord Jesus Christ and our being gathered to Him…..(2) report or letter supposed to have come from us, saying that the day of the Lord has already come. (3) Don’t let anyone deceive you in any way, for that day will not come until the rebellion occurs and the man of lawlessness is revealed, the man doomed to destruction. (4) He will oppose and will exalt himself over everything that is called God or is worshiped, so that he sets himself up in God’s temple, proclaiming himself to be God.
Paul says do not be deceived, for we have not sent out a report or letter saying that the coming of our Lord (The Day of the Lord) and our gathered unto Him (the rapture) has come. For the Day of the Lord will not come until the man of lawlessness is revealed -commits rebellion (abomination of desolation) in Gods temple. Thus Paul is simply saying, The Day of the Lord and our gathering unto Him (the rapture) won’t happen until after the man of sin defiles the temple ( half way into the 7 year tribulation period Dan. 9: 27).
Once again, the church will
1) Be on earth fulfilling the great commission until the end of the age, when Jesus comes to judge the sinners. Matt. 28:19-20, Mk. 16: 15-20, Matt. 13:39-49
2) The end of the age will be ‘cut short’ by days- Matt. 24:22
The reason the church age is cut sort -it will not go through Gods wrath (1 Thes. 5:9, Romans 1:18, Romans 2:5,8, Rom 5:9, Ephesians 5:6). Thus, the church will be here till the end of the age but not to Gods wrath, or Day of The Lord. They are one in the same.(Joel 2:1-2, Zephaniah 1:15, Zeph 1:18, Zeph 2:2)
3) The method for the church age to be cut short will be a literal rapture (I Cor. 15: 51-53)
4) Daniel and Paul together Place the Day of the Lord and the gathering unto Him-rapture after ‘mid trib’ or 3.5 years (Dan. 9:27, 2 Thessalonians 2:1-4)
The ‘window’ for the rapture then is after mid trib but before Gods wrath at the Day of the Lord. See pic above.
Note: We will not know the day or hour, but will know the season.(Matt. 24:32-36)
The church will endure the trials of Satan and evil men and become purified during the seals from earth Ephesians 5:27, 2 Pet. 3:14, Rev. 13:10. Gods wrath is defined as the trumpet and bowl judgments from heaven Rev. 6: 12-17, I Thessalonians 5:9, Romans 1:18.
If it helps, think of the last 7 years like a football game. It is divided into two halves, and many events occur at halftime The last half is more intense than the first, the time in near. Before the very end however, there is a two minute warning and a whistle (trumpet 1 Cor. 15:52 ) is blown, the saints are called out of the game. The Day of the Lord or Gods wrath begins.
This truth is really so simple. The church will be here until the end of the age. Until Gods’ wrath for sinners as He arrives on The Day of the Lord.
The Lord never intended for this to be complicated. Now the end time scriptures fit together easily. The examples are numerous, but here are two. After Jesus explains the tribulation from the seals, He now meets us in the air-the rapture Matt. 24:4-31. The wrath of God comes after the seals in Rev. 6:16-17.
Phil. 1:6, 10, 2:16, Eph. 4:13 along with many other scriptures teach the Lord is Spiritually involved with His one church until His return-when the church is resurrected immediately before the rapture of the saints 1 Thes. 4:14-17, Jn. 6:44, 1 Cor. 15:52-53.
Let’s be ready. In Matt. 25 all of the 10 virgins are sleeping, thus unaware and not watching. Praise God some of them were at least ready and anointed when they were awaken. God is ready to move in this country, let’s be ready with our hearts and our theology. As mentioned earlier we have to warn America, millions of lives are at stake.
Please read the attachment under prophecy -Rev. 3:10 (article on). It will clarify why this verse is ‘misplaced’ as a rapture verse. A more detailed chart of events is listed below.
Note: The Day of the Lords return will be at the end of the seals-at the arrow with the yellow star (approximate return time or window). His return will start with the rapture of the church and begin His wrath (the trumpet and bowl judgments from heaven). We will not know the day and hour, but we will know the season Matt. 24: 32-36.
fn1-details of Christ Return. When the rapture happens, the church will be ‘taken up’ in an instant at the Day of the Lord and receive their ‘imperishable’ bodies (I Cor. 15:51-53). During the Day of the Lord, Israel will finally recognize their error of crucifying their Messiah 2 thousand years ago and repent.
Zechariah 12:10 And I will pour upon the house of David, and upon the inhabitants of Jerusalem, the spirit of grace and of supplications: and they shall look upon me whom they have pierced, and they shall mourn for him, as one mourneth for his only son , and shall be in bitterness for him, as one that is in bitterness for his firstborn.
They will be divine protection for a remnant of Israel during the Lords wrath (Rev. 12:6-17. Rev. 7:5-8 with Rev. 9:4). Those who help Israel and do not worship the beast will also be included with Israel and be given the right to enter the Lords millennial kingdom in their ‘natural’ bodies ( Joel 2 – 3, Matt. 25:31-36). The church will reign with Christ at this time in their glorified bodies (2 Tim. 2:12, Rev. 5:10, Rev. 20:6). Praise God!
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